Auram Safaris – Kilimanjaro Climbs and African Safaris

Shira Route


The Shira Route is a little used trail that begins near Shira Ridge. It is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation. Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, it is less favorable than its successor due to the relatively high altitude of Shira’s starting point, which is accessed quickly by vehicle. It is possible that climbers will experience some altitude related symptoms on the first day while camping at 11,800 feet.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge.



Day 1 : Londorossi Gate, Hike to Mti Mkubwa Camp

Distance: 6km/4mi

Hiking Time: 2-3 hours

Habitat: Montane Forest

Hiking from Stella Point on the Machame Route - Climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain

After breakfast and briefing, drive to Londorossi Park Gate (about a 3-hour drive). From here a forest track requiring a 4WD vehicle leads to Lemosho Glades. Walk along forest trails to Mti Mkubwa (big tree) campsite.

Day 2 : Hike Mti Mkubwa Camp to Shira 2 Camp

Elevation: 2650m/8700ft to 3850m/12,600ft

Hiking Time: 7-8 hours

Zone: Moorland

After breakfast, we continue as the trail gradually steepens and enters the giant heather moorland zone. After several streams are crossed we continue over the Shira Ridge past the Shira 1 camp and on to the Shira 2 camp on moorland meadows by a stream.

Mount Kilimanjaro Snow Crest views from Karanga Camp. This camp is usually for acclimatization for climbers while hiking the Machame 7-day climb.

Day 3 : Hike Shira 2 Camp to Barranco Camp

Distance: 8km/5mi

Distance: 8km/5mi

Zone: Semi-desert

Lava Camp is usually a lunch spot and acclimatization spot for guests heading to Baranco Camp, hiking from Shira 2 Camp. It is also a campsite for more experienced climbers hiking the Western Breach Wall.

From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.

Day 4 : Hike Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp

Distance: 5km/3mi

Hiking Time: 34 hours

Zone: Alpine Desert

After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail.

Machame Route campsite at Baranco Camp. Breaking Camp early in the morning. Climbing Machame Route one has to pass through Baranco Camp.

Day 5 : Hike Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp

Distance: 4km/2mi

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Zone: Alpine Desert

Guess at Shira Camp...enjoying the beautiful view of Kilimanjaro snows in the background of this photo.

We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day.

Day 6 : Hike Barafu Camp to Summit, down to Mweka Camp

Distance: 5km/3mi up / 13km/8mi down

Hiking Time: 5-7 hours up / 5-6 hours down

Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit

Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!

Camping at Barafu Camp

Day 7 : Hike Mweka Camp to Mweka Gate, drive to Arusha or Moshi

Distance: 10km/6mi

Hiking Time: 3-4 hours

Zone: Forest


After breakfast we continue the descent down to the Mweka Park Gate to receive your summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. Gaiters and trekking poles will help. Shorts and t-shirts will probably be plenty to wear (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village.

Bestday Safaris vehicle will meet you at Mweka gate to drive you back to your hotel

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