7 Days Kilimanjaro Trek via Shira Route

7 Days Kilimanjaro Trek via Shira Route


Tour snapshot

7 Days / 6 Nights
Safari Type
Mountain Climbing
Can be Tailor-made:
Free Cancellation
Learn more


Climbing / Trekking


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 by vehicle. 


Day 1
Arrival Day - Arusha / Moshi Town

Pick up from Kilimanjaro airport and transfer to hotel in Moshi/ Arusha. Mountain trek equipment check to make sure you have all the necessary gear and missing can be rented on this day.

Day 2
Arusha / Moshi Town – Shira Gate – Simba Camp (3597 m)
Simba Camp

Trekking begins by exploring the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations on the plateau as today is a fairly easy day to help with acclimatization. Then we take a scenic path to the Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles, before settling at Shira Camp.

Distance: About 4 km | Hiking time: 1-2 hours | Habitat: Montane forest 

Day 3
Simba Camp (3597 m) – Shira 2 Camp (3810 m)
Shira 2 Camp

Today is a fairly easy day to help with acclimatization. We begin by exploring the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations on the plateau. Then we take a scenic path to the Shira Cathedral, a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles, before settling at Shira 2 Camp.

Distance: About 6 km | Hiking time: 2 hours | Habitat: Moorland

Day 4
Shira 2 Camp (3810 m) - Lava Tower (4630 m) – Barranco Camp (3976 m)
Barranco Camp

Trekking continues to the east up a ridge and then head southeast towards the Lava Tower - a 300 ft tall volcanic rock formation. We descend down to Barranco Camp through the strange but beautiful Senecio Forest to an altitude of 4114 m. Although you begin and end the day at the same elevation, the time spent at higher altitude is very beneficial for acclimatization.

Total Distance: About 10 km | Approx. time: Ascending 4-5 hrs + Descent 2-3 hrs | Habitat: Alpine Desert

Day 5
Barranco Camp (3976 m) – Karanga Camp (3995 m)
Karanga Camp

Descend into a ravine to the base of the Great Barranco Wall. Then we climb the non-technical but steep, nearly 900 ft cliff. From the top of the Barranco Wall we cross a series of hills and valleys until we descend sharply into Karanga Valley. One more steep climb up leads us to Karanga Camp. This is a shorter day meant for acclimatization.

Distance: About 4 km | Hiking time: 5-6 hours | Habitat: Alpine desert

Day 6
Karanga Camp (3995 m) – Barafu Camp (4673 m)
Barafu Camp

We leave Karanga and hit the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the rocky section to Barafu Hut. At this point, you have completed the Southern Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest and enjoy an early dinner to prepare for the summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo are viewable from this position.

Distance: About 4 km | Hiking time: 4-5 hours | Habitat: Artic, Alpine desert

Day 7
Barafu Camp (4673 m) - Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – Mweka Camp (3068 m)
Mweka Camp

On wee time we begin our push to the summit. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. The wind and cold at this elevation and time of day can be extreme. We ascend in the darkness for several hours while taking frequent, but short, breaks. Near Stella Point (5761 m), you will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see coming over Mawenzi Peak. Finally, we arrive at Uhuru Peak- the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa.

From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. The trail is very rocky and can be quite hard on the knees; trekking poles are helpful. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon. Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned sleep.

Distance: About 5 km ascent + 12 km descent | Hiking time: 7/8 hours to reach Uhuru Peak | Descend time: 4/6 hours to descend to Mweka | Habitat: Stone scree and ice-capped summit, Rain Forest

Day 8
Mweka Camp (3068 m) – Mweka Gate (1640 m) – Moshi / Arusha Town

Make the final descent through the rain forest to Mweka Gate. Here we will collect or summit certificate, have lunch and say goodbye to our mountain crew before drive back to Moshi/Arusha for dinner and overnight.

Distance: About 10 km | Hiking time: 3-4 hours | Habitat: Rain Forest

Day 9
Departure Day / Go on a Safari

After breakfast, depart for your next destination, which is optional or can be arranged:

  • Safari to the National Parks
  • Transfer to Kilimanjaro International Airport or Arusha Airport
  • Transport to Other Towns in Tanzania i.e. Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar
  • Nairobi via border town Namanga
94% of travelers recommend this experience
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

Destination/s Traveling

Destination/s in this Safari

Your Travel Journey Starts Here

Sign up and we'll send the best deals to you