Climbing Kilimanjaro through shira route to see scenic viewing from the west of Kilimanjaro. A 4×4 vehicle transports us through a rich, lush rainforest until we arrive at the ridge of the Shira Plateau, where our climbing begins. We trek across an alpine plateau and traverse the great Southern Icefield. The Shira route is ideal for those with previous climbing experience and those seeking a more challenging adventure.
Day 1: Arrive Arusha
Clients flying into Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) early today we recommend a private transfer to Arusha where the rest of the day is at leisure. We stay at the Moivaro Coffee Lodge, which is beautifully located on the coffee farm and is a perfect place to prepare for your Kilimanjaro climb.
Day 2: Shira One” (3,550 m); 5-6 hours climb.
We take a ride to Londorossi National Park gate to complete the necessary registration formalities, before driving a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (9,200 ft). We continue climbing steadily on foot through shrub forests and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (11,000 ft). The views across the surrounding plains open up as we approach our first camp, Simba Camp
Day 3: Shira Hut (3,840 m); 3-5 hours climb.
Today is an easy day to help acclimatization and to explore the grassy moorland and volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (12,300 ft), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here, especially when the afternoon mists roll in. From our camp near Shira Hut (12,600 ft), we take in the unforgettable views of Mt. Meru as she floats among the clouds.
Day 4: Moir Hut (4,200m); 3-4 hours climb.
The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the broad upland desert beneath the Lent Hills, with expansive views in all directions. After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut (13,800 ft), there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Lent Hills (15,400 ft). We can explore the area beneath the Northern Icefields, a remote place rarely visited by tourists, with unusual views of Kibo. Few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro.
Day 5: Lava Tower camp (4,550 m); 4-5 hours climb.
We enjoy a morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch at our Lava Tower (14,900 ft), there is a steep but spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach. This afternoon excursion is highly recommended for acclimatisation purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach.
Day 6: Karanga campsite (4,000 m); 5-6 hours climb
A steep descent into the bottom of Barranco Valley (12,800 ft) leads us to the famed Barranco Wall and its steep climb. At the top the undulating trail crosses the flanks of Kibo with superb vistas of the Southern Icefields. The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of vegetation in sheltered hollows, and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga Camp (13,100 ft), the last water point on the approach to the summit.
Day 7: Barafu campsite (4,600 m); 3-4 hours climb
We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach Barafu Hut (14,800 ft) for lunch. There is a short acclimatisation hike to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (15,700 ft). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the early morning final ascent.
Day 8: Mweka forest camp (3100 m); 13-15 hours climb
We will start our ascent by torchlight at about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the Crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735 m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,896 m), passing close to the spectacular glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final Mweka forest camp.
Day 9: Mweka forest camp to Mweka Gate (1,650 m); 3-4 hours climb.
A sustained descent through lovely forest with lush undergrowth takes us to Mweka National Park gate.