Mount Kilimanjaro

Shira Route

TThe Shira route on Mt. Kilimanjaro, is one of the least used initial ascent routes on the mountain, partly because of its remote location. The climb begins at a high elevation, Morum Barrier Gate at nearly 12,000 ft. (3600 m). Thus, you have to start slow and easy on this route. You start your trek in the heather zone, bypassing the wet forest behind, and immediately find yourself on the first day of the trek on the Shira Plateau.

Day: 1 Arrive in moshi

You will be met by a representative of Peacemakers Expedition representative. After customs and immigration formalities, you will be transferred to your hotel in Arusha for overnight.

Day 2 Transfer to gate – hike to Shira 1 camp (3505 m)

After breakfast, you will be collected from your hotel in Arusha and transferred to Londorossi gate (ca. 4 hrs transfer), where you will complete Kilimanjaro National park entry formalities. Afterward continue by car to Morum Barrier Gate (ca. 1 hr). Where you will have your lunch. Thereafter you begin your Mt. Kilimanjaro climb trekking through heather and moorland to the first camp (ca. 1-2 hrs). You will find that the views over to Kibo across the Plateau are breathtaking. Overnight at Shira 1 camp

Day 3 Shira 1 – Shira 2 (Fischer’s) camp (3900 m)

You have a full day to explore the Shira plateau, with a slow trek eastward towards Kibo’s glacier peak. The Shira plateau is considered as one of the highest plateaus on earth and it averages 12,500 ft. You have a chance to visit the ancient collapsed cone of Shira volcano (the oldest of Kilimanjaro’s 3 volcanic centers). Total trekking time: ca. 3 hrs. Dinner & Overnight at Shira 2 Camp

Day 4 Shira 2 – Barranco camp (3976 m)

After breakfast, you will have a steady climb over vast ridges to “Lava Tower”, here, you will have your lunch (ca. 4 hrs). Lava Tower, a 300 ft volcanic plug, marks an exposed pass at 15,000 ft. In the afternoon, you will have to descend the steep trail into the Great Barranco Valley. Your camp at Barranco is set in a valley enclosed on 3 sides with the massive walls of the valley itself and the massif of Kibo. Hanging glaciers glint in the sunshine above, – an eerie landscape known for its rare plants such as the Giant Groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjaro) and the uniquely endemic Giant Lobelia. Total trekking time: 6-7 hrs. Dinner & Overnight at Barranco Camp

Day 5 Barranco camp – Barafu camp (4673 m)

If you decide to take the 6-day itinerary option, you will trek 3-4 hours and stop in the Karanga Valley for a hot lunch. Afterward, in the afternoon, the trail turns steadily uphill. The temperature will start growing colder and the landscape more sparse as you approach Barafu Camp. Your Barafu Camp is set on a small, exposed flat area on a ridge and is the usual base camp from which you will make the summit attempt at midnight tonight. It’s essential to eat and especially drink as much as possible before retiring to your tent for rest and sleep. Overnight at Barafu Camp

Day 6 Barafu camp – Stella Point (5790 m) – Uhuru Peak (5895 m) – descend to Mweka camp (3068 m)

Your chef will prepare a hot drink, which you will take very early this morning. Expect a midnight wake-up call which will be the start of a juggernaut (12-17 hrs of trekking). At around 1 am, you will start trekking; Here temperatures usually range from just below freezing at midnight to somewhere between -12 deg. C (10 deg. F) to -23 deg. C (-10 F.) on the summit just before dawn. As you proceed with ascent at a slow pace, you will come across winding path of endless switchbacks which will slowly take form and shape in the shadows of the Ratzel and Rebman glaciers at early dawn, and behind you, the spires of Mawenzi are silhouetted against the red glow of the sun rising behind the clouds. 6 hrs of slow walking uphill, brings you to the edge of the crater: Stella Point, at an elevation of 19,000 ft. (5790 m) on the crater rim, it is the end of the steep part of the hike. From here, then you will have a gentle slope towards Uhuru Peak (ca. 1 hr), the true summit of Kili at 19,340 ft. (5896 m). The strength it takes to ascend this final piece is for many monumental. Spend a short time at the summit, before you start descending. The path goes down a steep scree slope back to Barafu Camp where you will rest for a short time before you have to summon your strength to continue your further descent to Mweka Camp for the last night on the mountain. Dinner & Overnight art Mweka Camp

Day 7 Final descend – Transfer to Arusha

Your last descent to Mweka Gate, is an easy 2-3 hours trek that will take you through a beautiful rain forest to go down the final parts of the trail back to the Mweka Gate. Here, you will be awarded your Kilimanjaro certificate, and have lunch, thereafter you will say goodbye to many of your crew, and start your return journey to Arusha where a day room to freshen will be provided till evening when you will be picked up by your driver and transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport to board your International flight. However, your Tanzania trip will not be complete without booking one of our popular wildlife safaris to Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro crater or Tarangire Park.

Price Includes

  • - Arrival and departure transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport, as well as free shuttle transfer, Nairobi – Arusha – Nairobi, if flying to/from Nairobi.
  • - Accommodation in mountain huts or mountain tents with mattresses; we use the highest quality of expedition tents by Eureka or Mountain Hardware.
  • - Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • - All park fees, including mountain rescue fees, government taxes, and all applicable fees and taxes
  • - Services of a professional leading guide who is medically trained, certified, licensed, and English speaking
  • - Services of English-speaking assistant guide(s), a skilled cook, and enough porters for a guest’s luggage, food, water, and dinning tent
  • - Transport back and forth from your hotel and the mountain
  • - Use of radios/phones to increase your safety

Price Excludes

  • - Items of personal nature such as passport, visa, traveler’s insurance, medical evacuation insurance ($50 value)
  • - Tips to guides and porters
  • - International airfare (unless explicitly stated)
  • - Medical equipment which can be rented well in advance for the following costs: $250/group for hyperbaric chamber, $210/group for an emergency oxygen cylinder and $140/group for a stretcher. Please note these prices include a porter to carry the equipment.
  • - Portable toilets: If you are concerned about using public toilets, a portable toilet is available for an extra $110/person or $180/group. This service must be confirmed at the time of booking.


  • - The luggage that porters are allowed to carry is limited to 35 pounds (ie: 15 kgs)
  • - Overweight or extra luggage will require an extra porter at a rate of $10/bag/day
  • - You can leave extra luggage at your hotel in Arusha or at our office (do not leave any valuables like cash, jewelry, electronics, etc)