8 DAYS SHIRA TREKKING
The following is day by day itinerary of the Shira route, a less used Kilimanjaro route. The following Shira route itinerary is almost identical to our Lemosho route itineraries with two main differences.
The first difference is the starting point. Shira route itinerary starts higher as you are driven past where those in the Lemosho route would hike.
The second difference is the destination of the first day and the arrangement of the days after. Our Lemosho route itineraries would first go to Mti Mkubwa Camp then Shira 1, but with the Shira route itinerary, we go straight to Shira 1 on day 1.
Important things to note on the itinerary are the elevation gains, the distance to be covered each day, and notable features or things to do each day. This is a 7 days Itinerary a highly recommended itinerary though you could do the Shira route on a 6-day itinerary.
Day 1 – Shira Starting Point (3400 meters) to Shira 1 Camp (3610 meters):
Africa Nature Photography will pick you up from your hotel in Moshi or Arusha and transfer you to the starting point – the Moram Barrier. After registration for the climb, you will start your trek following instructions from your head guide. Today’s hike is a short one, however, remember you are already at a high altitude, walk slowly and drink enough water. You are advised to walk around the Shira 1 camp to acclimatize.
Trekking time: 1 – 1.5 hours
Zone: Heath and Moorland
Altitude gain: 210 meters
Day 2 – Shira 1 Camp (3,610 meters) to Moir Hut (4,200 meters)
After breakfast, you will start a long and tough trek leaving the Shira plateau towards the Moir Hut Camp. Before reaching the Moir Hut Camp, you will enjoy great views of the Shira plateau and Shira caldera. This is one of those days where you will have great scenery for photo taking. Prepare your camera!. The hike is long so your lunch will be dished between Shira 1 and Moir Hut, and it will hot lunch.
Distance: 10 km
Trekking time: 6-8 hours
Zone: Low Alpine Desert zone/ High Alpine Desert zone
Altitude gain: 590 meters.
Day 3 – Moir Hut Camp (4200 meters) to Lava Tower (4,600 meters) and then Barranco Camp (3,900 meters):
After breakfast, you will start a long and tough trek leaving the Moir Hut for the Barranco Camp. Before reaching the Barranco camp, you will pass the well-known Shark’s Tooth formation called Lava Tower.
Notice climbing high to 4600 meters then going to sleep at Baranco camp 3900 meters will allow you to acclimatize.
Distance: 12 km
Trekking time: 5-7 hours
Zone: High Alpine Desert zone
Altitude gain: 400 meters then attitude loss of 700 meters
Day 4 – Barranco Camp (3,900 meters) to Karanga Camp (3,995 meters)
Today you will climb the Great Barranco Wall to reach the top of Karanga Valley. The 257 meters rock face may look intimidating but climbing it is easier than you may think. You will need to be extra careful as you scramble towards the top of the wall. You need neither technical skills nor any special trekking gear to climb the Barranco Wall.
Once you reach the top of the Barranco Wall you will be welcome with great views, it is time to pause and take great photos before you start trekking through a series of inclines and declines to Karanga Camp (3,960 meters).
Distance: 6 km
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Altitude gain: 95 meters
Day 5 Karanga Camp (3,995 meters) to Barafu Camp (4,673 meters)
After breakfast at Karanga Camp, you will start the trek to finish the Southern Circuit. You are likely to meet people on their way down to Mweka at the Mweka Trail junction. From the junction, you will continue towards your final destination of the day, Barafu Camp.
At Barafu Camp, which is the base camp, you will have an early dinner before you rest to prepare yourself for the summit attempt. You will have great views of Mawenzi peak and Kibo peaks at Barafu camp.
Distance: 4 km
Trekking time: 4-5 hours
Zone: High Alpine desert zone
Altitude gain: 678 meters
Day 6 – Barafu Camp (4,673 meters) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 meters) and then Mweka Camp (3,100 meters):
This is the day you have been waiting for. Your mental and physical stamina are going to be tested to the limit. You will start summit night at around 11:00 PM or 12:00 AM depending on how your head guide sees it fit. Important tip, put your snacks and bottle of water under your first layer jacket. After you have checked that you are well dressed and have all trekking gears for the summit attempt, you will start the steep slope in a pole pole style (slowly slowly). Your big stopping point is at Stella Point (5756 meters) where you can have snacks and hot tea.
After a short rest at Stella Point (not more than 5 minutes), you will continue hiking to Uhuru summit. After the Uhuru summit, a tough descent will be waiting for you. You will descend to the base camp, rest a little bit, then descend further to Mweka Camp. We chose to descend to Mweka Camp(3100 meters) to give you a chance to relax well and have enough oxygen unlike the other option of resting at Millenium Camp (3950 meters) which is still higher compared to Mweka Camp.
Distance: Total 10 km to the summit and back to the base camp, then from base camp to Mweka Camp it will take approximately 11 km
Trekking time: 6-8 hours to the summit, then another 6-7 hours back to the base camp. From base camp to Mweka Camp you may spend 5-8 hours.
Zone: Glacial zone and all preceding zones.
Altitude gain: 1222 meters, altitude loss: 2795 meters.
Day 7 – Mweka Camp (3,100 meters) to Mweka Gate (1,640 meters):
After your breakfast at Mweka Camp, you will start a final descend to the exit gate. The walk on this day is through a tropical rainforest. At the Mweka Gate, you will have to sign out and be handed certificates of completion. If you successfully reach Stella Point you will be handed a green certificate. If you successfully reached Uhuru peak, a gold certificate will be handed to you. After all administrative procedures have been completed at Mweka Gate, you will be transported to your hotel.
Distance: Total 10 km
Trekking time: 3-4 hours.
Zone: Moorlands at Mweka Camp then descending to Montane forest zone at Mweka gate.
Altitude loss: 1460 meters
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