6 Days Kilimanjaro Trekking Shira Route
The trip begins by doing registration at Machame Gate. The climb starts from Machame gate (1800m) after a short walk through the attractive banana and coffee farms of Machame village. The path follows a ridge through dense Montana forest. This is the richest forested area on the mountain, and also the water on Kilimanjaro originates. On sunny days, and especially in the dry season is very lush and beautiful. It can also be a very muddy experience, particularly if it has rained recently. We have lunch at halfway clearing, a small opening in the trees, and continue climbing steadily.
Elevation: 1830m/6000ft to 3850m/12,600ft Distance: 8km/5mi Hiking Time: 4-5 hours Habitat: Montane Forest The drive from Moshi to the trailhead takes about 3 hours. We hike through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Shira Camp. An overnight at Shira 2 Camp.
Elevation: 3850m/12,600ft to 4000m/13,000ft Distance: 10km/6mi Walking Time: 5-6 hours Habitat: Semi-desert 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. An overnight at Barranco Camp.
Elevation: 4000m/13,000ft to 4050m/13,250ft Distance: 5km/3mi Hiking Time: 34 hours Habitat: 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. An overnight at Karanga Camp.
Elevation: 4050m/13,250ft to 4700m/15,350ft Distance: 4km/2mi Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Habitat: Alpine Desert 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. An overnight at Barafu Camp.
Elevation: 4700m/15,350ft to 5895m/19,340ft Down to 3090m/10,150ft 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! From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. An overnight at Mweka Camp.
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. You now drive back to Moshi for a long over due hot shower, dinner and celebrations!!