The Shira Route is one of the original paths up Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing, closely related to the more recent Lemosho Route. This route begins from the western side at Morum Barrier, a starting point located relatively high above sea level.

While this makes acclimatization a bit more challenging and results in fewer climbers choosing this path, the Shira Route still provides a unique and quieter adventure. Even though the Lemosho Route can be seen as a more updated version of the Shira Route, the latter retains its charm and appeal.

A Comprehensive Overview

The Kilimanjaro Shira Route is a challenging but rewarding path to Kilimanjaro's summit. Known for its high starting altitude, diverse scenery, and low foot traffic, it offers experienced trekkers a unique wilderness experience with spectacular views, rich wildlife, and a thrilling journey to the Roof of Africa. Let’s look at some of the highlight features of the route.

  • Distance: Approximately 56 kilometres
  • Duration: 7-8 days
  • Difficulty: Moderate to High, given its high starting point and varied terrains
  • Crowds: The initial days of the Shira Route provide a peaceful trekking experience, untouched by large crowds. However, the tranquillity subtly shifts by the evening of the second day at Shira 2 Camp, when you merge with climbers from the Lemosho route. Additionally, upon nearing the Lava Tower, you'll encounter trekkers from the Machame route. Despite this, it's noteworthy that crowd size increases significantly only during peak season.
  • Trails Conditions: As you navigate this path, you'll traverse an array of environments, from verdant moorlands to sections adorned with volcanic rock formations.

Scenic Highlights

Shira Route Kilimanjaro provides a feast for the eyes with diverse terrains, from moorlands to glacial valleys:

  • Distinctive Attractions: Expansive Shira Plateau, impressive Lava Tower, and the grand Barranco Wall.
  • Panoramic Views: Broad vistas of the western plains, the magnificent Kilimanjaro summit, and the breathtakingly beautiful Barranco Valley
  • Concise Itinerary

    The Shira Adventure unravels through a sequence of engaging stages:

    • Start: The journey commences at Shira Gate, passing through the vast Shira Plateau and high moorlands
    • Acclimatization: Day 3 offers an acclimatization hike to the Lava Tower and a descent to Barranco Camp
    • Summit Push: The summit assault involves a challenging trek to Uhuru Peak via Stella Point
    • Descent: The descent follows the Mweka Route, passing through Mweka and Millennium Camps

    Essential Insights

    With a promising success rate, Kilimanjaro Shira Route offers a remarkable climb, particularly during the dry seasons:

    • Success Rate: Approximately 78%
    • Best Time to Climb: Dry seasons, specifically January-March and June-October

    Balancing the Pros and Cons

    Each Kilimanjaro Climbing Routes comes with its unique benefits and potential challenges:

    • Pros: High scenic quotient, less crowded, the longer duration for acclimatization, and the experience of diverse terrains
    • Cons: High initial altitude can cause altitude sickness, a longer route can be physically demanding, and higher cost due to the extended duration

    Route-Specific Tips

    The Shira Route also requires specific precautions that need to be followed during Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing.

    • As the starting point is at a high altitude, it's important to monitor signs of altitude sickness closely
    • Given the route's length and duration, ensuring excellent physical condition before the climb is crucial

    The Kilimanjaro Shira Route, renowned for its unparalleled landscapes and a less crowded path, offers a challenging yet satisfying expedition for climbers looking for a longer journey. Although the high initial altitude and the physical demands of this route present significant challenges, the Shira Route's stunning vistas and the immersive experience it offers to make it an exceptional choice for an unforgettable Mount Kilimanjaro Climbing adventure.

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