7 Days Shira route

7 Days Shira route


A 7 day ascent to the roof of Africa. Starting at Morum Barrier on the north western side of Kilimanjaro this trek cuts out a day at Lemosho and starts right on the Shira Plateau. It joins the Machame Route above Shira 2 Camp on day 3 and circumnavigates Kibo to the south before summiting from Barafu via Stella Point. Descent is via the Mweka route.

From Arusha we set out in vehicles to Londorosi gate to sign into the park and then transfer up to Morum Barrier to start hiking at around 3700 metres AMSL. Lunch is taken either at the gate or at Morum before embarking on a leisurely hike to camp crossing 2 seasonal steams. You arrive in camp mid-afternoon.

After a significant altitude gain the day before, today is a short day and you arrive in Shira 2 camp in time for lunch. A good day for acclimatisation with the option of an afternoon walk to explore the Shira Plateau with your guides.

From Shira 2 we traverse across the slopes of Kibo. Here relatively little flora or fauna can survive the extreme temperature ranges and conditions that typify this zone. Today is a “walk high sleep low” day. You ascend into alpine desert to Lava Tower (Alt: 15,092ft, 4600m) where lunch is taken before descending to Barranco Camp. This is a long day but note that the next time you head to this altitude is at base camp – a great acclimatisation day!

From Barranco Camp, famous for its giant groundsels (Senecio species), you ascend the Barranco Wall and hike glacial valleys to Karanga Camp. Today is a relatively short day’s hike and lunch is taken at Karanga camp. The afternoon is spent relaxing and acclimatising. In the evening a practice walk for the summit is taken to make sure you are completely comfortable with the kit you are going to summit in.

Today you cross the saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo in the alpine desert zone. You will arrive at your basecamp, Kibo Hut, in time for lunch. In the afternoon it is time to prepare for the night ascent and then an early dinner before heading to bed for a few hours.

Most people depart just before midnight for the final summit bid. Patience and persistence are the name of game to reach the summit (Uhuru Peak: 19341ft, 5895m) and by dawn as the first rays of light start to appear, most arrive near the rim. Ascending via Stella Point (Alt: 18,865ft, 5750m) affords a relatively short final section to Uhuru Peak, the Roof of Africa! What goes up must come down however. The first stage is to get back to our base camp for a quick change of clothes and refuel before the long hike downhill to Mweka Camp. The downhill is hard on the knees and walking poles at this stage are highly recommended. You should reach Mweka Camp before dusk for your final night on the mountain.

After breakfast you descend once again through afromontane forest and around midday, after saying farewell to your crew, you are picked up and transferred back to your lodge for a well deserved shower! Later that evening you will be visited by a Am Realistic Tour And Safaris Representative to congratulate you, to find out how the trip went and to answer any final questions you may have about your onward journey.

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