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Kilimanjaro Shira route
(Lemosho 'High altitude drop off')

  • Price: From $1800 per person (5 hikers in a private 6 day trek without add-ons),* see all prices
  • Summit Success: Increased summit success on 7+ day treks due to effective acclimatization on this high-altitude start route.
  • Difficulty level: Ideal for intermediate-advanced trekkers; includes a small scrambling section, no technical skills needed.
  • Scenery: Expansive views across the Shira Plateau, encompassing varied terrains like moorlands and alpine deserts.
  • Ethical climbing: Each and every trek externally monitored by 'KPAP' & 'KRTO' for the highest fair treatment standards.
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Kilimanjaro Shira route Uhuru Peak Board

Overview

Kilimanjaro Shira Route
(Lemosho 'high altitude drop off')

Embark on a journey along the Kilimanjaro Shira Route, an original and non-technical path that delivers a unique high-altitude trekking experience. This route, once the principal western approach to Kilimanjaro, starts directly inside the national park at an elevation of 3400m, bypassing the forest zone and leading trekkers onto the expansive Shira Plateau. The route is renowned for its spectacular western scenery and the fascinating terrain around the collapsed Shira peak.

As you progress, the Shira Route merges with the southern circuit, passing through a range of ecological zones and offering a variety of landscapes. A notable feature of this route is the 'scrambling' section at the Barranco Wall, providing a genuine sense of mountain climbing without requiring any special equipment or extensive climbing experience. The Shira Route is particularly suited for those who are already acclimatized to high altitudes, as the high starting point offers an immediate introduction to the mountain's upper zones.

This blend of direct high-altitude start and diverse scenery makes the Shira Route an intriguing choice for trekkers, offering an immediate immersion into the alpine environment of Kilimanjaro. It stands out for those seeking a less conventional path with the dramatic landscapes and challenges of the western side of the mountain.

Photos & videos

Some hand picked photos or videos from this experience.

Route itinerary options

Click to expand the various itinerary options for this route. Itineraries indicated as * Recommended * are chosen for their duration, acclimatization and good route profile.

Quick itinerary

Itinerary code: STTK12
Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced

Day 1 - Heather & Moorland. Overnight Shira One Camp
Day 2 -
Heather & Moorland.Overnight Shira Two Camp
Day 3 -
Heather & Moorland. Overnight Barranco Campsite
Day 4 - Alpine desert. Overnight Barafu Campsite
Day 5 -
Summit (Ice cap / arctic zone). Overnight Mweka Campsite
Day 6 -
Mountain rain forest. End of trek.

  • Clients rating
  • Shah Tours rating
  • Mountain guides rating

Route map

Detailed day to day itinerary

Day 0

Arrival and climb briefing

Moshi townToday has no planned activities and is only an arrival day for you to reach your base lodge in time for a pre-climb briefing with your mountain guide.

Approx. driving distance: Optional airport transfers available
Approx. trekking distance: None
Start altitude: Unknown

End altitude: Unknown
Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
Meals included today: None


Overnight: Optional (see add-ons below)

Day 1

Lemosho gate to Morrum Barrier to Shira One Camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneYou will be transferred by road from Moshi (or Arusha) to Lemosho gate. After registration you continue driving into the National Park via the 4x4 access road through the forest till the Morrum Barrier where you begin your trek. You may encounter some wild animals on your drive today in the forest reserve. Your hike today is relatively gentle and a slow pace through the heather and moorland zone towards the Shira Plateau until your first campsite. This is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Approx. driving distance: 3 hours
Approx. trekking distance: 4km or 2mi (2-4 hours)
Start altitude: 3405m or 11170ft

End altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +100m or +330ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Shira One campsite, 3505m or 11500ft

Day 2

Shira One camp to Shira Cathedral Peak to Shira Two camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneTodays hike takes you gradually across the Shira Plateau within the heather and moorland and an optional extra hike to the Shira Cathedral peak (3880m) before gradually taking you to Shira two camp. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones and has been shaped by lava and volcanic activity to create a stunning jagged peak and offering a unique western view of Kibo, the highest of the peaks and your final destination on the tour.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 6km or 4mi (3-5 hours)
Start altitude: 3505m or 11500ft

End altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3872m or 12705ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +340m or +1115ft / -27m or -90ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Shira Two campsite, 3845m or 12615ft

Day 3

Shira Two camp to Barranco Camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneYour hike today takes you towards to Kibo cone steadily climbing up and over the edges of the alpine desert to your first high altitude at the lava tower (4630m or 15190ft). Today helps you to acclimatize and also is a great indicator to see how your body can handle the higher altitude. From the Lava Tower you begin your steep descent anti clockwise around Kibo and into the Barranco Valley passing the large flowering mountain cacti (Kilimanjaro Senecios) unique to Kilimanjaro. The day ends around the same elevation as you started on the edge of the heather and moorland.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 10km or 6mi (6-8 hours)
Start altitude: 3845m or 12615ft

End altitude: 3960m or 12990ft
Highest Altitude reached: 4630m or 15190ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +785m or +2575ft / -670m or -2200ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Barranco campsite, 3960m or 12990ft

Day 4

Barranco Camp to Barafu camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Alpine DesertThis morning you will leave the camp and ascend the Barranco wall. This is an impressive non-technical scramble and gives a feeling of mountain climbing (without any previous experience or advanced equipment required) and is rewarded with a superb view from the top back into the camp and the Heim glacier on the peak. The remainder of the hike will be through the alpine desert winding around the mountain then through the Karanga valley. From the Karanga camp you continue on the path until Barafu camp where you will prepare for your summit attempt tonight.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 10km or 6.5mi (7-8 hours)
Start altitude: 3960m or 12990ft

End altitude: 4640m or 15225ft
Highest Altitude reached: 4640m or 15225ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +680m or +2235ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Barafu campsite, 4640m or 15225ft

Day 5

Barafu Camp to Stella point to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Ice camp / arctic zoneIn the early morning (around 00:00am) you begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru peak through the arctic zone. The trek is a steep hike over loose volcanic scree through the dark and cold night and takes a slow pace in a zig-zag pattern towards Stella point (5685m or 18650ft) which is your first stop on the Kibo crater rim. From here a short (but difficult) hike remains to take you to Uhuru Peak (5895m or 19341ft), the highest point in Africa. You usually don’t spend that long at the peak due to the extreme altitude and will descend back down to the base camp for your breakfast / brunch. After your gear is packed up you continue the descent through the alpine desert, heather and moorland and eventually stopping at Mweka camp in the rain forest zone for a well-deserved rest.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 19km or 12mi (14-18 hours)
Start altitude: 4640m or 15225ft

End altitude: 3700m or 12220ft
Highest Altitude reached: 5895m or 19431ft (Peak!)
Altitude +gain / -loss: +1255m or +4206ft / -2195m or -7211ft
Meals included today: Midnight snack, brunch, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Mweka campsite, 3080m or 10105ft

Day 6

Mweka camp to Mweka gate

Kilimanjaro mountain rain forestYour final day on Kilimanjaro is a descent through the southern rain forest until Mweka gate where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Moshi town. Usually, the crew will leave you at Mweka gate and it’s a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to your crew who all generally head directly home from the end gate.

Approx. driving distance: 1 hour (to Moshi) / 2 hours (to Arusha)
Approx. trekking distance: 10km or 6mi (3-4 hours)
Start altitude: 3700m or 12220ft

End altitude: 1630m or 5350ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3080m or 10105ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: -1450 or -4755ft
Meals included today: Breakfast*
* We do not include lunch on the last day when descending via Mweka as we expect most to descend before lunch time. It is common for many to celebrate with their guides for this lunch just outside of the park or you can have your lunch at your post climb lodge instead.


Overnight: Optional (see add-ons below)

End of itinerary

Quick itinerary

Itinerary code: STTK12+1
Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced

Day 1 - Heather & Moorland. Overnight Shira One Camp
Day 2 -
Heather & Moorland.Overnight Shira Two Camp
Day 3 -
Heather & Moorland. Overnight Barranco Campsite
Day 4 -
Alpine desert. Overnight Karanga Campsite
Day 5 - Alpine desert. Overnight Barafu Campsite
Day 6 -
Summit (Ice cap / arctic zone). Overnight Mweka Campsite
Day 7 -
Mountain rain forest. End of trek.

  • Clients rating
  • Shah Tours rating
  • Mountain guides rating

Route map

Detailed day to day itinerary

Day 0

Arrival and climb briefing

Moshi townToday has no planned activities and is only an arrival day for you to reach your base lodge in time for a pre-climb briefing with your mountain guide.

Approx. driving distance: Optional airport transfers available
Approx. trekking distance: None
Start altitude: Unknown

End altitude: Unknown
Highest Altitude reached: Unknown
Altitude +gain / -loss: Unknown
Meals included today: None


Overnight: Optional (see add-ons below)

Day 1

Lemosho gate to Morrum Barrier to Shira One Camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneYou will be transferred by road from Moshi (or Arusha) to Lemosho gate. After registration you continue driving into the National Park via the 4x4 access road through the forest till the Morrum Barrier where you begin your trek. You may encounter some wild animals on your drive today in the forest reserve. Your hike today is relatively gentle and a slow pace through the heather and moorland zone towards the Shira Plateau until your first campsite. This is one of the highest plateaus on earth.

Approx. driving distance: 3 hours
Approx. trekking distance: 4km or 2mi (2-4 hours)
Start altitude: 3405m or 11170ft

End altitude: 3505m or 11500ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3505m or 11500ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +100m or +330ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Shira One campsite, 3505m or 11500ft

Day 2

Shira One camp to Shira Cathedral Peak to Shira Two camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneTodays hike takes you gradually across the Shira Plateau within the heather and moorland and an optional extra hike to the Shira Cathedral peak (3880m) before gradually taking you to Shira two camp. Shira is the third of Kilimanjaro’s volcanic cones and has been shaped by lava and volcanic activity to create a stunning jagged peak and offering a unique western view of Kibo, the highest of the peaks and your final destination on the tour.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 6km or 4mi (3-5 hours)
Start altitude: 3505m or 11500ft

End altitude: 3845m or 12615ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3872m or 12705ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +340m or +1115ft / -27m or -90ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Shira Two campsite, 3845m or 12615ft

Day 3

Shira Two camp to Barranco Camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Heather and Moorland zoneYour hike today takes you towards to Kibo cone steadily climbing up and over the edges of the alpine desert to your first high altitude at the lava tower (4630m or 15190ft). Today helps you to acclimatize and also is a great indicator to see how your body can handle the higher altitude. From the Lava Tower you begin your steep descent anti clockwise around Kibo and into the Barranco Valley passing the large flowering mountain cacti (Kilimanjaro Senecios) unique to Kilimanjaro. The day ends around the same elevation as you started on the edge of the heather and moorland.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 10km or 6mi (6-8 hours)
Start altitude: 3845m or 12615ft

End altitude: 3960m or 12990ft
Highest Altitude reached: 4630m or 15190ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +785m or +2575ft / -670m or -2200ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Barranco campsite, 3960m or 12990ft

Day 4

Barranco Camp to Karanga camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Alpine DesertThis morning you will leave the camp and ascend the Barranco wall. This is an impressive non-technical scramble and gives a feeling of mountain climbing (without any previous experience or advanced equipment required) and is rewarded with a superb view from the top back into the camp and the Heim glacier on the peak. The remainder of the hike will be through the alpine desert slowly winding around the mountain till the Karanga valley which you descend into and again up till your camp. Karanga valley is the last water point.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 6km or 4mi (3-5 hours)
Start altitude: 3960m or 12990ft

End altitude: 4040m or 13255ft
Highest Altitude reached: 4250m or 13945ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +290m or +955ft /-210m or -690ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Karanga campsite, 4040m or 13255ft

Day 5

Karanga Camp to Barafu camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Alpine DesertToday you climb almost casually through the empty landscape of the alpine desert where you keep a slow pace even though the path is not extremely steep. Kibo cone starts to near and you may finally glimpse the Mawenzi peak (Kilimanjaro’s second peak) in the east. The short distance means you have plenty of time at your summit camp to rest and prepare for the summit attempt tonight.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 4km or 2.5mi (3-4 hours)
Start altitude: 4040m or 13255ft

End altitude: 4640m or 15225ft
Highest Altitude reached: 4640m or 15225ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: +600m or +1970ft
Meals included today: Breakfast, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Barafu campsite, 4640m or 15225ft

Day 6

Barafu Camp to Stella point to Uhuru peak to Mweka camp

Kilimanjaro Mountain Ice camp / arctic zoneIn the early morning (around 00:00am) you begin your final ascent to the summit of Uhuru peak through the arctic zone. The trek is a steep hike over loose volcanic scree through the dark and cold night and takes a slow pace in a zig-zag pattern towards Stella point (5685m or 18650ft) which is your first stop on the Kibo crater rim. From here a short (but difficult) hike remains to take you to Uhuru Peak (5895m or 19341ft), the highest point in Africa. You usually don’t spend that long at the peak due to the extreme altitude and will descend back down to the base camp for your breakfast / brunch. After your gear is packed up you continue the descent through the alpine desert, heather and moorland and eventually stopping at Mweka camp in the rain forest zone for a well-deserved rest.

Approx. driving distance: None
Approx. trekking distance: 19km or 12mi (14-18 hours)
Start altitude: 4640m or 15225ft

End altitude: 3700m or 12220ft
Highest Altitude reached: 5895m or 19431ft (Peak!)
Altitude +gain / -loss: +1255m or +4206ft / -2195m or -7211ft
Meals included today: Midnight snack, brunch, picnic lunch or lunch, dinner


Overnight: Mweka campsite, 3080m or 10105ft

Day 7

Mweka camp to Mweka gate

Kilimanjaro mountain rain forestYour final day on Kilimanjaro is a descent through the southern rain forest until Mweka gate where our vehicle will be waiting to take you back to Moshi town. Usually, the crew will leave you at Mweka gate and it’s a perfect opportunity to say goodbye to your crew who all generally head directly home from the end gate.

Approx. driving distance: 1 hour (to Moshi) / 2 hours (to Arusha)
Approx. trekking distance: 10km or 6mi (3-4 hours)
Start altitude: 3700m or 12220ft

End altitude: 1630m or 5350ft
Highest Altitude reached: 3080m or 10105ft
Altitude +gain / -loss: -1450 or -4755ft
Meals included today: Breakfast*
* We do not include lunch on the last day when descending via Mweka as we expect most to descend before lunch time. It is common for many to celebrate with their guides for this lunch just outside of the park or you can have your lunch at your post climb lodge instead.


Overnight: Optional (see add-ons below)

End of itinerary

Price, includes & add-ons

Click to see price indication for the various group options and group sizes avaialble. You can always request a custom quote: contact us.

Price per person (USD $)

  • 1 passenger (private trek)

    from $2525 per person*
  • 2 passengers (private trek)

    from $2130 per person*
  • 3 passengers (private trek)

    from $1935 per person*
  • 4 passengers (private trek)

    from $1805 per person*
  • 5 passengers (private trek)

    from $1800 per person*
  • 6-10 passengers (private trek)

    from $1695 per person*
  • 11-15 passengers (private trek)

    from $1675 per person*
  • 16+ passengers (private trek)

    from $1605 per person*
  • Scheduled group (shared departure)

    Not available
  • * All prices are in USD ($) and serve as indications only for a standard package excluding pre/post accommodation, add-ons and comfort upgrades.

    Private treks are with their own dedicated crew, equipment and transfers not shared with other hikers.
  • 1 passenger (private trek)

    from $2840 per person*
  • 2 passengers (private trek)

    from $2425 per person*
  • 3 passengers (private trek)

    from $2215 per person*
  • 4 passengers (private trek)

    from $2075 per person*
  • 5 passengers (private trek)

    from $2065 per person*
  • 6-10 passengers (private trek)

    from $1955 per person*
  • 11-15 passengers (private trek)

    from $1930 per person*
  • 16+ passengers (private trek)

    from $1855 per person*
  • Scheduled group (shared departure)

    Not available
  • * All prices are in USD ($) and serve as indications only for a standard package excluding pre/post accommodation, add-ons and comfort upgrades.

    Private treks are with their own dedicated crew, equipment and transfers not shared with other hikers.
  • Green season discount

    5% off*
    For treks starting from 15 March 2024 to 31 May 2024
  • Mid season discount

    2.5% off*
    For treks starting from 01 November 2024 to 15 December 2024
  • Private portable camping toilet

    50% off*
    For treks starting from 01 January 2024 to 31 December 2024 when booked with a ' * Recommended *' for acclimatization route
  • * Special offers are only applicable to new bookings and valid only at the time of confirming an itinerary. All numbers after discounts will be rounded to the nearest whole number. Please check with your sales consultant if offers can be combined.

Standard packages usually include

  • All taxes, VAT and National Park conservation, park entry, camping and rescue fees as applicable.
  • Trained, certified, and experienced English-speaking Mountain guide/s at KINAPA minimum ratios.
  • Personal luggage allowance of 15kg per person carried by 1 x luggage porter between campsites.
  • Specialist tent crew to service and set-up campsites.
  • Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project and Kilimanjaro Responsible Tourism Organization monitoring on Kilimanjaro treks for fair treatment standards. Learn More about fair treatment.
  • Trained and experienced personal mountain cook and waiter to prepare all meals on the mountain including eating utensils, cutlery, bowls, cups etc.
  • A carefully planned standard non-vegetarian or vegetarian or gluten-free or vegan or Hindu or Jain or Halal menu specially crafted for high altitude treks.
  • Pre-climb briefing / equipment check with the guide / tour consultant in Moshi (or optionally Arusha with a supplement).
  • 1 x transfer from a Moshi (or Arusha with a supplement) based lodge to park gates per group / 1 x transfer from park gates to Moshi (or Arusha with a supplement) per group.
  • Boiled drinking water on trek (from 1st camp onward).
  • 1 Emergency oxygen cylinder per 5 passengers and first aid kit.
  • Twice daily health checks with guides and a high-grade medical oximeter.
  • Hand washing station and small personal wash basin at campsites.
  • Shared public toilet facilities at campsites.
  • 1 x approx. 100Ltr rubberized hold all bag / packsack.
  • Basic 1” foam sleeping pad per person.
  • Four season tent (sharing for even numbered groups + 1 single tent for odd numbers), chairs, tables, dining tent for camping routes.
  • A guaranteed participation medal and certificate from Shah Tours
  • A certificate from Kilimanjaro National Park (when you reach Stella Point, Gilman's Point or Uhuru Peak).

Optional extras, add-ons and comfort upgrades

Although our standard package can be more than enough for most, we appreciate many desire certain comfort upgrades and add-ons and our tours can be customized to include as much or as little as you need.

A comfortable mid-range pre and post climb lodge just outside of Moshi town, especially convenient for the Rongai and Marangu routes.

A comfortable and budget friendly mid-range lodge in Moshi town center, convenient for all ascent and descent routes.

A convenient mid range pre-climb option for the Western routes (Lemosho, Shira, Northern Circuit) in Sanya Juu (near West Kilimanjaro).

A beautiful mid to high range post climb coffee lodge when descending via Mweka (Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Umbwe).

A western style high range lodge just outside of Moshi town centre and convenient for all ascent and descent hiking routes.

A superbly comfortable high range lodge near Arusha city center, for a luxury pre and post climb experience with a view of Mount Meru.

A recommended private portable camping toilet which will be setup near your sleeping tents and provide a much more comfortable option compared to public facilities.

A recommended insulated super warm folding bed rated R5 (for extreme cold) for the most comfortable sleeping experience on Kilimanjaro.

You can easily include your arrival and departure airport transfers from Kilimanjaro International Airport, Arusha Airport or Moshi Airport with our reliable fleet.

We usually expect groups of 2 or more to share sleeping tents however if you prefer not to share your sleeping tent you can book your own single tent.

If you are celebrating a birthday, anniversary, honeymoon or other special occasion you can let us know in advance to prepare something special for your day.

A more premium hiking menu to include more fruit, meat, vegetables and complex dishes. A customized premium menu can be included for your hike.

We appreciate those without expereince may need a personal mountain guide or a ratio of 1 guide to 1 client and you can hire additional guides for your trek as required.

Those with more luggage can increase your allowed allowance on the trek by 15kgs for each additional luggage porter you hire for your expedition.

A personal assistance porter can help you carry your personal day pack (max 10kg) from the gate to the summit and back down to let you focus on your trek.

  • Anorak / Jackets

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Balaclava

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Boots - walking / trekking

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Duffel bag

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Hat

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Head Torch

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands, excluding batteries
  • Gaiters

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Gloves / warm mits

    USD $8 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Glove liners

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Mattres (self-inflatable)

    USD $50 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Neck warmer

    USD $7 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Raincoat / poncho

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Rain / wind / waterproof trousers

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Ruck sack / day pack

    USD $20 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Scarf

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • 4 season sleeping bag (Synthetic filled)

    USD $30 per trip
    Snugpak Softie 15 Discovery (-12.5oC comfort rating)
  • 4 season sleeping bag (Down filled)

    USD $50 per trip
    Marmot Never Summer (-12.5oC comfort rating)
  • Socks

    USD $5 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Sunglasses

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Sweater / fleece / jumper

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Travel pillow

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Walking poles (pair)

    USD $10 per trip
    Mixed brands
  • Water bladder / Water hydration system

    USD $15 per trip
    Mixed brands

Standard packages usually exclude

FAQ's

Frequently asked questions about this route

The Shira Route is considered challenging due to its high starting point and the immediate altitude exposure. It demands good physical fitness and acclimatization.

We do not believe in success rates as each hiker and individual can be very unique in their experience and bodies ability to acclimatize. That being said we would say a 7 day trek via the Shira route has a good chance of reaching the peak although it will require prior acclimatization due to the higher altitude start.

The Shira Route is known for its beautiful and extensive traverse across the Shira Plateau, offering magnificent views and a relatively undisturbed path compared to other routes.

Unlike all other routes which start lower in the rain forest zone of Kilimanjaro such as Machame or Lemosho, Shira begins at a high altitude (3400m at Morrum barrier), reducing the time for gradual acclimatization but offering faster access to higher altitudes.

The Shira Route provides stunning views of the Shira Plateau, Shira Cathedral, and extensive volcanic features, along with beautiful sunrise and sunset views.

Both routes traverse similar paths across the Shira Plateau and approach the summit via the Southern Circuit however differ in their starting points. The Lemosho Route begins at Lemosho Gate and offers a gradual ascent through the rain forest, enhancing acclimatization prospects. In contrast, the Shira Route starts at the Morrum Barrier at a higher elevation, which can challenge those not well acclimatized​

People with serious medical conditions like heart disease, severe asthma, or uncontrolled diabetes should avoid climbing Kilimanjaro. Pregnant women and individuals with altitude sickness susceptibility should also consider other options. It's crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before planning a climb.

Expect a challenging but rewarding experience. You'll encounter diverse terrains, from rain forests to arctic conditions. Acclimatization days are essential, and you should be prepared for long trekking hours, basic camping conditions, and altitude-related challenges.

Weather plays a pivotal role in deciding when to climb Kilimanjaro. Dry conditions ensure easier hikes and dry gear, while wet weather can turn your trek into a muddy challenge. However, Kilimanjaro's weather patterns have become unpredictable recently. You might encounter unexpected rainfalls even during what's traditionally considered a dry season or vice versa. Moreover, the dry seasons often see a surge in trekkers, leading to crowded routes. Read more about weather here.

Traditional showers are not available during most Kilimanjaro climbs. However, climbers can use wet wipes and water basins for basic hygiene. It's important to maintain cleanliness to avoid infections.

The summit attempt of Kilimanjaro typically begins at midnight, aiming for climbers to reach Uhuru Peak by sunrise. Undertaking this ascent at night serves several strategic purposes. Firstly, it allows for better acclimatization, as the gradual overnight climb aids the body in adapting to the high altitude. Secondly, the ground remains firmer during the night, as the sun during the day can soften the ice and snow, making the climb more challenging. Additionally, reaching the summit at dawn not only presents climbers with a breathtaking sunrise view but also provides a significant safety advantage. After the summit attempt, climbers have enough daylight to descend almost halfway back down the mountain. This descent is crucial as it brings climbers to a lower altitude with richer oxygen levels, which is much safer and helps in recovery following the exertion of the summit climb. This strategic timing of the ascent and descent ensures a safer and more rewarding experience for those tackling the challenge of Kilimanjaro.

Why book with Shah Tours?

Some of the reasons why you should book your hike with Shah Tours.

We are proud to operate hikes on Mount Kilimanjaro for 40+ years and with this comes a highly skilled and experienced team of mountain guides who have led 100's of expeditions and are some of the most experienced on Kilimanjaro.

Our expert guides use a preventive health management system to monitor your health twice a day using medical grade finger oximiters. Each expedition is always equipped with 1 emergency oxygen and a first aid kit.

We provide superior equipment for a comfortable hiking experience. Each trek will come with a spacious and roomy all season 4 person tent (for a maximum of 2 or 3 people) made by Hilleberg or The North Face.

justinecharTrip advisor
My husband and I booked our Kilimanjaro climb through Shah Tours, and could not have been more pleased with our experience. To start, I think we had the best guides on the entire mountain. Baraka and Vincent were extremely knowledgeable, not only about mountain safety, but also about the history of Kilimanjaro, the flora, the fauna, the tribes in Tanzania, languages, and everything else we had questions about. We learned so much on our hike up to the summit, which made the whole experience even better than anticipated.
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We are proudly monitored by KPAP and KRTO on each and every trek since 2017 for the highest fair treatment, salary and crew standards on Mount Kilimanjaro. We also support multiple local social and environmental organizations.

All participants on our Kilimanjaro treks will receive a participation certificate and unique achievement medal. You will also get a climb certificate from the National Park if you reach Stella point, Gilman's point or Uhuru peak.

We have been a licensed operator of Kilimanjaro climbs since 1984 and have guided tens of thousands to Africa's highest peak. Booking with us means you are booking directly with the operator without any middle man.

Ahmed BazaraTrip advisor
Myself, and kids (three adults) enjoyed this lifetime experience. It was exciting, somehow tiring, but rewarding. The lovely two guides and many porters made our trip as easy as possible. The cook and assistant prepared just the right meal at the right time. Although we did not complete the hike to Uhuru peak (just 6 km away) due to high altitude sickness two of my children suffered, and we were advised to descend accordingly, we will never forget these days. I am planning to return in the near future. To conclude, I want to say thank you Shah Tours, thank Kalvin, Umari, Emanuel and entire crew for your passion, care and support extended to us throughout this wonderful hike.
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Kilimanjaro Preparation Guide

Need some help planning a Kilimanjaro trek?

Please visit our dedicated section below to find out more about private or group treks, when to climb, getting to Kilimanjaro / Tanzania, visas, documents, choosing a route, training for your climb, health and vaccines, Kilimanjaro packing list, hiking boots, rental equipment, tipping, insurance, money:

Other routes

If this isn't the right route for you, some of the below are alternative routes to consider.

Combine with

This package is usually combined with one of the below. We can also tailor a custom itinerary combining any of our packages for you.

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