6 Days Shira Route Itinerary
Day 1: Moshi to Shira Gate to Shira Camp
The drive from Moshi to the trail head 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.
- Meals: LD
- Budget Lodging: Shira Camp
Day 2: Shira Camp to Lava Tower to Barranco Hut
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.” Shortly after the tower, we come to the second junction which brings us up to the Arrow Glacier (15,997 ft / 4,876 m). We continue down to the Barranco Hut (12,664 ft / 3,860 m). Although you end the day at the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day.
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Barranco Hut
Day 3: Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
After breakfast we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge passing the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley campsite.
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Karanga Camp
Day 4: Karanga Camp to Barafu Hut
We leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall, through the Karanga Valley (lunch at 14,770 ft / 4,200 m) to the junction that connects with the Mweka Trail. We continue up to the Barafu Hut. 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 summit day. The two peaks of Mawenzi and Kibo can be seen from our camp.
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Barafu Hut
Day 5 : Barafu Camp to Summit to Mweka Hut
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 a.m.), 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 (18,652 ft / 4,200 m), you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to experience. From Stella Point you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. At Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa. Faster hikers can view the sunrise from the summit. It can be very cold at night at these elevations, but it will be quite warm by the end of the hiking day. You will want clothing with you for both extremes. From the summit, we now make our descent continuing straight down to the Mweka Hut camp site, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You will want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel. Mweka Camp is situated in the upper forest and mist or rain can be expected in the late afternoon.
Later in the evening, we enjoy our last dinner on the mountain and a well-earned rest.
- Meals: BLD
- Budget Lodging: Mweka Hut
Day 6: Mweka Hut to Moshi
After breakfast, we continue the descent 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 offer enough warmth (keep rain gear and warmer clothing handy).
From the gate, continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet you at Mweka village to drive you back to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha. Don’t forget to tip your guides and porters. It is time for celebration!
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