Kilimanjaro Climbing Shira Route

The Shira Route is a difficult route that begins in the west, at Shira Gate. What is unque about Shira is that the first section of the trail is not hiked, but rather driven. Therefore, climbers using Shira will miss out on hiking up one of Kilimanjaro’s ecological zones, the rain forest.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Shira Route

The trek begins at Machame Gate, located in the southern base of mountain, which is just a short drive from Moshi or Arusha.

The hike starts within Kilimanjaro’s lush, fertile, montane rainforest. As you might expect, the lower slopes receive a quite a bit of precipitation. The trail may be steep and slippery, so trekking poles are advised. As the route heads toward the Shira Plateau, the trees disappear and are replaced by low brush in the heather zone.

Then, the route climbs high to the volcanic plug, Lava Tower, before dropping and circling below the South Icefield. This circular pathway from Barranco to Karanga to Barafu is known as the southern circuit. As it traverses halfway around the mountain, climber’s are exposed to great vistas.

The long, strenuous approach to the summit is made from the east through endless switchbacks up increasingly loose gravel until we reach the crater rim at a mark known as Stella Point. Then the route is relatively flat for another hour to Uhuru Peak – the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. The quick descent follows the Mweka trail.

Kilimanjaro Climbing Shira Route with Mama Africa Safaris

Overview: Tarangire| Ngorongoro Crater | Lake Manyara.

Overview: Tarangire| Ngorongoro Crater | Lake Manyara.

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