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10 days

The Shira Route

Take the Shira Route to the top of Kilimanjaro. It is one of the shortest routes, making it excellent for you who are in good shape but have limited time at your disposal.

The Shira Route The Shira Route
10 days

The Shira Route

Take the Shira Route to the top of Kilimanjaro. It is one of the shortest routes, making it excellent for you who are in good shape but have limited time at your disposal.

Why choose this tour

  • The route starts out high and hard, and is therefore not as busy than the other routes
  • The Shira Route is almost the same as Lemosho, though shorter and thus more affordable
  • As you start out higher, this is the most time-saving route
  • It is possible to extend the tour with both a safari and a beach holiday in Zanzibar

Our prices always include

  • All international and domestic flights
  • All destination transfers
  • All specified excursions and activities
  • All accommodations

The tour in short

The Shira route is almost identical to the Lemosho route. The only difference is that the Shira route is shorter, with a tougher, more demanding start as the first camp is located at an altitude of fully 3,840 metres. The Shira route takes you through a varied landscape of rainforest, heath and Alpine desert to Uhuru Peak, 5,895 metres above sea level. As you climb, you can enjoy the numerous vantage points overlooking Mt. Meru, the giant Kibo massif and the jagged peaks of Mawenzi reaching up into the African sky. You will eat lunch at the foot of the famous Lava Tower and climb the Great Barranco Wall by the Heim Glacier, which hangs like a set of giant ice curtains over the massif. The final ascent runs from the east, where you will have the chance to admire a magnificent sunrise at Stella Point. The descent follows the Mweka route south.

What is included in the price?
This package includes the following
  • Flights from the UK to Kilimanjaro incl. transfer
  • Local, English-speaking guide/driver
  • 2 nights full board accommodation at Springlands Hotel in Moshi (one night before the ascent, one night after)
  • Ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro via the Shira route
  • 5 nights on Kilimanjaro using a purpose built tent incl. full board
  • All meals prepared by a local cook
  • Professional guides and bearers all the way
  • Flights from Kilimanjaro to the UK incl. transfer
  • Option to purchase a safari or beach holiday after the ascent
  • Start date of your choice, as ascents are possible all year round
  • Emergency hotline staffed 24/7 throughout your tour
  • ATOL certificate
  • Departure guarantee – the tour will take place regardless of the number of participants
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Gallery
Detailed Itinerary
Day 1: Flight from the UK to Kilimanjaro

Departure day, where you will fly to Kilimanjaro with connecting flights along the way.

Day 2: Arrival in Kilimanjaro – Moshi

Arrive at Kilimanjaro’s international airport, where you will be met by your guide who will accompany you to Springlands Hotel in the small town of Moshi – a drive of approx. 1 hour. From Moshi, you will catch your first glimpse of the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro. The town is a prime example of African culture and atmosphere, packed with exotic experiences including the local market and numerous small shops.

There is a welcome meeting in the afternoon, where your guide will present the equipment you will be using and talk about the coming trek to the summit.

Altitude: Moshi: 915 masl

Day 3: Moshi – Shira Gate – Shira 2 Camp

Today, you will leave Moshi and drive to Shira Gate, the western entrance to Kilimanjaro National Park. On arrival at Shira Gate, you will have time to check in and register before meeting your team of guides, cooks and bearers. This marks the start of your ascent of Kilimanjaro. Mount Kilimanjaro actually consists of three extinct volcanoes: Kibo, whose highest point is Uhuru (5,895 masl), Mawenzi (5,149 masl) and Shira (3,962 masl).

The day’s stage is physically tough and demanding, and involves ascending fully 2,010 metres. (Added to the 915 metres of altitude you climb on the drive from Moshi to Shira Gate). The route follows pretty trails through the rainforest, and you may be lucky enough to spot some of the local wildlife. After the rainforest, the landscape opens out into a vast expanse of heath featuring heather, wild flowers, gigantic dendrosenecio plants and stony paths. As you climb, you can admire the magnificent view of the giant Kibo massif. The bearers will take the lead, so your tent will be ready for you when you arrive at Shira 2 Camp.

The climb today is long and hard, so take your time and listen to your body – be particularly aware of any sign of altitude sickness.

Altitudes: Moshi: 915 masl, Shira Gate: 1,830 masl, Shira 2 Camp: 3,840 masl

Distance: 10 km

Walking time: 4 hours

Day 4: Shira Camp 2 – Lava Tower – Barranco Camp

Today you will be heading east. The landscape starts to dry out, becoming more barren and stonier the higher you climb. As you climb, you can enjoy magnificent views of both Kibo and Mt. Meru, poking up above the white clouds behind you. After ascending for a couple of hours, you will reach the famous Lava Tower, which stems from Kilimanjaro’s previous incarnation as an active volcano.

Following lunch at the foot of the Lava Tower, it is time to descend to Barranco Camp, which is located in a valley below the Great Barranco Wall. If the weather gods are kind, you can look forward to watching a truly stunning sunset from Barranco Camp, and to enjoying a magnificent view of the top of Kilimanjaro, a wonderful look down the side of the mountain to the valley and – farther to the east – the Great Barranco Wall which rises up fully 300 metres.

Both the terrain and the altitude will make today’s stage physically and mentally challenging, so take your time and listen to your body. Even though you will finish the day ‘just’ 110 metres higher up than you started, the route involves climbing 790 metres higher than that at Lava Tower before the descent to Barranco Camp. A lot of people experience the first signs of altitude sickness at these heights, so please watch out for the slightest indication of illness and inform your guide without delay.

Altitudes: Shira 2 Camp: 3,840 masl, Lava Tower: 4,630 masl, Barranco Camp: 3,950 masl

Distance: 6 km

Walking time: 5 hours

Day 5: Barranco Camp – Karanga Camp

After a night at the foot of the impressive Great Barranco Wall, the time has come to climb the notorious cliff – which is fortunately easier than it looks. At the top of the wall, just below Heim Glacier, the full beauty of Kilimanjaro magically unfurls. The route then takes you down through Karanga Valley, where Karanga Camp is located. From here, you can admire the ragged peaks of Mawenzi that rise up towards the African sky.

It is important that you spend the rest of the day relaxing, because the ascent to Uhuru Peak is fast approaching.

Altitudes: Barranco Camp: 3,950 masl, Karanga Camp: 4,200 masl

Distance: 4 km

Walking time: 3,5 hours

Day 6: Karanga Camp – Barafu Camp

Today’s stage takes you to Barafu Camp, leading through dramatic and spectacular landscapes consisting of large and small volcanic rocks testifying to volcanic activity in ages past. The last part of the trail to Barafu Camp follows the Mweka route, and as you walk you can look out over Kibo and Mawenzi.

Barafu Camp is located at an exposed site on a mountain ridge. The ground is stony and the winds often blow strongly here. Make sure to familiarise yourself with the terrain in and around the camp before darkness falls so you are well prepared when the ascent to the summit commences shortly after midnight.

Ready your equipment and warm clothes for the next day’s hike to the peak, and store your drinking water in a Thermos to prevent it freezing solid. Settle down for the night early to ensure your ‘human batteries’ are fully charged in preparation for Kilimanjaro’s ultimate challenge.

Altitudes: Karanga Camp: 4,200 masl, Barafu Camp: 4,550 masl

Distance: 4 km

Walking time: 3,5 hours

Day 7: Barafu Camp – Uhuru Peak – Mweka Camp

You will be woken up around midnight, and following a light meal it will be time to tackle the final climb to Uhuru Peak. Most people find walking across tricky terrain in the dark before the sun comes up a serious challenge; the objective is to reach Stella Point at dawn. At Stella Point, you will all take a short break to enjoy the magnificent sunrise. Make sure not to stop for too long, however, as it will be almost impossible to get going again if you allow cold and fatigue to set in. Your route continues along the edge of the crater, and the final stretch of the trail to Uhuru Peak rises evenly. Depending on the season, there may be snow on the last part of the route to Uhuru Peak, which is your final goal: the top of Kilimanjaro and the highest point in Africa. Once you reach the peak at an altitude of 5,895 masl, you can give yourself a pat on the back, enjoy the magnificent view and have your picture taken in front of the Uhuru Peak sign as a lasting souvenir of your achievement.

It is then time to start the descent to Barafu Camp, where you can enjoy a short, well-deserved rest before continuing along the rocky trail to Mweka Camp – and a much-needed night’s sleep!

Altitudes: Barafu Camp: 4,550 masl, Uhuru Peak: 5,895 masl, Mweka Camp: 3,100 masl

Distance: 5 km up and 12 km down

Walking time: 6-7 hours up and 7 hours down

Day 8: Mweka Camp – Moshi

After breakfast, you make your way to Mweka Gate to check out before being picked up and driven back to your hotel in Moshi, where a delicious lunch awaits. Everyone who completed the climb will be awarded a diploma.

Altitudes: Mweka Gate: 1,850 masl, Moshi: 915 masl

Distance: Approx. 10 km

Walking time: 3 hours

Day 9: Start of the trip home

After checking out, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven to the airport to start your journey home. You will fly to the UK with connecting flights along the way.

Day 10: Arrival back in the UK

Arrive back in the UK after the experience of a lifetime.

Combine with

Safari in Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara National Parks, 4 nights

Price:
Per person in shared double room: + £1325

Tanzania is famous for its beautiful landscapes and fantastic national parks. This trip introduces you to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area – where you will have the chance to visit a Masai village and meet the people in their distinctive red robes – and takes you to three of the most important national parks in the country.

Serengeti National Park is the oldest national park in Tanzania. The seemingly endless plains are interrupted only by acacia trees, small lakes and the occasional watercourse. The various areas of the vast park are home to almost all the iconic African animals. Serengeti actually holds the world record for numbers of animals, and it is also the site of the great migration, where millions of gnus and zebras make their way from one area to the next, depending on the rainy season.

There are not many places that can outdo Serengeti, but one that may claim the honour is the Ngorongoro Crater, which lies like a forgotten paradise a little way to the south-west. Almost all the familiar savannah animals are to be found on the bottom of this crater from an extinct volcano.

Covering ‘only’ 330 km2, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in fascinating nature and wildlife. The park is the most varied in the country, comprising rainforest, watercourses, savannah and the lake that gives the park its name – and which covers around 200 km2. This is the perfect place to see baboons, pink flamingos, the extraordinary tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippopotamuses and all kinds of prey animals.

Safari in Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks, 1 night

Price:
Per person in double room: + £412

Single room supplement: + £188

Tarangire National Park is the sixth-largest national park in Tanzania and has the second-highest concentration of wildlife in the country. The park is home to around 3,000 elephants, which roam the area in herds of up to 300. Tarangire is also the habitat of another famous creature: the tree-climbing python that can slither its way up to the tallest tree tops. Other animals native to the area include lions, leopards, hyenas and warthogs, as well as large numbers of zebras, gnus, gazelles, hartebeest (kongoni), waterbucks and impala. The small, black-headed Agapornis parrot is just one of the 550 species of bird to be seen in the park.

In contrast to Tarangire, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania – but it is also one of the most varied. Immediately after the entrance to the park, the verdant rainforest unfurls in all its glory, interspersed with sparkling watercourses. Here you can see both baboons and Sykes’ monkeys. Close to Lake Manyara, which takes up fully one-third of the park, you can experience the vast savannah, home to buffalo, gnus, elephants and zebras. If you are really lucky, you may even spot leopards, hyenas and the extraordinary tree-climbing lions. In and around Lake Manyara itself, you are likely to observe hippopotamuses, flamingos and pelicans.

Safari in Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks (1n) & beach holiday in Zanzibar (6n), 7 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: +£1229

Single room supplement: + £736

Tarangire National Park is the sixth-largest national park in Tanzania and has the second-highest concentration of wildlife in the country. The park is home to around 3,000 elephants, which roam the area in herds of up to 300. Tarangire is also the habitat of another famous creature: the tree-climbing python that can slither its way up to the tallest tree tops. Other animals native to the area include lions, leopards, hyenas and warthogs, as well as large numbers of zebras, gnus, gazelles, hartebeest (kongoni), waterbucks and impala. The small, black-headed Agapornis parrot is just one of the 550 species of bird to be seen in the park.

In contrast to Tarangire, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania – but it is also one of the most varied. Immediately after the entrance to the park, the verdant rainforest unfurls in all its glory, interspersed by sparkling watercourses. Here you can see both baboons and Sykes’ monkeys. Close to Lake Manyara, which takes up fully one-third of the park, you can see experience the vast savannah, home to buffalo, gnus, elephants and zebras. If you are really lucky, you may even spot leopards, hyenas and the extraordinary tree-climbing lions. In and around Lake Manyara itself, you are likely to observe hippopotamuses, flamingos and pelicans.

Surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar consists of the main islands of Unguja (also called ‘Zanzibar’) and Pemba, as well as a number of smaller islands. The island of Zanzibar is a treasure trove of natural and cultural treats. Brilliant white sandy beaches, azure seas and a truly amazing coral reef. A warm and sunny climate all year round. A dramatic history, liberally sprinkled with Arabian sultans, Portuguese seafarers, unscrupulous slavers and European explorers who have all left their mark on the island. And one of the most fascinating towns in Africa, dotted with fine examples of beautiful Arabian architecture. Not forgetting the delicious Swahili cuisine and the accommodating population …

Safari in Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara National Parks (4n) & beach holiday in Zanzibar (6n), 10 nights

Price:
Per person in shared double room:+ £2129

Single room supplement: + £749

Tanzania is famous for its beautiful landscapes and fantastic national parks. This trip introduces you to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area – where you will have the chance to visit a Masai village and meet the people in their distinctive red robes – and takes you to three of the most important national parks in the country.

Serengeti National Park is the oldest national park in Tanzania. The seemingly endless plains are interrupted only by acacia trees, small lakes and the occasional watercourse. The various areas of the vast park are home to almost all the iconic African animals. Serengeti actually holds the world record for numbers of animals, and it is also the site of the great migration, where millions of gnus and zebras make their way from one area to the next, depending on the rainy season.

There are not many places that can outdo Serengeti, but one that may claim the honour is the Ngorongoro Crater, which lies like a forgotten paradise a little way to the south-west. Almost all the familiar savannah animals are to be found on the bottom of this crater from an extinct volcano.

Covering ‘only’ 330 km2, Lake Manyara National Park is one of the smallest parks in Tanzania. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in fascinating nature and wildlife. The park is the most varied in the country, comprising rainforest, watercourses, savannah and the lake that gives the park its name – and which covers around 200 km2. This is the perfect place to see baboons, pink flamingos, the extraordinary tree-climbing lions, elephants, hippopotamuses and all kinds of prey animals.

Surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar consists of the main islands of Unguja (also called ‘Zanzibar’) and Pemba, as well as a number of smaller islands. The island of Zanzibar is a treasure trove of natural and cultural treats. Brilliant white sandy beaches, azure seas and a truly amazing coral reef. A warm and sunny climate all year round. A dramatic history, liberally sprinkled with Arabian sultans, Portuguese seafarers, unscrupulous slavers and European explorers who have all left their mark on the island. And one of the most fascinating towns in Africa, dotted with fine examples of beautiful Arabian architecture. Not forgetting the delicious Swahili cuisine and the accommodating population …

Beach holiday in Zanzibar, 6 nights

Price:
Per person in double room: + £806

Single room supplement: + £536

Surrounded by the waters of the Indian Ocean, Zanzibar consists of the main islands of Unguja (also called ‘Zanzibar’) and Pemba, as well as a number of smaller islands. The island of Zanzibar is a treasure trove of natural and cultural treats. Brilliant white sandy beaches, azure seas and a truly amazing coral reef. A warm and sunny climate all year round. A dramatic history, liberally sprinkled with Arabian sultans, Portuguese seafarers, unscrupulous slavers and European explorers who have all left their mark on the island. And one of the most fascinating towns in Africa, dotted with fine examples of beautiful Arabian architecture. Not forgetting the delicious Swahili cuisine and the accommodating population …

Get right up close to the Masai culture at Osiligilai Maasai Lodge, 2 nights

Price:
Per person in a double room: + £ 313
Per child under 12: + £ 218
Single room surcharge: + £ 200

Need a spot of self-indulgence after standing atop Kilimanjaro or after many hours in a safari car? Dream of getting right up close to the Masai culture and experiencing the Masai customs and traditions – without compromising on comfort? Want to wake up to a sunrise over Kilimanjaro and lie by a pool overlooking Africa’s highest mountain? Then why not extend your tour to include two nights at Osiligila Maasai Lodge?

This fabulous, authentic lodge is located a good 2 hours’ drive from Moshi, and we guarantee that both the scenery and the cultural experience will take your breath away.

Situated in a typical Masai grassland area with open plains, grasslands as far as the eye can see, the lodge affords views of both Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro. It is owned by local Masai, who run the place with immense enthusiasm, making you feel very welcome and spoilt, as well as giving you to opportunity to get right up close to this semi-nomadic people.

You stay in a traditional Masai hut with all desirable conveniences such as a toilet, electricity and a hot shower – not to mention a bed, strategically positioned to allow you to lie there and watch the sun rise over Kilimanjaro in the early hours of the morning.

Your stay at the lodge includes all meals and a wide range of activities such as spear throwing and traditional Masai singing and dancing while watching the sun set behind Mount Meru. It is also possible to purchase various excursions or additional activities, but there’s nothing to stop you just sitting by the pool and soaking in the view of Kilimanjaro while enjoying a cold beer and reading a good book.

Want to know more about what it’s like to stay at Osiligilai Maasai Lodge? Then read our Africa expert’s travelogue.

Extra day for acclimatisation: £248
Discounts for large groups
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