8-Day Kilimanjaro Adventure (6-Day Climbing) - Shira Route

  • Tour code: 192-1015
  • Available: Daily
  • Depart from: Moshi, Tanzania
  • Duration: 8 Days 7 Nights
From USD$1571

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Highlights:

Takes you to Kilimanjaro's true summit, Uhuru Peak and you can start your trek any day of the year! The Shira Route traverses the large Shira Plateau to join the Machame Route.

Pricing Details

Price: $1571
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Tour Itinerary

    Mount Kilimanjaro is located three degrees south of the equator in Northeastern Tanzania. It is the tallest mountain in Africa and is the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Of the famous highest seven peaks in the world, this is the easiest to get to and the easiest to climb. It requires no technical climbing experience, and any moderately fit person can summit the mountain.

    Duration

    6 days trekking from Moshi; 4 and a half days ascending, 1 and a half days descending

    Length

    98 km/61 mi total; 60 km/37 mi ascent; 38 km/24 mi descent

    Elevation

    4,065 m/13,340 ft gain; 3,915 m/12,840 ft descent Shira Gate (1,830 m/6,000 ft) to Uhuru Peak (5,895 m/19,340 ft) and descent to Mweka Gate (1,980 m/6,500 ft)

    Description

    The Shira Plateau west of Kibo is the remains of Kilimanjaro’s first volcano. Mawenzi erupted second, and finally, supported by its neighbors, Kibo rose to its great height between Shira and Mawenzi. Older and more eroded than Mawenzi, the Shira Plateau’s ridges and moorland comprise one of Kilimanjaro’s most scenic areas. The drive to Shira offers magnificent views of the Great Rift Valley, Mount Meru, and Longido, and the plateau’s parasitic cones extend north of the road, rising from from plain to plateau. The vegetation changes along the route are striking. The plateau is grassland, heath, and moor, with senecios up to 10 meters high in valleys near the cone. You can see Elands on the plateau, and you may see signs of buffaloes, leopards, and other animals. The Shira Cone rises 200 meters above the plateau, and west of the cone is Shira Ridge, a steep rough rise reaching almost 400 meters above the plateau. The southern ridge of the Shira Plateau has two dramatic peaks called Cathedral and the Needle. The road to Shira is only accessible by 4-wheel-drive vehicles and can become impassable during wet periods. The Shira Route traverses the plateau to join the Machame Route.

    If you arrive at the Kilimanjaro Airport, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in Moshi or Arusha (airport transfer is not inclueded in the tour fare, $20/person/way from JRO, $50/person/way from DAR). We recommend at least one rest day before starting your trek. If you are transferring from Nairobi, this can act as your rest day.

    Your guide will provide a briefing the evening before your trek, and you must separate one bag for the trek from your other luggage. Rental equipment is available. Extra luggage can be stored in a locked storage room at your Moshi hotel at no charge.

    The next morning, enjoy a hearty breakfast before last-minute trip preparations at the trekking office. Depending on the route you take, the drive to the trailhead can take up to one hour and can be very bumpy.

    Once you reach the park gate, climbers are requested to make their final preparations for the climb and sign the national park registration book. Porters will be seen arranging their packs containing the food, water, and other equipment. Make sure that you have all your day pack items with you as the porters travel very quickly. Your guide will be pleased to assist with any additional information.

    The average hiking day begins between 8-9am and is about 5 to 6 hours, walking very, very slowly. The distances you will hike each day are very moderate so as to acclimate a little at a time. Your guides will repeat over and over, "pole pole" (po-ly, po-ly), which means "go slowly" in Swahili.

    The terrain lower down is absolutely gorgeous and fascinating. Higher up, the views are vast. There is little to do at the camps themselves, so take advantage of the slow pace to absorb the scenery and take every photo opportunity.

    The hike to the summit starts around midnight depending on your route and speed of your group. You will go as high as you feel fit. Some people stop at the crater rim, and others continue to the very highest point on the mountain. Your guides will then take you down as quickly as possible to minimize any altitude problems. You will continue past your last campsite to the next one for overnight.

  • Day 1 Moshi
  • Day 2 Moshi - Shira Gate - Shira Camp
  • Day 3 Shira Camp - Lava Tower - Barranco Camp
  • Day 4 Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp
  • Day 5 Karanga Camp - Barafu Camp
  • Day 6 Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp
  • Day 7 Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate - Moshi
  • Day 8 Moshi
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(incl. tax and fees)

Day 1 Moshi

Today guests will arrive, be met at the airport, and transferred to their hotel in Moshi for an overnight stay.
Standard Hotel: Springlands Hotel

Day 2 Moshi - Shira Gate - Shira Camp

After breakfast and a briefing from the guide, we will leave Moshi and drive several hours to the Shira Gate on the western side of Kilimanjaro to register with the national park. We will then begin our hiking excursion in the rainforest. At low elevations the trail up the ridge can be wet and muddy but gaiters and trekking poles will help. Halfway through the hike, we will stop for lunch. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the final destination of the day, Shira Camp, where we will unpack, rest, enjoy tea or coffee, and eat dinner at around 7:00pm.

Day 3 Shira Camp - Lava Tower - Barranco Camp

After breakfast, we will hike east up a steepening path above the highest vegetation toward Kilimanjaro. After several hours, we will reach the prominent landmark called Lava Tower. After a lunch stop near Lava Tower, we will descend for 2 hours to the lower cliffs of the Western Breach and Breach Wall, before arriving at Barranco Camp where we will eat dinner and spend the night.

Day 4 Barranco Camp - Karanga Camp

After breakfast, we will continue up a steep ridge to the great Barranco Wall and arrive just below the Heim Glacier. From here we can truly appreciate Kilimanjaro's natural beauty. With Kibo's Glaciers soaring overhead, we will descend into the lush Karanga Valley Campsite. From the camp, we can look east and see the jagged peaks of Mawenzi jutting into the African sky. After a hot lunch at camp, we will have free-time to rest or explore the surrounding area. After two long days hiking, this short day is very important for acclimatization, since we will embark on summit push the following day.

Optional: Extra Day
Guests can add an extra day to their trek by staying at Barranco Camp for two nights. Guests will hike to the Karanga Valley Camp on Day 5, the Barafu Camp on Day 6, the summit on Day 7, and finish the descent on Day 8. Adding this day will ease effort, and amplify your acclimatization.

Day 5 Karanga Camp - Barafu Camp

In the morning, we will hike east over intervening ridges and valleys to join the Mweka Route, which will be the descent route. After hiking up the ridge through a sparse landscape for another hour, we will receive a hot lunch at the Barafu Hut. The last water on the route is in the Karanga Valley; there is no water at Barafu Camp, even though Barafu is the Swahili word for "ice." The famous snows of Kilimanjaro are far above Barafu Camp near the summit of the mountain. We will pitch a tent on a narrow, stony, wind-swept ridge.

**It is essential that guests familiarize themselves with the terrain before dark to avoid accidents. Additionally, guests should prepare equipment and wear warm clothing for the summit climb, and drink plenty of fluids.

After an early dinner, we will have the chance to relax and enjoy a few hours of precious sleep.

Day 6 Barafu Camp - Uhuru Peak - Mweka Camp

After a breakfast of tea and biscuits, we will begin the 6-hour climb to the summit at approximately 11:30 p.m. Heading northwest, through heavy scree between the Rebmann and Ratzel Glaciers, we will arrive at the most challenging portion of the route at Stella Point. Here, we will stop for a short rest and a chance to see a breathtaking sunrise. From Stella Point, we journey to the top of Marangu Route to Uhuru Peak. At the top of the summit, we can take in the surrounding scenery, and enjoy a deep sense of satisfaction and personal accomplishing from the mountain tops.

After the 3-hour descent from the summit back to Barafu Camp, we will take a short rest and collect our gear before hiking into the forest to Mweka Camp. Located in the upper forest, we can expect mist or rainfall in the late afternoon. Dinner and washing water will be prepared and we can purchase drinking water, soft drinks, chocolate and beer at the camp office. We will spend the night at Mweka Camp.

Day 7 Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate - Moshi

After a well-deserved breakfast, we will take a 3-hour hike back to the Mweka Gate. Here we will have an opportunity to sign their name and add details to the park register, and successful climbers will receive summit certificates. Climbers who reached Stella Point will be issued green certificates and those who reached Uhuru Peak will receive gold certificates. From the Mweka Gate, we will continue down to the Mweka Village (if the road is deemed too muddy for vehicles, we will be required to hike 1-hour to Mweka Village). Here, we can enjoy a hot lunch. Finally, we will be driven back to their hotel in Moshi where we can enjoy an overdue hot shower and comfortable accommodations for the evening.

Note: Guests are encouraged to wait until all of their gear has arrived at the Mweka Gate before tipping park staff.

Moshi, in the very northeast of Tanzania, sits on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa and a dormant volcano. Many hikers and climbers stay in Moshi before exploring the famous mountain on which is resides.

Day 8 Moshi

Today guests will depart from Moshi. Please see "Departure and Return" for more detailed information regarding pickup and drop-off times and locations.

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