Shira Route used to be the only road to climb Kilimanjaro, in the past. It was then replaced by Lemosho and Mweka, but recovered in recent years. Today, this is one of the most charming routes to the great volcano, though not so many people choose it as their safari. The main problem with this route is altitude. The starting point, in fact, is already at 3500 metres height so you will start your walk with short breathe and other symptoms. But if you can face that, you will enjoy a wonderful climbing among unique panoramas. Most part of the route is on flat ground, but this does not mean it is easy. Be ready to every situation. You will like it.
A long way to Shira starting point
Leaving Moshi by car, you will first stop at Londorossi Gate for the equipment. Then a few more hours drive to reach 3500 metres, at Shira Gate. This is both a good and a bad thing. Tourists will have to face immediately the problems of altitude, on one hand. But on the other hand they will be already used to it as they start walking. The trip begins among woods and trees, faces a small climbing and then reaches the plateau, at Simba Camp.
Your way to the Lava Towers
The second day you will leave Simba and walk quite an easy road, along the flat plains and moorlands. On the way you will admire the Shira Cathedral, a giant volcanic rock surrounded by towers and pinnacles. A wonderful view you will never forget! You will get to Shira 2, where you can rest and sleep for the night. Day 3 will be harder. It will take you up and down a lava desert, reaching and descending 4000 metres. You will see the Lava Towers and the Barranco Wall, incredible monuments of nature only Kilimanjaro can offer. The night stop is at Barranco Camp.
When Shira Route meets Mweka
Day 4 is the day of the hard climbing. From Barranco Camp you will get to Karanga Camp and try to get used to the new altitude at over 5000 metres. After the acclimatization, you will continue on Day 5 up to the glacier of Barafu. Here you will sleep at Barafu Hut and this is the point where Shira Route meets the most famous Mweka Road that connects this to three more itineraries. Enjoy your last relaxing night, because the next day the hardest part begins.
Getting to Uhuru Point
Day 6 is a hard day of walk. On the way, though, you will already admire the most stunning views: Mt Kibo, Mt Mawenzi, the glacier-crater Stella Point, the valley down below. It is a long, hard way to Uhuru Point but as you get there, so close to the 6000 metres peak of Kilimanjaro, you will feel happy. The descent will start the same afternoon and go to a different point. Not back to Moshi but to Mweka Camp, where the tour operator’s car will come and get you.