The Shira Route, commencing near Shira Ridge, is one of the less frequented trails on Mount Kilimanjaro and shares similarities with the Lemosho Route. Lemosho serves as an enhanced version of the original Shira Route, having been modified primarily due to the high altitude of Shira’s starting point, situated at 3600 meters or 11811 feet. Despite the accessibility of this starting point by vehicle, such elevations are not conducive for trekkers unfamiliar with high-altitude hikes. Embarking on your Kilimanjaro journey from such a lofty height can lead to altitude sickness, symbolizing quite literally, a step in the wrong direction!

Quick facts about the Shira Route:Shira Route Kilimanjaro

Difficulty: Medium
Distance: 56 km / 35 miles
Duration: 6-7 days
Success Rate: Medium

Location: The Shira Route is accessible by vehicle and initiates from Shira Ridge, located on the mountain’s western side. The trail can be reached from Moshi.

Height: Climbers ascending via the Shira Route will aim for Kilimanjaro’s summit at Uhuru Peak, which stands at an impressive altitude of 5,895 meters (19,341 feet).

Duration: The journey along the Shira Route typically spans 6-7 days. While extending the trip by an additional day incurs extra cost, it significantly enhances the likelihood of successfully reaching the summit.

Trail Conditions: The Shira Route presents a variety of terrains, initiating at a notably high elevation. Throughout the trek, hikers will traverse through grassy moorlands and encounter sections characterized by volcanic rock formations.

Hiking up Mount Kilimanjaro via the Shira Route

Embarking on the summit journey via the Shira Route involves an extensive drive from Moshi town or Arusha. The journey features passage through Kilimanjaro’s lush rainforest vegetation zone towards the Shira Ridge, entering the mountain from its western aspect.

The principal trek commences at Shira Ridge, following a path across the expansive, table-like terrain of the Shira Plateau from west to east. The route then navigates beneath the Southern Ice Field of Mount Kilimanjaro, utilizing the Southern Circuit trail, before making the final ascent to the summit of Uhuru Peak from Barafu Camp.

The descent from the mountain adopts a divergent path through the Mweka Route, a widely favored direct route employed by the majority of trekkers.

The journey along the Shira Route can be accomplished in six, seven, or eight days. At Kilimanjaro Trails, we typically propose a 7-day itinerary for the Shira Route, but alternatives for a 6-day or 8-day itinerary are also available upon request.

Choose your Mount Kilimanjaro Route

Machame Route

Machame Route

At Kilimanjaro Trails we offer Mount Kilimanjaro climbing through the Machame
machame Route

Marangu Route

Also known as the Coca-Cola route, this is the easiest route of all Kilimanjaro trails
Lemosho Route

Lemosho Route

This is a fairly new route on the mountain and it is greatly recommended by operators.
Northern Circuit Route

Northern Circuit Route

Climbers having ample time for this trek should actually think of taking
Rongai Route

Rongai Route

The only route that approached the summit from the north, close to Kenyan border
umbwe route

Umbwe Route

This is the most challenging route on mountain Kilimanjaro.

Shira Route – Hiking starts at Elevated Altitude

Beginning at 3,600 meters, the Shira Route may pose challenges for trekkers with little to no experience in high-altitude hiking.

Shira Route is nearly indistinguishable from the Lemosho Route. In fact, Shira was initially the only route available before Lemosho was introduced to provide an enhanced starting point.

Unlike the Lemosho Route, which originates at Londorossi Gates amidst the picturesque Kilimanjaro rainforest, the Shira Route circumvents this segment, initiating further north and at a higher elevation from Shira Gate. The first day of the trek leads hikers from Shira Gate to Simba Camp, situated at a comparable altitude, thereby facilitating acclimatization before converging with the Lemosho Route on the second day at Shira Camp 2.

However, the elevated starting point stands as a significant drawback for this route, with some trekkers encountering altitude sickness from the outset due to insufficient acclimatization time.

Post Shira Camp 2, the trail merges with the Machame Route via Lava Tower, further descending to Barranco Camp through the Southern Circuit. Similar to the Machame, Umbwe, and Lemosho Routes, the ascent to Uhuru Peak is conducted via Barafu Camp, traversing the southern slopes of Kibo.

Shira Route FAQs:

Q: How Long is the Shira Route?

A: The Shira Route measures approximately 56 km or 35 miles in distance.

Q: How Many Days Does it Take to Climb Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

A: The Shira Route offers several variations, with durations ranging from 6 to 8 days.

Q: How Hard is it to Climb Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

A: Climbing via the Shira Route is deemed moderate in difficulty. However, the route’s significant challenge lies in its high starting point, potentially causing immediate acclimatization issues for climbers at an elevation of 11,500 feet.

Q: What is the Success Rate of Climbing Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

A: Comprehensive data regarding the Shira Route is limited, but estimations suggest a success rate of 55% for the 6-day, 75% for the 7-day, and 85% for the 8-day Shira Route.

Q: How Much Does it Cost to Climb Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

A: The cost of climbing Kilimanjaro via the Shira Route is contingent on the chosen duration. Currently, the pricing for a private climb on the 8-day Shira Route is $2,630 per person. For a comprehensive list of our pricing, please refer to our pricing page.