Very similar to Lemosho route, however it starts at 3,600 meters and is therefore not ideal for trekkers who have little or no experience of high altitude trekking.
On the first day you begin at Shira Gate to Simba Camp before joining the Lemosho Route on day two at Shira Camp 2. The high starting point is however a major negative for this route as many experience altitude sickness from day one without enough time to acclimatize.
The route over the Shira Plateau has several possible variations.After Shira Camp 2 the route joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower, and then descends to the Barranco Camp via the Southern Circuit. Ascent to Uhuru Peak is made via Barafu Camp and up the southern slopes of Kibo.
The route is seldom used by other trekkers and so your initial two days on the mountain are less crowded than on most other routes.
The drive from Moshi to the trailhead takes about 3 hours. We hike through the rain forest on a winding trail up a ridge. At lower elevations the trail can be muddy and slippery. Gaiters and trekking poles are a good idea here. We continue a short distance until we reach the Shira Camp. An overnight at Shira 2 Camp.
From the Shira Plateau we continue to the east up a ridge, passing the junction towards the peak of Kibo. As we continue, our direction changes to the South East towards the Lava Tower, called the “Shark’s Tooth” (elev 4650m/15,250ft). Shortly after the tower we come to the second junction which goes to the Arrow Glacier. We now continue down to the Barranco Camp. Although you end the day around the same elevation as when you began, this day is very important for acclimatization and will help your body prepare for summit day. An overnight at Barranco Camp.
After breakfast, we leave Barranco and continue on a steep ridge up the Barranco Wall to the Karanga Valley and the junction which connects with the Mweka Trail. An overnight at Karanga Camp.
We continue up to the Barafu Camp. You have completed the South Circuit, which offers views of the summit from many different angles. Here we make camp, rest, enjoy dinner, and prepare for the summit day. An overnight at Barafu Camp.
Very early in the morning (midnight to 2 am), we continue our way to the summit between the Rebmann and Ratzel glaciers. You head in a northwesterly direction and ascend through heavy scree towards Stella Point on the crater rim. This is the most mentally and physically challenging portion of the trek. At Stella Point you will stop for a short rest and will be rewarded with the most magnificent sunrise you are ever likely to see. Faster hikers may view the sunrise from the summit.
From Stella Point, you may encounter snow all the way on your 1-hour ascent to the summit. Once at Uhuru Peak you have reached the highest point on Mount Kilimanjaro and the continent of Africa!
From the summit we begin our descent by continuing straight down to the Mweka Camp, stopping at Barafu for lunch. You may want gaiters and trekking poles for the loose gravel going down. We arrive at Mweka Camp and enjoy our last evening on the mountain. An overnight at Mweka Camp.
On our last day, we continue the descent to Mweka Gate and collect the summit certificates. At lower elevations, it can be wet and muddy. From the gate, we continue another hour to Mweka Village. A vehicle will meet us at Mweka Village to drive us back to the hotel in Moshi.
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We were so lucky in that we got to see all the big 9 before day 3 was out. In different locations and settings. Each Park has its own beauty and draws you in uniquely.
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Remarkable safari for 6 days...Tarangire, Serengeti, Ngorongoro and Lake Manyara. My guide was extremely accommodating, knowledgeable, patient and kind.
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