The Shira Route is one of the two routes that approach the Summit from the West, and as such it’s usually slightly longer than Marangu or Machame. When you embark on the Shira route, you’ll spend the first day crossing the Plateau. There are several different ways of doing this, some taking more time than others. Depending on the route you choose, you’ve got the option of stopping in to see sights like the Shira Cathedral (an amazing peak molded from lava) as well as camping away from the main trail.
Once you get a certain way along the Shira trail it merges with Machame, so you’ll end up scaling the Summit the same way. The Shira Route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, beginning with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge. The vehicle bypasses the rainforest zone and the hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge. The Shira route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike. Then the route traverses underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.
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