Featuring captivating scenic vistas, pristine wildlife, excellent acclimatization opportunities and low traffic of climbers, Lemosho’s Shira route is one our personal favorite for reaching the roof of Africa.
After a 4-hour long drive from Moshi to Londorossi Gate you'll find yourself on the western slope of Mt Kilimanjaro, from there the route will take you to the world-famous Shira Plateau. That's where you'll embark on your adventure through all climate zones - from alpine meadows to eternal ice. The climb is smooth and gradual, featuring the highest success rate of all routes on Kilimanjaro.
Six, seven and eight-day programs are available, so you can choose depending on the amount of time at your disposal. Longer programs are always recommended over the shorter ones for better acclimatization. 6 and 7-day Lemosho programs start from a high-altitude drop-off: you’ll be transferred to the elevation of 3,500 m/ 11,500 f by an off-road vehicle and start the hike from there. This is meant to maximize acclimatization transition - the higher you start, the easier your adaptation will be.
Shira Route Highlights
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive to the beginning of the trail. We will check in at the national park gate and have a hot lunch. A couple of hour later we start the hike through the beautiful rain forest trails. Kilimanjaro is rich in flora and fauna. Our route leads you up to the the Shira Plateau. The Plateau offers spectacular views before we head up the southwestern side of Mount Kilimanjaro. On day four, after three nights of good acclimatization, we reach the height of 4,600m/ 15,091 feet. This gives our teams some of the best views of the western breach of Kilimanjaro.
From there we descend to the Baranco Camp 3,900m/ 12,795 feet. The following day we are then faced with the Baranco Wall, a steep 300m/ 948 feet winding trail up to the mountain’s southern face. The route continues underneath the Decken and Rebman glaciers to Karanga Camp 4,010m/ 13,156 feet. The follow day we head to Barafu camp 4,600m/ 15,476 feet our last stop before the summit.
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO), where you will meet our Back To Eden Adventures representative, and transfer to the hotel under the rate. The hotel will provide all the essentials for a comfortable stay: cozy rooms, hot water, polite staff, a swimming pool, and Internet access. In the evening there will be a briefing with your Kilimanjaro guides for pre trek general briefing as well as gear check to ensure that you are ready to begin the climb next day.
Day 2 High-Altitude Drop off Destination and Trekking to Shira 2 Camp
Your guides and a mountain support crew will arrive at the hotel in the morning in order to meet you and hold another briefing, after which you will travel by vehicle (roughly 3–4 hours) to Kilimanjaro National Park's western entrance: Londorossi Gate (2,200 m). After the quick formality of acquiring climbing permits and registering with the search and rescue service, the group continues upwards towards their drop off point by off-road vehicles (reaching 3,500 meters). Here you can see stunning views of the Shira Plateau for the first time.
The route from your drop off point to your first high-altitude camp Shira 2 features a moderate gain in altitude and is not too physically challenging. Due to this, you will be able to properly begin the process of acclimatization. By the time you reach the camp, our professional mountain crew will prepare everything necessary, put tents and cook dinner for you.
This will be your first day at this altitude, so it is strongly recommended you heed the following instructions from this point on:
Pay attention to your own body and tell your guide if you start feeling any symptoms of altitude sickness.
ELEVATION: 3,500 m to 3,900 m
HIKING TIME: 5-6 hours
DISTANCE: 11 km
Day 3 Trekking From Shira 2 Camp To The Lava Tower and Descent To Barranco Camp
After breakfast you will leave Shira 2 Camp (3,900 m) and start your way to the key point of the route: Lava Tower (4,630 m). This section of the route has a lot of ascents and descents that end in a camp at over 4,600 meters. It might be difficult, and you may feel some discomfort, but in order to successfully acclimate to the altitude you have to spend at least 1–2 hours here, so this is where lunch will be.
Then you will descend to Barranco Camp (3,960 m). Here you can see the famous Barranco Wall, impressive in both its massive size and steepness! Next day you will be climbing it, but don't worry: it features a very simple hiking trail.
Note: If one or more participants feel sick, the group may refrain from passing the Lava Tower and adjust the route, following instead the road for porters. In this case you will not reach an altitude of 4,630 meters, getting up only to a maximum of 4,400 meters.
ELEVATION: 3900 m to 4,630 m 4,630 m to 3,960 m
HIKING TIME: 6-8 hours
DISTANCE: 12 km
Day 4 Trekking from Barranco Camp to Karanga Camp
Early wakeup, breakfast and the start of summiting Barranco Wall (we recommend you leave the camp as early as possible to avoid crowds of the other groups). Hiking up the gorge wall is not difficult and only takes around an hour. After the climb you can have a rest and take photos in front of the Kibo volcano.
Then you start a more difficult hike to Karanga Camp, which features numerous ascents and descents during the route, but don't worry: our guides are experts at choosing an optimal pace for the group. After reaching the camp you will be offered warm lunch. After a couple of hours you will have to complete an acclimatization hike in the direction of Barafu Camp with a 300-meter gain in altitude, and then descent back down to the camp.
Note: The acclimatization hike is an easy trek with a slight gain in altitude done in order to speed up the acclimatization process. You should take the acclimatization hikes very seriously. They help increase your chances of successfully summiting Kilimanjaro and save you from the consequences of altitude sickness.
Change in Elevation: Karanga Camp (4,035 m)-Destination point en route to Barafu Camp (4,270 m)
Hiking distance: 2.5 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
ELEVATION: 3,960 m to 4,035 m
HIKING TIME: 4-5 hours
DISTANCE: 5 km
Day 5 Trekking from Karanga Camp to Barafu Camp
In the morning after breakfast you begin your way to Barafu Summit Camp (4,640 m), the starting point for a night summiting Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Our team will set up a camp for you ahead of time, including tents and sleeping bags, so you can relax. After regaining strength, you have to complete an acclimatization hike towards the intermediate Kosovo Summit Camp (4,800 m) and then back to Barafu Camp, where you will be served a hot dinner.
Early in the evening you will be served an earlier dinner followed by in depth coverage of the summit night briefing prior to attempting the summit later on that night. It is better to spend the remainder of the day resting and sleeping before night summiting.
Change in Elevation: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) — Kosovo Camp (4,800 m)
Hiking distance: 2 km
Hiking time: 1–2 hours
ELEVATION: 4,035 m to 4,640 m
HIKING TIME: 4-5 hours
DISTANCE: 6 km
HABITAT: Alpine desert
Day 6 Ascent to Uhuru Peak and Descent to Millennium Camp
Departure from Barafu Camp (4,640 m) at night and the start of summiting Kilimanjaro: Uhuru Peak (5,895 m). Technically the climb is relatively simple; however, the most challenging part is the high altitude. Each pair of climbers will get a personal guide for the entire ascent to monitor your physical and mental conditions. After your successful ascent to Uhuru Peak, you can descend to the nearest glacier if desired. Then you will return to Barafu Camp and after a 2-hour rest continue your descent to Millennium Camp (3,820 m).
Note: Don't forget that 90% of all accidents occur during the descent, including all broken arms and legs. Please pay attention to your feet, as there is a high risk of damaging your toenails.
Change in Elevation: Barafu Camp (4,640 m) - Uhuru Peak (5,895 m)-Millennium Camp (3,820 m)
Hiking distance: 15 km
Hiking time: 8–12 hours
ELEVATION: 4,640 m to 5,895 m then 5,895 m to 3,820 m
HIKING TIME: 8-12 hours
DISTANCE: 15 km
Day 7 Descent from Millennium Camp to Mweka Gate
The camp is situated in a tropical rainforest. When you wake up, you will feel relief from the reduction of the height and the satisfaction of reaching the summit. After a warm breakfast, you will head for the park's exit: Mweka Gate (1,640 m). After your descent the whole group will gather to congratulate you, followed by offering you a chance to share your opinions on the climb in the guestbook. Lastly, we will present you with your commemorative certificates in our office and provide you a transfer back to the hotel.
ELEVATION: 3,820 m to 1,640 m
HIKING TIME: 4-5 hours
DISTANCE: 12 km
Day 8 Departure
Wake up and have breakfast with the team. You have options today. You can to go for a message at the hotel, sit by the pool, play golf or visit the local market before your transfer back to Kilimanjaro International for your flight home. If you have chosen one or our quality safari’s you will start the journey today.
English Speaking & Wilderness First Responder Trained
Assistant Guide(s), for 2+ people
personal client luggage (15 kg per client)
Sleeping tent, 3-person size for 2 people Sleeping mat, 2-inch foam Pillow Walk-in dining tent and table Backed chairs Wash basins with hot water each morning and evening Private portable toilet with toilet paper
FOOD & DRINKS
Three meals per day & afternoon snack during the trek Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free upon request Treated drinking water (minimum of 3L per day while trekking with additional water available at camp) Coffee and tea during the trek
HEALTH & SAFETY
Pulse oximeter Altitude sickness checklists First aid kit Emergency oxygen
PREPARATION & FEES
Kilimanjaro National Park fees Camping/hut, rescue, conservation and taxes Pre-trek briefing with your guide
ACCOMMODATION & TRANSFERS
Roundtrip airport transfer between Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and Moshi Roundtrip transfer between Moshi and the park gate Hotel stays in Moshi pre- and post-trek (2 nights total) on bed & breakfast basis at Kilimanjaro Wonders Hotel
Personal trekking gear such as sleeping bag and clothing
Favored beverages (water, soda and alcohol at hotels)
Additional accommodation or meals resulting from early descent
Tanzania entry visa
Domestic or international flights
Expenses of a personal nature
1,800 per person