Top of Africa-Kili Climb: Shira Route

Londorossi Gate via Barranco and Barafu to Uhuru Peak
Overview

overview

This expedition to the summit of Africa’s tallest mountain follows the Shira route to Kilimanjaro’s crater rim. Beginning with a short drive from the entrance gate of Kilimanjaro National Park, your adventure continues on foot as you trek up the mountain from the breathtaking Shira Plateau to the tallest point in Africa – Uhuru Peak. Spend the night at various cozy campsites located along your path, and enjoy several hours of daily scenic hiking as you venture from camp to camp. You will be hard-pressed to experience a more exhilarating day than that of your final ascent, as you depart by flashlight under the cover of night, arriving at the crater rim in time to witness an incomparable sunrise over the entire continent. From there, continue on to Uhuru Peak, or rest and enjoy the scenery before beginning your descent. For those looking to reach the top of Africa, this expedition via the Shira route is an excellent opportunity to do so.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arusha

    Upon arrival Arusha, you will be transfered to your lodge.  Dinner is provided tonight as well as a briefing to ready you for the Kilimanjaro climb.

    Please arrive by 4:00 pm.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Ilboru Safari Lodge
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  • Day 2: Shira Camp One

    Have breakfast at your lodge, then transfer to the Kilimanjaro entrance gate. After completing the necessary registration formalities at Londorossi National Park gate, we drive a short distance on a steep track through farmland and plantations (2,800 m.), and start climbing steadily on foot through shrub forest and stands of giant heather to reach the rim of Shira Plateau (3,350m). The views across the surrounding plains open out as we climb, and our first camp is in the center of the plateau at “Shira One Camp” (3,550m). [4-5 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Shira One Camp
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  • Day 3: Shira Camp Two

    This is an easy day to help acclimatisation and to explore the grassy moorland and the volcanic rock formations of the plateau. We walk to the summit of Shira Cathedral (3,750m), a huge buttress of rock surrounded by steep spires and pinnacles. There is a tangible sense of wilderness here (especially when the afternoon mists come in!), and the views of Mt. Meru floating on the clouds from our camp near Shira Camp Two (3,840m) are simply unforgettable. [4-5 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Shira Camp Two
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  • Day 4: Moir Hut

    We explore beneath the northern Icefields, an area almost totally unvisited by tourists with unusual views of Kibo. The morning walk is a steady climb away from the moorland of Shira Plateau to reach the broad upland desert beneath the Lent Hills, with expansive views in all directions. After lunch in our camp close to Moir Hut (4,200m), there is the option of a more strenuous afternoon walk to reach the summit of the Lent Hills (4,700m). Few visitors get to this remote corner of Kilimanjaro. [3-6 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Moir Hut
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  • Day 5: Lava Tower Camp

    This is a morning of gentle ascent and panoramic views, walking on lava ridges beneath the glaciers of the Western Breach. After lunch at our Lava Tower campsite (4,550m), there is a steep and spectacular afternoon walk on the rocky lower slopes of the Western Breach to reach the ruins of the old hut at Arrow Glacier (4,800m). The afternoon excursion is highly recommended both for acclimatization purposes and for the superb views of hanging glaciers on both sides of the Breach. [3-6 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Lava Tower Camp
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  • Day 6: Karanga Camp

    Embark on a steep descent into the bottom of the Great Barranco valley (3,900m), sheltered by towering cliffs and with extensive views of the plains far below. A short climb up the famed Barranco Wall leads us to an undulating trail on the southeastern flank of Kibo, with superb vistas of the southern icefields. The terrain is volcanic scree, with pockets of vegetation in sheltered hollows and a powerful sense of mountain wilderness. Our next camp is at Karanga Camp (4,000m), the last water point on the approach to the summit. [5-7 hours walking]

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  • Day 7: Barafu Camp

    We follow an easy path on compacted scree with wide views that gains altitude unrelentingly to reach the Barafu campsite (4,600m) for lunch. There is a short acclimatization walk to the plateau at the bottom of the southeast valley (4,800m). The remainder of the day is spent resting in preparation for the final ascent before a very early night, awakening in the wee hours for our ascent. [3-5 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Barafu Camp
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  • Day 8: Final ascent to Summit / Millenium Camp
    Uhuru Peak - 5,895 meters / 19,340 feet

    We start our ascent by flashlight about 1 a.m. so that we can be up on the crater rim by sunrise. The steep climb over loose volcanic scree has some well-graded zig-zags and a slow but steady pace will take us to Stella Point (5,735m), in about five or six hours. We will rest there for a short time to enjoy the sunrise over Mawenzi. Those who are still feeling strong can make the two-hour round trip from here along the crater rim to Uhuru Peak (5,895m), passing close to the spectacular  glaciers and ice cliffs that still occupy most of the summit area. The descent to Barafu is surprisingly fast, and after some refreshment, we continue to descend to reach our final campsite (3,800m) at Millenium Camp. [11-15 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Millenium Camp
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  • Day 9: Arusha

    Continue on a sustained descent on a well-constructed path through lovely tropical forest alive with birdsong and boasting lush undergrowth with considerable botanical interest. Our route winds down to the National Park gate at Mweka gate (1,650m); At Mweka gate, you sign your name and details in a register. This is also where successful climbers receive their summit certificates. Those climbers who reached Stella Point are issued with green certificates, and those who reached Uhuru Peak receive gold certificates. Meet a driver/guide with packed lunch and drive back to your lodge in Arusha. It is a welcome treat to sleep in a bed, take a hot shower, and celebrate. [4-6 hours walking]

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Ilboru Safari Lodge
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  • Day 10: Arusha/Onward

    The tour ends after breakfast.  You will be transferred to the airport in time for your international flight back home.  Or, if your schedule permits, ask us about a safari extension to complete your Africa experience.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Jan 27-Feb 5, 2015 Join others on this departure that includes an extra acclimatization day. Call for details/pricing.
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$3,795
Group Departures (PP): $4,120 (2-3 pax) $3,795 (4-12 pax)
Single Supplement:
$150-295
Tent Only - $150 Hotel Only - $145 Whole Trip - $280
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
10 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
1
tents & comfortable lodge
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
5
challenging hiking

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Tribal Cultural Visits

Duration: 1 days

Combine your safari with an intimate experience of contemporary Tanzanian tribal cultures. Visit with the villagers of Ng’iresi, or members of the Wa-arusha tribe, on the slopes of Mount Meru. You may choose to spend time with the Maasai of Longido... read more

Exotic Zanzibar

Duration: 5 days

Escape to Zanzibar, the “Spice Island”. This tiny African island offers great contrast to the mainland: beaches ideal for snorkeling, rich history and Muslim culture. Experience town and village life, the reefs and the inner natural forest.

Kili Climb Safari, Jul-Oct

Duration: 5 days

A superb safari anytime of the year. From November through June, safaris focus on the Serengeti where the large herds reside. From July through October, safaris follow the herds to Tarangire. You will also visit Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and t... read more

Kili Climb Safari, Nov-Jun

Duration: 5 days

A superb safari anytime of the year. From November through June, safaris focus on the Serengeti where the large herds reside. From July through October, safaris follow the herds to Tarangire. You will also visit Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and t... read more

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