Mount Kilimanjaro Shira Route
There are six established routes to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – Marangu, Machame, Lemosho, Shira, Rongai and Umbwe. The Marangu, Machame, and Umbwe routes all approach from the south of the mountain. The Lemosho and Shira routes approach from the west. The Rongai route approaches from the north. All routes except Marangu and Rongai descend via Mweka route
Shira Route on Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro via The Shira Route
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.
Duration: 6 – 8 days
“Zones of Kilimanjaro”
Cultivated Zone (800m – 1860m)
This is the lowest Zone, where Tanzanians have settled and survive on agriculture of such crops like coffee, banana, corn, sunflower, and more.
Tropical Rainforest (1860m – 3000m)
The second Zone is a dense natural forest, providing habitat for wildlife and endemic plants and flowers.
Moorland / Heather (3000m – 4000m)
This Zone, the third of five, the trees become smaller and sparse, providing sightings of unique flowers and excellent views. This is where climbers begin the feel the effects of altitude.
Alpine Desert (4000m – 4600m)
Here there is hardly any precipitation, and weather extremes vary throughout the day and night. There are only a few varieties of grass and flowers that can survive here.
Summit / Arctic Zone (4600m – 5895m)
The landscape turns into rock and loose gravel. The glaciers of Kilimanjaro are in this Zone, and no life is sustained.