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The Shira Needle of Kilimanjaro Mountain in Tanzania

The Kilimanjaro has three distinctive peaks which are Shira peak, Mawenzi Peak and Kibo Peak. The Shira Peak stands at an altitude of about 4,005 meters above sea level.

Somewhere on this peak we shall find the Shira plateau which is also a famous attraction here.

The Shira cone of the Kilimanjaro is classified as an extinct volcano as it last erupted bout 2.5 million years ago. The other two cones of the Kilimanjaro which are Mawenzi and the Kibo are also not active.

The Shira Plateau is one of the famous places around the Kilimanjaro. The Plateau offers hikers to the Kilimanjaro a sample of what to expect when they hike this African Giant.

When you reach the summit of the Shira Plateau, you will have a chance to have spectacular views of the surroundings of the Kilimanjaro Mountains.

The Plateau covers an area of about 13 kilometers from the west to the eastern pole. The area stands at an elevation of between 3,500 and 3962 meters above sea level at different points.

This elevation makes this plateau one of the tallest in the world and that’s why it’s special. The Shira Plateau was formed about 500,000 years ago.

It is believed that the crater in this area was eroded and over time the plateau was formed at the base of the volcanic pit.

This peak is also the oldest among the cones of the Kilimanjaro and it was the first that stopped erupting and went from dead to extinct.

On the western side of the mountain we find the Shira ridge.

This ridge has been eroded a lot over time. It was part of the initial Shira crater. The Plateau on this peak covers an area of about 6200 hectares.

How to get to Shira

To get to this peak, you will have to take the Machame route of the Kilimanjaro. It’s a challenging trek but very rewarding with spectacular view of the tropical forest below and the southern ice fields.

The area in covered by several vegetation types including the Rain-forests, Arctic and the Moorland.

The first wedding to be conducted on the Kilimanjaro took place here. In the year 2014 on the 21st of September a couple took their marriage vows on the Shira camp 2, one of the camps that lead up to the peak of this mountain.

Shira Needle

There are several fine minor summits to be climbed around the Shira plateau; the Shira Needle can be scaled by a scramble and provides an amazing viewpoint.

Walking on the edge of the Shira Plateau/Caldera you can catch a great view of Shira Cathedral and Shira Needle.


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