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The Shira Route & Hiking Trail of Kilimanjaro Mountain in Tanzania

The Shira route is one of the routes that are used in hiking the Kilimanjaro Mountains. It starts at above 3,600 meters above sea level. This makes this real not ideal for inexperienced hikers.

This route is abit similar to the Lemosho route. It was actually the route on this side of the mountain before the Lemosho was created to help mostly the inexperienced hikers.

Unlike the Lemosho route that begins from the Londorossi gate in the Kilimanjaro forests, this Shira option begins form a bit further north and a bit higher on the Shiro gate.

The trekkers start from the the shiro main entrance to the Simba Camp on day one which is almost the same altitude.

This allows the hikers to familiarize with the high altitude before they join the Lemosho trail on the second day.

The fact that this route starts at a higher altitude is a disadvantage for several hikers as they don’t have enough time to acclimatize and several of them will suffer from altitude related sickness on the first few to days.

It’s after the route joins the Lemosho on day two that we join Machame trail on the next day. We join this via the Lava Tower and then slope abit to the Barranco Camp through the Southern Circuit.

Like most of the other routes like Umbwe and Lemosho, we ascend to Uhuru peak through the Barafu Camp and then to the southern Slopes of the Kibo Peak.

We shall then descend through the Mweka route. This circuit will usually take between six and eight days to complete.

The Shira Plateau

This area stretches for about 13km and is west of the Kilimanjaro Mountain. It’s about 3800 meters above sea level and is one of the world’s highest Plateaus.

This plateau is believed to have been formed about 500,000 years ago. It is believed to have been a caldera that eroded over time to eventually form a plateau on the bases of a volcanic pit.

Why hike the Shira Plateau Route

Unless you are an experienced hiker, you should avoid this trail for two major reasons. The route starts at about 3600 meters above sea level which is a high altitude for beginners.

This will not give you enough time to make your body used to the high altitude and you may get sick.

On another note, this route doesn’t go through the western forests of the Kilimanjaro Mountains which restricts you of these stunning views.


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