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SHIRA ROUTE
6 days, 7 nights

On this unusual route, you will be taken by vehicle to 10,500 feet.  The drive through this Shira Plateau is one of the best opportunities to see big game on Kilimanjaro Park.

Day 1    We will depart from Arusha about 7:30 AM, heading for Londorossi Gate, where we will enter the National Park, Kilimanjaro, after completing formalities.  We will have a lunch there, and then continue by vehicle to Morum Barrier Gate.  From there, we will begin hiking through the Heather and Moreland climate zones to the first camp, Shira 1 Camp (11,800 ft).  The views of the Kibo Peak from here are fantastic and provide many breathtaking photo opportunities.  Your crew has already prepared the camp site and you will be greeted by them with prepared snack and a refreshing drink.  After exploring your camp area, you will have dinner and overnight.  Lala salama (Sleep tight).

Day 2     After breakfast, we will begin hiking across the Shira Plateau, the flat caldera of the volcano that was actually bigger and much older than Kilimanjaro.  The plateau is one of the highest on Earth.  (12, 500 ft).  We will complete our day’s hike at Shira Camp 2 (12,600 ft).  Again you will be greeted by your crew and guided toward your camp site.  After a short rest (a good opportunity to clean up a little) and lunch, we will organize a guided tour, pointing out the unusual flora and fauna.  Be sure to bring your camera!  Dinner and overnight.  Don’t forget to take a little time to write in your journal!

Day 3, Option 1   Today will be an easier day.  After breakfast we will have a short, half day of hiking through the traverse across valleys which have been gouged out by glaciers.   We will be traveling at a slower pace in order to allow for gradual acclimatization.  We will reach our next camp, Lava Tower (15,000 ft) around lunch time.  After lunch, we will take a short rest, and then climb to the top of the Lava Tower.  The views from the top are unbelievably spectacular!  If you choose, you can ascend to Arrow Glacier for further acclimatizing.  We will return to the dining hall for dinner, then to bed for lala.  Lala salama!  (OPTION)  You can descend down to Baranco camp site in 2 hours, but you may lose some acclimatization benefits.

Day 4     After breakfast, we will descend the steep trail into the Great Baranco Valley.  Here you can find some rare plants such as the Groundsels (Senecio Kilimanjari) and Giant Lobelia.   We will start climbing the Baranco Wall (not a technical climb), then descend to the Karanga Campsite (13,743 ft).  There we will have a hot lunch, and spend the afternoon relaxing, studying the flora and fauna, or even catching up on your journal with a cup of tea.  We will go out on the trail again later, when you can see the beautiful sunset over Mt Meru.  We will return to the camp in time for dinner and another short trip to a wonderful place to see Moshi Town with its lights at the bottom of the mountain.  Lala salama!

Day 5     This day, we will continue to Barafu Camp, (15,088 ft) passing through the desert zone and seeing the closest view yet of the great mountain.  On the way, we will cross easy rocks and snow (winter season).  We will have a nice lunch at the camp followed by a short trek in the area.  We will have an early dinner after which your guide will tell you what to expect on the final ascent to Uhuru Peak (19,340 ft).   You will have time to ask questions before heading for bed.  Lala salama.

Day 6     We will wake you at 11 PM with some hot tea and cookies as you prepare for your final ascent.  We will all gather at the assigned site at midnight to begin our hike.  Do not forget to take a good long look at the night sky as the stars are the big attraction at the beginning.  You will be excited as you make your way up through the cold mountain air.  As the sun rises, your views of Mt Meru and Mawenzi Peak will be spectacular over the summit with Kili’s huge glacier.  We have completer the final ascent to Uhuru Peak.  After a short stay there, we will descend to Barafu Camp where we will stop for a lunch of hot soup, bread, fruit and juice.  You will have enough time for a short rest.  We will resume our hike to overnight in Mweka camp (10,168 ft).  This is a long day of hiking and you will be rewarded with a hot meal and long awaited sleep. 

Day 7     After breakfast, we will be descending through the beautiful rain forest (be sure to look for the famous blue and colobus monkeys.)   Also be sure your guide points out the famous Kilimanjaro Everlasting, which is one of the most beautiful flowers on earth.  Our trek will end when we arrive at the Mt Kilimanjaro National Park Gate to receive your certificate.  Congradulations!!! You have accomplished one of the greatest adventures in the world.  After lunch, you will return to your hotel for your long awaited hot shower. 

 

 

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