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Shira Route

The Shira Route is a less commonly used trail that commences near Shira Ridge. It is almost identical to the Lemosho route, with the exception that Shira was the original trail and Lemosho is the upgraded version.

While Shira is an attractive and diverse route, it is not as favorable as its successor because it has a relatively high-altitude starting point which is quickly accessed by vehicle. Climbers may experience altitude-related symptoms on the first day while camping at 3,505m/11,500 feet.

The route approaches Mount Kilimanjaro from the west, starting with a long drive from Moshi to Shira Ridge. The vehicle bypasses the rainforest zone, and the hiking trail begins on Shira Ridge. The Shira route crosses the entire Shira Plateau from west to east in a pleasant, relatively flat hike, before traversing beneath Kilimanjaro’s Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit. The summit is reached from Barafu. The descent is made via the Mweka route.

What is the success rate for climbing Kilimanjaro via the Shira Route?

The Limited availability of data makes it difficult to establish the success rates for the Shira route. However, based on the information at our disposal, a success rate of 65% is estimated for the 6-day Shira route, 75% for the 7-day Shira route, and 90% for the 8-day Shira route.

How Many Days Does It Take to Climb Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

The Shira route has several variations and can be done in 6, 7, or 8 days.

How Long is Shira Route?

The Shira route spans a distance of approximately 56 km or 33 miles.

How Hard is it to Climb Kilimanjaro on the Shira Route?

The Shira route is considered moderate but starts at a high altitude of 11,500 feet, posing immediate challenges for climbers who can’t acclimatize quickly.


  • Stunning views
  • Varying landscapes and hiking terrain
  • Quieter than other routes near the start


  • Poor acclimatisation at the start due to the high starting point.
  • Skips the beautiful forest section that Lemosho has.