- Shira Route starts at 3,600 meters and is therefore not ideal for trekkers who have little or no experience of high altitude trekking. The Shira Route is practically identical to the Lemosho Route. In fact, Shira was the original route before Lemosho was created to improve the route start point. Whereas Lemosho Route starts at the Londorossi Gates, the Shira Route bypasses this and begins further north and higher up at the Shira Gate. On the first day hikers trek from Shira Gate to Simba Camp which is at a very similar same altitude, allowing trekkers to acclimatize before joining the Lemosho Route on day two at Shira Camp 2. After Shira Camp 2 the route joins the Machame Route via Lava Tower, and then descends to the Barranco Camp via the Southern Circuit. Like the Machame, Umbwe and Lemosho Route, ascent to Uhuru Peak is made via Barafu Camp and up the southern slopes of Kibo. Descent is via the Mweka Route. The Shira Route can be completed in six or seven days.
The high starting point is however a major negative for this route and some trekkers experience altitude sickness from day one as their bodies haven’t had enough time to acclimatize. If your sole reason for setting foot on the mountain is to get to the summit, the Shira Plateau Route may be a better route for you. But if you have any interest in the more complete experience, one that includes both ascending and descending via all the vegetation zones, then opt for Lemosho.