Shira Plateau Route via The Northern Circuit Wilderness

Shira Plateau is the least-used route, with little to no tourists. It starts at high elevation but aims to get you close to nature, with a lot of acclimatization, without having to worry about crowds.
8 Days

Shira Plateau Route via The Northern Circuit Wilderness - 8 - $6,310


Day 1 Morum Barrier Gate (12,362 ft./ 3,768 mt.) - Shira 1 Camp (12,200 ft./3,720 mt.)

Departure from Arusha will be at around 7:30am for Londorossi gate, about 4 hours, where you will complete entry formalities. Then continue up by car to Morum Barrier Gate (another hour to reach the trailhead). Upon arrival at trail-head, eat lunch, then commence through heather and moorland which lead to the first camp, (which is a descent) only about 1-2 hours of trekking. The view of Kibo from across the plateau is stunning.

Day 2 Shira 1 Camp - Moir Camp (13,800 ft./ 4,205 mt.)

Trek across the Shira plateau, east toward Kibo’s glaciered peak. Shira is one of the highest plateaus on earth, averaging 12,500 feet. We immediately veer away from the tourist trails toward thee northeast edge of the Plateau to reach Moir Camp. The trek is about 4-5 hours over easy terrain. Moir camp is an isolated and seldom used camp affording views over the Shira Plateau.

Day 3 Moir Camp - Pofu Camp (13,200 ft./ 4,025 mt.)

Begin the morning trek heading out of the moorland and into the stark alpine desert, on a steep ridge off the main trail, and begin our venture on the Northern Circuit Route. The total trekking time is about 5 – 7 hours. From the Pofu Campsite you will enjoy a magnificent view into Kenya's wild lands to the north. 

Day 4 Pofu Camp - Kikelewa Caves Camp (11,800 ft./ 3600 m)

Proceed onward through valleys and over ridges through the alpine desert and moorland, continuing our circuit to the east, enjoying a vast mountain wilderness to ourselves. Trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours.

Day 5 Kikelewa Caves Camp - Mawenzi Tarn Camp (14,160 ft./ 4,315 m)

Trek 3-5 hours steadily upward to reach a placid mountain tarn (lake) at the foot of the majestically rising steep ridges of Mawenzi, Kilimanjaro’s second highest volcano. The camp here is nestled along the tarn in a protected alcove with magnificent views towards the steeply rising rocks of Mawenzi.

Day 6 Mawenzi Tarn Camp - Kibo Hut Camp (15,450 ft./ 4,710 m)

The trekking time today is 5 - 7 hours, though a relatively easy hike across the wide saddle between Mawenzi and Kibo. The trek takes you across the massive saddle- the crossing is impressive and the landscape spectacularly stark. The temperatures turn cold as you near the foot of Kibo, reaching Kibo Hut Camp after 5-7 hours of trekking. Prepare all your gear for the day ahead, and turn in early to rest. A resupply of fresh food and supplies will reach camp on this afternoon.

Day 7 Kibo Hut Camp - Huru Peak (19,340 ft./ 5,895 m) - Mweka Camp (10,200 ft./ 3,110 m)

A midnight wake-up call is the start of a long trek. You begin trekking just after midnight up the winding path of switchbacks. From your camp to the rim of the crater (Gillman’s Point (18,750 ft./ 5,712 m)) to Uhuru Peak, the trekking time is about 6 - 8 hours. The slope is steep, with switchbacks, over loose rock and scree with some boulders as you near Gilman’s Point. You will stop at Hans Meyer cave on the way, the famous place where Kilimanjaro’s first western climber described in his journals. Once you arrive at Gilman’s Point at the edge of the crater, the trail to the summit is less demanding, and is reached after a further 1½-2 hours along the snowy crater rim (depending on the season), passing Stella Point en route. After a short time at the summit, re-trace your steps back to Stella Point, then summon your strength again for further descent to Mweka Camp for the night, stopping en route at Barafu Camp (4,670m) for lunch and some rest. The total trekking time on this day is from 12-17 hours.

Day 8 Mweka Camp - Mweka Gate (6,000 ft. /1,830 m)

Descend straight to the gate (2-3 hours), where you’ll have lunch and will be awarded climbing certificates.

Prices and Inclusions

Travel during some peak season months will incur higher rates. 


  • Oxygen for emergency use 
  •  Hyperbaric Chamber
  • Stretcher/Litter
  • First-aid kit
  • Pulse-oximeters
  • VHF handheld radios
  • Mobile phones (carried by all guides for daily communication) 
  • Satellite phone (carried at all times by the head guide) 
  • Safety equipment porter(s)
  • A comprehensive safety briefing
  • Wilderness First Responder Certified mountain guides
  • Ratio of 1 guide per 2 guests (on average) 
  • Professional cook
  • Waiter(s)
  • Campsite Manager
  • KPAP monitoring porter
  • Camp setting crew 
  • Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1 sleeping tents (a triple tent used as a double tent or single tent with supplement) 
  • Cold-weather sleeping mats (closed cell foam) 
  • Large private toilet tent(s) with portable flush toilets on a stable frame 
  • Large custom-designed and fabricated weatherproof dining tents
  • High powered solar LED lights in the dining tent
  • Lightweight aluminium chairs with backs
  • Wash stands
  • Wash basins 
  • Hot water bottles prepared each night
  • Purified water 
  • Three healthy and energizing meals a day (we offer inspired and nutritious menu plans for those who are gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan).
  • Tea-time snacks upon arrival in camp
  • Organic produce from our ½ acre garden at our office base
  • Mountain cool boxes
  • Round trip private transfers from/to Arusha or Kilimanjaro
  • VAT - all Tanzania government Value Added Taxes are included in these prices
Optional extras:
  • Single person use of sleeping tent
  • Personal porter
  • Personal /additional assistant guide
  • AED heart-saving device (optional on treks without crater camp)
  • Private toilet tent, with portable flush toilet
  • Gourmet KIMEMO coffee, made & served in insulated cafetieres
  • Fancy cheese platter (at first lunch or final lunch at gate)
  • Sparkling wine service at final gate
  • Solar charging kit with 2 USB connectors 


  • National Park fees
  • Optional items
  • Emergency transport costs (helicopter evacuation)
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Personal medical kit
  • Travel insurance
  • Sleeping bag
  • Personal trekking gear

Questions about this Trip?