Don’t want to summit the mountain?
Here are some great treks that allow you to experience high altitude trekking without the need for the challenge of going to the top.
Kilimanjaro day trip
A quick trip onto the Shira plateau for those that just want to say they have been on Kilimanjaro. There is a significant drive up to Londorossi gate and sometimes the road further up toward Murram gate can be impassable (rarely). It should be noted that views of the peak are not guaranteed!
You are met at 8am from your hotel and transfer to Londorossi gate. From here depending on conditions and fitness levels, you walk up onto the Shira plateau with a picnic lunch. In the early afternoon you head back down and meet the vehicle and transfer back to your accommodation. (It’s about 3 – 5 hours walking).
A Taste of Kilimanjaro – 3 days
This is a short 3 day trip to ramble over the Shira Plateau. For those that want just a taste of high altitude and Kilimanjaro, this is the itinerary.
Starting on the Western side this trip ascends through the Lemosho glades and onto the Shira plateau. 1 night is in the forest and the second on the Shira plateau at over 3500 meters.
You’ll see Lemosho forest, the Juniper forest, the Shira plateau with stunning views of Kibo (weather permitting). You’ll be walking across the Shira plateau and experiencing 4 different vegetation zones.
Kilimanjaro’s Shira Plateau – 4 or 5 days
Kilimanjaro has many beautiful regions, none more so than the Western side and Shira Plateau. This itinerary is perfect for those that do not want to summit Kilimanjaro, rather enjoy its different vegetation and wilderness zones.
These are slightly longer version of the Taste of Kilimanjaro, starting on the Western side and ascending through the Lemosho glades and onto the Shira plateau. There are then options to hike either up towards Moir or across the Shira Plateau towards the Shira Cathedral before descending back down.
Non-summiting Route Map and Itineraries
- Day 1
On arrival in Kilimanjaro airport you’ll be driven to the base hotel. This evening you’ll have a briefing where you’ll be given details about the forthcoming climb and have a chance to ask any questions.
- Day 2
We set out in vehicles to the starting point of the Lemosho trail. Here you meet the rest of your crew and set off at a leisurely pace into montane forest. Lunch is taken on trail and camp is reached mid afternoon. Overnight Forest Camp
- Day 3
From the forested slopes of Lemosho you ascend through Podocarpus and Juniper forest and break out of the forest on to the heath zone and the Shira Plateau. Lunch is taken on trail and you arrive in camp mid afternoon. Overnight Shira 1 Camp
- Day 4
For the 3-day mountain trip you now head back down the mountain – see text for Day 6 below.For the 4-day mountain trip you would spend the day hiking around this area and then return to have a second night here at Shira 1. Your itinerary then skips Day 5 below and so your next day is to Murram and onwards…For the longer 5-day mountain trip you continue your trek with a relatively short day to take you to Shira 2 Camp. You trek to some of the more remote areas of the plateau. A picnic lunch is taken with you and for the more adventurous the guides can even lead you up in to the alpine zone before returning to camp in the afternoon. Overnight Shira 2 Camp
- Day 5
This morning there is a relatively short morning’s hike to Moir Hut. After lunch there is time to head out an explore the area, something only a handful do on ‘regular’ Kilimanjaro trips. Dinner and overnight Moir Camp
- Day 6
This morning you hike towards Murram gate before descending down towards Londorrosi gate. The hike takes around 4 to 5 hours and picnic lunches are provided at the gate before you transfer to onward arrangements. (note transfer to Arusha is around 3 hours, transfer for West Kilimanjaro airstrip is around 40 minutes)
Self confessed Africa-lover, but keen on all new travel experiences, Amanda is passionate about getting to know different cultures.
Tracy was been born and spent her youth in South Africa, the draw of the animals, the people and wilds of Africa have always run through her veins.
Sinead caught the travel bug following a year out after university. She has worked in the travel industry ever since, and visited many countries including South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana and Namibia.
The African dust is firmly planted in Chris’s heart. Born in Tanzania she spent much of her childhood in and around Ruaha. Travel and safari was part of life and through into adulthood fun and travel has never left her.