The Shira route is a path that approaches Kilimanjaro from the west, and is nearly identical to the Lemosho route. In fact, Shira was the original route and Lemosho is the improved variation.
While Lemosho starts at Londorossi Gate and treks through the rain forest to Shira 1 Camp, the Shira route bypasses this walk by using a vehicle to transport climbers to Shira Gate, located near the Shira Ridge.
On the first day on the mountain, climbers begin their hike from 11,800 feet (3,600 m) and spend their first night at the same elevation at Simba Camp. Then, the route merges with Lemosho at Shira 2 and follows the southern circuit route, traversing beneath the Southern Ice-fields before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made on the Mweka route.
Although Shira is a varied and beautiful route, Lemosho is recommended over Shira due to the high altitude of Shira's starting point. It is possible that climbers will experience altitude related symptoms on the first day due to failed acclimatization. Climbers using Shira should be confident of their ability to acclimatize.
Shira is offered as a seven to eight day private climb. The eight day variation visits Moir Hut on day three, and continues to Lava Tower on day four. However, overall Shira is not recommended.