Shira Plateau Kilimanjaro


Mount Kilimanjaro, a magnificent mountain standing tall at 5,895 meters, is Africa’s highest peak and one of the world’s most popular trekking destinations. While the majority of visitors opt for the well-trodden and more straightforward routes, there is one that stands out for its breathtaking beauty and unique challenges – the Shira Plateau.

Shira Plateau Kilimanjaro

Climbing Kilimanjaro guides and clients at Shira 2 Camp.

Where is Shira Plateau Located ?

The Shira Plateau is located on the western side of Mount Kilimanjaro and is an elevated highland plateau that spans over 40 square kilometers. It is believed to be the remnants of an ancient crater, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape including the neighboring Mount Meru, the second highest peak in Tanzania.


Shira Plateau Altitude Elevation ?

The Plateau lies at an altitude of 3,800 meters and serves as the starting point for climbers who choose the Lemosho , Northern Circuit or Shira route to ascend Kilimanjaro. These routes are longer and more challenging but also offers better acclimatization mechanism due to their length than the popular Marangu and Machame routes, but the stunning views and unique experience of traversing the Shira Plateau make it well worth the effort.


Shira Plateau Vegetation ?

As you make your way through the Shira route, you will be surrounded by a diverse range of flora and fauna. From lush rainforests filled with colobus monkeys to barren landscapes dotted with giant lobelias and alpine heather, the scenery is constantly changing and will leave you in awe.

The higher you climb, the more barren the landscape becomes, giving you the feeling of being on another planet.

One of the highlights of the Shira Plateau is the Shira Cathedral, a towering rock formation that resembles a cathedral, hence its name. This natural wonder stands at over 3,500 meters and is an excellent spot for photos and a quick rest stop before continuing your trek.


Shira Plateau Campsite

Another unique feature of the plateau is the Shira Plateau Campsite, which is the first overnight stop on the Shira route. This campsite is located at an altitude of 3,500 meters and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Camping on the plateau is a surreal experience, with the glimmering stars above and the peacefulness of the plateau below, making for a night to remember.

The Shira Plateau also offers a chance for acclimatization before reaching the higher altitudes on the mountain. Spending an extra day at this elevation can significantly increase your chances of a successful summit and reduce the risk of altitude sickness.

While the climb up the Shira Plateau is undoubtedly challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding. The beautiful scenery, unique flora and fauna, and the sense of adventure and accomplishment make it an unforgettable experience.



If you are looking for a more off-the-beaten-path route up Mount Kilimanjaro, the Shira Plateau should be at the top of your list. To access Shira plateau you trek Kilimanjaro through Machame, Lemosho, Shira and Northern circuit routes.

So, lace up your boots, pack your gear, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. The stunning Shira Plateau and the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro await you.  Contact Climbing Kilimanjaro to start planning your Kilimanjaro trek. Let the Best Guides on Kilimanjaro lead you to the Summit of Kilimanjaro.