Shira Cave campsite


Altitude:3840 m.a.m.s.l.

The Shira cave campsite is an overnight camping area that is located along the Machame route of mount Kilimanjaro. It is the second camp encountered while ascending on the route. It bears the word "cave" in its name due to its proximity to a cave that was used for accommodation before the presence of the actual campsite and or ranger's cabin; However, this practice has since been banned by the park authorities for safety reasons.

The campsite has no built accommodation or cabins for park tourists and everyone intending to stay at the campsite needs to bring their own tents. The only cabin onsite is for the camp's ranger and also where everyone staying at the camp is required to register. Toilets are all dry toilets or pit latrines due to the lack of a water supply.

Location of Shira Cave campsite

Like its name suggests, the Shira cave campsite lies on the Shira plateau (one of the three peaks of the mountain) and on the western part of mount Kilimanjaro. The camp also gives a good view of the foothills down below and Kibo above, which is where most people staying here are headed. As it lies inside the heath zone of the mountain, much of the surrounding vegetation consists of shorter plants, mainly shrubs and mini trees that have adapted to the area, although there are a few outliers that grow to as much as 3 metres.

The Shira cave campsite is in close proximity (about 30 minutes walk) to the shira 2 camp, a campsite that is used by the Lemosho and Shira routes. For this reason most people at the campsite also have the option of using the much larger Shira 2 campsite. Winds at the campsite are normally high and although it does rain, this doesn't happen as much as in the rain forest. For those on the Machame route, the next campsite after this is the Lava tower campsite.

Abbreviations m.a.m.s.l. - metres above mean sea level
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