When climbing Kilimanjaro along the Machame Route, day one is pretty much a walk in the park. The route from the Machame Gate starts relatively flat, winding its way slowly but surely up to the Machame Base Camp, and apart from a few steep steps, there’s nothing really to get worried about.
In fact, like most people, after day one, I was relieved that my Kilimanjaro Expedition was nowhere near as demanding as I had imagined it was going to be, and after a relatively good night’s sleep at Machame Camp, I was more than ready for what day two had to offer… until I saw the Shira Trail!
If day one was a walk in the park, day two was most certainly not! We were left in no doubt that we were, indeed, climbing Africa’s highest mountain, and almost as soon as we left the Machame Camp, we were greeted with an imposing rocky pathway that just seemed to go up and up forever.
Crowded with climbers, mountain guides and porters, the Shira Trail is dusty, dirty, and incredibly steep in some parts, and by the time we finally reached Shira Camp in the late afternoon, we had all realised that our adventure on this mighty mountain had only just begun.
On reflection, I feel that day two on our Private 7 Day Machame Route Expedition was by far the most challenging part of our trip (apart from summit night, of course!), and when compared to the Barranco Wall, I would have to say that Shira is 10 times tougher, and it’s certainly 10 times longer!!
Here’s a peek at what our day on the Shira Trail looked like…