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Shira route trek up Kilimanjaro

From £2475 - £2599 (10 days) including UK flights
From £1645 - £1745 excluding flights. Prices based on 2 adults sharing. Mimimum age 16.
Vouchers: accepted
2015: 15 Oct, 22 Oct
3 reviews4.5 star rating
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Shira route trek up Kilimanjaro

Description from the holiday company

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

Shira route trek up Kilimanjaro: the story of this holiday company

This small group operator is just celebrating its 30th year and its activity holidays are very popular. Arriving at a village by bike or on foot immediately fascinates the locals and offers you an opportunity to interact as well as being great exercise and allowing you to reach far flung areas. Activity holidays are a great way to escape, get some fresh air and take life at a slower pace, allowing time for thought and reflection. In completing an active holiday, there is an element of personal development and improvement which can really help travellers focus on doing things differently or better.

Responsible tourism: Shira route trek up Kilimanjaro

Rising from the plains, Mt Kilimanjaro dominates the surrounding countryside. It provides exciting physical and mental challenges for those who trek to the summit - and a vital source of income for many of the local communities within its shadows. In assisting almost 500 of our customers in the last year on their Kilimanjaro treks, the local porters and mountain guides employed have secured a stable income.

Their job is undoubtedly tough and so we work to ensure that the conditions that they work in are as fair as possible. As a company we support the International Porters Protection Group - which safeguards the interests and welfare of porters against unscrupulous companies, and follow Tourism Concerns guidelines on porter welfare. Packs are carefully weighed before the mountain ascent to ensure that the porters are carrying a fair weight - a weight within the guidelines set by the national park.

A sleeping tent and sleeping bags are provided for all our staff on the mountain and clients are actively encouraged to interact with all staff generating a real feeling of teamwork and friendship as we strive towards the summit.

As well as the above, we support a variety of charities and projects worldwide which support vulnerable communities and habitats including Friends of Conservation, Hope Worldwide and Send A Cow. We are also actively engaged with UK travel industry bodies which promote best practice in responsible tourism, such as Tourism Concern, The Travel Foundation and AITO. Our commitment to responsible tourism is not limited to our overseas operation and we have measures to ensure our UK office operates according to our responsible tourism policy. Carbon offsets for all flights booked with us are included in the tour cost.

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Shira route trek up Kilimanjaro

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays. In addition, we don't run these holidays ourselves - our only interest is giving you the best independent advice.

5 stars
I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
4 stars
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
3 stars
Very enjoyable
2 stars
It was OK
1 star
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed 10 Sep 2007 by Sam Adams4 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

Reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro in the early morning sun.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't under estimate how hard it will be to summit at this altitude - but the feeling at the peak makes it all worth while!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

I think the locals did benefit and seemed to be grateful of the employment / income. The trek was organised to limit damage to the mountain environment.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

Super holiday - highly recommended to those who seek a bit of a challenge.

Reviewed 23 Jun 2006 by Sam Lewis5 star rating

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The whole trip was fantastic. Most memorable parts include: Reaching the top and "Skiing" back down the scree! Brilliant food! Great company!

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

Don't be under any illusions that climbing Kili is easy! Be well prepared. Get as much mountain walking practice as possible; climbing Snowdon/Ben Nevis (with full pack) a few times will really help.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Holiday could have done more for local people. Porters and guides very poorly paid and didn't even have a tent on our trip which is disgraceful! Considering the amount of money a trip like this costs (with kit over £2000!) for an extra GB £30 each we could have doubled all the porters/guides wages!

I wish I had taken more of my old kit over with me to give to the porters, I didn't realise how reliant they are on donations. On our way down we saw a porter running up a muddy track carrying 25kg and wearing flip flops! Hopefully though, if companies get behind the good work that the "porters project" is doing in the region things will start to change.

Read the operator's response here:

Local people benefit - The welfare of the porters used on the tours is of great concern to us and strenuous efforts are being made to increase the benefit that they receive from our operations and our client's participation there. It would be simple and easy, yet incorrect, to say that an increase of money or an increased influx of old clothes would raise the standard of welfare of the porters. The issues surrounding the enhancement of the welfare of porters are complex and therefore requires a strategy that allows for the welfare of the porters to be sustainable in the long term. We have one in place and is acting on it at present.

Reviewed 02 Sep 2006 by Rebecca Martin4 star rating

I went on a Tanzania trekking safari with this company just before joining this trip. Then it was on to Kilimanjaro, exhausted before we started from the previous treks! However there was relatively little walking on the first couple of days on the Machame route so we managed to recover slightly. Then there were some very hard days! Particularly hard was walking for 9 hours, sleeping for 4 and then starting out on a 14 hour walking day at midnight in the snow! (I still can't feel my toes 2 weeks later!) I spent the whole summit night promising myself that if I survived I'd never doing anything like it again! Once you get to the top you just forget all that though!

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The most memorable part of the holiday was being on top of Kilimanjaro. It was so hard getting there but the beauty at the top made it worthwhile.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

When they say you might only be able to walk three steps before you need a break they mean it! I just didn't realise quite how hard it would be to get to the top! Also I think this trip in particular prepares you well to climb kili because you spend a lot of time at high altitude before attempting kili which I didn't realise was so important when I booked this trip.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

This holiday benefited the local people by providing many jobs as guides, cooks and porters on the mountains.

4. Any other comments?

I would give this holiday 4 stars. I had a brilliant time!
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Small group holidays

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?

Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.

Who is it ideal for?

Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.


“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”

Meet a group Leader

As well as taking care of all the day-to-day practicalities, your group leader is the one who will turn your trip into an adventure. Leaders are extraordinary characters – the kind of person who has spent 14 Christmas days on the slopes of Mount Everest, runs marathons wearing tiger suits to raise funds for their conservation and thinks nothing of leading an overland trip in Sudan or Afghanistan. Fearless and inspiring, group leaders are as important as the destination itself.

Meet a local guide

No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure. As well as doing crazy things like climbing Kilimanjaro 100 times, they also donate their time to local projects supported by travellers – such as rebuilding Sri Lankan villages following the 2004 tsunami.
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