Ascent of Shengena on 2018-01-20

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Adrian Rayner
Sean Casserly -- Trip Report or GPS Track
Pete Ellis
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Saturday, January 20, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
    Elevation:8084 ft / 2464 m

Ascent Trip Report

Nice hike with good trail all the way, a couple of marshy stream crossings and some minor tree obstacles. 7hr round trip for us, but apparently there's a more direct trail from same trailhead via the UNDP Ground, which was closed due to bees. We stay at Tona Lodge N of the summit and the trailhead is 2.6km SW of the summit. It would be more convenient to stay closer to the trailhead, or along the main highway, although Tona Lodge is a nice spot, quite high hence cool. See maps in photo album.

Shengena photos

We do Shengena and Sungwi by public transport from Arusha, all arrangements made by Trekili, and accompanied by Geoff one of their regular cooks and an all around good bloke, and this made the whole thing a lot easier and more enjoyable than it might otherwise have been. The bus travel is however quite wearing and a passenger car with driver /fixer might be another way to tackle it. The experienced traveller could DIY using the info in these reports and the accommodation we used.

After Hanang, 5hr drive back to Arusha where we leave Martin to fly home and Pete joins us for rest of trip. We miss the midday bus to Same, instead catch the 3pm, reasonably comfortable 4hr journey, met by a Landrover for the 1hr30 drive on reasonable dirt road to Tona Lodge N of the peak, late dinner and overnight. Basic, but nice location, good food.

Next day depart at 8, 1h45 drive, initially back down dirt roads towards Same, then turning L and negotiating a network of rough dirt roads, sometimes steep, at one point having to get out and push the Landrover, the Defender losing traction, evidently not having transmission lock, seeming less capable than the Landcruisers used elsewhere on this trip. Arriving at a road junction, we wait while our guide finds someone to check our permit.

At 1000 we set out E, initially taking a side road L, then soon forking L downhill on a narrow footpath, crossing a few small streams (damp feet) and extensive grassland to reach a sign at a trail fork, indicating Igoma Trail 3 hours to Shengena summit. Over a rickety bridge the trail swings L towards the summit, then R in nice cool forest, contouring below steep slopes to cross a spur then descending quite steeply to a four way trail junction. Left (W) seems the obvious way, the guide investigates, finds it leads to a campsite and the other two trails stop at a large stream. Pete and I check the campsite and the trail continues beyond it with another summit signpost. To be fair, the guide probably doesn't come this way often; the usual route is currently closed due to bees; and we have map and GPS.

Beyond the campsite, the trail climbs beside a reentrant, crosses a minor summit, passes another junction where we fork R at a sign then climb a spur to the main ridge, the path swings L, crosses a false summit and soon arrives at the level summit marked with a wobbly steel viewing platform and the concrete remains (S4.26782° E37.93155°, 2472m GPS) of an older structure, in a small clearing. A sign congratulates us on reaching Shengena summit. We climb the platform - individually as it sways quite a bit - to enjoy the panorama (nothing distant, too much cloud and haze).

We're up in 3h20, spend 45mins at the top having lunch, and descend in 2h40. The GPS records extra 114m climb on descent. The final 30 mins, after the bridge and 3hr sign, is very hot, in afternoon sun and out of the breeze. Then the rattly Landrover journey back to Tona Lodge, for a bucket shower and dinner.

Next day back down to Same and a bus ride to the town of Lushoto, where we're collected and driven to our next base for Shungwi peak.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1620 ft / 493 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 1
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Hot, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1620 ft / 493 m
    Distance:11.6 mi / 18.6 km
    Start Trailhead:6464 ft / 1970 m
    Time:3 Hours 20 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:2 Hours 40 Minutes

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