As the continent is rich in mountains on all sides, this article lists ten of the most exciting mountain climbs that Africa has to offer.
With a height of 5895 meters, Mount Kilimanjaro located in Tanzania is considered to be the ‘roof of Africa’. It is not required that you be a professional climber, but one should be fit enough to climb the mountain. Friends and family can also be accompanied while enjoying the climb. The mountain’s peak can be reached by following one of six routes: Machame, Mweka, Lemosho, Marangu, Shira, and Rongai. While Machame has beautiful and breathtaking views, the course may take six to seven days to complete. The easiest route is Rongai, but it also comes with the least scenic views. In addition, Morangu can be climbed easily; however, it is busy to some extent. There are also three volcanic chimneys on Kilimanjaro: Mawenzi, Shira, and Kibo.
The highest summit of the Atlas Mountains is Jebel Toubkal at 4165 meters. It is located in Morocco in a town called Imlil, which is very near to Marrakech (nearly one hour). Climbing to the mountain’s peak and going back to the town of Imlil can be done in one day, however it’s advisable to complete it in three days in order to enjoy the spectacular views and fascinating landscape. You might also be lucky enough to hear the fun stories of the local people. We recommend that you accompany experienced local climbers who are familiar with the region, as it has a wide range of terrains. Summer months are the best for this adventure.
Having the second highest peak in Africa, Mount Kenya is thrilling to explore. Its highest point is Batian, which is about 5199 meters. It is very near to the equator – only 16.5 km to the south of it, as well as 150 km north of the capital of Nairobi. A national park was even established on one of its parts. To reach the top, it is advised that some knowledgeable techniques are required. Additionally, the peak can be reached through one of eight routes. Our recommendation is to visit this site between January and February, or between July and October.
Mount Meru, as the myth says, is a “golden mountain that is positioned in the heart of the cosmos, and is the world’s axis”. It is also known as the ‘world’s tree’. Mount Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania, standing 4566 meters next to its well-known brother – Kilimanjaro. It takes about three to four days to reach its summit. Between the months of August and October is considered the best time to make a trip there.
Found in Ethiopia is a view of summits formed from magic lava and designed in a gorgeous layout. The Simien Mountains reach the height of 4533 meters, and the highest point is Ras Dashen.
Explorers can take the well-known route: travel towards the ridge of the Simien Mountain National Park that passes a route from Sankaber to Geech, and follow on to the Chenek camp. This journey usually takes approximately three to five days. In case you would like to enjoy the nature more fully, you may add another five days.
Mount Elgon separates Kenya and Uganda. The highest peak is in Uganda at 4321 meters; it is known as Wagagai. Unique plants, animals, waterfalls, cliffs, and caves are extremely interesting in this location. A trip to reach the summit is estimated to take five days. The best time for climbing is from June to August and December to March. No special techniques are needed for the climbing. Official guides are obligatory, and it is wise to plan on hiring one.
Several mountains in South Africa are included under the name of Drakensberg. The highest point sits at 3475 meters, and amazing forests decorate the scene. Daily hikes can be held at the lower peaks; however, it is challenging to ascend the mountain, and some peaks remain difficult to be climbed. The Drakensberg is the headwater of Orange River and is the basic watershed of South Africa. Surprisingly, the best time to trek the mountain is all throughout the year, so the timing depends on you. If you like seeing snow, then it would be better go in winter. In case you would like to experience climbing while it’s raining, then the better choice is to go in the summer. Furthermore, autumn is a wonderful time to enjoy the vegetation and wildlife.
Sometimes called the ‘mountain of the moon’, Mount Ruwenzori extends along the border between Uganda and Congo. Two summits come from Mount Stanley, which is the highest mountain in the range and is formed of granitic mass. The highest peak, Central Circuit, is located at a whopping 5109 meters. It is stunning to view the amazing Valley of Nine Lakes from above. The area’s high waterfalls and bamboo forests are equally beautiful. The route takes anywhere from four to ten days to complete, and the best time to ascend is December to February and June to August
Mount Cameroon is located in Cameroon, near the border of Guinea‘s gulf. It is known to be an active volcano; the volcano last erupted in 2012. The mount is also called ‘Mongo ma Ndemi’, meaning “mountain of greatness”. In addition, its highest peak rests at 4040 meters above sea level. Through ascending the mountain, one can experience multiple climates ranging from tropical to freezing. Buea, a small town at the mountain’s base, is the starting point for the tour. The basic route passes through farmland, rainforest, savanna, and rocky summits. The tour generally takes about three days.
Mulanje Mountain (Malawi)
Located in Malawi, its highest peak – Sapitwa – is at 3000 meters above sea level. We recommend that you stay two nights on the mountain. From May to October is considered the best time for climbing. The Mountain Club of Mulanje made a Hiking Guide to Mount Mulanje in early 2017, and you can find it here in a PDF. This guide is full of beneficial information for planning a trip. All of its routes are well clarified; photos and maps are included in the guide as well. It is advisable to visit Mulanje Mountain between April and December.
One of the greatest aspects of these mountains is that most don’t require previous experience or technical skills for climbing. In fact, you can simply prepare your bag and go. Reaching the top of a mountain gives the climber a chance to see the world with a different eye. Most times, it is even possible to experience all four seasons while climbing. There is sure to be great joy and pleasure while climbing one of these exciting mountains, so let’s stop waiting and start exploring!