Mountaineering: Hikes and Rock Climbing
African safaris have for a long time been overshadowed by game drives and enthusiastic encounters of the King of the Jungle in national parks such as Kruger in South Africa, Serengeti in Tanzania, and Maasai Mara of Kenya among other less popular African safari destinations. Mountaineering on the African continent has not received the same spotlight like game drives that are pivoted around wildlife encounters.
East Africa is the prime destination for mountaineering on the African continent. You cannot talk about mountaineering on the African continent without references to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Below are some of the places to consider for your mountaineering adventure in East Africa.
Mountaineering in East Africa
Below are some of the destinations to consider for your mountaineering adventure in East Africa:
Kilimanjaro Mountains are the highest mountains on the African continent. It is one of the few snow-capped mountains on the African continent. Its highest peak rises up to 5895 meters above sea level. Hiking to the summit of Kilimanjaro Mountains takes between 4 to 5 days for experienced hikers. However, it is recommended that you plan for 8 days for a slow-paced hike with at least one day for acclimatization.
Accommodation around the Kilimanjaro Mountains is affordable making it one of the easiest places to go mountaineering on the African continent. Its location makes it one of the most strategic major destinations in East Africa. It has an international airport to its name serving the towns of Arusha and Moshi.
Whether you are simply attempting a rock climbing holiday or a typical mountain climbing holiday; Mount Kenya is one of the top destinations for your East African mountaineering experience. The mountain comes second to Kilimanjaro Mountains in terms of height. It is also from this mountain that the name for the republic of Kenya comes from.
It is also strategically located just 150km from the Kenyan capital of Nairobi. Its summit is 5199 meters above sea level making it lower than Kilimanjaro’s summit by about 700 meters. Its location near the Equator also gifts it with unique vegetation that will spice up your mountaineering adventure.
Mount Kenya is distinguished by the diversity of trails that are available leading to the summit. In total, there are eight trails leading to the summit of Mountain Kenya. This implies that you can trek the same mountains up to 8 times. Just like Mountain Kilimanjaro; it will take you between 4 to 7 days to reach the summit of Mount Kenya. 7 days are for those trekking at a low pace while 4 days are for those hiking at a very high pace.
The mountains are also known as the mountains of the moon. Though the mountain comes third highest on the African continent, Rwenzori Mountains have the highest number of peaks above 4000meters above sea level on the Africa continent. These mountains are shared between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The most popular hikes are on mount Speke, Mount Stanley, and Mount Baker in Uganda. The mountains are applauded for their unique vegetation, wildlife, and snow at the equator. They are also strategically located in case you are planning a gorilla safari in Uganda, chimpanzee tracking safari, or savannah game drives.
Whether you are attempting a self drive safari in Uganda or a guided Uganda safari, it is very simple to connect to the Rwenzori Mountains for your Rwenzori mountaineering activities. It is also a good mountaineering destination for families giving hiking allowances of up to 4000 meters for children below 9 years.
Mountaineering in Southern Africa
There are a number of mountains in southern Africa however mountaineering activities seem to be dominated by South Africa. The most popular mountaineering activity in South Africa is rock climbing but this not all that South Africa has to offer in terms of mountaineering.
One of the most popular mountains in South Africa is also a UNESCO heritage site. The mountains are a prime destination for rock climbing and hikes. Like the Rwenzori Mountains, the mountain is shared between two countries; Lesotho and South Africa.
It is also one of the biggest mountains on the African continent seated on a land expanse of 1000kms. Its highest peak is Thabana Ntlenyana rising up to 3482m above sea level. The river streams from the same mountain are also some of the visually rewarding adventures in southern Africa.
Like other African mountains, wildlife is one of the highlights of your hikes on these mountains. On a lucky, you will spot the Oribi, duikers, baboons among several other wildlife species.
Mountaineering in North Africa
North Africa is often overshadowed by Egypt because of its historical contribution to the current civilizations. But besides Egypt, there several other North African countries offering some wilderness adventures, and among these include Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria; offering some of the best hikes and mountaineering activities on the African continent.
The Atlas Mountains are some of the highest mountains on the African continent. Jebel Toubkal which is the highest peak of mountain Atlas rises up to 4167meters above sea level. The hike offers amazing views of the Sahara desert, Mediterranean coastlines, and the Atlantic Ocean.
The mountains are also home to a number of endangered plant and wildlife species which you will get a chance to encounter if at all you attempt a mountaineering adventure in Morocco.