From the Atlas Mountains of Morocco all the way down to South Africa’s Drakensberg, Africa has got the best and most popular trekking destinations with Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in the continent at the top of the list.
1 MOUNT KILIMANJARO TANZANIA
Climbing Africa’s highest mountain peak is not for the faint of heart. At 19,336 feet high, Mount Kilimanjaro is Africa’s highest peak. Every year at least 20,000 people attempt to climb up the mountain through the 5 different climatic zones.
Situated in the in , this geological wonder is any mountaineers dream climb. There are different routes up Mount Kilimanjaro. Each route has a degree of difficulty in climbing, traffic and scenic beauty. The longer the route you take the less difficult the climbing is and the more you enjoy trekking up the mountain. The least difficult routes are Marangu and Rongai; the more difficult routes are Machame, Shira, and Lemosho. The longer routes have more difficult hiking but you'll be more acclimatized and your chances of reaching the summit are therefore higher.
Kilimanjaro National Park is rich in unique bird life, wildlife and beautiful flora. We suggest getting to know the area before your trek, as there is so much to enjoy before your climb. Due to the proximity to the equator and warm Indian ocean, much of the mountain slopes are rich areas of forest, with 195 unique bird species that call this home. As you ascend the mountainous terrain, the landscape changes from lush forest to alpine moorland, interspersed with valleys and ravines. At 4 000 meters, the landscape transforms yet again into a dry and desertous region, with interesting adapted flora. Beyond this point are pure ice caps, where little grows.
In the forested areas, you can expect to see buffalo, aardvarks, leopard, honey badger and a variety of monkeys such as the colobus and blue monkeys. The iridescent blue malachite sunbird, Hartlaub’s turaco and a variety of raptors.
April and October it’s the dry season on Kilimanjaro. Although there will be plenty of clouds, your ascent after a day of trekking will lead you to cloudless skies and sunshine. During this period, the wind can be very strong, somewhat inhibiting your climb. However, this is the best time to trek Kilimanjaro.
2. MOUNT KENYA, KENYA
Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest peak. It has three peaks that trekkers always target to get to as they climb up the slopes of the mountain that is covered with forest and moorland and ice and snow. Batian is the highest peak at 5200m, just below it is Nelion peak at 5188m and at 4985m is the Lenana peak.
Remember that Lenana is the same altitude or higher than many Himalayan passes, and that altitude sickness can be a problem. Even on the shortest route to Point Lenana, trekkers should allow 3 days at the very least to allow for acclimatization on the way up. This will let you enjoy the trek even more, and improve your chances of success.
The peak area is formed from the hard core or plug of the volcano, the crater having long since been eroded away, and rises steeply on all sides some 450 m above the glaciers and scree slopes.
There is excellent rock and ice climbing of a high standard to the twin summit peaks of Batian and Nelion. The third highest peak Lenana, can be reached by any fit walker, suitably equipped.
Despite its size, it is possible to gain altitude rapidly on Mt. Kenya and overzealous climbers run the risk of high altitude sickness. Mt. Kenya is responsible for a large proportion of the world’s high altitude pulmonary oedema cases (a potentially fatal form of High Altitude sickness). This can be prevented (and the experience made more enjoyable) if a sensibly slow approach is made.
January to February and July to October are the best times to go trekking on Mount Kenya.
3. ATLAS MOUNTAINS MOROCCO
Our Atlas Mountain Treks is a fantastic opportunity to trek, at altitude, in the awe-inspiring surrounds of the High Atlas Mountains, so therefore getting maximum adventure for little time away from home.
Arrive in Marrakech and stay overnight and enjoy the sights and sounds of the bustling Medina (old town) with its souks and street entertainers which really gets you in the mood for your trek ahead.
Once you start your trek you will be supported not only by your very own guide but also by a team of Muleteers who will carry your main luggage and prepare your meals during your time in the mountains.
On winter treks, you sleep in purpose-built refuges that offer a relative amount of comfort, leaving you to wake refreshed for another days trekking. On summer treks it’s camping!
When you finally reach the summit Toubkal at 4,167 meters, you can enjoy unbelievable views across North Africa including the Sahara Desert and all that the impressive High Atlas Mountain Range has to offer.
Another night in the Medina after your trek and top it all off with a celebratory meal in a fantastic former palace in Marrakech; will be what you need to crown up the trek.
June through to August is the best times to go up trekking the Atlas Mountains.
4. SIMIEN MOUNTAINS, ETHIOPIA
Ethiopia has many summits in the Simien Mountains above 4000 meters. Ras Dashen which stands at 4,543 meters is the fourth highest peak in Africa.
Trekking here is fantastic not only because of the beautiful scenery, gorges and streams but also because of the endemic wildlife like the gelada baboon and Walia Ibex.
The Simien Mountains National Park lies at an altitude ranging between 3000 and 4500m. It is a relatively small slice of a huge mountain range and there is pretty much one trail that runs through it with various extensions for those with the time and energy. The trail passes along an incredible ridge and must offer the highest ratio of views to some kilometers anywhere in the world. Golden grasslands roll towards the precipitous drop and lowland mountains stretch towards the horizon. The superb wildlife is a huge feature.
Along your way trekking up you will be topping summits at Imet Gogo (3926m), Inatye (4070m) and Mount Bwahit (4,430m).
September and October provides the best time to go for trekking in the Simien’s mountains.
5. THE DRAKENSBERG SOUTH AFRICA
UKhahlamba, meaning “barrier of spears” the Drakensberg, is South Africa’s highest mountain Range. Stretching for around 1000km and marking the eastern side of the Great Escarpment, the Drakensberg offer some of the best hiking opportunities in South Africa. Here can be found some of southern Africa’s highest peaks and Drakensberg hiking trips offer something for everyone, including gentle half-day hikes, longer multiple-day trips, challenging climbs and, for those with the necessary experience and equipment, technical mountaineering. Day hikes, horse riding san rock art viewing and bird watching are just but few of the things you get to enjoy doing. “The Drakensberg Traverse” a 2-3 week hikes to the giant peaks will sooth you if you got time and if you don’t have much time, try the spectacular trek from the Sentinel to the Cathedral.
Ten best mountain treks in Africa
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