Mountains

Tanzania

Tanzania offers some of the finest mountains hiking in Africa. In Tanzania you can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro (5,895m), Mt. Meru (4566m) or watch live volcano eruption of Mt. Oldonyo Lengai. Almost 80 percent of all people who climb Mt. Kilimanjaro reach the peak.

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro – Reach for the stars

At an altitude of 5,895 meters above sea level, Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and the highest free-standing mountain in the world. Climbing up Mt. Kilimanjaro is the wish of many people who visit Tanzania. The Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park exists to preserve the mountain’s outstanding scenic features, and its flora and fauna.

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Catolic Cathedral on the slope of Mount Kilimanjaro

Beside the peaks and moorland, the park consists of montane forest with relics of old vegetation. Also, significant numbers of mammals, birds, and insects inhabit the area. Mammals include elephants, buffaloes, elands, duikers, leopards, baboons, and blue monkeys. The area is also frequented by colorful birds.

Hike is even more attractive, because you can walk all the way to the summit without the need of any support or technical climbing experience. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro is a journey to reach the Africa highest peak (Uhuru Peak 5,895m). The routes have been chosen to allow a slow gradual hike, with the full support of the most experienced and polite African mountains guides, who as professionals guide you to the peak. We recommend a 5 to 8 days hike depending on the route chosen. Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro includes at least one day or more of acclimatization between 3,000m and 4,500m. There are several routes to choose from and they differ by steepness and popularity. The Marangu route which is the easiest route and the most frequented trail on climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro (nicknamed “Coca Cola Route”). The Machame route is more scenic and physically demanding (nicknamed “whisky route”). Other routes include Rongai and Shira. All the routes provide a magnificent view as you hike through a variety of habitats, cloud and rain forest, moor land with huge lobelia plants, the alpine desert and the magnificent glacier walls.

Mt. Meru

Although Mt. Meru is not so famous like Kilimanjaro, however, is one of the highest points in Africa (4566m) and a spectacular volcanic cone. The best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro is from Mt. Meru, especially during sunrise if the weather is nice. Mt. Meru is a mixture of lush forest and bare rock with a spectacular crater. A trek to the summit takes you through grassland and lush forest on the mountain’s lower slopes, followed by a dramatic and exhilarating walk along the knife edge of the crater rim.

Usambara Mountains

These mountains can transport you in mind, body, and soul to a peaceful world with regard for nature and all life-giving properties. It is tranquility with an edge that one cannot image, and the sky at night yields a density of stars that can only amaze. They provide a very different and stunning landscape from the dusty plains that surround them. The west Usambaras provide excellent hikes with many sheer climbs on very narrow paths. However, the views are out of this world with the hills rolling into the distance and the clouds lingering in the valley below. There is lush green vegetation all around. There are waterfalls, which you can hear long before you see them and some caves too. There are great opportunities for bird-watching as many exotic birds live in the mountains. The cool and beautiful Usambaras, part of the ancient East Arc chain, are divided into two ranges separated by a 4km-wide valley. The Usambaras have one of the highest degrees of biodiversity on the African continent. One of their most well known plants is the Usambara or African violet (Celtis Africana), which is endemic to the region.

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forests

Usambara Mountains Forest Waterfall

Usambara Mountains Forest Waterfall

The wild date palm (phoenix reclinata) is also found here. In addition to their diverse plant life, the Usambaras host a number of endemic and rare bird species including the Usambara eagle owl, Kenrick’s starling and the Usambara warbler.

The Usambaras offer superb hiking and bird watching and striking landscapes. The climate is comfortable year-round. The best time to visit is from July to October, after the rains and when the air is at its clearest.

Mt. Hanang

The volcanic Mt. Hanang is 200km south-west of Arusha off the Arusha-Dodoma road. Although it is a bit time consuming to reach, its summit makes a good day or overnight trek.

When to climb Mt Kilimanjaro?

The best months for climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro are January, February, and September as they are the warmest months and almost clear of clouds. However, one could easily succeed finishing the hike throughout the year. April and early May could get heavy rain or snow. Also the best months are June through August (though colder), and November/December (could be wetter).

Marangu

Marangu main entry gate to Kilimanjaro

Marangu

Marangu main entry gate to Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro as seen from Moshi town

Waterfall

One of the water falls on the slope of Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

Waterfall

Water falls on the slope of Kilimanjaro

Mt. Meru

Although Mt. Meru is not so famous like Kilimanjaro, however, is one of the highest points in Africa (4566m). The best view of Mt. Kilimanjaro is from Mt. Meru, especially during sunrise if the weather is nice.

Mountain Climbing Gear

  • Water bottle
  • Gaiters gloves
  • Anorak / raincoat
  • Sweaters / jumpers
  • Several pairs of socks
  • Walking stick / ski-pole
  • Snow goggles / sun glasses
  • Whistle and some plastic bags
  • Personal toiletry requirements
  • Flash light with spare batteries
  • Pants and jackets (waterproof)
  • First aid kit and insect repellent
  • Sleeping bag (at least 3 seasons)
  • Waterproof rucksack and daypack
  • Balaclava and woolen hat or scarf
  • Sun protection cream and lip salve
  • Insulation pad boots and light walking shoes

Kenya

Mount Kenya

Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano and the second highest peak in Africa after Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. It offers easy or challenging ascents with superb scenic beauty. Part of the mountain’s fascination is the variation in flora and fauna as the altitude changes. These forest belts are host to many different animals and plants with at least 11 unique species.

Uganda

Mount Elgon National Park

Mount Elgon is an extinct volcano and is one of Uganda’s oldest physical features, first erupting around 20 million years ago. It was once Africa’s highest mountain, towering above Kilimanjaro’s 5895m. Millennia of erosion have reduced its height to 4321m, relegating it to fourth highest peak in East Africa (and seventh on the continent). However, its 4000 sq km surface area is still the largest base of any volcanic mountain worldwide. Although the mountain straddles the Kenya border, its loftiest peak, Wagagai, lies within Uganda and is best ascended from the Uganda side.

Mt. Elgon is an important watershed, and its slopes support a rich variety of altitudinal vegetation zones ranging from montane forest to high open moorland studded with the other-worldly giant lobelia and groundsel plants.

Spectacular scenery is the main attraction for hikers on this oft-neglected and relatively undemanding mountain, but there is also a variety of forest monkeys and small antelope, along with elephant and buffalo. A checklist topping 300 birds includes many species not recorded elsewhere in Uganda.

Other attractions include ancient cave paintings close to the trailhead at Budadiri, and spectacular caves and hot springs within the crater.