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East African Mountain climbing

Choosing an African safari experiences is great and the beaches are diverse and dramatic. But African Mountain climbing adventures don’t just have to be about 4×4 game drives or lazy strolls on cotton-soft sands by crystal blue waters.

If you’re looking to soak up Africa’s breathtaking scenery, and have an eye for adventure, then there’s only one place to be: at the top.

From the snow-capped peak of Kilimanjaro and the Rwenzori Mountains, through the forest-clothed slopes of Mount Kenya, East Africa’s magnificent rooftops offer glorious views and a wide range of trekking experiences that appeal to all kinds of climbers, from hardcore mountaineers to weekend warriors and families.

More Information

  • Climbing Kilimanjaro
  • Climbing Mount Kenya
  • Rwenzori Mountains
  • Hiking Mount Meru
  • Climbing Mount Elgon

Make it to the summit of Tanzania’s 5,895-meter Kilimanjaro, and you’ll be standing at Africa’s highest point. The majestic mountain is Africa’s most-visited trekking destination, attracting tens of thousands of tourists and adventurers every year.

There are six routes to choose from, each with varying degrees of difficulty, scenery and success. No special equipment is required.

On the way to the “Roof of Africa,” you will travel through five different climatic zones, reaching arctic cold temperatures around the glaciers that cap Kibo, Kilimanjaro’s summit.
You’d a better hurry, though, as climate change experts say that the ice and snow in the mountain’s upper slopes are melting and could disappear within decades.

A long-extinct volcano, Mount Kenya is Africa’s second-highest peak, at 5,199 meters. Lying just south of the equator, the mountain’s glacial valleys, successive vegetation zones and diverse wildlife will guarantee you spectacular scenery and fantastic trekking experience.

The ascent, however, to the mountain’s steep ice-capped peaks is quite challenging. Mount Kenya is the most technical, probably, in that East African area.

At the mountain’s crest, temperatures rarely rise above freezing point. There are several routes on the way to the mountain’s summit, the majority of which take between three and seven days to complete.

The Rwenzori mountain range stretches on the western border of Uganda between Lake George and Lake Albert. This mountain range has many peaks with the highest being Mount Stanley, the third highest mountain range in Africa, after Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya. At 5 110 metres, Mount Stanley (also known as Mount Ngaliéma), was named after Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the first European to reach its highest peak, Margherita’s Peak. Other peaks include: Mount Speke 4,890m (16,040ft), Mount Stanley 5,109m (16,762ft), Mount Emin 4,798 (15,74ft), Mount Baker 4,715m (15,469ft), Mount Luigi di Savoia 4,627 (15,180ft) and Mount Gessi 4,715m (15,449ft).

Unlike Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya, Mount Stanley is not frequently visited by tourists. Due to this the mountain range still remains a mystery to many climbers. Many routes are unexplored and are still relatively new. Unlocking the mystery around Mount Stanley should be an exciting experience for any climber.

Mount Stanley is located in a high rainfall area and many climbers might be discouraged by this. However, the scenery around the mountain more than compensates for the long drenched climb to Margherita’s Peak.

Mount Meru may forever be destined to exist in the shadow of its imposing neighbor, Kilimanjaro, but Tanzania’s second-highest mountain (4,565 meters) has its own devotees.

It’s lesser-known, but Mount Meru is for the true enthusiast who wants to experience what very few people actually do.

A beautiful volcanic cinder cone, Mount Meru will treat you to stunning views and diverse wildlife. Its slopes are coated with dense rainforest up to about 2,900 meters, which then give way to rocky areas.

Mount Meru is often used by mountaineers for acclimatization before trekking Kilimanjaro, or by those wanting a trek with the local Massai.

Mount Elgon is a magnificent extinct volcano dominating the skyline along the Uganda-Kenya border. Its enormous crater is surrounded by several jagged peaks, including Wagagai, which is the highest point at 4,321 meters.

Here you can explore ancient caves and zip past spectacular cliffs, over which Mount Elgon’s streams cascade as dramatic waterfalls. Elgon’s slopes are covered in ancient dense forests and bamboo belts which then give way to a spectacular moon-like moorland zone blanketed by tree heaths, massive groundsels and lobelias.

There are several routes to the mountain’s peaks, and the full trekking circuit takes up to five days. A descent into the vast caldera, at 40 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, is also a must.

Climbing Mount Elgon

Mount Elgon is a magnificent extinct volcano dominating the skyline along the Uganda-Kenya border. Its enormous crater is surrounded by several jagged peaks, including Wagagai, which is the highest point at 4,321 meters.

Here you can explore ancient caves and zip past spectacular cliffs, over which Mount Elgon’s streams cascade as dramatic waterfalls. Elgon’s slopes are covered in ancient dense forests and bamboo belts which then give way to a spectacular moon-like moorland zone blanketed by tree heaths, massive groundsels and lobelias.

There are several routes to the mountain’s peaks, and the full trekking circuit takes up to five days. A descent into the vast caldera, at 40 kilometres long and 8 kilometres wide, is also a must.

Virunga Volcanoes Hiking

The Volcanoes Mountains in Uganda have two extinct volcanoes which are part of the eight that are spread out in both Rwanda and the Democratic republic of Congo. These two mountains are good when it comes to hiking and these are;

  • The Sabinyo Mountain
  • Mountain Muhabura
  • Mgahinga Mountain
  • Karisimbi Mountain
  • Mount Lesatima
  • Mountain Longonot
  • Tororo Rock Hike

The Sabinyo Mountain has peaks in the three counties of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo although the bet side to do a hike from is in Uganda. Sabinyo means an old man with crooked teeth and the shape of the mountain is how it earned its name.

The terrain used in Uganda is far better and while on a hike you will be able to see the various golden monkeys found in the area. Note that hiking up the Sabinyo Mountain is a bit hard due to its rugged nature but there are a few trails you can take that are almost passable for your trek and do not forget that bottle of water because you will need it.

Mountain Muhabura rises up to a height of 4127 meters above sea level and it is located at the border of Uganda and Rwanda. The name of the mountain is loosely translated as the Guide in Kinyarwanda. A hike up the Mountain will give you a beautiful site of the Crater Lake that is found at the summit.

Mountain Mgahinga is located in the western part of Uganda and it rises up to 3474 meters and it is part of the Volcanoes Mountain. It has a crater lake at the summit which will be your reward once you reach the peak and you will get a good view of the rest of the Volcanoes Mountain and the Batwa people once you descend the mountain. The hike up the Mgahinga is extremely short and not too tiresome as compared to other mountain hikes.

Mountain Karisimbi is one of the Virunga Mountains and it is located in Rwanda. It rises to a level of 4507 meters above sea level. Mountain Karisimbi has a white capped summit and that is why it is a good place for one who wants to go for a hike.

The climb up Karisimbi takes over six hours and it usually starts in the morning. You need to be physically fit for this strenuous climb as it will need most of your energy but the hike is worth it as you will be able to see various monkeys, gorillas and other wild animals as you climb up the mountain.

Mountain Lesatima is the third highest mountain in Kenya and is located in the Northern part of Aberdare in the Great Rift Valley. The mountain has seen many people hiking up to its peak and it is an experience that you don’t want to miss and the peak provides one with a great view.

Mountain Longonot is located in Kenya in the Rift valley region and it is a dormant volcano that last erupted in the 18s. There is a clear path that one can take when going for mountain climbing and it takes like four to five hours to trek this particular mountain.

As you trek up the mountain, you will get a good view of the Lake Naivasha and the animals and birds that are found in the area. The hike is not that strenuous and you can easily get a potter to help you carry your luggage at a small fee as you enjoy the view the view.

Tororo rock is located in the Eastern part of Uganda and it is approximately 230 kilometers away from the capital city of Uganda, Kampala. The rock has a lot of tourist attractions to it including the various caves that are found in the area and it rises to a height of 1800 meters above sea level.

Once you reach the summit, you can be able to see the surrounding area clearly plus you get a good view of the Elgon Mountain. The hike up the rock is extremely hard as it has narrow windy routes leading up to the summit and therefore one has to be strong enough or be an adrenaline driven person to go hiking on the Tororo rock.