Did you know that 80% of Americans aren’t getting enough exercise? The secret to staying fit is to find a physical activity that you love so much it doesn’t feel like exercise.
And, for many people, that activity is mountain climbing. This outdoor sport allows you to travel and climb mountains around the world. When it comes to mountain climbing locations Africa is often underrated by many climbers.
That’s a shame because there are tons of great spots when you travel to Africa. In this article, we’ll be exploring some of these locations. That way, you can get started planning your next trip today.
There’s a reason why Tanzania’s Mount Kilimanjaro is at the top of our list of climbing mountains. At nearly a nearly 6,000-meter elevation it’s not only the highest peak in Africa but the fourth largest in the world.
As such, it’s become a bit of a mecca for avid mountain climbers. You must be in top physical shape before taking on Mount Kilimanjaro. This is important not just so you can reach the top, but also for altitude reasons.
If you’re in good cardiovascular health, then altitude sickness can be minimal. But, if you ignore it, then it can have the potential to kill you.
There are six main routes you can take to get to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. They include:
- The Northern Circuit
If you want the shortest route, then go with the Marangu route. Just know that this option is also the steepest and most grueling. You also don’t have much time to acclimate to the elevation.
However, if you have a week to kill, consider taking the more scenic Shira, Machame, or Lemosho routes. Regardless of the route that you decide on the peak climb will be the hardest part.
There’s a reason why Kilimanjaro is considered the hardest mountain to climb in Africa. You will need to wake up before dawn to begin the ascent. And, with any luck, you’ll make it there by mid-morning.
We recommend climbing Mount Kilimanjaro either from June to October, or January to March. These are your best periods.
The second highest peak in Africa is also the second-highest on our list. As you can guess, this mountain lies in Kenya and it’s a dormant volcano. The coolest thing about this mountain is that it has different peaks for different skill levels.
For example, if you’re an intermediate trekker, then you can climb up the Lenana summit. It will still require a lot of physical endurance, but only minor scrambling is needed.
There’s no major climbing involved. The same isn’t true for the Batian and Nelion summits. The dramatic peaks on both of these summits make them accessible only to the most experienced climbers.
If you want to climb the Lenana summit, then you can take the short Naro Moru route or the longer Sirimom route in the North. Advanced climbers can also take the Sirimom route.
Then, they’ll spend two days climbing up the cliff in a multi-pitch ascent. Not for the faint of heart! Most Mount Kenya trips will take about a week to complete. The best season to go is either July to September or December to March.
If you want to climb Mount Kilimanjaro eventually, but don’t think you’re ready, then Mount Meru is a great warmup. This mountain is also found in Tanzania and at the peak, you’re actually in sight of Mount Kilimanjaro.
However, make no mistake. The peak will still be extremely challenging even for experienced climbers. Unlike other mountains with Mount Meru, you only have one route you can take.
The Momella route starts in the savannas and tropical rainforests before culminating in a breathtaking view.
This is a good mountain climbing spot for people that don’t want to spend a week on the mountain. Altogether it’s around two to three days of intense climbing to get to the top.
You can think of Mount Elgon as a kind of diet like Mount Kilimanjaro. It offers the same gorgeous visages, this time surrounding Kenya and Uganda. But, it’s more remote and comes with a lower elevation level.
This makes it less popular with experienced climbers, but a great option for beginners that don’t have the technical skills to reach harder mounts. There are seven different routes to Mount Elgon.
Three of them are in Kenya and four are in Uganda. Depending on which country you’re in you can choose whichever one works for you.
The ascent to Mount Elgo typically takes between three to six days. The best periods to climb are in June, July, December, January, February, or March.
Ras Dashen (Dejen)
Craving a long-form mountain climbing experience? Consider the Ras Dashen peak found in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains. The average trek lasts between nine to ten days.
However, you get rewarded with gorgeous scenery. You can think of the Ras Dashen as Africa’s version of a Grand Canyon. You’re also sure to encounter a lot of wildlife on the way.
But, make no mistake, the peak is a challenge. It requires a lot of endurance, especially after you’ve been trekking for so many days.
Enjoy Learning the Best Mountain Climbing Spots in Africa? Keep Reading
We hope this article helped you find some of the best mountain climbing spots in Africa. As you can see, there is no shortage of peaks to climb on the continent. So, pick your favorite spots and schedule a trip today.
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