With plenty of trails, mountains, and volcanoes dotting the region, East Africa is one of the best places on earth to enjoy some incredible hikes. Read on for the region’s best treks, ranging from the bright forests of Tanzania to the staggering peaks of the Virunga mountain range.
Mountain Climbing in East Africa
East Africa is made up of hills, great rift valleys and the volcanic mountains that will forever offer you remarkable hiking experiences in all the three (3) countries. Uganda will take you to the mountains of the moon the Rwenzori mountains, Tanzania will offer you the tallest or the roof of Africa Mount Kilimanjaro and Kenya will offer Mount Kenya. Mountain climbing is a test of one’s strength and character hiking up the volcanic mountains of East Africa offering you scenic walks. Below are some of the trip inspirations that will take you to any destination you desire.
Best places for Mountain Climbing in East Africa
East Africa has many mountains and hills rendering wonderful scenery of the landscape. with several beautiful mountains, each so distinct from the other and offering a unique experience. Mountaineering enthusiasts will enjoy an exhilarating physical and sensual experience that forever remains vivid and cherished.
Where to go for Mountain Climbing in Uganda
Mountain climbing in Uganda is one the activities that will spice up your safari in Uganda from 1-9 days. Uganda’s geographic nature with hills, valleys and volcanic mountains will always make amazing and memorable hiking experiences. These are not only experiences but scenic walks with different wildlife, waterfalls, lakes, rivers and unique plant life.
There are five areas in Uganda that will offer great hikes;
Mountain Rwenzori is the third highest peak in Africa and commonly known as the mountains of the moon. Mount Rwenzori will offer you gorgeous views of waterfalls, glacial lakes and lush valley as well as different wildlife and bird species. This mountain is shared by two countries that is Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Hikers or climbers have a number of options to choose from the unskilled to skilled hikers that is there is a spot for everyone.
This will take you 4620 meters from Kilembe base camp through the valley of amazingly unique beautiful plant species, streams, Nyamwamba valley and waterfalls. The trek gets tougher and exhausting with the steep ridges, mud and boggy sections, high steps but the rewards are enormously beautiful. This hike will take you approximately 6 days to get to the peak and accommodation is always found on top in the base camps or huts.
This is the highest peak of the Rwenzori mountains at 5109 meters making Rwenzori the third highest point in Africa. The hike will take you down and across the valley floor to Lake Kitandara which is very stunning with deep water and beautiful vegetation. During your summit to Margherita, you will climb Mt Stanley going through its glaciers to the summit of Margherita peak.
The mountain is so popular for mountaineering safaris and for those who can’t hike for longer days then they can take part in the nature walks.
These go through the communities of the Bakonza people homestays that will offer you cultural performs
This is an exciting substitute for the strenuous climbs in Uganda and offers scenic views of its walks. The hikers don’t require special or technical skills as well as equipment’s to reach the peaks and even the altitude is lower with mild climate. Mountain Elgon is the easiest to climb throughout the year and not congested at all with a number of attractions.
This is the highest peak of mountain Elgon and can be traversed through using three trails.
The easiest or gentle trail of the three in the northern side which passes through Kapkwata village and hot springs towards the caldera.
You will go through the Podocarpus forest with spectacular views of the Karamojong plains in Uganda and Nandi in the Kapenguria hills in Kenya.
This is the toughest of all the trails but the shortest of all the three through the Bamasaba settlement and culture. The hike takes approximately 4 days through the Budadiri town, bamboo forest and the passing Jackson’s pool towards Wagagai peak.
This is the most scenic of all the trails but also the longest which will take hikers 4-6 days from Kapkwai forest. The trail passes through the three Sipi falls, Tutum cave through the caldera to reach Wagagai.
This mountain is part of the Virunga mountains and found in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. It derives its name from an old man with crooked teeth in a shape of a mountain. Hiking the mountain is only open on the side of Uganda since it’s not very rugged for mountaineering. Hiking sabinyo isn’t that easy so climbers should be very careful and always carry a bottle of water. During the hike you will get to see the golden monkeys which are found in the area.
The mountain is 4127 meters above sea level and borders two countries that is Uganda and Rwanda During the hike you will enjoy sights of crater lakes and other beautiful sites.
Its 3474 meters above sea level and part of the Virunga mountains but only found in Uganda. During the hike you will get a chance of the beautiful sights of the crater lakes and the unique people of Uganda the Batwa tribe. It’s the shortest and easiest hike of all the Virunga mountains.
Suggested Tours for Mountain Climbing
Looking for some trip inspiration? Designed by our specialists using their expertise and knowledge, our tailor-made itinerary suggestions below will give you a taste of the type of trips we can put together for you. Bear in mind, these are just a starting point as all holidays are customized to the specific requirements of our guests.
Where to go for Mountain Climbing in Tanzania
Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa followed by Mt Rwenzori in Uganda and Mt. Kenya in Kenya. Not to forget Mt. Kilimanjaro is the tallest stand-alone mountain in the world. It’s located in Moshi town and controlled for climbers to enjoy without leaving touches of their presence. Kilimanjaro is accessed by road transportation to the park and it will take you approximately 2 hours from Arusha town covering 123 kms. When you are coming from Mosh it’s 48 kms and it will take approximately 1 hour to reach Marangu (Park headquarters). Mountain Kilimanjaro has 8 peaks and all offer you sights of beautiful scenery as well as unique features as below;
This is the most beautiful of all the peaks since its snow-capped all year round yet it’s close to the Equator line. It’s the highest of all with 5895 meters tall and reaching the peak is conquering a life time adventure. This peak alone has made Mountain Kilimanjaro the roof top of Africa.
This is the most difficult peak to climb during your hike of Mountain Kilimanjaro and requires specialized skills and knowledge. As a hiker you will only be permitted when you have the equipment’s and a technical climber. The rugged peak is the second tallest at 5149 meters.
This was once the tallest peak on Mt. Kilimanjaro but collapsed 750 years again. This is the third tallest peak at 3962 meters and with a number of tourism activities. In addition, when it collapsed it led to the formation of the Shira plateau with its magnificent scenic views of Kilimanjaro. The open grassland on the plateau has attracted habitants of wildlife from Buffaloes, elephants, elands and different types of monkeys. They use the Shira plateau for feeding and salt licking.
Furthermore, the peak has a point called cathedral and Needle that hikers can climb on a day excursion
This is one of the mountains for first timer climbers to kick start there hiking skills before elevating to Kilimanjaro. Mount Meru is endowed with different types of wildlife like monkeys, leopards and birdlife of 400 specie. The mountain is 4562 meters and very visible while at Kilimanjaro a clear day. Hikers can only climb the mountain through one legal route called Momella which starts from its gate. You will be advised to choose any of the two trails that is the Miriakamba hut at 2514 metersand Saddle Hut at 3566 meters
Where to go for Mountain Climbing in Kenya
Mountain climbing in Kenya isn’t popular but also one of the activities that tourists can take part in. Kenya has the 2nd highest point after Kilimanjaro in Africa and thanks to Mt. Kenya at 5199 meters.
Mount Kenya is a snow caped mountain with 11 glaciers covered with forested landscape like rock Hyrax, Lobelias and senecios. The mount is sacred to the kikuyu people who construct their houses facing it. It is believed to be a place of light which in their language call Kirinyaga
This is the popular pick for hikers and has been summitted at 4985 meters and the easiest of all.
This is the highest peak at 5199 meters and its hiked by few people since it requires technical skills and equipment’s. Hiking the peak takes between 2 – 4 days and the routes a famous for the scenic beauty brought about by the ice glaciers they emulate. These are the ice window route and diamond couloir but due to global warming the ice has been retreating. This has it very difficult and dangerous to summit Batian peak and if you must then the mountain climbing equipment’s should be handy. The mountain can be accessed through road transport either bus or private from Nairobi via Nanyuki or Naro Moru
This mountain is located in the great rift valley of Kenya and one of the dormant volcanoes in Africa. Hiking mount longonot will take you approximately 4-5 hours long with spectacular views of lake Naivasha, wildlife and animals in its vicinity.
Lesatima mountain is found in the great rift valley of Kenya in the area of the Aberdare and also the third highest in Kenya. This is the most hiked mountain in Kenya and one of the experiences that you can’t miss on your itinerary to the Aberdare national park.
Best Time for Mountain Climbing in East Africa
The time of visit varies depending on the seasons that’s wet or dry. However, be rest assured that you can participate in mountain climbing anytime of the year. We recommend you visit during the dry season and when the rain is less to easy climbing that June to October and December to March. The rainy seasons with huge rainfalls happen during April, May& November. However, due to global warming there has been a change in the rainfall patterns therefore this can change year after year.
Requirements for Mountain Climbing
The boots are a must for the climbers since mountain hiking areas are rock and rugged. They will help you over come the slippery and difficult areas to access as well as wet seasons
The altitude keeps changing and so does the climatic conditions which cause changes in the weather. So, if it rains you are covered.
High altitudes above sea level get colder as you summit higher the mountain and please note that some of them a snow capped and will require also winter clothing.
These will be used during climbing and also the coldness at the high altitude.
This is always required to capture the memories for the different sights of the beautiful experiences you will encounter.
Suggested East African Safari Ideas
The tours featured throughout our website are intended to give you ideas for what’s possible when you travel with us. Treat them simply as inspiration, because your trip will be created individually by one of our specialists to match your tastes and budget.