10 magnificent African climbing trails


The Drakensberg and Kilimanjaro will perpetually take pleasure in recognition as being a few of the world’s greatest climbing areas, however they don’t seem to be all of the African climbing trails on provide. Whether or not it’s central, Southern, North, East or West Africa, our continent has trails that boots needs to be itching to cowl.


1. Rwenzori Mountains, Uganda

African hiking trails

Often called the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ due to their snow-capped peaks, this legendary mountain vary was believed by Historical Greek geographers to be the supply of the Nile. The Rwenzori Mountains are on the border of Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Rwenzori means ‘rain maker’ within the language of the Banyarwenzururu who dwell on the decrease slopes of the mountain.

The Central Circuit Path is a placing, well-maintained route that takes seven to 9 days and there are many huts alongside the way in which. The very best peak belongs to Mount Stanley (5109 metres) which takes per week to succeed in and climb. The Rwenzori Mountains are usually not with out animals however recognizing them is uncommon. The large forest hog, leopard, buffalo, hyrax and bushbuck dwell inside the mountains and primates such because the black and white colobus, blue monkey, and chimpanzee may be discovered. There are additionally greater than 200 fowl species, 19 of that are endemic.

The glaciers of the Rwenzori Mountains have additionally helped it earn the ‘African Alps’ as its nickname. Sadly, local weather change has resulted within the retreat of those glaciers, however has additionally led to the formation of numerous lakes which you’ll come throughout on the paths.

Read: Walking on the moon: Climbing the Rwenzoris

2. Chamarel Waterfall and Seven Colored Earths, Mauritius

The rainbow isn’t nature’s solely multi-coloured phenomenon. A hike by lush tropical forest in south-western Mauritius culminates in a view of the Seven Colored Earths of Chamarel, a geological spectacle that has fascinated vacationers for the reason that Nineteen Sixties. These are sand dunes the place seven distinguished colors – crimson, brown, violet, inexperienced, blue, purple and yellow – are noticeable, particularly at dawn. These colors are brought on by the conversion of basaltic lava into clay minerals. The Chamarel hike is roughly six hours and you’ll come throughout Piton du Canot mountain which you’ll determine to climb (it takes round 45 minutes). Close by is the Chamarel Waterfall that’s over 80 metres excessive. Additionally, you will cross the Black River Peak which is Mauritius’s highest mountain. There are a number of routes to the summit and so they vary from 3.5 kilometres to five.5 kilometres. The Black River Gorges Nationwide Park is a protected forest that can also be plentiful in trails, and it may be entered through the Black River entrance.

Photograph by Martin Falbisoner


3. Mount Cameroon, Cameroon

At over 4000 metres, Mount Cameroon is considered one of Africa’s most lively volcanoes, erupting each 10 to twenty years. Additionally it is the best mountain in West Africa. It’s normally ascended utilizing the Guinness Route (two days), which is a direct, albeit steep path to the summit ranging from Buea. The most well-liked guided tours are the three or four-day choices however there are excursions for only one or 5 days. There a quite a few peaks and craters and the terrain additionally varies from farmland and rainforest to savannah. Mount Cameroon is wealthy in biodiversity with endemic vegetation and birds.

4. Mount Meru and Pugu Hills, Tanzania

Mount Meru (4565 metres) may draw fewer crowds than Kilimanjaro, however Tanzania’s second-highest peak (in Arusha Nationwide Park) is outwardly more difficult to climb. The summit can solely be reached through the Momella Route however the decrease slopes are teeming with wildlife resembling buffalo, elephants and giraffes. It’s subsequently advisable to be accompanied by an armed ranger. The ascent consists of following the north rim of the volcano’s crater the place there are scenic views. The forests and lakes make for excellent picnic areas. Mount Meru is sweet acclimatisation for Kilimanjaro. A Mount Meru hike by Tanzania Expeditions is 2 nights and three days.

About 20 kilometres from Dar es Salaam is an space containing a few of the world’s oldest surviving forests. Pugu Hills is dwelling to the Kazimzubwi and Pugu Forest Reserves that are glorious for climbing and biking. There are over 80 recorded fowl species making Pugu Hills the highest forest for conservation. As a protected space, the forests are a habitat for civets, bush infants and leopards. There’s additionally a viewpoint with a panoramic scene of Dar es Salaam. A walking tour of Pugu Hills is about 4 hours.

Mount Meru, Tanzania. Photo by David Youldon

Mount Meru escapes its cloudy protecting to tower over Ngurduto Lodge. Photograph by David Youldon


5. Mount Mulanje, Malawi

Malawi’s Mount Mulanje or Mulanje Massif is positioned within the nation’s southern area and is fantastic for climbing and climbing fanatics and likewise accommodates these in search of a mild stroll. There are deep forest ravines, plateaus, waterfalls and peaks which might be ready to be explored. Trout fishing can be accomplished in River Lichenya. There are 18 climbing routes starting from brief walks to multi-day hikes. A complete climbing information has been created by the Mountain Club of Mulanje.

African hiking trails

Mount Mulanje is a biodiversity hotspot

6. Monte Alen Nationwide Park and Pico Basile, Equatorial Guinea

Described as Equatorial Guinea’s best-kept secret, Monte Alen Nationwide Park possesses well-maintained and accessible trails surrounded by 1400 sq. kilometres of virgin forest the place you will discover forest elephants, West African lowland gorilla, chimpanzees, mountain gorillas and crocodiles. Gorilla trekking is a vacationer attraction within the space and locals are normally employed as guides for the trekking actions. You possibly can trek, hike or stroll in Monte Alen Nationwide Park however frequent moist and slippery situations require waterproof climbing gear. Additionally it is fairly gruelling and you’ll hike for 22 kilometres per day. Permits from authorities places of work must be obtained earlier than getting into the park.

Pico Basile on Bioko island is a defend volcano that’s 3000 metres above sea stage. It has a gravel street that one can drive or stroll on and on a transparent day Mount Cameroon may be seen. There are guided excursions of Pico Basile however they don’t go to the summit. As an alternative, you cease on the Virgin of Bisila, a historic monument at 2800 metres.

Photograph by John and Mel Kots


7. Rif Mountains, Morocco

Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea are the Rif Mountains in northeastern Morocco which have expansive, open trails and cedar forests that supply a deep look into the Moroccan countryside. The paths are thought of to be ‘off-the-beaten monitor’ and the perfect place to start out is Chefchaouen, also called the Blue Pearl of Morocco due to its previous blue buildings. The Chefchaouen to Fifi Aghram path is 2 days with as much as 5 hours of strolling on every day. A neighborhood eco-tourism company additionally organises a 10-day hike from the Rif Mountains to the Mediterranean coast, a 7-day trek by Talassemtane Pure Park the place you’ll be able to see God’s Bridge (pure arch and river) and Akchour Waterfall.

8. Dogon Nation, Mali

The Bandiagara Escarpment/Cliff of Bandiagara is a UNESCO World Heritage Web site in Dogon Nation, Mali. The cliff options the well-known structure of the Tellem who initially lived on the escarpment and carved their houses into the sandstone cliff-face. The Dogon arrived in a while within the fifteenth century and so they dwell there presently. The Bandiagara Escarpment is 500 metres excessive and stretches for 150 kilometres. Treks can final from someday to a number of weeks and you may as well cease by the Village of Songo for a cultural expertise.

Photograph by Ferdinand Reus


9. Malolotja Nature Reserve, Swaziland

The Swaziland reserve is positioned on a sprawling 18000 hectares of mountain wilderness composed of protected highveld grassland, mist belt forest, wetland and woodland. Ngwenya Mountain is Swaziland’s second highest mountain and sits in Malolotja; the Nkomati River Valley can also be within the reserve in addition to Malolotja Falls, the best waterfall in Swaziland. Malolotja is widespread for its wildflowers such because the Barberton and Kaapsehoop cycads that are below menace. There are over 200km of climbing trails at Malolotja the place one can select between brief walks and in a single day trails. Campsites alongside the routes may also help with planning and a seven-day path that covers a lot of the park is advisable.

Sundown over Malolotja Nature Reserve. Photograph by Tyson Jopson/ Getaway Gallery

10. Bokong Nature Reserve, Lesotho

Make a journey to the best nature reserve in Africa (3000 metres above sea stage) located within the Lesotho Highlands. There are interconnected climbing trails and walks within the Bokong Nature Reserve and a route resulting in Katse Dam which has the best dam wall in Africa. In Bokong, there’s a 45-minute interpretive path, half and full-day walks and a two to three-day 40km hike alongside the ‘Roof of Africa’ that goes to Ts’ehlanyane Nationwide Park, the biggest in Lesotho. Bokong is made up of grasslands, heathlands and wetlands and the surrounds of the Maloti Mountains make for an exhilarating journey. There’s additionally the unmissable Lepaqoa Waterfall (60 metres) which freezes in winter and is a deal with for the eyes.

African hiking trails

The Lesotho highlands. Image: Boundless Southern Africa/ Flickr Commons


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