Africa is the largest continent in the world. Due to its sheer massiveness, it’s quite diverse in landscapes and weather. Both the coldest and the warmest places on earth are situated on this continent. Moreover, the Atlas mountain range in Africa offers a great many hiking opportunities to enthusiasts. Here are 9 stunning mountain treks in Africa that you should hike.
- Cape Verde
Cape Verde is a must if you’re looking for hiking trails in Africa. Although Sal and Boa Vista are two popular all-inclusive resorts on the Cape Verdean islands, there are several other hiking trails that will take your breath away. No matter how experienced or hitherto you are, there is a route out there for you.
You might be curious about the finest island for trekking as there are ten different islands. The greatest locations for trekking, in our opinion, are Brava, Santo Antao, Fogo, and to a minor extent Santiago island. The Mount Fogo path on Fogo island is without a doubt the most magnificent trail. Trekking to Fontainhas and hiking Cova Crater are two other stunning hikes.
With such diverse options, you’re open to choosing any distance and duration of hike in Cape Verde. However, don’t forget to bring your hiking shoes and first-aid kit.
- Tsingy de Bemaraha
Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park in western Madagascar is one of the world’s most distinctive landscapes; the hike there is 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles) long and takes around 5 hours to complete.
It’s difficult to see individuals in the past traversing Tsingy’s rough terrain barefoot. You’ll need two days to complete the hiking trails through the Small and the Big Tsingy because the park is divided into two sections.
On the first day, we advise you to do the little Tsingy. Its beauty and originality will astound you. The half-day journey begins with a trip in a wooden, traditional Malagasy kayak through the Manambolo River to the trailhead.
- Mount Toubkal
Mount Toubkal, which rises to an astonishing height of 4,167 m in the High Atlas Mountains, is the highest peak in Morocco (13,667 ft). Although climbing Mount Toubkal is a difficult journey, the stunning vistas make it worthwhile.
The breathtaking panoramas of rural Morocco may be seen at the start of this trip. You pass waterfalls, calm brooks, verdant riverbanks, and walnut forests as you ascend. The nicest part is encountering adorable mules along the route. After 3,207 meters, the trails become exceedingly rough (10,522 ft). There are areas where you have to climb over really large boulders.
There is a small picturesque village of Imlil where you need to stay and accommodate your next day’s hike. However, the village isn’t accessible to hikers without guides.It is ideal to take the help from the experts like Atlas mountain guided trek to avoid any municipal complexities upon reaching there. Also, don’t forget to enjoy Djemma El Fna Square before heading back.
- Outeniqua Trail
One of the less popular hiking routes in South Africa is the Outeniqua Trail, a true jewel of the Garden Route. It’s a fantastic trek to escape the busy city life.
The magnificent Knysna forest, one of the most stunning woods in the nation, is traversed by hikers throughout a 7-day journey. Knysna elephants lived in the wild 100 years ago. Sadly, in the jungle in 2019, there was just one adult female elephant seen. It is an amazing experience to spend days walking through the magnificent Knysna Forest. Because of how dense the forest is, several sections of the route resemble tunnels.
Massive ferns, moss-covered tree trunks, long lianas dangling from tree branches, and rivers with large rocks all create the impression that you are strolling through a Prehistoric forest.
120 miles make up the Outeniqua Trail. At Beervlei Hut, it begins, and at Harkerville Hut, it ends. The expedition may be cut short by walking just a portion of it in 2 or 3 days. The path may be driven through certain places. Along the walk, there are 8 shelters for the night. The huts are well-equipped and situated in some of the park’s most scenic areas.
- Otter Trail
On the African Continent, along the Garden Route, is where you can discover the Otter Trail Hike, which is regarded as one of the most stunning hikes in Africa. The landscape on this trip is what distinguishes it as one of the greatest hikes. With its evergreen native forest, pristine sandy beaches, spectacular cliffs, waterfalls, deep valleys, and a wide variety of fauna, it is simply stunning.
The Otter Trail is without a doubt one of our favorite multi-day hikes. The walk is 45km (28 miles) long overall, and it will take you around 5 days to accomplish it.
Yellow paw prints that have been painted on rocks and trees serve as good way markers. The Indian Ocean shoreline is followed by the path for the full 5 days, providing breathtaking vistas.
- Ngare Ndare
The Ngare Ndare Forest is a fantastic weekend retreat from Nairobi and is only a few hours drive from Nanyuki. It is an essential wildlife corridor that connects Mount Kenya with the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
The park has seven magnificent waterfalls as well as the 450-meter-long canopy walk that is the longest in East Africa. There are many things to do at the park, including a 7 km hike through the woods that passes two of the waterfalls.
Since the animals do wander free, you will be allocated a ranger after stepping into the park who will hike with you. Bring your swimming gear as you’ll be able to swim in the pools once you reach the waterfalls.
Numerous noisy and vibrant bird species will be heard and seen all around you. You cross a river and a swamp as you stroll through, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see elephants and other wild creatures drinking there. The hike concludes on the platform on the opposite side, where the ranger will transport you back to your beginning point securely.
- Fish River
Namibia, known for its magnificent deserts and enormous dunes, is also home to Fish River Canyon, the second-biggest canyon in the globe and the largest in Africa.
One of the most incredible walks in Africa, covering 86 km (53 miles) in 4-5 days, takes you along the canyon, the finest place to appreciate its majesty.
At Hobas campground, the trip begins and ends at Ai-Ais Hot Springs. The terrain is fairly difficult; it consists of stones, tiny pebbles, and sand. The trek may only be completed in the winter, between May and September, because of the intense heat.
There is no shelter in the canyon, making it very hot even in the winter. There are no set campsites; hikers are free to set up tents anywhere along the river. The majority of people merely bring a lightweight sleeping bag and mat instead of a tent. At night, it gets warm enough for sleeping outside.
- Rwenzori Mountains
On the equator in the heart of Africa, there is a mountain range called the Rwenzori Mountains, which has several glaciers. They were originally thought to be the origin of the Nile and were given the name “The Mountains of the Moon” by Ptolemy 2,500 years ago.
They now combine to form the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Rwenzori Mountain National Park in Uganda. The Rwenzori journey is challenging, but it has numerous benefits. Mystical valleys cloaked in fog; Spanish moss-draped tree groves; enormous trees with cabbage-like branches that are unique to the highlands; and glaciers on the equator.
In Uganda, the Rwenzori Mountains are the most secure to visit. Near Kasese lies the primary access town, Ibanda. Because of the sensitive nature of the area, hiring a ranger and porters is a need for the journey. The Central Circuit Route (7-9 days) and the less-used Kilembe Route are two of the available treks (6-9 days).
Primitive mountain huts are sporadically located along the routes, and porters will carry both your food and your bedding in addition to your bedding. The guide is crucial since it can be challenging to locate and follow the track, which frequently passes through muddy bogs. While on your walks in Africa, having a guide and porters also ensures that people are employed and interested in protecting this magnificent nature. There are several nearby businesses that can organize everything for you.
- Drakensberg Royal Natal National
Visitors who enjoy trekking should not pass up the chance to visit Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park. Nature enthusiasts will find lots to explore at this UNESCO world heritage site, which is home to the second-highest waterfall in the world, Tugela Falls, as well as the tallest mountain ranges in South Africa.
The climb to Tugela Falls and the Amphitheatre was unquestionably the highlight of our trip. The 13-kilometer Sentinel Trail connects these two amazing attractions. To walk in Africa and spend more time in the park, there are, however, a lot more day hikes and multi-day treks available. The Sentinel trail ascends the mountainside in a zigzag pattern after beginning as a dirt road.
Before reaching the chain ladders that go to the summit of Sentinel Peak, you’ll pass monkeys playing in the grass along the path. You can view Tugela Falls from here as they plunge into the valley below.
The Amphitheatre overlook is located a little higher up. It is regarded as one of the park’s most stunning and is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic view of the canyon beneath and the enormous Drakensberg mountain ranges. In the continent’s Drakensberg Royal Natal National Park, hikers may experience some of the most remarkable trekking. We advise you to not skip out on these climbs in Africa.
The Bottom Line
Here we’ve presented the 9 most stunning mountain treks in Africa. Be careful of the dangerous rocky landscapes, deserts, and animals, and you’ll be able to explore all of the trails. Although a few of these treks require taking guides, most of them are navigable without one. Regardless, hire porters and guides if you’re new to the African continent.