Hiking and Trekking in East Africa – 10 Best Hikes

Hiking and Trekking in East Africa

The Top 10 Best Hiking and Trekking in East Africa Destinations

If you’re looking for a hiking and trekking in East Africa tour adventure, you’ve definitely come to the right place. We are here to help and motivate you in the thrill and adventure of Africa.

East Africa offers different categories of hiking trails for all levels of adventure seekers. East Africa has huge volcanoes, gorges, great canyons, and bold mountains. Rich in flora and fauna, East Africa has some of the best hiking trails in many of the worlds and is definitely worth exploring.

The soaring mountains of the Rift Valley, with accessible summits, serpentine forest trails and the plain savannah, East Africa has many hiking and trekking experiences to suit most time frames and fitness levels. And today, we’ve listed the top ten hiking and trekking in East Africa tours.

 Mt Kilimanjaro Snow - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa
Mt. Kilimanjaro (5.895 m) is the world’s tallest free standing mountain

Here we highlight the best hiking and trekking in East Africa destinations:

1. Mt Kilimanjaro National Park – Tanzania

Since its official launch in 1977, Mt. Kilimanjaro National Park (UNESCO world heritage site) has become one of Tanzania‘s most visited public parks. Unlike other northern parks, this is not a place for wildlife, even if staying there. But you come here to see the fear of the snowy mountains on the equator and climb to the top of Africa. At the center of the park is the 5895m Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain and one of the continent’s most beautiful sights.

Kilimanjaro, is one of the best volcanoes in the world, extending from low cultivated farmland to lush rainforests, alpine meadows and finally to the summit of Mount Kibo and twins over the moon landscape Mawenge Kilimanjaro’s third volcanic cone, Sira is on the west side of the mountain. The low rainforest is home to many animals such as buffalo, elephants, leopards, and monkeys, and occasionally sees Eland in the saddle between Kibo and Mawenji. The best time to visit is in April and September.

Mt Kilimanjaro

2. Mt Kenya National Park

Africa’s second-highest mountain is 599 meters above sea level and also the most beautiful. Here, just minutes from the Equator, the glaciers choose the throne of Ngai, the great old god of Kikuyu. To this day, the tribe keeps its doors open to the holy mountain, and some still pray on its lower slopes. It is a rare honor for the Kenya Mountains to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Hike to three of the mountain’s hiking and trekking in East Africa spots – Batian (5,199 meters), Nelion (5,188 meters) and Lenana (4,985 meters). The best season is between January-March and June-October.

Mt Kenya National Park - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa

3. Mt Elgon National Park – Uganda

This is a less crowded hiking and trekking in East Africa trail, on the border of Kenya and Uganda. Elgon is a huge extinct volcano. Even a novice climber can enjoy this hike. The best season runs from December to March, with an average of five days.

Mount Elgon has five main peaks:

Wagagai – 4,321 meters, Sudek – 43.02 meters, Koitobos – 4,222 meters, Mubiyi – 4,211 meters, Masaba – 4,161 meters

There are many routes to reach the summit. They include the Sasa River Road. The road offers wonderful views of gorges, waterfalls, hot springs and caves. You also have a good chance of catching blue monkeys and other wildlife. Although much interesting wildlife is found here, the real reason people visit Mt Elgon National Park is to be on top of Kenya and Uganda.

Photo: Courtesy Of  Kenya Wildlife Service

4. Rwenzori Mountains National Park – Uganda

Known as the Mountain of the Moon, the Rwenzori Mountains are located on the border of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda. Mount Stanley is the highest mountain in the Rwenzori mountain at a height of 5,109 meters. By 350 B.E., Ptolemy declared them the birthplace of the Nile. The three highest peaks in the range are Margherita (5109m), Alexandria (5083m) and Albert (5087m). All of this is at Mt Stanley, the third highest mountain in Africa.

Climbing Mount Rwenzori – This is a truly unique and unique experience. Climbing at Rwenzori is on a World Heritage list, giving you the opportunity to see the best of nature. The best tourist season is from December to February and June to August.

Rwenzori Mountains National Park - Uganda - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa

5 Mount Meru – Tanzania

At 4656 meters, Mount Meru is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania. Although trekkers’ eyes are obscured by Kilimanjaro, it is a spectacular volcanic cone, one of East Africa’s most beautiful and rewarding climbs, a dramatic walk along the edge of the crater’s edge.

Meru is rich in wildlife in the Arusha National Park. For security reasons, it is better to travel with an armed guard. Monkeys, warthogs, buffaloes, elephants, and giraffes are most likely to be seen in the trek. The best season is June-October and December-February, with an average of 3 days.

Mount Meru - Tanzania

6. Volcanoes National Park – Rwanda

The Volcanoes National Park, which runs along the Democratic Republic of Congo and along the Ugandan border, is home to the Rwandan section of Virungas. Consisting of five volcanoes, the Virungans are perfectly connected to each other, and few will claim it is not one of the most exciting national parks in Africa. We probably don’t need to remind you, but the famous mountain gorillas attract people from the extraordinary attractions around Virungas. Towering over Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virungas also offers a variety of rewarding climbing and trekking tour opportunities. To get the most out of Virungas, give yourself as much time as you can because this is a park that rewards those who crawl.

 Volcanoes National Park - Rwanda - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa
Photo: Courtesy Of commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?cu

7. Usambara Mountains – Tanzania

The Usambara Mountains are one of Tanzania’s most popular tourist destinations, with many wildlife, green tea plantations and many beautiful scenic spots. Usambaras, which are part of the ancient Eastern Ark chain, are divided into two. The range is separated by 4 km wide valleys. Western Usambaras, which are located around Lushoto, are easily accessible. Usambaras to the east around Amani are less developed. Both ranges are densely populated by An average of more than 300 people per square kilometer race is Sambaa, Kilindi, Zigua and Mbugu.

With expansive views, cool weather, winding trails and picturesque villages, Usambaras is one of the delights of northeast Tanzania. Rural life revolves around the cycle of vibrant and bustling markets that rotate from village to village. It is likely possible to spend at least one week trekking from one village to village or explore with daytime walks.

Usambara Mountains - Tanzania
Photo: Courtesy Of David Ashby / commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?c

8. Udzungwa Mountains – Tanzania

Udzungwa Mountains National Park is a haven for hikers and backpackers. It is an impressive destination, covering a large area of ​​2,000 square kilometers of East African forests.

Although Uzdungwa is usually not listed in the catalog of the Tanzania route, it can be a great destination for those who love hiking and trekking in East Africa. There is an excellent forest trail network, which takes a half-day walk to the Sanje Falls, which jumps 170 meters / 557.74 feet through the mist into the forest valleys below.

Due to its height and diverse habitat, Udzungwa National Park has one of the highest species in the world, including the richest bird habitat in Tanzania. There are six species of primate here, including Iringa red colobus monkeys and Sanj Crested Mangabey, which is the area’s birthplace. The plateau also supports a large variety of large mammals such as elephants, buffalo, lions, and leopards.

 Udzungwa Mountains - Tanzania - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa
Photo: Courtesy Of Jens Klinzing / commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21025604

9. Ol Doinyo Lengai – Tanzania

Have you ever considered yourself brave enough to climb an active volcano? If so, Ol Doinyo Lengai, aka “Mount of Gods”, is one of the enemies that deserves and can be resolved in three days.

You can climb the volcano all year round, but it is best to choose the dry season, June to September. During the rainy season (March to May, October, and December) the road to Ol Doinyo Lengai makes it almost impossible to travel.

Thanks to its prime location in the eastern Rift Valley, this volcanic peak offers breathtaking views. This impressive mountain, which dominates the entire plain, represents extraordinary beauty because of its unique and nearly perfect cone shape, with a base diameter of about 1,600 m / 5,249.34 feet, and with a peak at 2,768 m / 9,081.37 feet above sea ​​level.

Because this is an active volcano, it is very hot here, so make sure you bring enough water. To get Tanzania’s unique and amazing views, climb Ol Doinyo Lengai before sunrise.

Ol Doinyo Lengai - Tanzania
Photo: Courtesy Of Clem23 / commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2027089

10. Nyungwe Forest National Park – Rwanda

Nyungwe Forest National Park is the most important area of ​​biodiversity in Rwanda and has been rated as the highest priority for forest conservation in Africa. Despite having enormous biodiversity, Nyungwe is little known outside East Africa. Nyungwe’s strongest drawcard is an opportunity to track chimps, who have been accustomed for years to human visits. Another highlight is the simple pleasure of hiking and trekking in East Africa´s along well-maintained footpaths above lush green valleys in the equatorial rainforest.

While chimpanzees tend to get most of the spotlight here, other monkey sightings, including Angolan colonies, Dent monkeys, gray cheek mangabeys, olive baboons, vervet monkeys, and diademed monkeys, are almost guaranteed.

Nyungwe Forest National Park is divided into two by Huye-Cyangugu Road. Visitors can access the park from the Kitami Reservation Office or Gisakura Reservation Office along this road.

Nyungwe Forest National Park - Rwanda
Photo: Courtesy Of commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26495047

Hiking and Trekking in East Africa – The Verdict

Apart from those listed here, there are many other places in Africa that you can visit. Africa is definitely worth your time and effort. Explore the geographical terrain, the diversity of flora and fauna, the lifestyle of native groups. The memories you make in Africa will last a lifetime.

Kilimanjaro Trekking - Hiking and Trekking in East Africa

Discover more destinations, fun activities and the best hiking and trekking in East Africa and Africa-wide.