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5 Trekking Holiday Destinations in Africa: Not for the Faint Hearted

Trekking Holiday Destinations in Africa

The best treks in Africa are by no means walks in the parks; they’ll physically and mentally challenge you. And they will force you to stretch to your limit while amplifying the view you have of the continent. If you have the deep yearning to go deep into Africa’s backroads, here are treks that will make for incredible holidays beyond travel.

One thing you will learn is that trekking not only pushes you far beyond your boundaries, it’s also a chance to experience the rugged, raw beauty of the African backcountry. Without much delay, here are the five best treks in Africa – and they’re not for the faint of heart!

Trek Mount Kilimanjaro


Trekking and hiking Africa’s highest peak – Mount Kilimanjaro – is no easy achievement, and certainly not for the faint-hearted, but it’s achievable. Like Mt Toubkal, you don’t need any technical skills to overcome this mountain. However, you need to have the physical dexterity to trek about six hours a day, often over steep paths.

You can get up Kilimanjaro using the Lemosho route on the western side or the Machame route, which is more popular. Both routes take you through lush rainforest, chilly volcanic wilderness, moorland, grassland, and eventually an alpine desert.

Along the way, you will be treated by out-of-this-world views of the Shira Ridge, Mount Meru, as well as Kibo Peak and its glacier. For long, getting to Kilimanjaro’s peak has been a top bucket list item for many KE Adventure holidays Africa travelers for several reasons.

For starters, it’s one of the highest peaks in the world where you can climb without any technical skills. Plus, Kilimanjaro offers the best opportunity to explore an iconic snow-capped peak for that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Trekking Holiday Destinations in Africa

Gorilla Trekking in Congo


One of the most rewarding wildlife encounter holidays is gorilla trekking in Congo. Plus, this is an activity that helps you play an active role in the preservation of endangered apes and the jungle environment.

During the trek, you will come face-to-face with gorillas, totally transforming how you envision the wild jungles in Africa. In addition, it will take you back to the much-loved childhood tales of Tarzan or George of the Jungle – depending on what you grew up watching!

Your starting point is Odzala National Park, which is a park in the Republic of Congo dedicated to protecting a huge area of beautiful tropical rainforest. Once there, you can set off on trips every day, filled with jungle hikes, gorilla treks, and adventure walks, of course, with the help of expert trackers and professional guides.

The park also features comfortable and relaxing lodges where hospitality is generous and warm. This is before and after adventure walks that take you through open grasslands, forests, shallow waterways and past huge mineral licks. The mineral licks are where you’ll come across some of the most elusive and shy wildlife of the jungle.

Your adventure holiday will also see you follow tracks on the forest floor in wild search for the western lowland gorillas. Once you find them, you will realize the mutual curiosity people have with these gentle giants!

Climb Mount Toubkal


Climbing the 4,167-meter-high-Mt-Toubkal is serious business. The summers there feature blistering heat while the winter can get dangerously cold. If climbing North Africa’s highest mountain is still on your Morocco travel itinerary, here’s what you should know.

Also known as Jebel Toubkal, Mt Toubkal (pronounced tub kal) is within the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. You don’t need to have any technical climbing skills, but you still need to be in great physical shape to do this climb. Be forewarned, as this is not an easy climb because injuries and even fatalities sometimes occur!

The first thing you will have to battle with is altitude sickness as you only get about 60 percent of oxygen you get at sea level once you make it to the peak. You can avoid this by climbing the mountain over the course of two days or more to help your body acclimatize.

Best times to attempt your Mt Toubkal clime are in spring – April or May – and autumn – September or October. Climbing in summer – June, July, and August – is difficult due to the searing heat, while winter – November, December, January, February, and March – makes this a dangerous climb due to the snow and ice.

Climbing Mount Kenya


Mount Kenya is Africa’s second highest peak that somehow falls in the shadow of the taller Kilimanjaro, which is only 320km away. While Kili experiences more tourist traffic, Mt Kenya treats visitors in Kenya to a wealth of diverse and excellent climbing possibilities over ice, snow, and rock.
Mt Kenya comprises of three main peaks; Batian at 5,199m, Nelion at 5,188m and point Lenana at 4,985m. Of the three main peaks, point Lenana is the only one accessible to trekkers, as the other two require climbers to have some technical skills.

Apart from its superb climbing potential, Mt Kenya is also home to alpine and tarns meadows; equatorial, exotic and high-altitude vegetation; soaring eagles, hyrax and sunbirds. All these attractions make the trek one of the most beautiful expeditions in Africa.

Once you’ve gone through the cultivated farmlands located on the lower slopes of Mt Kenya, you’ll go through a rainforest marked with several tree species including camphor. Next is the bamboo zone where these trees can reach heights of up to 12 meters and even more!

The forest areas are rich in wildlife, including monkeys, buffalo, and elephants. Plus, the moorlands offer you a chance to catch glimpses of animals like the rock hyrax.

Located 200km from the capital of Kenya, Nairobi, Mt Kenya is easily accessible via numerous transport options like car hire, taxicab, mini-buses or buses. These will then take you to the nearest town. Nanyuki town for the Sirimon route, Naromoru town for the Naro Moru route, and Chogoria for the Chogoria route.

Trekking Holiday Destinations in Africa

Baines’ Baobabs in Botswana


This cluster of baobab trees, older than a millennium, is found in Botswana’s Nxai Pan National Park and owes its name to Thomas Baines who discovered them in 1862. Baines was an artist and explorer with John Chapman who painted a scene of the expansive saltpans on their way to Victoria Falls. The baobabs today, are a huge attraction for many travelers into the untamed Botswana terrain.

Fortunately, the scene of the painting has remained largely unchanged over the past 150 years and what you see when you get there is what Baines saw! At the site are seven towering upside-down trees, just as Baines found them on the pioneer mission to Africa in the 19th century.

While the trip into Nxai Pan National Park is not as treacherous as it was over one and a half centuries ago, it’s still an adventure for the experienced camper. Plus, you will be required to carry enough essentials like fuel, water, and food if you want to explore this bizarrely beautiful region.

The tall baobab trees overlook the Kudiakam Pan, which is one of the largest pans around the more popular Makgadikgadi Pans. The cracked, starkly dry salt surface of this pan remains bare for most of the year, only changing briefly during summer downpours.

Conclusion


Africa is a wonderful scenic trekking and hiking destination. It brings you terrain ranges from semi-desert tracks to winding paths through rich rainforests. Africa is also home to some of the planet’s truly wild places where you can explore your inner adventurer with these top 5 trekking adventure spots.

This is a contribution from one of our contributing writers.

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