Today is International Mountain Day, and if you’ve ever wanted to stand atop Africa, you can do it with ease from many of our volunteer projects. To help you out and give you some guidance, we’ve outlined four of Africa’s mountains that you can summit when you travel to Africa, so you can figure out which one best suits you!
Climb it from: Our education or healthcare volunteer projects in Limuru, Kenya
When to climb: July – August or November – February (outside of rainy season)
Who should climb: Don’t embark on a hike to one of the summits without being physically fit (able to walk 6-8 hours a day)
Fun fact: Mount Kenya is an equatorial mountain, which means the days and nights are equally 12 hours long.
A dormant volcano, Mount Kenya is the second-highest mountain in Africa, and has become a popular hiking spot, with five separate paths to the summit. We don’t recommend you go without a guide, who can not only ensure your safety but educate you on the diverse flora and fauna which changes drastically from forest and savannah at the base to the sub-zero temperatures of the summit.
Climb it from: Our community volunteer project in St Lucia, South Africa
When to climb: Avoid the extreme heat and snow by climbing between March and May and again between September and November.
Who should climb: Although not as arduous as Kenya or Kilimanjaro, one should be able to hike with ease, and climb chain ladders to reach the summit
Fun fact: This mountain range is referred to as uKhahlamba or "Barrier of Spears" by the Zulu people of the region
The Drakensberg is a little-known but incredibly majestic part of South Africa. Home to the second-highest freestanding waterfall, the Tugela Falls, one can climb to the summit with relative ease and sit atop the falls. Breathtaking views are plentiful even at the mountain’s foothills, where the Tugela River begins and being able to drink directly from it will make you feel like you’re truly surrounded by the untouched wilderness.
Climb it from: Various Cape Town-based projects including vulnerable children assistance, veterinary support and sports voluntering
When to climb: Year-round
Who should climb: Anyone can make it to the summit by taking the mountain’s cable car
Fun fact: Climbers can encounter an animal at the top of the mountain called a ‘dassie’, which despite looking like a big rat is the nearest relative of the elephant.
Anyone can summit beautiful Table Mountain, using cable cars that opened in 1929, but have seen been renovated and hold 65 passengers. But for the fit and agile a hike to the top usually takes between one and three hours, and there are many routes up to the top. Beautiful views overlooking the city will take your breath away, whether you climb or ride to the top.
Climb it from: Our teaching volunteer project in Moshi, Tanzania at the base of the mountain
When to climb: January, February, and September are considered to be the best months in terms of weather
Who should climb: Preparations must be made to climb Kilimanjaro, and only those who are physically fit should attempt to summit Africa’s highest peak
Fun Fact: Climbers who make it to the top of Kilimanjaro usually record their thoughts in a book stored in a wooden box at the summit.
While none of the climbing of Kilimanjaro requires technical skills or specialist equipment, it is the most imposing of the four mountains we’re profiling here. It is Africa’s highest peak, and cannot be summited on a solo expedition – which is why we always insist climbers go with experienced guides and a group. Most websites say that climbers should train two or three days for three months before setting of on one of the six designated paths to Uhuru Peak. But when you reach the top, you won’t be sorry you put in the extra effort – the views from the top of Africa are extraordinary.