Considered one of the most scenic and beautiful mountains in Africa, Mount Kenya (5199m) is the continent’s second highest mountain and offers an even greater variety of ecosystems including savannah, moorland, bamboo forest, montane forest and glaciers. 75% of its Afro Alpine vegetation is considered endemic including the bizarre giant lobelias. Wildlife sightings are also common as the mountain is inhabited by elephant, buffalo, zebra, monkeys, hornbill, sunbirds and parrots, just to name a few.
Mount Toubkal (4167m) is the highest peak in the Atlas Mountains, a majestic mountain range which dramatically dissects Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria, separating the coastline from the immense Sahara desert. Although the Toubkal ascent is not for the faint hearted, especially in winter when the mountain is covered with snow and crampons and ice-axe are essential, there are a number of simpler scenic treks and hikes that can be undertaken in the Atlas Mountains and don’t require technical experience. These are often combined with homestays in local villages where the famous Berber hospitality can be experienced as well as their way of life in the remote mountains.
With peaks rising up to 4550m, the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia indisputably offer some of the most scenic treks in the world, their rugged peaks and plateaux being home to rare species of flora and fauna, such as the endangered gelada baboon.
If conquering a peak can be an extremely rewarding experience, walking through some of the unique African eco-systems to track wildlife can be just as exciting. The thrill of meeting the gorillas in their natural environment is rightly considered one of the ultimate wildlife experiences. Whilst trekking through the rainforest, the sounds and smells of the jungle build the anticipation for one of the most incredible wildlife encounters of all.
In Madagascar, isolation has produced some of the most interesting habitats found on the planet: trekking through dense virgin forest, several species of lemurs can easily be observed as well as colourful chameleons, frogs and reptiles.
For those who prefer a classic safari but want to be active, a walking safari in Zambia or Tanzania with an expert guide is a fantastic way to follow the footpaths of Africa’s big mammals and to observe them from close up!