Some of the world’s most famous sights and wonders are located in the mountainous and densely forested plains of Tanzania. Serengeti, Mt Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro nature reserve are amongst some of the most visited destinations. Tanzania is filled with abundant wildlife, captivating cultures and some of the world’s most revered safari experiences. It is not by chance that the country’s name translates as ‘Sail in the Wilderness’
With a combination of stunning natural beauty, unusual rocky formation and endless magnificent woodlands, Tanzania offers a variety of adventurous and challenging hiking trails.
Kilimanjaro is Tanzania’s best-known mountain and the world’s tallest freestanding volcano. For many, climbing Kilimanjaro is fulfilling a major life goal and thousands of people each year make the pilgrimage to the top. This climb is not for the faint hearted but with right physical and mental attitude this iconic peak can be conquered.
The mountain is vast so there are numerous routes to choose from, each going through a variety of landscapes. Some are a lot more demanding than others and more suitable for super fit and experienced hikers. Fitness levels aside, other factors to take into consideration are acclimatisation profiles, accommodation preference and seasonal restrictions. It is especially important to become familiar with the symptoms of altitude sickness and definitely inform your guides immediately if you start to feel unwell.
Here are 2 of the most popular routes to the top:
Probably not for beginners, this route offers outstanding views of the Lava Tower and the Barranco Wall. Parts of it are highly strenuous so this is it a tough hike with steep trails for long distances. The route is best done in 7 days to account for acclimatisation. This in fact increases the chances of successfully reaching the summit
This trail has overall great success rates. The ascent is very steady and the route is far less crowded that the main competitors due to it being more expensive. It is moderately difficult and therefore more suitable for less experienced hikers. The Rongai route is thought to be less scenic than some of the other main routes but it makes up for it by allowing for encounters with wildlife (antelopes and elephants make regular appearances)
Other points of interest
Beyond hiking Kilimanjaro, there are a variety of lesser-known trails worth pursuing.
Olmoti Crater Walk
Located near the Ngorongoro Nature Reserve, this hike is perfect for beginners who want an easy, pleasant trail without missing out on gorgeous vistas of the surrounding plains. The gentle ascent through lush greenery and rocky formations finally lead to some spectacular views of the volcanic crater and the Munge Waterfall.
Udzungwa Mountains National Park
Located in Southern Tanzania, this is another top destination for hikers who love trails filled with wildlife and crystal clear plunge pools. Trails here range from short walks to longer 2 to 3 night hikes offering the chance to encounter species endemic to this area.