Top three Africa hikes for 2019

posted 4th April 2019 by Danica Wilson in Work in progress
Africa hikes have certainly grown in popularity over the past ten years and we have seen a surge of interest thanks to documentaries like Blue Planet and beyond. One of the best ways to really experience Africa is hiking its remote mountain ranges that are home to abundant wildlife and beautiful scenery.  If you want more on climbing mountains specifically, head over to our climbing section.
Hiking trails in Africa are about extended time, physical challenge, breathtaking rewards with landscape the focus rather than wildlife. Of course it’s Africa, so you will still see wildlife all around you from birdlife to mammals, insects and reptiles.  For many, it doesn’t get better than an Africa hikes holiday. 
The following three have been chosen based on our criteria of
1 – wonderful scenery and setting
2 – immersive type of experience 
3 – great guides and leaders to keep you safe on the ground
4 – physically and mentally challenging
5 – personally rewarding 
We will rate them too in terms of bravery and fitness required with our boots for bravery (1 to 5 with five most bravery required) and hearts for fitness (1 to 5 with five most fit)
Scroll down for more…
Congo to Kilimanjaro

The ultimate hike in Africa

The most extraordinary adventure you will ever have. This is an exclusive signature safari available to just 8 guests.

30 Aug – 12 Sep 2019  or private exclusive adventure

Join Encompass Africa founder Jonathan Wilson for an intense, challenging, fast-paced and utterly exhilarating experience, exploring the DRC and Mount Kilimanjaro.

This once-in-a-lifetime trip brings together three of the most unforgettable experiences you can have in Africa: trekking to see the mountain gorillas, sleeping on the rim of one of the world’s most active and dangerous volcanoes, and summiting the tallest mountain on the continent, Kilimanjaro. Intense, challenging, fast-paced and utterly exhilarating, this trip is destined to be the greatest adventure you’ll ever have.

Trek to see the famous mountain gorillas in the UNESCO World Heritage wonder that is Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. You’ll then embark on one of Africa’s most exciting and rewarding hiking experiences, climbing to the top of an active volcano, Mount Nyiragongo. You’ll spend the night on this spectacular volcano, marveling at the largest lava lake in the world, smelling the sulphuric steam and being hypnotized by its bubbling, fiery lake. You’ll feel the heat when the wind blows your way… but this will still be the coolest thing you’ll ever do.

Finally, it’s on to Tanzania, ready to take on a seven-day climb of Mount Kilimanjaro, summiting Africa’s highest mountain as dawn breaks.

This is a real “go hard and go fast” expedition. The mission is to get in, get out, and live life to the max. Encompass Africa founder Jonathon Wilson is taking just 4-8 guests on this epic journey, where good fitness and a good sense of humor are essential. This is not a trip for everyone – this is a life-changing expedition for hardcore adventurers.


Mount Meru

Challenging ascent, avoid the crowds

You must do this hike with an armed ranger because wildlife live on the mountain as you are inside Arusha National Park.  It is a great warm up for Kilimanjaro and is by no means quickly dismissed as ‘too easy’.

On the lower slopes of Mount Meru, you are likely to see giraffes, buffalo and elephants. As you continue your ascent, the trail follows the northern rim of the volcano’s crater along a rather impressive and dramatic ridge line. Along the way you will see the huts designated for hikers to sleep in during the journey. The summit is best reached at sunrise to afford the most impressive view of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Mount Meru crater.

Best done in three or four days, this is the ultimate acclimatisation for Mount Kilimanjaro. Ideal any time of the year, keep in mind it can be rainy in November. The best views of Kilimanjaro are during the clearer weather period of December to February.

Scroll down for our third hike in Africa for 2019

Enchanting Dragon

Hike the Drakensberg

Our third Africa hike for 2019 goes beyond just one hiking trail. The Drakensberg is a mountain range in South Africa’s Kwa Zulu Natal. It offers various trails for all levels of fitness and ages. This region is one of the most rewarding, nothing is quite like ‘The Berg’. Just imagine a wall a thousand metres high, fortified by cruel spires and towers that resemble the backs of sleeping dragons.

Now you know why it is referred to as the enchanting dragon. To climb to the top and stand on the edge is like hiking to the top of the world. An epic landscape prone to storms, cloud and rough trails you need to have a real sense of adventure about you.  To seasoned hikers, this is hugely attractive and to the novice, it can be daunting. It’s not that you need to be top of the fitness game, it’s more about hiking basics and ensuring you know how to navigate any local challenges.

There are four seasons including a wet spring, an unpredictable summer, a pleasant autumn and a cold winter.  Hiking is possible all year round. 

For more get in touch with one of our team!

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