(323)657-3496 Email Us Travel Agents

The Most Impressive Hikes in Africa

Africa is the ultimate adventure, a chance to discover nature’s impressive landscapes, and what better way to explore this continent than on foot!

Table Mountain: South Africa

With its characteristic flat top earning its name, Table Mountain towers 1086m above Cape Town. It’s proximity to the city allows for an amazing view across Cape Town and the accompanying coast, making a hike well worth the trip. There’s a variety of trails for different levels; the most direct route is the Platteklip Gorge Trail, a steep but short ascent. The average hiker will reach the summit in 2 hours. However if you’re looking for less over-crowded routes there are plenty other options to choose from. Skeleton Gorge is the perfect route for those partial to more leisurely routes, through ravines and jungles this path provides hikers with beautiful scenery and nature, but will take about 4 hours with some strenuous sections. For the more adventurous India Venster Trail requires scrambling and climbing boulders to reach the top. Luckily there are also Cable Cars that provide transport for hikers to go down, if you feel so inclined. Be sure to check that they are operational, as they can be closed for bad weather. There is a cafe on top to enjoy a drink alongside panoramic views!  


Kilimanjaro: Tanzania

Kilimanjaro is a dormant volcano and the highest peak in Africa, as such it has shot to the top of every avid hiker’s bucket list. Due to its high altitude, these trails are not for the faint hearted, especially if you intend to reach the summit. The volcano is 4,900 metres from its base, and 5,895 metres above sea level, so take measures to prepare yourself against altitude sickness. The Marangu Route is one of the most popular trails as it is the only one that can be completed in 5 days, and is the only route with accommodation on the mountain, offering communal huts and bunk beds at every overnight base. Don’t feel rushed, it takes time to acclimatise and this route has a low summit success rate. Giving yourself an extra day to complete is a good idea. Other routes include the Machame Route (those with fears of heights should avoid it), Umbwe Route (known for its caves) and many others, which frequently link with aforementioned routes.


Atlas Mountains: Morocco

The Atlas Mountains stretch over 2500 km and three countries, with its highest peak Toubkal, in Morocco. At 4,167m high it is a challenging hike in terms of altitude and acclimatisation, but does not require any mountaineering experience (at least in spring, summer and autumn). Only attempt this trek in the winter if you have prior experience, a seasoned guide and ice picks are essential. The most popular route is a 2 day trek, with a stop over at the Toubkal Refuge. All trails converge here and as the only accommodation on the trail these dorms can get very crowded. The summit offers outstanding panoramic views with a glimpse of the Sahara Desert in the far distance. Many travellers combine this hike with a trek exploring to Sahara desert.


Blyde River Canyon: South Africa

Although it is only the third largest canyon in the world, following The Grand Canyon, USA and Fish River Canyon, Namibia, it differs in appearance greatly from these as it is lush and covered in foliage. A relatively new trail has been opened, the Waterval long trail, a 3 day trek that ends with the spectacular Bourke's Luck Potholes. Those looking for just a brief glimpse of this incredible experience, there is the Belvedere day walk which takes 5 hours. The Blyde River area has been well developed for tourism with a good choice of lodges and hotels surrounding the canyon. What is more it is the perfect hiking destination for wildlife enthusiasts, as a natural habitat to hippos, crocodiles and five species of primates, you could be lucky enough to witness these incredible creatures in the wild.

Danakil Depression: Ethiopia

Not every incredible hike is at high altitude, for instance the Danakil Depression actually reaches a low of 125 metres below sea level, and as such is considered one of the lowest places in the world. The notable sights on this trek are the Dallol hot springs, the yellow lake and the continuously active volcano Erta Ale containing rare lava lakes. Colourful hydrothermal pools contain very acidic fluids, so are not for bathing in, but offer an unearthly natural wonder. Kaleidoscopic unparalleled beauty, but the trip is not for the faint hearted. The area has not been developed for tourists, expect basic accommodation and no toilets (on many occasions you’ll be sleeping ‘open air’ on a mattress or at best in an Afar bed). The Danakil Depression also holds the record for the highest annual average temperature, so be prepared for scorching heat in literally the ‘hottest place on earth’. With such a hostile environment, this is absolutely a trip you need to do alongside a tour company, and do not stray from your group.


Fish River Canyon: Namibia

The largest canyon in Africa, and second largest in the world after The Grand Canyon, USA. The full trail is 85 km and takes 5 days to complete, but there are also options for 2 or 3 days. Hikers should be self-sufficient and carry their own food and water for the trip, and the only option is to camp. The initial descent is generally considered the most arduous part of the trail, but should be completed in 1-2 hours. The trail follows the ravine where you’ll come across thermal sulphur pools and hot springs, perfect for relaxing your no doubt aching muscles. Hiking is only possible 1st May - 15th September due to exceptionally high temperatures the rest of the year and children under the age of 12 are not permitted.


Grab your hiking boots, it’s time to explore!

Written by Jade Touron, follow her adventures on Instagram.