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Tuesday, October 4, 2022

11 Tallest Mountains and Hills in Africa

Africa has significant mountains and hills with peaks and high points that serve as home to wildlife and natural resources.

On the other hand, most of these mountains are more or less a tourist area.

For more information about the tallest mountains and hills in Africa, read through the lists below:

1. Mountain Kilimanjaro

Mountain Kilimanjaro is a snow-capped volcano and majestic mountain in Tanzania, East Africa, and the highest among the seven summits in Africa.

It’s picturesque for hikers and mountain adventurers from Africa and beyond, with three volcanic cones viz; Kibo, Shira, and Mawenzi. 

Kilimanjaro is the highest free-standing mountain worldwide and Africa’s tallest mountain, housing colobus monkeys, Serval cat, and white-necked raven.

Mountain size and discovery

Mountain Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain globally and the tallest mountain in Africa, with an elevation of 5,895 metres or 19,341 feet, above sea level.

In 1848, a German explorer and missionary, Johannes Rebmann, discovered Mount Kilimanjaro, with about 154 mammal species inhabiting within.

In Tanzania, the mountain lies 205 miles from the equator, and it also has three volcanic cones, including Shira, Kibo, and Mawenzi.

Kilimanjaro got its derivation from two different tribal words, “Kilima,” a Swahili word meaning mountain, and “Njaro,” a Chagga word that means whiteness.

Economic contribution

Exploration of Mountain Kilimanjaro contributes significantly to the thriving local economy of the nation, attracting about $20 million per annum.

It also holds essential natural resources such as biological diversity and ample water for hikers.

Location

The mountain sits in the Northern part of Moshi, the capital of Tanzania.

2. Mount Kenya 

Mountain Kenya is a stratovolcano mountain with 5,199m [3,827 ft] height and the most famous diamond couloirs and ice window route.

It ranks the tallest hill in Kenya and the second-largest after the famous mountain Kilimanjaro.

Origin

The mountain was formerly referred to as Kirinyaga by the Kikuyu people, which means a mountain of whiteness because of how snow usually caps the peak.

A European Johann Ludwig Krapf was the first to discover mountain Kenya in 1849 and was partially climbed in 1887 by a Hungarian explorer.  

Mountain Kenya, the second tallest mountain in Africa, has been considered a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its beautiful flora and incredible views.

Location

Kenya’s former Eastern Central province, now Meru, and from the equator, stands 193 km northeast of Nairobi.

Economic importance

Mount Kenya and its forest conservancies provide a stream of goods and services to the country, generating economic benefits that accrue to the Kenyan global economy and the livelihoods of the inhabitants.

Uniqueness

This mountain is unique with its pristine wilderness, glaciers, mineral springs, dense forest, and animal species alongside alpine vegetation.

Mountain Kenya witnessed the last eruption 2.6 million years ago, and it has stayed for more than three million years.

3. Mountain Stanley or Mount Ngaliéma

Mountain Stanley, in other words, Mount Ngaliéma, is a very tall mountain in east-central Africa situated between DR Congo and Uganda.

It also holds natural resources, which include an eneromous biological diversity.

The mountain’s peak and discovery

The mountain’s peak is appropriately high to support glaciers, and it is a World Heritage site and part of Rwenzori mountain national park.

Sir Henry Morton Stanley, an explorer, and a journalist, discovered Mountain Stanley in 1880.

Mountain Stanly, a section of the Ruwenzori Range, has an elevation of 16,762ft[5,109m], and its highest peak is Margherita Peak.

Its most accessible route is rock/snow climb, consisting of twin summits. 

The mountain has several peaks, including Moebius peak, Elena Peak, Savoia Peak, Alexandra Peak, and the highest one, Margherita peak.

Facts about Mount Ngaliéma

– The formation of Mountain Stanley or Mount Ngaliéma happened ten [10] million years ago.

– Its elevation is 5,109 m which is equivalent to 16,762 ft.

– The topographic prominence of the mountain is 3,951 m (12,963 ft), ranking 28th, among others.

– Isolation: 830 km (520 mi)

– Listing: Country high point Ultra

Location

Mountain Stanley or Mountain Ngaliéma, precisely located between Congo and Uganda border in east-central Africa, is a part of Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

Ascender

The first ascending of the mountain happened in 1906 by prince Luigi Amedeo, the Duke of the Abruzzi.

4. Mountain Elgon 

The mountain’s prominence is 2,458m [8,064 ft] (i.e., the topographic heigh measurement, relative to the lowest encircling contour line), with its highest point Wagagai located within Uganda.

Formation and peak

The volcanic mountain formed by the procession of vulcanicity stands at a 4321-meter height.

Origin

Explorer Frederick Jackson named it in 1889, and so far, it has lasted for over twenty-four million years, making it the oldest in East Africa.

In 1911, Kmunke and Stigler created a record as the first ascent of mountain Elgon.

Location

Mountain Elgon sits between the Uganda-Kenya border, and it is also the tallest volcanic mountain in East Africa.

5. Virunga Mountain 

Virunga Mountain is a chain of eight volcanoes in East Africa, including mount Nyiragongo, mount Nyamuragira, mount Karisimbi, mountain gorilla, Sabyinyo, mountain Mikeno, etc.

It houses wild animals like antelope, pelicans, hippopotamus, lions, elephants, and okapis, though many are swiftly decreasing due to threat.

Height

The peak of Virunga Mountain measures 14,787 ft, which is equivalent to (4,507 m).

Why is Virunga Mountains famous?

The breathtaking tourist site in Africa, alternatively known as Virunga Massif, is famous for golden monkeys and mountain gorillas, listed among the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species.

Discovery

John Speke, a British explorer, was able to sightsee Virunga Mountain in 1861, and by 1876, Morton Stanley acquired a clear view of the three eastern volcanoes.

Location

Virunga Mountain is a chain of volcanoes situated in East Africa, along the border of DR Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda in the northeast.

Formation

The Virunga volcano’s formation is in line with Rift Valleys, where the depths of molten rocks reach the surface using rift faults.

6. Ras Dashen Mountain 

Ras Dashen is steadily covered in snow at night, has a receptive summit climate, and most of the time, the high temperature melts the snow by the day.

Ras Dashen Mountain, otherwise known as Ras Dajen, is the tallest mountain in Ethiopia, and it is within the Amharic region near Simien National park.

Peak

It’s a mountain with the highest peak of 14,872 ft [4,533 m], with its hike taking almost 12 hours [7 hours up 5 hours down].   

Location

Ras Dashen, seen in northeastern Africa, has its first ascent record in 1841 by a Eurasian.

7. Mountain Cameroon

Mountain Cameroon is a mountain with the most active volcano and one of the world’s wettest places.

Discovery

The discovery of mountain Cameroon by Navigator Hannon was in the 5th century BC, and ever since then, its eruption has happened nine times simultaneously [1909, 1922, 1925, 1959, 1982, 1989, 2000, 2007, and 2013].

The first ascender of the mountain is Joseph Merrick in the 1840s.

 Location

The mountain’s location is in the southwest region of Cameroon, close to the city of Buea with Stratovolcano as its mountain type.

Prominence

The measure of the independence of this mountain, that is, the prominence, is 12 799 ft [3,901m].

8. Mountain Kinangop or Ilkinangop

Mountain Kinangop, otherwise Ilkinangop, is a dormant volcano mountain at Aberdare Range southeast, Nairobi, Kenya.

Location

Mountain Kinangop is in the northern part of Nairobi, Kenya, within the Aberdare national park.

Peak 

It stands tall at 3,906m [12,815 ft] and has its higher level covered in tussock grasses while bamboo forest surrounds the depth.

9. Mountain Choqa 

It’s a mountain that serves as a refuge to different kinds of animals, plants, birds alongside rivers and springs in the Debay Telategn Gojjam region, Ethiopia, East Africa. 

Hiking up the mountain offers an opportunity to view many farms and numerous biodiversity within the hill.

Location

Mountain Choqa’s location is in the southern part of Lake Tana, Ethiopia.

Height

It has a height of 4100m and 13,451ft, with an altitude of 3000m above the sea.

Before heading to Choqa Mountain for hiking adventures, pack the necessary things as the place is cold.

10. Mountain Meru

Mountain Meru is a golden mountain and an abode of gods in the center of the universe, precisely in northeast Tanzania. 

First ascender

Conrad Anker, Jimmy Chin, and Renan Ozturk in 2011 broke the record by being the first to climb the mountain.

Peak

The mountain peak is 6,660m and has a height of 4,566m [14,980 ft].

Location

The location of the mountain is near the Kenyan border that is 42 miles [68 km] west of Mount Kilimanjaro and southwest Arusha region Tanzania.

 Formation

The formation of mountain Meru and its horseshoe shape was after a gigantic explosion a million years back. The volcano that is standing in the area lost its top.

11. Bale Mountainor Urgoma Mountains 

Bale Mountain, also called the Urgoma Mountains, is a mountain with a trekking route leading towards the Tulu Dimtu in Akaki Kaliti sub-city, southeast of Addis Ababa. 

The mountain is also a worthy tourism area as it houses nyala, gold wolves, hyenas, olive baboons, black-maned lions, and many more.

It has a spot for mysterious Ethiopian wolves, particularly the dangerous species.

Ethiopia’s Bale or Urgoma Mountains comprise Mount Batu (4307 meters) and the Tullu Demtu (the second-highest mountain in Ethiopia), measuring 4377 meters.

Height 

The height of the Bale Mountains is above 3,350m [11,000 ft], covering a land area that measures 2,220 km2 (860 sq mi).

Discovery and Formation

According to record, a German explorer and naturalist, Carlo Von Erlanger, founded Bale or the Urgoma Mountains between 1899 and 1901

However, other citation records that the discovery of the mountains was in 1970.

The formation of Bale Mountain happened due to a volcanic eruption consisting of six volcanic cones, which are more than 4000 meters high.

Location

Bale Mountain is in the Oromia region, precisely, Bale Zone, in southeast Ethiopia in the south of the Awash River.

Conclusion

The tallest mountains in Africa are breathtaking as they steadily represent and play an essential role in tourism and heritage.

The lists we have above take in Africa’s tallest mountains or hills, some of the valuable natural resources they hold, and what makes each one unique.

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