Mountain Trekking in East Africa

Mountain Trekking in East Africa

East Africa is the ultimate destination for a thrilling and rewarding outdoor experience. It prides itself for hosting two of Africa's highest peaks; Mt Kilimanjaro (5895m) in Tanzania and Kenya’s Mt. Kenya (5199m).
Together with the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda, Mt Meru and Mt Elgon, East Africa offers world-class mountain climbing experience.

Kibo Mountain Trekking in East Africa:

Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya

Mt. Kenya stands in the central Kenyan highlands and is the second highest mountain in Africa. Known as ‘Kirinyaga’, which translates to ‘God’s resting place’ by the locals. Its series of snow-capped peaks irresistibly draws visitors with the promise of a great hiking experience. Sitting majestically on the equator, Mt Kenya is said to have one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa.

The 5,199metres Batian summit is a difficult technical climb but the Nelion (5,188m) and Lenana (4,985m) peaks present a good challenge for any fit trekker. A trek up Mt. Kenya not only offers one of Africa’s finest mountain climbing experiences but is also an ideal preparation for a Mt. Kilimanjaro climb.

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Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt. Kilimanjaro

Mt Kilimanjaro’s Uhuru Peak towers the surrounding savannah plains at 5,896m. Everyone’s dream is to be on the summit when the sun rises over the glaciers and the plains of Tanzania below.
The routes up Kilimanjaro offer different degrees of difficulty. Kibo Slopes Safaris have pioneered the revival and promotion of unique routes off the beaten tracks. Ascending the Kilimanjaro summit is non-technical and can be made by any fit person. However, it should not be underestimated as it involves lots of hard work, physical and mental stamina

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Mt. Meru

Mt. Meru

At 4,566 meters, Mt Meru is at the center of Arusha National Park and is the second highest mountain of Tanzania. With a spectacular classic volcanic cone and a knife-edged horse-shoe crater, Mt Meru is one of Africa´s most beautiful mountains. From the peak, there are spectacular views of the Momella Lakes below, Mount Kilimanjaro and the beautiful distant plains. The lower slopes are covered in dense highland forest, where Colobus Monkeys play and Buffaloes graze concealed beneath the thick foliage.

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Mt. Elgon

Mt. Elgon

Mt. Elgon is the 4th highest mountain in East Africa. Its highest peak, Waggagai is on Ugandan territory. The mountain with its numerous springs and waterfalls on the Ugandan side is a major reservoir for the Nile.
The elephants, renowned the worlds over for their craving for salt visit the numerous caves on the Kenyan side. Apart from the largest cave, the Kitum cave, there are also spectacular others at Chepnyali and Mackingeny.

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Mt. Ruwenzori

Mt. Ruwenzori

Standing at 5,109m, the Ruwenzori also referred to as the ‘Mountains of the Moon’ lies in western Uganda along the Uganda-Congo border. The permanently snow-capped peaks are among the highest range mountains in Africa. The Ruwenzori Mountains offer a stunning view of glaciers and landscapes.
The central circuit is the main trail up the Ruwenzori Mountains. The circuit offers the opportunity to see the peaks and glaciers of Mount Speke, Mount Stanley, Mount Luigi di Savoia and Mount Baker up close.

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Semien Mountain Trek

Semien Mountain Trek

There is nothing as breathtaking as watching the Blue Nile plunge into a gorge creating ‘smoking water’. A trek up Simien Mountain affords you to the chance to spot the endangered gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf. Our trip takes us to the Orthodox Church in Addis Ababa for insight into Ethiopia’s religious history.

Tour Maps

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Itinerary Details

Day 1
Upon arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa, we meet a Kibo Slopes representative. After an introduction we proceed on a drive to Bahir Dar. The 500km drive takes us about 7 to 8 hours. On the way we come to the first bridge in Ethiopia-the Portuguese Bridge and stop for lunch in Debre Markos. We arrive in the late afternoon at Bahir Dar for dinner and overnight stay at the Jacaranda Hotel.

Day 2
In the morning, we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the Island Monasteries, such as those on the Zege Peninsula and Kibran Gabriel (which do not allow entry for women). In the afternoon, we drive at the Blue Nile Falls for a hike around the area. In the early evening, we complete our tour of Bahir Dar with a drive up to Haile Selassies’ old palace and watch the sunset over the source of the Blue Nile. Dinner and the overnight stay will once again be at the Jacaranda Hotel.

Day 3
After breakfast, we take a 2hour drive to Gondar. This area is famous for its exceptionally well-preserved 17th century Castles; unique in Ethiopia and unlike anything found elsewhere in Africa. We shall visit the Royal Enclosure & Debre Berhane Selassie Church, whose walls host the nation’s most vibrant ecclesiastical artwork. Its ceiling captures most visitors’ imaginations. We will have lunch in one of the restaurants in the town center and visit the Bath of Fasilides in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Goha Hotel.

Day 4
After breakfast, we drive via Debark, the village base for hiking in the Simien Mountains. After registering with the park authorities we drive to the Simien Mountain Lodge and with packed lunch we hike to the Sankaber Camp at 3250m. Nearing Sankober, you will have beautiful views on both sides of the escarpment ridge and where you will likely see the endemic Gelada baboons. In Sankaber, you will be met with your supplies. Overnight camping in Sankaber.

Day 5
Todays hike is about 17 km. From Sankaber, we depart into a valley, through which the Wazla (or Koba) River runs. This river is often dry. Coming out of the valley we have spectacular views of the Jinbar River waterfalls falling into the Geech Abyss. Our hike takes us along the riverbanks , crossing the Jinbar River and ascending to the village of Geech. On the way we may see Gelada Baboons and Lammergeir. The trek may take us up to 7 hours. Dinner and Overnight will be at the Geech Camp (3600m) in our tents.

Day 6
After an early breakfast, we depart from Geech to the peak of Imet Gogo at 3926m. Here you’ll have spectacular views over the lowlands – one of the highlights of the trip. As we continue to Chenek, we pass Korbete Metia, a solid rock wall which opens up exposing beautiful views over the lowlands and the escarpment. This is also a good place for spotting lammergeiers. Overnight will be in our usual fly camp camping in Chenek ( 3500m). Total trekking time: 7 – 9 hours.

Day 7
From Chenek, we continue east up a valley to Mt. Bwahit (4430m), overlooking the camp from where you just came. After crossing the Bwahit Pass, you come to a viewpoint offering wonderful views of the Mesheha River Valley as well your first glimpse of Ras Dashen. From here we will be picked up by car and driven via a rather bumpy road to Ambiko at 3325m. Our camp is already set near the village of Ambiko and the villager like to come and greet us. Dinner and Overnight will be at the camp.

Day 8
Starting early (4.00am), we continue up the valley to the village of Mizma, after which we l have a steep ascent to a ridge crest overlooking a large valley. The path then follows along the side of the valley, straight at Ras Dashen (4553m). You will eventually reach a point where you will see three distinct buttresses. The buttress on the left is the summit of Ras Dashen. A pile of rocks at the top of the buttress marks the summit. After your successful arrival at the highest point in Ethiopia, we descend and a 5 hour hike take us to Menta Ber Camp at 3520m for dinner and overnight. The 20km hike may take us up to 12 hours.

Day 9
From Mentaber we walk through narrow and steep valleys for a couple of hours. Although the people here do not see many tourists, they are very welcoming and many of them would want to shake hands with us, especially children. Before reaching the broad valley of Arkwazye where the camp situated, we take a steep climb through one of the villages, during which we might feel the strain of the previous day’s long walk. Dinner and overnight will once again be at the fly camp at Arkwasiye at 3700m.

Day 10
Today our Simien Adventure comes to an end. After breakfast a hour hike take us to the main road just below the Bwahit pass at about 4000m. Here we are picked up by our cars and take to the Simien Mountain Lodge for dinner and overnight. We enjoy the comfort of the lodge and the hot shower after many days of hiking. In the case of Simien lodge, the tukel (house) forms two rooms with two bathrooms. All rooms have traditional Ethiopian decor. There are original oil paintings and traditional weave. Tea and coffee machines, wall safe and full length mirrors come as standard.

Day 11
Today we have an exciting 250km drive through rough road which is partly under construction and winds itself through the Simien Mountains offering spectacular views. The drive can take up to 8hours. On the way, we stop for lunch and arrive at Axum the holiest sanctuary and oldest capital of Ethiopia in the late afternoon. Dinner and overnight stay will be Sabean international Hotel.

Day 12
Today is reserved for sightseeing in Axum. The guided tour includes a visit to the spectacular ancient Obelisks which are cut out of a piece of granite and have a length of 40m. Axum had its heydays in the 4th century. This is the time when it also embraced Christianity. The Orthodox Church believes that the Church of our Lady Mary of Zion houses the Biblical Ark of Covenant. We visit the church and the museum, though the place where the covenant is kept is closed to the public. We will have our lunch in between the visits in one of towns’ restaurants and return to the Sabean international Hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 13
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for a morning flight to Addis. We are picked up at the airport and transferred to the Friendship Hotel. We can opt for a lunch before proceeding on a sightseeing tour of Addis which includes a visit to the Orthodox Church and Entoto Mountains which was the original place of the Kings Palace. We also use the opportunity to shop for some souvenirs. In the evening, we attend an Ethiopian traditional dinner with Ethiopian song and dance before we transfer to the airport for late night departure..

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The Highest & the Lowest

The Highest & the Lowest

Capture incredible far reaching views of Ethiopian landscape on Ras dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia. The vibrant volcanic landscape of Danakil Depression makes a highlight of this trip as you visit the sulphur springs of the Depression. Get insight into Ethiopia’s history by visiting the 17th Century Gondar castles.

Tour Maps

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Itinerary Details

Day 1
Upon arrival we are met by a Kibo Slopes representative and start our tour in Addis Ababa with a transfer to our Hotel for a pre-safari briefing. Afterwards we take a city tour with visits to the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, The Trinity Church and Entoto Maryam. Later, we return to an Ethiopian welcome dinner with traditional food and dance. Overnight stay will be at the Friendship Hotel.

Day 2
After an early breakfast, we transfer to the airport for a flight to Gondar. We arrive just in time for lunch and later start our guided tour. This area is famous for its exceptionally well preserved 17th century castles, unique in Ethiopia and unlike anything found elsewhere in Africa. We shall visit the Royal Enclosure & Debre Berhane Selassie Church, whose walls host the nation’s most vibrant ecclesiastical artwork. Its ceiling captures most of the visitors’ imaginations. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Goha Hotel.

Day 3
After breakfast we drive to Debark, the village base for hiking in the Simien Mountains. After registering with the park authorities, we visit the Jinbar waterfalls before driving as far as Chenek campsite where we will pitch tents for the night. On this drive we will get an incredible first impression of the beautiful highland region; the extraordinary scenery, enjoy watching the endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around. Today we set up camp at 3,600m at Chennek.

Day 4
After breakfast we take an hour’s drive towards the Bouhawit pass at 4200m if the roads are good. 0n the way, we have the chance to see the magnificent Walia Ibex and possibly the endemic, but rare Simien wolf. There are lovely views along the way as we descend to the Mesha River at 2750m. After we cross the river, we ascend 400m to Ambiko camp. It is a very long day with about 8 to 10 hours of hiking. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Ambiko camp.

Day 5
Today is the summit day which involves a 16km trek starting at 4am. The path winds its way ascending up to 1400metres to Ras Dashen. The 5 to 6 hour trek is quite strenuous but a reward is waiting for us at the summit. From the top of Ras Dashen at an altitude of 4543metres, we are mesmerized by the far ranging views which span more than 10,000 square kilometers. To the west the steep faces of peaks in the national park are visible, whilst the Tekeze Valley is visible in the north and the east. While most tour groups return to Ambiko after reaching the top, we continue over the top and descend through a broad valley with countless Giant Lobelia, before reaching another spectacular view point in 2hours where we rest a little while. From this spot it takes another 3-4 hours before we reach Mentaber camp. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the fly camp.

Day 6
From Mentaber we walk through narrow and steep valleys for a couple of hours. Although the people here do not see many tourists, they are very welcoming and many of them would want to shake hands with us, especially children. Before reaching the broad valley of Arkwazye where the camp situated, we take a steep climb through one of the villages, during which we might feel the strain of the previous day’s long walk. Dinner and overnight will once again be at the fly camp at Arkwasiye at 3700m.

Day 7
Today we complete our Simien Adventure with a comfortable night at the Simien Hotel. After breakfast we ascend the Bouhawit Pass at 4200m once more. It will take us about 4hours. If the weather is good our vehicles will be waiting to take us to the the Simien Mountain Lodge. Alternatively we have another easy decent to Chennek which may take about 2 hours to get to the vehicle for a 2hour drive to the lodge. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the Lodge.

Day 8
Today we have an exciting 250km drive through rough road which is partly under construction and winds itself through the Simien Mountains offering spectacular views. The drive can take up to 8hours. On the way, we stop for lunch and arrive at Axum the holiest sanctuary and oldest capital of Ethiopia in the late afternoon. If we arrive in good time we will take a stroll through the towns’ historic places Dinner and overnight stay will be Sabiyan Hotel.

Day 9
After an early breakfast we undertake a guided tour which includes a visit to the spectacular ancient obelisks. They are cut out of one piece of granite and are up to 40m in length. Axum had its heydays in the 4th century. This is the time when it also embraced Christianity. The Orthodox Church believes that the Church of our Lady Mary of Zion houses the Biblical Ark of Convenant. We visit the church and the museum. After lunch we take a 200km drive to Mekele for dinner and overnight stay at the Axum hotel.

Day 10
After breakfast, we drive to the Danakil depression. As we descend to Hamed Ela, the landscape changes to a rocky and dessert-like area. The temperature rises. The road is quite good and we arrive at our camp site for a late lunch. In the late afternoon, we can take a short walk to see the salt caravans heading for Mekele. Dinner and overnight stay will be at the campsite.

Day 11
After breakfast we drive to Erta ale via Kusurawde. The drive through the barren land and hostile climate take us to Dodom, a nearby settlement to Erta ale. Here we take a rest while the camels and our crew prepare to take us to the crater rim of the active volcano after dinner. The hike takes about 3.5 hours. At the top, we peer down at the permanent lava lake and rest for the night.

Day 12
In the early morning hours we descend back to Dodom for breakfast stop and drive to Hamed Ela for lunch, dinner and overnight stay at a fly camp. In the afternoon we take a rest and opt to arrange a visit to an Afar village with our guide.

Day 13
After an early breakfast, we take a day trip to Dallol, a volcano hidden beneath a kilometer of thick salt deposit. The volcano marks its presence by the upcoming of the salt and hundreds of fumaroles and hot springs in an array of colors. The area, which is 116m below sea level, is the hottest inhabited place on earth with average temperatures ranging above 35 degree Celsius. The landscape here is spectacular as well as colorful with different shades of red and yellow appearing from acids and minerals spurting out of the ground. After lunch we drive to Mekele for dinner and overnight stay at the Axum hotel.

Day 14
After breakfast, we transfer to the local airport for a flight to Addis Ababa where our tour ends. If we leave on an international flight in the evening, we can be provided with a day-room and suitable airport transfer in Addis to connect with our onward international flight.

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