Exploring Tanzania’s Mountains Beyond Kilimanjaro : Tanzania is home to world’s splendid attractions which draw the attention of many holiday spenders in the world. In 2022 for example, the country recorded about 1,454,920 tourist arrivals visiting various tourist attractions. This huge number of visitors are influenced by its neutral political condition and peace, cultural diversities, natural beauty and gorgeous mountains of which is the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro.
If you visit this fabulous country for the purpose of reaching the peaks of the most renowned mountains in this country, you just prepare a memory for the event. Maybe you are scared of climbing the mysterious Mount Kilimanjaro, here are some hidden gems where you will enjoy all your hikes and treks during your Tanzania safari tour.
What is the sister mountain to Kilimanjaro?
Famously known as the little sister of Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru is situated in the Arusha National Park. So, you can go there and enjoy the combination of wildlife adventures and mountain trekking. This mountain favors both beginners and amateurs. Beginners who are not used to high altitudes can go there for acclimatization before climbing highest peaks like Kilimanjaro.
As you move up this mount, you will encounter wild creatures like colobus monkeys, antelopes, giraffes and elephants, world’s heaviest terrestrial animal. Mount Meru is less crowded as compared to Kilimanjaro, so you will enjoy the scenes comfortably and the guide will be more private. The hike to the summit of Mount Meru takes 3 to 4 days and it is accompanied by the views of many wild creatures.
Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai
This is the only active volcano in Tanzania; it is situated at 240 kilometers northwest of Arusha town, along the Great Rift Valley western escarpment. The Maasai respect it as they call it “Ol Doinyo Lengai” which means “Mountain of God”. The mountain is about 2890 meters high above the sea level and it sometimes offers the views of real lava flowing from its cap. It is a challenging one and hard one to accomplish. Unfortunately, climbing is strictly prohibited when there are eruptions but minor flows of lava may be present on your climb.
It can be climbed in 6 hours only and on your climb you will be able to spot the inaugurated scenes of Lake Natron’s pink flamingos and other stunning visions of this soda lake. Lake Natron is a spectacular destination where you can view the breeding sites for most endangered Lesser flamingos that make up to 75% of the total population of flamingos. These unique species are said to breed more in the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley.
The best time to climb this unique and gracious mountain is during dry season; from June to September. You can also visit it during the rainy season despite the fact that roads have muddy at this time and are slippery.
Usambara Mountains and Lushoto.
Endowed with the Eastern Arc block of mountains and mountain ranges, Tanzania hosts mysterious mountain ranges like Usambara Mountains. Usambara mountain arrange is part of the Eastern Arc highlands in northern Tanzania.
Usambara Mountains are divided into two ranges; the West Usambara Mountains and the more compact East Usambara Mountains.
Exploring Tanzania’s Mountains Beyond Kilimanjaro : Udzungwa Mountains
Located inside the Udzungwa Mountains National Park, Udzungwa Mountains are dazzling mountain ranges, part of the Eastern Arc mountain range which runs from Kenya to Tanzania. Both amateurs and beginners can hike this range to the summit. Hikers of Udzungwa Mountains are usually caught by the beautiful scenes of stunning wildlife. Some wild animals that can be encountered in this park include leopards, lions, wild canines, six kinds of primates as well as critically endangered birds. Some attractive insects like butterflies are also viewed.
Udzungwa also hosts some cute forest species which are endemic to the place. Such species include Sanje Crested Mangabey and Iringa red colobus monkey. Other off-the-beaten-track attractions include Sanje Waterfall which drops 170 meters (557.74 feet) into a valley of woodland. You can bathe yourself at this stunning waterfall.
Cars are not permitted to pass through this park. So, you can explore this amazing park by hiking and walking through the dense forests of this high-altitude area.
Exploring Tanzania’s Mountains Beyond Kilimanjaro : Mahale Mountains
In the Western Circuit, on the shores of the mighty Lake Tanganyika stands a sparse mountain range that is world-famous for being home to numerous number of chimpanzees.
The highest peak of this mountain range is Mount Nkungwe which is at 2462 meters above the sea level. A Mahale mountain climb may takes up to three days. You can book a 3-day climb with a local armed ranger for protection from aggressive animals like lions, leopards and hyenas.
Since Mahale Mountains border the Lake Tanganyika, you can combine your climb with other once-in-lifetime activities like snorkeling, beach relaxation and swimming on this deepest lake in Africa.
Exploring Tanzania’s Mountains Beyond Kilimanjaro : Mount Hanang
Have you heard of the third highest peak in Tanzania?
Mount Hanang is this mountain and is about 3676 meters high above the sea level. However, you should know that this tremendous mountain is located outside national parks like the likes of Kilimanjaro, Meru, Usambara, Mahale and Udzungwa which are situated in the national parks.
Mount Hanang is located near Katesh town. It is located in the Mount Hanang Nature Reserve and it occupies an area of 5,871 hectares the reserve is elevated between 1860 and 3418 meters above the sea level. You will have to pay for a village entrance fee which is always 40 USD per entry that is paid to the Katesh municipality.
Other wonderful attractions that can be found close to this mountain include cultural and historical monuments like the Barabaiq and Iraqw holy places, the soda lakes of Balang’dalau and Gendabi.
Exploring Tanzania’s Mountains Beyond Kilimanjaro : Pare Mountains
In the southeast of Mount Kilimanjaro lies the Pare Mountains which stretches from Same into Tanga region. Some parts of Pare mountain range include Mbega that is located in the south, and Usangi and Kisangara in the north. These mountains can be climbed in a single day up to 6 days.
Tanzania has other spectacular mountains apart from Kilimanjaro worth a visit. These brilliant and off-the-beaten path hills can convert wildlife viewers into mountain climbers and hikers.