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Destination facts:
Mountains and highlands
Tanzania's highest mountains are all found in the Great Rift Valley region in northern Tanzania, and all have volcanic origin. Kilimanjaro is the most widely known, being the highest mountain in Africa. Both Kilimanjaro and other mountains can be climbed by amateurs, and highland areas such as the Ngorongoro Highlands offer scenic trekking. A chain of Precambrian mountains towards the coast, called the Eastern Arc mountains, also offer good trekking. Map of Africa Namibia Botswana South Africa Zambia Mozambique Malawi Rwanda Tanzania Kenya Uganda
 
Kilimanjaro
Kilimanjaro (5,895 m/19,340 ft) is the highest mountain in Africa. It is an extinct volcano, that has three peaks: Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira. The highest point (5,895 m/19,340 ft) is Uhuru Peak, the summit of Kibo.

Kilimanjaro National Park begins at 2,700 m/5,577 ft, while the altitudes below are protected by a forest reserve. The lower levels up to 3,000 m/9,800 ft are covered in montane forest, while moorlands, alpine desert and glaciers cover the higher altitudes.

Kilimanjaro is less than two hours by road from Arusha, where most safaris in northern Tanzania (to Serengeti, Ngorongoro etc) start, making it easy combining safaris and Kilimanjaro climbs. Nearby Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO/HTKJ) has daily connections with Zanzibar, Europe and Nairobi in Kenya.

Kilimanjaro.

Climbing Kilimanjaro
All climbs and treks in the national park are done in groups, led by licensed guides. Routes lead towards Uhuru Peak from different starting points along the park border, from where the climb begins. Each route requires a certain minimum number of days. For example, the Marangu Route and the Machame Route, which are the two most popular, require 5 and 6 days respectively.

It is often wise, though, to choose a climbing tour that has one additional day spent on the mountain. This extra day means more time for your body to acclimatize to the high altitude, which improves your chances of making it all the way to the summit.

Kilimanjaro can be climbed all year round, but your chances of reaching Uhuru Peak are affected by the weather and the season when you attempt it. Like for safaris, the dry seasons are best for favourable weather.

More about Kilimanjaro

Mount Meru.

Mount Meru
Mount Meru (4,566 m/14,980 ft) in Arusha National Park is the second highest mountain in Tanzania, and one of the highest mountains in Africa – only Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya and the Rwenzori Mountains are higher. It stands just outside the city of Arusha, allowing for treks and climbs starting from Arusha, and for combinations with safaris in northern Tanzania.

Mount Meru, too, can be climbed by amateurs. A normal climb is two or three days. The mountain has considerably fewer climbers than Kilimanjaro, and may be an interesting choice for visitors searching for mountain experiences away from the crowds.

More about Arusha National Park and Mount Meru

The Ngorongoro Highlands.

The Ngorongoro Highlands
The Ngorongoro Crater, a prime safari destination in northern Tanzania, is situated in the Ngorongoro Highlands, a highland created by ten now extinct volcanoes. The highest of these is today Loolmalassin (3,648 m/11,968 ft – other mountains once higher have collapsed), the third highest mountain in Tanzania.

Many visitors come to see the wildlife of the Ngorongoro Crater, while only few explore the surrounding areas. The highlands offer good trekking in a beautiful landscape shared by nature and scattered Maasai villages, and many stunning views.

Oldoinyo Lengai, an active volcano just north of the Ngorongoro Highlands,

More about Ngorongoro Conservation Area

The Pare Mountains.

The Eastern Arc Mountains
The Eastern Arc is a series of ancient non-volcanic mountains, reaching from northern to southern Tanzania. They are mainly forested, and endemic species among animals and plants are common. The Usambara, Pare and Udzungwa Mountains are all in the Eastern Arc and offer good trekking.

 
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Page updated 8 June 2012