What are the tallest mountains in Africa?

Travel enthusiasts often debate the question, “what are the tallest mountains in Africa?”, this blog article delves into the answer. Africa is home to some of the most exotic and beautiful scenery, with cascading rivers, majestic waterfalls, and imposing mountains. The continent is truly blessed beyond belief. Whether you’re interested in snow-capped peaks or prefer a more rugged terrain, the continent’s got it all. Let’s explore the tallest mountains in mother Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro

This is a dormant volcano located in Tanzania. Standing at an astounding height of 5,895 metres (19,340 ft.) above sea level and roughly 4,900 metres (16,076 ft.) above its plateau base.

The mountain features three volcanic cones and is the tallest mountain in Africa. It is also the highest single free-standing mountain above sea level in the world.

As the fourth most elevated peak on earth, the mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park. An attraction frequented by hikers and mountain climbers looking for a thrill.

Mount Kenya

Recognizable by the country it’s named after, Mount Kenya is the highest mountain in the nation and the second highest in Africa.

The mountain has prominent peaks like Batian (5,199 metres or 17,057 ft.), Nelion (5,188 m or 17,021 ft.), and Point Lenana (4,985 m or 16,355 ft.).

This majestic beauty is located at the intersection between Meru, Embu, Laikipia, Kirinyaga, Nyeri, and Tharaka Nithi counties in Kenya’s eastern and central provinces.

History and geographical studies reveal that Mount Kenya is a volcanic mountain whose creation resulted from the East African Rift opening roughly 3 million years ago.

Prior to glaciation, this scenic beauty was 7000 m (23,000 ft.) high and snow-capped. However, with climate change, the small glaciers (11 in number) may disappear by 2050.

Different types of forests with various alpine species, such as giant lobelias, senecios, and rock hyrax cover its slopes.

Mount Stanley (Mount Ngaliema)

Also known as Mount Ngaliema, this mountain is located in the Rwenzori range.

With an elevated height of 5,109 m (16,763 ft.), it is recognized as the third-highest mountain in Africa.

Its glaciated peaks and rugged terrain make it a hiker’s paradise.

The mountain derives its English name from the journalist and explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley.

It features 9 peaks: Margherita (16,763 ft.), Alexandra (16,703 ft.), Albert (16,690 ft.), Savoia (16,330 ft.), Ellena (16,300 ft), Elizabeth (16,170 ft.), Phillip (16,140 ft.), Moebius (16,130 ft.) and Great Tooth (15,100 ft.).

Mount Speke

Mount Speke is the second-highest mountain within this range in Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains National Park.

In unison with Mount Stanley and Mount Baker, it encloses the upper Bujuku valley.

The trio is also colloquially named “The Mountains of the Moon.” Jagged peaks and exotic wildlife like elephants, chimpanzees, monkeys, leopards, and antelope are common features. Mount Speke’s summits are Vittorio Emanuele 4,890 m (16,040 ft.); Ensonga 4,865 m (15,961 ft.); Johnston 4,834 m (15,860 ft.); and Trident 4,572 m (15,000 ft.).

The locals named the mountains’ Ruwenzori’, meaning ‘rain maker’ or rain mountain’ in the Bakonjo mountain.

Conversely, the Baganda called the mountains’ Gambaragara’, meaning ‘my eyes pain,’ a reference to the glistening snow.

Mount Baker (Kiyanja)

Also locally known as Kiyanja, Mount Baker is another of the mountains within the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda.

This mountain is the sixth tallest mountain in Africa, with a height of 4,844 metres (15,892 ft).

Like other peaks within the Ruwenzori range, this mountain has jagged peaks- with its highest being Edward peak.

Mount Emin

History has it written that this mountain was named after Mohammed Emin Pasha, an early European explorer.

Mount Emin is the fourth highest of the Ruwenzori mountains, with a height of 4,754 metres (15597 ft.)

The mountain has twin peaks of Umberto, 4,797 metres (15,740 ft.), and Kraepelin, 4,791 metres (15,720 ft.).

For the hikers at heart, the hike to the peak starts from the mountain’s southwest ridge or the Mugusu valley. The hike leads you to the DRC, where you walk through the groundsel-covered steep slopes to reach the summit.

Ras Dashen

Also known as Ras Dejen, this is the highest mountain in Ethiopia and the fourteenth tallest peak in Africa.

The mountain scales to an elevated height of 4,550 metres (14,930 ft.).

It is located in the Simien Mountains National Park in North Gondar Zone, Amhara region.

The mountain often witnesses violent snowfalls during the night. The snow then melts during the day (especially during the hottest period of the year) owing to the drastic temperature changes.

Mount Meru

This striking sierra is located 70 kilometres west of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.

Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano standing at 4,562 metres (14,968 ft.).

It is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, with several small cones and craters caused by volcanic activity.

The last known minor eruption took place in 1910.

This left the mountain slopes fertile and teeming with forest cover supporting diverse wildlife- including nearly 400 species of birds, monkeys, and leopards.

Mount Karisimbi

This is an active stratovolcano at 4,507 metres (14,787 ft.) located in the Virunga Mountains along the border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Of the 8 major mountains that form part of the Albertine Rift, Karisimbi stands highest of all.

This snow-capped range is recognized as the 11th highest mountain in Africa, bordered by Mikeno in the north, Bisoke in the east, Nyiragongo in the west, and harbors mountain gorillas.

Mount Bwahit

Also known as Buahit, Bachit, or Buiheat, one of the peaks of the Simien mountains is located in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

The mountain scales roughly 4,430m (14,534 ft.) above sea level, placing it in the 13th position of the tallest mountains in Africa.

Located approximately 16 km west of Ras Dashen, the two mountains are separated by a 1,600 m deep gorge.

Mikeno Volcano

This extinct volcanic mountain forms part of DRC’s Virunga mountains along with Mountains Nyiragongo, Karisimbi, Nyamuragira, Bisoke, and Sabyino.

Standing at 4,437 metres (14,557 ft), it is the second tallest peak amongst the Virunga mountains.

In the local dialect, Mikeno means “poor” in reference to its harsh slopes, which prevent human habitation.

Despite this, the mountain harbors endangered mountain gorillas along its slopes.

Mount Tullu Dimtu

Located on the Sanetti Plateau in the Bale Mountains of the Oromio region, enclosed by the Bale Mountains National Park, Tullu Dimtu is recognized as the fourth-highest peak in Ethiopia.

This mountain stands at the height of 4,377 metres (14,399 ft.), and it’s part of the divide between the Weyib and Shebelle rivers.

Mount Elgon

This lonely volcanic mountain is located on the border of eastern Uganda and western Kenya.

It spans 80 Kilometres in diameter and rises 3,070 metres (10,070 ft) above the surrounding area.

It also features 5 main peaks: Wagagai (4,321 metres (14,177 ft), Sudek (4,302 metres (14,114 ft), Koitobos (4,222 metres (13,852 ft), Muyibi (4,211 metres (13,816 ft) and Masaba (4,161 metres (13,652 ft).

Mount Elgon also boasts the world’s largest caldera, warm springs by the Suam river, Endebess Bluff (2,563 metres (8,409 ft), Ngwarisha, Makingeny, Chepnyalil, and Kitum caves.

Mount Abuna Yosef

The Abuna Yosef is a striking mountain in the Lasta massif of the Ethiopian highlands.

With a height of 4,260 metres (13,976 ft), it is recognized as the 6th highest mountain in Ethiopia and the 19th tallest on the continent.  

The mountain ranges are blessed with various exotic wildlife, such as Ethiopian wolves, Gelada baboons, Erica arborea, Lobelia, and other alpine vegetation. 

Toubkal

Standing at an astounding height of 4,167 metres (13,671 ft), the Toubkal or Tubkal mountain peak is located in the Toubkal National Park.

It is the highest peak of the Atlas mountains, Morocco, and North Africa.

Although the article limits itself to the highest peaks across the continent, Africa is known for numerous other mountains with names as diverse as the continent. For all the nature lovers out there, African countries offer the perfect mix of scenic views and captivating wildlife.

Video > Top 5 biggest mountain in Africa

Abstract as FAQ

What are the tallest mountains in Africa?

  1. Mount Kilimanjaro 5,895 metres (19,340 ft.) – Tanzania
  2. Mount Kenya 5,199 metres – (17,057ft.) – Kenya
  3. Mount Stanley 5,109 m (16,763 ft.) Democratic – Republic of the Congo
  4. Mount Speke 4,890 metres (16,040 ft.) – Uganda
  5. Mount Baker 4,844 metres (15,892 ft)- Uganda
  6. Mount Emin 4,754 metres (15597 ft.) – Congo and Uganda
  7. Mount Meru 4,562 metres (14,968 ft.) – Tanzania
  8. Ras Dashen 4,550 metres (14,930 ft.) – Ethiopia
  9. Mount Karisimbi 4,507 metres (14,787 ft.) – Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo
  10. Mikeno Volcano 4,437 metres (14,557 ft) – Democratic Republic of the Congo
  11. Mount Bwahit 4,430m (14,534 ft.) Ethiopia
  12. Mount Tullu Dimtu 4,377 metres (14,399 ft.) – Ethiopia
  13. Mount Abuna Yosef 4,260 metres (13,976 ft) – Ethiopia
  14. Toubkal 4,167 metres (13,671 ft) – Ethiopia
  15. Mount Elgon 3,070 metres (10,070 ft) – Uganda,Kenya

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