The continent of Africa has many well-known mountain hiking destinations: in the northwest, the magnificent Atlas Mountains of Morocco offer up plenty of trails to explore, including in popular Toubkal National Park, containing the country’s highest peak, Mt Toubkal (4167 m). Further east, one can hike through history and religion in the Sinai Mountains of Egypt, or in the mountains along the Red Sea. Heading south, the misty mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and DRC are the perfect place to trek and spot gorillas. Or head to Tanzania to climb the big one, Kilimanjaro (5895 m), the tallest peak in Africa. And then south to the tip of the continent and the beautiful landscapes of South Africa (and Lesotho), with the Drakensberg range beckoning hikers to explore.
Some of the off the beaten path hiking spots of Africa can actually be found in the islands off the various coasts of the continent. Check out these destinations:
Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
Off the coast of northwest Africa, Cabo Verde (Cape Verde) consists of ten rocky, arid islands, many boasting fantastic hiking trails. Explore the islands of Santo Antão, São Nicolau, Fogo and Santiago for the best hikes, including up Pico de Fogo (the tallest peak in Cabo Verde). In between hiking, explore the beaches, salt flats and turtle watching.
A French Overseas Department, Réunion is a stunning island located just east of Madagascar. Almost half of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage National Park, with more than 1000 km of hiking trails amongst its lofty mountains, including the one up Piton des Neiges (3071 m).
If you’re looking for really off the beaten track, then you can’t beat Madagascar. There are certainly mountain ranges to explore, including the Tsaratanana Massif (in the north), Ankaratra Massif (in the centre), and Andringitra Massif (in the south). However, getting to these mountains is half the fun, and with little hiking infrastructure, you’re in for an adventure with a hiking trip in Madagascar. Also, a great place to see diverse wildlife.
Known for its beaches, Mauritius is a small island in the Indian Ocean that has beautiful mountain landscapes to explore. While it doesn’t have the towering ranges of some of its island neighbours, there are mountain hiking trails throughout the island, including near the capital Port Louis.