5 Challenging Hikes in Tanzania Suited Towards Adventure Junkies

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Nothing can ever tame the soul of a thrill-seeking adventurer unless you let them go out there and explore the great outdoors. You can't expect them just to sit around and dream about crossing rivers and hiking mountains. 

The thought of exploring yet another peak is what excites them. Now, if you're one of those who would climb rocks in an instant, then this list is for you. Africa has a lot to offer for every type of tourists, including the adventure junkies out there. 

It can go from chilling with the giraffes at the Giraffe Manor in Kenya to getting intimate with the gorillas in Congo, however, if you like the high altitude and steep slopes more than chilling with our friends from the animal kingdom. 

Then head over to Tanzania to get a taste of what exactly you are craving for—challenging hikes.

Grab your hiking poles and let's start the adventure. 

1. Mount Kilimanjaro

Every thrill-seeker probably has Mount Kilimanjaro on their list. Who wouldn't? It is the world's tallest free-standing volcano. But beware—you have to be physically and mentally prepared before you decide to undertake such a challenging climb. Kilimanjaro can be cruelly cold, and its altitude at 5896m can seriously affect your well-being. 

However, stepping into its lush and dense rainforest is like entering a whole new world altogether. Despite its partly high-altitude trek and a soggy terrain, the alpine meadows you'll see along the way is worth the climb. You would even come across the twin summits of Kibo and Mawenzi. The steep trek to the summit, usually in time for sunrise, is majestic enough to make you forget how long the journey to the top was.

Just make sure to plan the trip ahead of time and prepare at least $1200 for it—or more just to be sure. There are several licensed trekking operators around the town of Arusha and Moshi where you can ask for help in organizing your trip. Now, if you want to achieve and reach the summit, allot at least seven days for the entire trek.

2. Mt. Meru

If you're looking for some kind of a warm-up before hitting the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, then you can try Mt. Meru first. It's a little less challenging than Kilimanjaro, but it's also daring enough to test your hiking skills and your hiking poles as well. 

At 4566 meters high, Mt. Meru is the second highest peak in Tanzania. Although this trek is shorter, it's way steeper. It would usually take up to 4 days to reach the summit and would cost you around 1,330 US dollars. 

Experts suggest that you take light treats while climbing instead of stuffing yourself with a large meal. There are horrifying drop-offs during the final ascent, but the view is worthy of all the panic attacks along the way.

While the trek can be challenging because of its steep slopes, relief comes from the abundant wildlife that awaits you once you start the adventure. Just make sure to keep a safe distance away from the baboons, antelopes, colobus monkeys, elephants, and giraffes. Remember that it is their home, and we're merely just visitors.

3. Olmoti Crater

For those who only recently discovered their love for hiking, you can start with Olmoti Crater. It's just a short hike, around 40 minutes but it's a steady climbing path up to 2987 meters, so there's the challenge you're looking for. 

The trek stops right on top of the Olmoti waterfall and with a good view of the river valley below. You can continue to explore further as long as you're with an armed ranger because lions and buffaloes might be lurking around the corner. It's not as buzzing with wildlife as Mt. Meru, but you'll probably see one or two zebras from a distance. 

4. Udzungwa Mountains National Park

Considered to be one of the few pure virgin forested lands in the world, Udzungwa Mountains remains to be one of East Africa's gems. 

The national park spans across 1900 sq km and continues to amaze its constant stream of visitors with its biologically diverse forest where you can gaze at indigenous species of primates—the monkey Iringa red colobus and the Sanje Crested Mangabey.

To get to explore its sceneries, waterfalls, rivers, and grasslands, the suggested length of stay at the Udzungwa Mountains National Park is three days and two nights. The itinerary usually includes a 5-hour trek that will lead you to Sanje waterfall with a view of the lush forested valley below.

5. Ol Doinyo Lengai

While Mount Kilimanjaro is the tallest free-standing volcano in the world, Ol Doinyo Lengai is a different kind of challenge. It's an active volcano, and only those with a spirit of a lion would be willing to attempt to reach its summit. Also popularly known as the Mountain of God, the trek up to this volcano can reach up to 3 days. 

Seeing Ol Doinyo Lengai from afar can be jaw-dropping, thanks to its spectacular almost perfect conical shape. However, climbing is a different story. You would come across fields of ashes brought about by several eruptions throughout the years, which makes the view even more majestic.

While the thought of climbing an active volcano is terrifying, the hike is considered to be friendly for the beginner up to intermediate climbers. Supply yourself with plenty of water during the entire trek as the heat can be too much for climbers since this is an active volcano.

Just make sure to schedule the trip during its dry season which is June to September. The wet season is not advisable for climbers because the road to Ol Doinyo Lengai can be treacherous.

Test your resolve

If you've got enough nerve and you're looking for something to challenge your regular adventure. These insanely wicked mountains and volcanoes in Tanzania will surely spark your adrenaline rush. 

But before embarking into this journey of a lifetime, make sure that you are physically fit, mentally ready, and you have the right gears with you to complete this adventure victoriously.

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