Africa, after Asia the second largest continent, has surprisingly few major mountains and ranges. The great Sahara Desert, the rainforests of the Congo basin, and the high savannas of Eastern and Southern Africa take up most of Africa's land area, and the continent's equatorial position means very little snow, glaciation, and alpine mountain landscape. However, there are still mountains in Africa for those willing to search them out, and they offer experiences and adventures not to be found elsewhere.
Ninety-nine percent of all mountaineering interest in Africa is centered on three massifs rising above the East African savanna: Tanzania's Kilimanjaro (5895m/19,341'), highest point on the continent; Mount Kenya (5199m/17,057'), slighly lower but offering much more mountaineering challenge; and the compact Ruwenzori Range (5109m/16,761') on the Uganda-Zaire border, the legendary Mountains of the Moon, clouded in mystery and drizzly mist.
It remains a very sad and disturbing fact that most of Africa lags far behind the rest of the world economically and politically, often making travel a test of one's tolerance for opressive heat, guerrila warfare, political instability, poverty, corruption, and disease. Those willing to brave these obstacles will find friendly and indomitable people, unspoiled landscapes, and several intersting isolated mountains and ranges scattered about Africa.
The Atlas Mountains of Morocco and Algeria rise to 13,665'/4165m at Jebel Toubkal, and they offer some interesting scambling and, in winter, even some skiing. Two high massifs rise up from the parched exapnse of the central Sahara: Algeria's Hoggar massif, rising to 9563'/2908m and featuring lots of vertical rock climbing; and Chad's Tibesti, high enough at 11,204'/3415m to even catch some occasional snow in the central Sahara.
Ethiopia is an extremely mountainous country, most of it an exapansive high plateau with deep canyons, rising gently to Ras Dashen (4620m/15,157'), the highest mountain in Africa outside of the three famous massifs. The Virunga Range, on the border between war-torn Rwanda and the anarchic Congo, is most famous as home of the highland gorillas, but offers climbing on volcanoes that rise to 4507m/14,787' at Karisimbi.
West Africa offers little in the way of mountains outside of the massive, dominant cone of Mount Cameroon (4100m/13,451'), right on the Gulf of Guinea in its namesake country. Southern Africa has lots of rugged canyon and escarpment scenery, but nothing you could call a real mountian. The Drakensburg Mountains top out at Thabana Ntlenyana (3482m/11,423') in Lesotho, but the summits in the area are just tablelands with big cliffs to the south.
When dividing up the world for the Peakbagger.com Mountain Range Classification System, the islands in the mid-Atlantic and mid-Indian ocean were all arbitrarily placed with Africa. This convention gives to Africa several important peaks, such as the high volcanic summits of the Azores, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, and Reunion.