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Africa

Range TypeContinent
Highest PointKilimanjaro (5895 m/19,341 ft)
Area29,802,527 sq km / 11,506,767 sq mi
Area may include lowland areas
Extent7,865 km / 4,887 mi North-South
12,064 km / 7,496 mi East-West
Center Lat/Long0° 43' N; 28° 20' E
Map LinkMicrosoft Bing Map

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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.

Map of Africa
Click on neighboring ranges to navigate to them.

Note: Range borders shown on map are an approximation and are not authoritative.

Other Ranges: To go to pages for other ranges either click on the map above, or on range names in the hierarchy snapshot below, which show the parent, siblings, and children of the Africa.
The WorldLevel 0 (Parent)
         North AmericaLevel 1 (Sibling)
         South AmericaLevel 1 (Sibling)
         EuropeLevel 1 (Sibling)
         AsiaLevel 1 (Sibling)
         AfricaLevel 1
                 Atlas MountainsLevel 2 (Child)
                 Sahara Desert RangesLevel 2 (Child)
                 West Africa MountainsLevel 2 (Child)
                 Ethiopian HighlandsLevel 2 (Child)
                 East Africa MountainsLevel 2 (Child)
                 Southern AfricaLevel 2 (Child)
                 Mid-Atlantic IslandsLevel 2 (Child)
                 Indian Ocean IslandsLevel 2 (Child)
         Australia-OceaniaLevel 1 (Sibling)
         AntarcticaLevel 1 (Sibling)



Major Peaks of the Africa

Ten Highest Peaks
RankPeak NamemftRange2
1.Kilimanjaro589519,341East Africa Mountains
2.Mount Kenya519917,057East Africa Mountains
3.Mawensi514916,893East Africa Mountains
4.Mount Stanley510916,762East Africa Mountains
5.Point Thompson495516,257East Africa Mountains
6.Mount Speke489016,043East Africa Mountains
7.Mount Baker484415,892East Africa Mountains
8.Mount Emin479815,741East Africa Mountains
9.Mount Gessi471515,469East Africa Mountains
10.Mount Luigi di Savoia462715,180East Africa Mountains
Sub-peaks are excluded from this list. List may not be complete, since only summits in the PBC Database are included.
Child Range High Points
RankPeak NamemftRange2
1.Kilimanjaro589519,341East Africa Mountains
2.Ras Dashen455014,928Ethiopian Highlands
3.Jebel Toubkal416713,671Atlas Mountains
4.Mount Cameroon404013,255West Africa Mountains
5.Pico de Teide371812,198Mid-Atlantic Islands
6.Thabana Ntlenyana348211,424Southern Africa
7.Emi Koussi344511,302Sahara Desert Ranges
8.Piton des Neiges307110,075Indian Ocean Islands



Photos of Peaks in the Africa

Kilimanjaro
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Kilimanjaro from the Mweka Trail (2010-02-07). Photo by Peter Stone.
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Mount Kenya
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Mt. Kenya from Point Lenana (1985-09-13). Photo by Frederick Johnson.
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Mount Stanley
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Mount Stanley, Africa: Margherita Peak to right, Alexandra Peak at center (2011-01-16). Photo by Ken Jones.
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Mount Stanley-Alexandra Peak
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Mount Stanley, Africa: Margherita Peak to right, Alexandra Peak at center (2011-01-16). Photo by Ken Jones.
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Mount Meru
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Looking west at Mt. Meru on the trail going down (2007-01-14). Photo by Richard Carey.
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Ras Dashen
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The eastern summit of Ras Dashen, as seen from the western summit (2009-05-01). Photo by Lars Holme.
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Bwahit
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A group of climbers and their guide and armed escort atop Bwahit, a high summit in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia (2006-10-27). Photo by Ken Jones.
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Jebel Toubkal
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The rocky and busy top of Morocco and the Atlas Mountains with its famous pyramidal summit marker (2007-06-15). Photo by Peter Stone.
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Jebel Ouanoukrim
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Highest point (Timesguida) seen from northern peak (4083) (2013-04-30). Photo by Lars Holme.
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Inatye
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Flat top, steep down to Rift valley (2009-04-29). Photo by Lars Holme.
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