These Are the 11 Highest Mountains in Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
© iStock.com/squashedbox

Written by Hannah Ward

Published: December 27, 2023

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Africa is one of the most stunning places in the world and boasts a wide variety of ecosystems, from rainforests to savannahs. Africa also features numerous mountains, many of which are popular tourist destinations. Many of these mountains are more than 15,000 feet high, and the tallest is more than 19,000. But which is it? Keep reading to discover the highest mountains in Africa!

11. Mount Karisimbi — 14,787 feet

Mount Karisimbi

Mount Karisimbi is part of an area set up by Diana Fossey to protect mountain gorillas.

©SIBOMANA Constantin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons - Original / License

The first mountain on the list is Mount Karisimbi on the border between Rwanda and the Congo which stands at 14,787 feet. Mount Karisimbi is an extinct volcano and forms part of the Volcanoes National Park, the area set up by Diana Fossey to preserve the mountain gorillas in the area. Trips up the mountain should be accompanied by a ranger, and many organized treks also include the opportunity to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat.

10. Ras Dashen — 14,930 feet

Ethiopia. Simien Mountains National Park. Ras Dashen (Ras Dejen), the highest peak in Ethiopia (4550 m)

Ras Dashen is located in the Simien National Park in Ethiopia.

©WitR/Shutterstock.com

The next mountain is Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia, which stands at 14,930 feet. It is part of the Simien Mountains and is situated in the Simien Mountains National Park. Ras Dashen is a reasonably easy climb, although treks can take two to four days to complete. The mountain features waterfalls, forests, and steep cliffs. It’s home to a wide variety of species, several of which are endangered, including the walia ibex, which is only found in the Simien Mountains.

9. Mount Meru — 14,980 feet

mountains in Africa

Mount Meru is a dormant volcano in Tanzania.

©iStock.com/pilesasmiles

The next highest mountain in Africa and second-highest in Tanzania is Mount Meru, with an elevation of 14,980 feet. Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano which last erupted in 1910. It is a relatively easy mountain to climb, and people often ascend it in preparation for climbing higher, more challenging ones. Mount Meru features a variety of habitats and ecosystems on its slopes, including forests and grasslands, which eventually give way to the exposed and rocky upper slopes. The top features a crater that is more than two miles wide.

8. Mount Luigi di Savoia — 15,180 feet

Mount Luigi di Savoia

Mount Luigi di Sivola is a little-known mountain in Uganda.

©El.Sarmiento, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons - Original / License

Coming in at number eight is the little-known Mount Luigi di Savoia with a height of 15,180 feet. Mount Luigi di Savoia is located in Uganda, named after Prince Luigi Amedeo, an Italian mountaineer. The mountain has numerous peaks which are all located along a long, jagged ridge.

7. Mount Gessi — 15,470 feet

Mount Gessi (right)

Mount Gessi (right) has sparse upper slopes which were originally covered with large glaciers.

©Saemmi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons - Original / License

Next on the list is Mount Gessi in Uganda with an elevation of 15,470 feet. Mount Gessi formerly had numerous glaciers across it, although these have all but completely disappeared entirely now. The mountain is characterized by rugged peaks and sparse upper slopes, as well as rich forests on the lower slopes.

6. Mount Emin — 15,741 feet

The rough wilderness of Rwenzori Mountains

Mount Emin is part of the Rwenzori Mountains.

©Mathias Sunke/Shutterstock.com

Located in the Rwenzori Mountains area of the Congo, Mount Emin stands 15,741 feet high. Mount Emin is a popular mountain to climb and can be climbed virtually all year round. However, it is considered to be a technically difficult climb due to its steep slopes and jagged rocks.

5. Mount Baker — 15,892 feet

A pool of water on a pass near Mount Baker (4843m) in the Rwenzori Mountains in Uganda, also known as the Mountains of the Moon. Feb, 2019.

Mount Baker is known locally as Kiyanja.

©Harvey Biggs/Shutterstock.com

The fifth-tallest mountain in Africa is Mount Baker, which stands at 15,892 feet. Mount Baker is located in Uganda, known locally as Kiyanja. Mount Baker features several peaks that are located along a jagged ridge. The upper slopes of the mountain are rocky and treacherous, but the lower regions are heavily forested.

4. Mount Speke — 16,040 feet

Mount Speke

Mount Speke is a challenging mountain to climb due to the difficult terrain.

©Rafał Kozubek, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons - Original / License

With four peaks and a height of 16,040 feet, Mount Speke in Uganda takes the fourth spot. Mount Speke is located in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park. The mountain has a range of ecosystems, including rainforests and numerous rivers and streams, which make climbing it a challenge. There’s also a variety of animals living on the mountain, including monkeys, chimpanzees, and leopards.

3. Mount Stanley — 16,763 feet

Mount Stanley in Rwenzori national park uganda

Mount Stanley is the only mountain within the Rwenzori Mountains to still have glaciers on it.

©Grace Wangui/Shutterstock.com

Next is Mount Stanley, which is located on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda and has an elevation of 16,763 feet. Mount Stanley is part of the Rwenzori Mountains and has two main peaks. It is the only mountain within the Rwenzoris to still have any significant glaciers and ice left, although these are predicted to disappear entirely.

2. Mount Kenya — 17,057 feet

Cloudy View of Mount Kenya Africa

Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano that forms an important ecosystem for the local area.

©Wijnand vT/Shutterstock.com

The second-highest mountain on the list is Mount Kenya, which stands at 17,057 feet. Mount Kenya is an extinct volcano in the central region of Kenya, situated within the Mount Kenya National Park. The lower slopes are covered with forests and include endemic species such as giant lobelias. Mount Kenya is also home to one of only two populations of the Mount Kenya bush viper(Atheris desaixi). Mount Kenya also forms a highly important ecosystem, with several rivers starting on the mountain that are eventually the main source of water for millions of people.

1. Mount Kilimanjaro — 19,341 feet

Three giraffe on Kilimanjaro mount background in National park of Kenya, Africa

Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant stratovolcano in Tanzania.

©Volodymyr Burdiak/Shutterstock.com

The highest mountain in Africa is Mount Kilimanjaro, which has an elevation of 19,341 feet. Mount Kilimanjaro is a dormant stratovolcano with three cones and last erupted more than 150,000 years ago. It is located within the Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania and is a popular tourist location. There are seven main routes up the mountain. Although Kilimanjaro is not as difficult to climb as some of the other large mountains in the world, it is still a challenging route. A large portion of the slopes are covered with montane and cloud forests, although the uppermost region features glaciers and a shrinking ice cap.


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About the Author

Hannah is a writer at A-Z animals where her primary focus is on reptiles, marine life, mammals, and geography. Hannah has been writing and researching animals for four years alongside running her family farm. A resident of the UK, Hannah loves riding horses and creating short stories.

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