Destinations Northern Africa

4 Unforgettable Hiking Destinations in North Africa

Ameln Valley
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Written by Abraham Odhiambo

It’s too easy to think of Africa as defined by one thing – wildlife, but have you thought about hiking in North Africa? Well, Africa is actually a big continent that is packed with astounding beauty, from staggering mountain ranges and lush and verdant islands to stunning cultures.

Any adventurous traveller will never be bored with Africa’s incredible hiking destinations, especially in the north. And this is mainly because of the dramatic, beautiful and challenging hikes you will encounter.

One of the best ways to experience the magic of Africa is hiking. So whether you are here to just learn or plan a hike, here are four best destinations for hiking in North Africa. Be prepared for difficult hiking trails, which are characterized by steep elevation, longer distances and increasingly difficult terrain.

1. Atlas Mountains – Morocco

Atlas Mountains

Atlas Mountains. Photo/ World Atlas.

Well, it’s quite obvious that you can’t talk about hiking in North Africa and fail to mention Atlas Mountains. Home to North Africa’s highest peak, Mount Toubkal, hiking in the High Atlas is a dream for every peak-bagger. The mountain’s rugged peaks extend for miles to where rocky ridges define the skylines and valleys switch between deep red sands and green terraces.

It’s a challenging trek to the summit, which is 4,167 metres (13,667 ft). However, it is worth it for the spectacular views. It will take you two to three days to reach the summit

The Atlas Mountains cover a large area and there are many good treks available in Mid, High and Anti Atlas Mountains. At the beginning of the hike, you admire the incredible views of the rural parts of Morocco. As you move up, you’ll come across walnut groves, gentle brooks, waterfalls and lush green river banks.

2. Mount Sinai – Egypt 

Also known as Mount Moses, it is said that Moses received the ten commandments here. And that makes it one of the most sacred mountains in the world. So how about following Moses’ path to the top of Mount Sinai when hiking in North Africa?

Mount Sinai

Mount Sinai. Photo/ We Seek Travel.

The mountain is popular with pilgrims and trekkers alike, and most visitors prefer climbing at night so as to reach the summit at sunrise. Hiking Mount Sinai offers you the opportunity to view the splendid mountains, sweeping dunes of the Sinai Peninsula and the beautiful valleys.

3. Jebel Sahro Region – Morocco 

The Jebel Sahro region is tucked between the Sahara Desert and the High Atlas. It is spectacular and less visited compared to other treks in Morocco. The region offers beautiful scenery, including desert landscape, fertile valleys and gorges.

4. Ameln Valley -Morocco 

Once you’re in North Africa, one of the things you shouldn’t leave without doing is hiking in the beautiful Ameln Valley. This region is hidden in the heart of Anti-Atlas Mountains and is fairly easy to hike. However, be ready to encounter snakes, lions and wild boars on your way.

The trail begins outside Tafraoute village and follows the valley past lion-shaped cliff face. It then winds through sleepy hamlets before looping back along the foot of the towering red mountains.

Ameln Valley

Ameln Valley. Photo/ Open Doors Morocco.

What is the hardest hike in Africa? 

Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, is the king of mountains in Africa. It reaches its highest summit at 5,895 metres and is capped with snow and glaciers. Anyone fit can climb Mount Kilimanjaro, however, the attitude here is the problem. Beware of altitude sickness, if ignored can kill.

Nevertheless, the mountain which is located in Tanzania is a magnet for charity challenges and attracts around 30,000 hikers annually.

What are the three types of hikes? 

The three most popular styles of hiking are peak-bagging, long distance hiking and day hiking. However, it is up to each individual hiker to categorize their adventure as they choose.

What is the longest hike in Africa? 

The Drakensberg Grand Traverse is arguably Africa’s longest hike. This is where you get quintessential South African hiking experience. The trek, which is from the Sentinel Car Park to Bushmans Nek Border Post, travels roughly 220.0 km from South Africa, into Lesotho, and back to South Africa.

What is the best mountain to hike in Africa? 

Hiking in North Africa is amazing, but if you want the most popular trekking destination, then Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is the place to go. The trek to the summit takes you through five different climatic zones.

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About the author

Avatar of Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo

Abraham Odhiambo is a writer with interests in nature, travel, African safari and sports. I'm pursuing a bachelor's degree in Media and Communication at Egerton University.

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