7 best hut to hut hikes in Africa
Best hut to hut treks in Africa

Hut-to-hut hiking in Africa offers numerous advantages: it provides a convenient way to embark on a multi-day outdoor adventure, allowing for a backcountry camping experience without the crowds. This type of hiking allows you to witness breathtaking sunrise views, immerse yourself in the depths of the wilderness, and enjoy long, magnificent days on the trail. Additionally, hut-to-hut hiking ensures the comforts of home, such as running water, toilet facilities, and a warm, dry place to rest. Although Tanzania may not be renowned for its hut systems, having personally hiked several of Africa’s most famous hut-to-hut trails, I can assure you that some international trekking systems are truly worth the journey. On Mount Kilimanjaro, only the Marangu Route offers hut-to-hut hiking. Mount Meru on the other hand, exclusively offers hut-to-hut hiking via its sole route, the Momella Route. Prepare to be amazed by the remarkable accommodations available, ranging from charming A-shaped huts in Tanzania to high-altitude cabins on Mount Kenya and well-established accommodation huts in South Africa nestled amidst awe-inspiring landscapes that are sure to bring solace to your soul. Undoubtedly, each hut-to-hut trip in Africa is an extraordinary escape that belongs on your bucket list.

Hut to hut hiking is a form of multi-day hiking where you spend the night in mountain huts along a long-distance hiking trail. These huts vary in terms of amenities, from basic shelters with only essential supplies like mattresses and outdoor toilets, to luxurious and fully-staffed mountain lodges that offer comfortable bedding, running water, and even a restaurant. It’s important to note that mountain huts primarily serve hikers and climbers and should not be compared to hotels. Expectations of privacy and ensuite bathrooms should be adjusted accordingly. Situated at high elevations in remote areas, mountain refuges can only be accessed by foot, making them seasonal establishments that are typically open only during the summer months. Africa has a variety of established hut to hut hiking trails to explore.

Advantages of Hut-to-Hut treks

Many hikers choose to camp instead of using the huts, which can harm the nearby ecosystems. There is a lack of appropriate toilets at campsites, which has resulted in negative impacts on popular areas such as the lakes. Dr. Jeff Marion’s research has provided evidence that huts have a smaller environmental impact than dispersed camping in parks. To preserve the environment and the wildlife in the park, as well as to ensure a pristine experience for hikers, it is crucial to establish and maintain proper infrastructure.

The Top 7 Hut to Hut Treks in Africa

Those are some fantastic options! Each offers unique landscapes, challenges, and cultural experiences. Here’s a brief overview of each:

  1. Kilimanjaro-Marangu Route in Tanzania: The Marangu Route, often dubbed the “Coca-Cola” route, is one of the most popular ways to summit Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak. This classic trek offers hut-to-hut accommodation, providing trekkers with a more comfortable experience compared to camping. The journey begins at Marangu Gate, where adventurers are greeted by lush rainforests teeming with diverse flora and fauna. As you ascend through different ecological zones, from the rainforest to the moorland and alpine desert, you’ll witness dramatic changes in landscapes. Each day, trekkers hike to designated huts, including Mandara Hut, Horombo Hut, and Kibo Hut, where they rest, acclimatize, and refuel for the next day’s climb. Finally, the summit attempt begins in the early hours of the morning, with trekkers making their way to Uhuru Peak, the highest point on Kilimanjaro. The Marangu Route’s well-maintained trails, gradual ascent profile, and comfortable hut accommodations make it an attractive option for those seeking a challenging yet accessible trek to the roof of Africa.
    6 days marangu route Kilimanjaro
  2. Mount Kenya Trek in Kenya: The Mount Kenya Trek offers a thrilling hut-to-hut hiking adventure in the heart of Kenya’s Central Highlands. As the second-highest peak in Africa, Mount Kenya boasts stunning alpine scenery, unique wildlife, and diverse ecosystems. The most popular route, the Sirimon-Chogoria Circuit, provides trekkers with a comprehensive experience of the mountain’s beauty. Beginning at the Sirimon Gate, hikers traverse through dense montane forests, home to colobus monkeys and a variety of bird species. Along the way, they encounter mesmerizing alpine meadows, moorlands, and tarns, such as the enchanting Lake Ellis. Hut accommodations, including Old Moses Camp and Shipton’s Camp, offer respite and breathtaking views of the mountain’s towering peaks. The highlight of the trek is ascending Point Lenana, the third-highest peak, where trekkers are rewarded with awe-inspiring vistas of the surrounding landscapes. With its diverse terrain, abundant wildlife, and comfortable hut accommodations, the Mount Kenya Trek promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
    Accommodation on Mount Kenya
  3. Mount Meru Trek in Tanzania: The Mount Meru Trek offers a captivating journey through Tanzania’s lesser-known gem, Mount Meru, located in Arusha National Park. Often overshadowed by its neighbor Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru boasts its own unique charm and allure. The trek begins at Momella Gate, where hikers embark on a scenic trail that winds through lush montane forests, alive with the sounds of birdlife and the occasional sighting of colobus monkeys. As the trail ascends, trekkers transition into heather moorlands and alpine deserts, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, including Kilimanjaro on clear days. Hut accommodations, such as Miriakamba Hut and Saddle Hut, provide cozy shelter and hearty meals as trekkers acclimatize to the increasing altitude. The summit push to Socialist Peak offers a challenging yet rewarding climb, with trekkers treated to breathtaking sunrise vistas from the summit. With its stunning scenery, diverse ecosystems, and comfortable hut accommodations, the Mount Meru Trek is a hidden gem waiting to be explored by adventurous souls seeking a unique trekking experience in Tanzania.
    Mount Meru Huts trek
  4. Otter Trail Hike in South Africa: The Otter Trail Hike is a legendary coastal trek that winds its way along South Africa’s dramatic Garden Route, offering stunning vistas of the Indian Ocean and rugged coastline. This iconic hike spans 42 kilometres, beginning at Storms River Mouth Rest Camp and concluding at the picturesque Nature’s Valley. Along the way, trekkers navigate through indigenous forests, traverse rocky shorelines, and cross scenic river mouths teeming with marine life. Four overnight huts, including Ngubu Hut and Scott Hut, provide comfortable accommodation nestled amidst the coastal fynbos, allowing hikers to rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration. The trail is dotted with natural wonders, including the renowned Bloukrans River and Waterfall, as well as hidden beaches and tidal pools perfect for swimming and snorkelling. With its diverse landscapes, abundant wildlife, and secluded coastal beauty, the Otter Trail Hike promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
    Otter trail hikes
  5. Drakensberg Hike in Cape Town, South Africa: The Drakensberg Hike offers an exhilarating trek through the majestic mountains of South Africa’s Eastern Cape, known for their dramatic cliffs, cascading waterfalls, and pristine alpine landscapes. The Drakensberg, or “Dragon Mountains,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its rich biodiversity and cultural significance. The hike begins at various trailheads, including Sentinel Car Park and Cathedral Peak Hotel, and offers a range of routes catering to different skill levels and interests. Hut accommodations, such as Tugela Falls Hut and Injisuthi Hut, provide comfortable lodging amidst the breathtaking scenery, allowing hikers to immerse themselves in the mountain’s beauty. Along the way, trekkers encounter ancient San rock art, sparkling mountain streams, and panoramic viewpoints offering sweeping vistas of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Whether embarking on a day hike or a multi-day expedition, the Drakensberg promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking to explore the rugged beauty of South Africa’s mountains.
    Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa
  6. Mount Mulanje Hike in Malawi: The Mount Mulanje Hike offers a thrilling adventure through the rugged peaks and pristine forests of Malawi’s highest mountain, Mount Mulanje. Known as the “Island in the Sky,” Mount Mulanje is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering spectacular hiking trails, unique flora and fauna, and awe-inspiring vistas. The hike begins at various trailheads, including Likhubula Forest Office, and offers a range of routes catering to different skill levels and interests. Hut accommodations, such as Lichenya Hut and Chambe Hut, provide comfortable lodging amidst the mountain’s stunning landscapes, allowing hikers to rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration. Along the way, trekkers encounter sparkling mountain streams, hidden waterfalls, and ancient rock formations, as well as diverse wildlife, including the rare Mulanje cedar and endemic chameleon species. With its breathtaking scenery, rich biodiversity, and warm Malawian hospitality, the Mount Mulanje Hike promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers seeking to explore the natural wonders of Malawi.
    Mulanje massif
  7. Mount Toubkal Trek in Morocco: The Mount Toubkal Trek offers a thrilling expedition to the rooftop of North Africa, Mount Toubkal, located in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains. As the highest peak in the Atlas range, Mount Toubkal promises spectacular alpine scenery, rugged landscapes, and rich Berber culture. The trek begins in the vibrant city of Marrakech, where adventurers embark on a scenic drive to the trailhead in the village of Imlil. From there, trekkers ascend through picturesque valleys, terraced farmlands, and traditional Berber villages, immersing themselves in the local culture and hospitality. Hut accommodations, such as Refuge du Toubkal and Neltner Refuge, provide cozy shelter and hearty meals amidst the mountain’s stunning vistas, allowing hikers to acclimatize and rest before their summit push. The final ascent to Mount Toubkal’s summit offers a challenging yet rewarding climb, with trekkers treated to breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys. With its dramatic landscapes, cultural richness, and warm hospitality, the Mount Toubkal Trek promises an unforgettable adventure for outdoor enthusiasts and cultural explorers seeking to discover the beauty of Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains
    Mount Toubkal

These hut-to-hut hikes showcase Africa’s incredible natural beauty and provide unforgettable outdoor adventures for trekkers of all levels



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