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The 7 mountain peaks included in the 7 Summits Africa Expedition

Mt Kilimanjaro - Kilimanjaro National park - Tanzania 5895m
Mt Kenya - Kenya 5199m
Mt Stanley - Rwenzorí’s - Uganda 5109m
Mt Speke - Rwenzorí’s - Uganda 4890m
Mt Meru - Arusha National park - Tanzania 4562m
Mount Karisimbi - Rwanda 4507m
Mount Nyiragongo - Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C) 3470m

“It’s always further than it looks. It’s always taller than it looks. And it’s always harder than it looks.”


The 3 rules of Mountaineering

Mount Nyiragongo - Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C)

Quick Facts:

Height: 3,470 m
Altitude Gain: 1,870 m
Duration: 2 days/1 night
Highlights

  • Active volcano, located inside Virunga National Park.
  • Most recent eruption was in 2002 (of 34 eruptions)
  • Permanent lava lake is visible

Details

Across the rift valley to the west of Virunga National Park, sits Nyiragongo volcano (3470m/11,382 ft). Visitors that climb to the top are treated to a spectacular view of the world’s largest lava lake. Nyamulagira volcano is a little to the north and is considered the most active volcano in Africa.  The faultline causing the instability and hotspots throughout the reason is the Great Rift Valley of which the Virunga range and Nyiragongo itself is the western edge of the faultline also referred to as the Albertine Rift.  The Rwenzori mountains was formed due to extreme uplift during the rift valley formation about 3 to 4 million years ago.

The world’s largest lava lake is the main attraction when climbing Mount Nyiragongo, a beautiful stratovolcano in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The volcano’s forested lower slopes are home to a variety of animals, including chimpanzees, monkeys, and bushbuck. Nyiragongo’s summit rim is largely devoid of vegetation and is sometimes dusted with snow. From the rim, visitors can peer down into a churning lava lake and see and hear hot gases exploding up though a mosaic of molten lava. Although predictable and therefore safe for tourists, Nyiragongo is greatly feared during eruptions because of the low silica content of its lava.  Nyiragongo’s lava flows are extremely fluid, during the 2002 eruption, some of Nyiragongo’s lava flows were recorded traveling at 100 km/hr (62 mph) and reached all the way to Lake Kivu.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Nyiragongo on the evening of the 5th of November 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 2200 and 0200 the evening of the 5th or morning of the 6th of November 2017, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.  

Mount Karisimbi - Rwanda

Quick Facts:

Height: 4,507 m
Altitude Gain:  m
Duration: 2 days/1 night
Highlights

  • Dormant stratovolcano, located inside Volcanoes National Park
  • The highest mountain in Rwanda and 11th highest in Africa
  • Its name stems “amasimbi” in local Kinyarwanda dialect and means snow.

Details

Mount Karisimbi is a dormant stratovolcano of a similar age as Nyiragongo, formed after the rift valley formation period dating back to the Pilocene epoch and is considered very young at 200 000 years old, Karisimbi stands 4507m (14 787ft) tall and is the highest of the 8 volcanic peaks within the Virunga field.  It is the highest mountain in Rwanda.  

It is flanked by Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the other side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park, popularly known for the mountain gorillas.It is flanked by Mount Mikeno to the north, Bisoke to the east and Nyiragongo to the west, on the western side of the Rift Valley. The mountain is situated in Volcanoes national park, popularly known for the mountain gorillas and golden monkeys.  

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Karisimbi the morning of the 10th of November 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0700 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.  

Mt Kenya, Kenya

Quick Facts:

Height: 5,199 m
Altitude Gain: 2,749 m
Duration: 6 days/5 nights
Highlights

  • Mount Kenya is the second highest mountain in Africa.
  • Located in Mt Kenya National Park in central Kenya.
  • Mount Kenya has several summits, including its three highest peaks—5,199-m Batian, 5,188-m Nelion, and 4,985-m Point Lenana.

Details

At 5,199 m, Mount Kenya is the second highest peak in Africa. It is an ancient extinct volcano, which during its period of activity (3.1-2.6 million years ago) is thought to have risen to 6,500 m. There are 12 remnant glaciers on the mountain, all receding rapidly, and four secondary peaks that sit at the head of the U-shaped glacial valleys. With its rugged glacier-clad summits and forested middle slopes, Mount Kenya is one of the most impressive landscapes in East Africa. The evolution and ecology of its afro-alpine flora provide an outstanding example of ecological and biological processes. Through the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve, the property also incorporates lower lying scenic foothills and arid habitats of high biodiversity, situated in the ecological transition zone between the mountain ecosystem and the semi-arid savanna grasslands.

It is pristine wilderness with lakes, tarns, glaciers, dense forest, mineral springs and a selection of rare and endangered species of animals, high altitude adapted plains game and unique montane and alpine vegetation. Visitors can enjoy mountain climbing, camping and caving with the mountain’s rugged glacier-clad peaks providing the perfect backdrop.

The area also lies within the traditional migrating route of the African elephant population, other species include tree hyrax, white tailed mongoose, suni, black fronted duiker, mole rat, bushbucks, waterbuck and Eland. Animals rarely seen include leopard, bongo and giant forest hog.  Over 130 bird species have been recorded.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Kenya the morning of the 17th of November 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0600 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.

Mt Speke, Rwenzorí’s, Uganda

Quick Facts:

Height: 4,890 m
Altitude Gain: 1,609 m
Duration: 8 days/7 nights (with Mt Stanley)
Highlights

  • Located in  Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  • Like all of the Ruwenzori massifs, Speke’s summit consists of multiple jagged peaks.
  • The Rwenzori Range is not volcanic but consists of crystalline rock that moved upward from the earth’s crust.

Details

Mount Speke lies in the Rwenzori Mountains National Park in Uganda and is the second highest mountain in this range. Together with Mount Stanley and Mount Baker, it forms a triangle enclosing the upper Bujuku Valley. The nearest peak is Mount Stanley, which is 3.55 kilometres (2.21 mi) to the south-southwest.  The mountains lie within an area called ‘The Mountains of the Moon’.

All mountains in this range consist of multiple jagged peaks. Mount Speke’s summits are Vittorio Emanuele 4,890 metres (16,040 ft); Ensonga 4,865 metres (15,961 ft); Johnston 4,834 metres (15,860 ft); and Trident 4,572 metres (15,000 ft).  The names were chosen in respect for the Italian royal family; however, the name choice had to be approved by the British Protectorate of Uganda who ruled the region at that time.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Speke the morning of the 25th of November 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0700 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.  

Mt Stanley, Rwenzorí’s, Uganda

Quick Facts:

Height: 5,109 m
Altitude Gain: 5, 109 m
Duration: 8 days/7 nights (with Mt Speke)
Highlights

  • 3rd highest mountain in Africa, located in Rwenzori Mountains National Park
  • Ancient people called the range “the Mountains of the Moon.” and early explorers thought the mountains were the source of the Nile River.
  • The Bujuku valley is enclosed within a steep triangle formed by Mount Stanley and Mounts Speke and Baker, the second and third highest Rwenzori peaks respectively.

Details

Mt. Stanley is a fault block mountain rising between two rifts in the African Rift System. They were formed within the past 10 million years and contain gneiss and quartzite. The mountains are nearly perpetually covered in mists, rains with frequent thunder and lightning. Nowhere else in the world is there such an astonishing collection of bog, moss, and forests looking more like those from the Lord of the Rings than Earth. Most of the year, heavy rain, sleet and snow lash the range, but the two drier spells are January/February and mid June through mid August, the AST 7SummitsAfrica team will climb Mt Stanley and Speke during the short rains so this should be interesting but beautiful.  

As early as the time of the Ancient Greeks, there were tales of mountains of snow and ice forming the source of the Nile River. Aeschylus talked of “Egypt nurtured by snows” and Arstotle noted ‘Mountains of Silver, the source of the Nile’ in the fourth century B.C. Ptolemy labeled these mountains in the correct location as “Lunae Montes” (The Mountains of the Moon) in his map published some 1800 years ago. According to the expedition account of the Duke of Abruzzi, this was actually a translation error from the name “white mountains”, but the name has stuck through the millennia.

Despite the legends, the existence of these mountains was not confirmed outside of Central Africa until the arrival of Henry Morton Stanley. In 1876 he first glimpsed the range, then in 1888 he noticed what he first thought to be a cloud then later realized was the slopes of a mountain covered with snow.

For a number of years explorers attempted to reach the peaks but were always turned back by the thick vegetation, bad weather, disease, or lack of time. However, in 1906, the Duke of Abruzzi led an expedition replete with six scientists, four alpine guides and the phenomenal photographer Vittorio Sella. With the help of over 300 porters, they climbed to the highest points of the six massifs in the range that at that time contained glaciers, including the highest peaks of Mt. Standley.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Stanley the morning of the 27th of November 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0700 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.

Mt Meru, Arusha National park, Tanzania

Quick Facts:

Height: 4,562 m
Altitude Gain: 3,048 m
Duration: 3 days/2 nights
Highlights

  • 2nd highest mountain in Tanzania
  • Amazing views into the summit crater and ash pit
  • Beautiful conical shaped dormant volcano 70km from Kilimanjaro

Details

Mount Meru is a dormant stratovolcano located 70 kilometres (43 miles) west of Mount Kilimanjaro in the nation of Tanzania. At a height of 4,562.13 metres (14,968 ft), it is visible from Mt Kilimanjaro on a clear day, and is the fifth highest mountain in Africa, dependent on definition.

Mount Meru is located just north of the city of Arusha, in the Arusha Region of Tanzania. It is the second-highest mountain in Tanzania, after Mount Kilimanjaro. The Momella route, which starts at Momella gate on the eastern side of the mountain,is used to climb Mount Meru.

Much of its bulk was lost about 8,000 years ago due to an eastward volcanic blast, that removed the top part of the volcanic lava flow to the east with the western rim of the original crater still intact. The several small cones and craters seen in Arusha National Park probably reflect numerous episodes of volcanic activity.

Mount Meru is the topographic centerpiece of Arusha National Park. Its fertile slopes rise above the surrounding savanna and support a forest that hosts diverse wildlife, including nearly 400 species of birds, and also primates, elephant, buffalo and leopard.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Meru the morning of the 11th of December 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0700 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.

Mt Kilimanjaro, Kilimanjaro National park, Tanzania

Quick Facts:

Height: 5,895 m
Altitude Gain:  5,895 m
Duration: 8 days/7 nights
Highlights

  • The highest mountain in Africa
  • The highest free-standing mountain in the world
  • Mount Kilimanjaro is made up of three volcanic cones (Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira) and is a dormant volcanic mountain

Details

Mount Kilimanjaro is a large stratovolcano with its three volcanic cones, Kibo, Mawenzi, and Shira, is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, and rises approximately 4,900 m (16,000 ft) from its base to 5,895 metres (19,341 ft) above sea level. The first recorded ascent to the summit of the mountain was by Hans Meyer and Ludwig Purtscheller in 1889. The mountain is part of the Kilimanjaro National Park and is a major climbing destination. The mountain has been the subject of many scientific studies because of its shrinking glaciers and there is evidence recorded that the mountain has reduced in height by 4 meters in the last 15 years.  

Kilimanjaro rises approximately 4,900 m (16,000 ft) from its southern base in the plains near the town of Moshi to its summit height of 5,895 metres (19,341 ft). Kilimanjaro is the highest volcano outside South America and the highest free-standing mountain in the world.

The AST 7SummitsAfrica team will summit Mount Kilimanjaro the morning of the 18th of December 2017 and we will do a live broadcast between 0700 and 0800, follow our live broadcasts here or subscribe to our YouTube Channel to get notifications when we are about to broadcast.

“For the stone from the top for geologists, the knowledge of the limits of endurance for the doctors, but above all for the spirit of adventure to keep alive the soul of man.”


George Mallory