Mount Hanang

Northern Circuit

Mount Hanang

Mountain Range, Nature Forest Reserves 3,423 m Northern Circuit, Arusha

Mount Hanang (3,423m) is the fourth highest peak in Tanzania and maybe slightly hard to climb. While Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru might be seen as the big challenges due to the multi-day trekking and altitude there is no single day on either of those treks with anywhere near the elevation gain of Mount Hanang.

Mount Hanang Climbing Routes:

  • Katesh Route: Approaching from the South Western side, this route is the shortest and most commonly used, rising from the town of Katesh, you will climb 1600 meters over 8.5 kilometers in about five hours. If the sun is out, expect a very tough hike and if it is cold you can expect to endure a freezing night at the campsite. What makes it all worth the effort is the incredible views from the summit over Katesh and Lake Balangida. The sunset and sunrise were truly incredible above the clouds despite the numb sensation in my fingers.
  • Gendabi Route: This route offers a spectacular scenic approach from Gendabi village on the North-Western side. 
  • Giting Route: Starting from the Giting Village on the Eastern side of the mountain, this route offers a remote approach perfect for animal viewing and bird watching.   

Mount Hanang Hike Details:

  • Hike Distance: The total distance of the hike is 17.5km out and back (return trip)
  • Hike Duration: This depends a lot on your speed and how much gear you are carrying. The ascent can be completed in about 5-6 hours and the descent can be completed in about 3 hours. This obviously depends on your ability to hike uphill. 
  • The Terrain is rocky and involves a lot of concentration as you step on boulders and rocks making sure not to slip on the ascent and also the descent. There are many sections where you will need to be sure-footed but not any big drop-offs or moments of exposure. Basically, if you can handle the incline, weather, and cold camping conditions you are all set for this one.
  • Hike Incline: 1,791 meters (return trip)

Mt. Hanang Nature Forest Reserve:

Mount Hanang Nature Forest Reserve has an area of 5,871ha, a vast variety of plant and animal biodiversity exists on the slopes and in the areas surrounding the mountain including a myriad of colorful birds and animals such as elephants, hyenas, baboons, and monkeys. 

There are also several sacred sites within the nature reserve that represent important cultural practices still continuing among the Barabaig and Iraqw peoples. The soda lakes of Gendabi and Balangida and the underground freshwater of Lake Basotu add yet another dimension of natural beauty to the area. 

Overall, the whole reserve can be considered one of the hidden gems of the nation for its awe-inspiring variety of environments and attractions.

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