Major Mountain Ranges In Africa

Africa is home to a plethora of breathtaking mountain ranges. Africa is also home to exceptional natural beauty, which can be found in a variety of landscapes. Read on to find out about mountain ranges in Africa.

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania’s most famous mountain, has to be the crown jewel, though Mount Kenya and Jebel Toubkal are close seconds.

What Is A Mountain Range?

mountain ranges in africa
mountain ranges in africa

A mountain range is a grouping of mountains or mountain ridges that are geographically and apparently related in position and direction.

Are There Mountain Ranges In Africa?

Yes, there are so many mountain ranges in Africa such as Virunga mountains, Ethiopia Highlands, Table mountain, Magaliesberg mountains and so many more. 

Mountain Ranges In Africa

There are literally hundreds of different ranges in Africa, but the five major mountain ranges in Africa are the Atlas Mountains, Simien Mountains, Drakensberg Mountains, Rwenzori Mountains, and Marrah Mountains.

The Atlas Mountains

The Atlas Mountains
The Atlas Mountains Photo Credit:

Found in northwest western Africa, the Atlas Mountains stretch across an astounding 1,200 miles from the Moroccan port of Agadir to Tunis in the northeast, the capital of Tunisia. The Atlas Mountains, North Africa’s greatest mountain range, is famed for its fertile valleys, a network of hiking pathways, secluded Berber settlements, and snow-smeared peaks.

The range is famed for Mount Toubkal, North Africa’s highest mountain, and is home to nomadic Berbers.

Simien Mountains

Simien Mountains
Simien Mountains Photo Credit: Dave Watts, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Simien Mountains is one of the more popular African mountain ranges. The Simien Mountains are located in the northwest part of Ethiopia and contain the country’s highest peaks. Ras Dashen (4533m), Africa’s fourth highest peak, is the highest point. The Simien Mountain Range has an unusual geological origin and is practically unique on the globe, with only one other range (the Drakensberg mountains) created in the same fashion.

The Drakensberg is a geological relic from Africa’s original plateau. Volcanic eruptions, uplift, and erosion produced the mountains millions of years ago. They have a distinct aspect, with high plateaus ascending into pinnacles separated by deep valleys. The Simien Mountains are Ethiopia’s most popular tourist destination for good reason, with some of the world’s top trekking routes, endemic animals, and magnificent resorts situated on hills.

Drakensberg Mountains

drakensberg mountains
drakensberg mountains Photo Credit:

The Drakensberg range runs through the northeast corner of South Africa and Lesotho. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that comprises part of the Great Escarpment. Within the border region of South Africa and Lesotho, the Great Escarpment reaches its highest elevation – 2,000 to 3,482 metres (6,562 to 11,424 feet).

There are numerous beautiful caves and shelters on the site, as well as the largest and most concentrated concentration of rock art in Sub-Saharan Africa. These artefacts were created by Bushmen or San people over a period of 4000 years. The quality and diversity of the subject matter, as well as the depiction of animals and humans, are exceptional in the rock paintings. The majority of the artworks portray the San people’s perspective on spiritual existence.

The Rwenzori Mountains

Rwenzori mountains FP
Rwenzori mountains FP Source: Ingo Wölbern, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Ruwenzori Mountains, also known as the Rwenzori and Rwenjura, are a group of mountains in eastern equatorial Africa that stretches along Uganda’s border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

The highest peak of the Ruwenzori Range, at 5,109 meters, is constantly snow-capped and glaciated, as are the range’s top sections. The Rwenzori Mountains also have fantastic flora, ranging from tropical jungle foliage and meadows to snow-capped summits.

Marrah Mountains

Marrah Mountains
Marrah Mountains Photo

The Marrah Mountains, also known as the Marra Mountains, are volcanic massifs with peaks reaching 3,042 meters in altitude (9,980 ft). They are the highest peaks in Sudan. The latest eruption happened in 2000 BC. The Deriba Caldera collapsed as a result of pumice and pyroclastic flows that travelled approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) from the volcano. The Jebel Marra area is located in Fur land, not Zaghawa land, in the heart of Darfur.

The Highest Mountain Ranges In Africa

The top 10 highest mountain ranges in Africa are shown in the table below:

S/NMountain rangesHighest PointHeightCountry
1.Rwenzori MountainsMount Stanley5,109mUganda/DRC
2.Ethiopian HighlandsRas Dashen4,550mEthiopia
3.Simien MountainsRas Dejen4,550mEthiopia
4.Virunga MountainsMount Karisimbi4,507mUganda
5.The Atlas MountainsMount Toubkal4,167mMorocco, Algeria, Tunisia
6.Drakensberg MountainsThabana Ntlenyana3,482mSouth Africa
7.Marrah MountainsDeriba Caldera3.042mSudan
8.Swartberg MountainsSeweweekspoortpiek2,325mSouth Africa
9.Magaliesberg MountainsNooitgedacht1,852mSouth Africa
10.Nuba MountainsNuba Hills1,325mSudan
A list of the top 10 highest mountain ranges in Africa

What is Africa’s main mountain range called?

It is called the Atlas Mountains and it is also the longest mountain range in Africa.


There are so many other mountain ranges in Africa that are not mentioned in this post because they are more than a hundred, hence the need to discuss the popular and major mountain ranges on the continent. 

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