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Climbing in Tanzania


Original Post
Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

It looks Like I am going to be in Tanzania for the summer of 2014, maybe longer. Does anyone have any beta about or knowledge of sport or trad climbing around Arusha. Does it exist, is it develop-able? Is there any resource that I could research online or guidebook wise. Any info would be appreciated.

Sam Keller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30

I would love to find out about this. I love Tanzania. It would be a dream to climb there.

Jonathan Dull · · Boone, NC · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 405

Not sure which parts you'll be in but I came across this post the other day.

mountainproject.com/v/bould…

Seems relevant.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Thanks for the link Jonathan.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Update.
I have been doing alot of research on climbing in Tanzania. I have yet to find anything of developed routes or crags. Still looking.
I have however found some very interesting pictures. The following are from the Usambara Mountains A couple hours south east of Arusha that I found in a google search.


gecko-adventure.com/wp-cont…

I also found this picture of the Uluguru Mountains closer to Dar.

So anyway if any one has any info about climbing in Tanzania or interest in climbing there this summer please let me know.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Check out Mount Landanai. From what I can find on google and google maps it is granite or something similar and the face is around a thousand feet. It is about 170 kilometers south east of Arusha.

Mount Landanai

mount landanai
Tyler Phillips · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Mt. Meru might have a technical face somewhere.

google.com/search?q=mt+meru…;rlz=1C1LENP_enUS541US541&oq=mt+meru&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.1337j0j7&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728
Bergman · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

I lived in Tanzania for a while about 10 years ago. Is it your first time to eastern Africa?

I did the trek up mt Meru - you would nee d a special permit to climb there - its a National Park, and one of the requirements is to travel with am armed Park guide. We were actually charged by a few elephants there, and the guides had to fire more than a few shots off to scare them away.

But there is lots of good rock, as mentioned above, even on the road to Dar.

My only advice is that you will not find much in the way of good gear there, so bring your own, and most importantly driving times are muchg, much longer. We figured 40km and hour of non-highway travel was doing really good. Most of time it was closer to 25km/hour max. The dirt roads are rough, but the highway is half-decent, especially around Arusha.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Thanks for the info Bergman. Not my first time to east africa, I spent ten months in Ethiopia, So i understand what you are saying about bad roads.
I'd say getting charged by elephants while hiking a fourteener is a uniquely african experience. Legit story.
I am planning on taking as much gear as I can justify, probably at least a rope and my rack.

Tyler Phillips · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 110

Bobby, make sure to let us know what you find out in terms of accessibility and any sort of technical climbing. I'm really interested to hear about it!

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Tyler,
The plan is to set up some new routes if i can find a partner over there, but failing that i would definitely be posting up lots of photos and info hoping to get people stoked.

Paul Hunnicutt · · Boulder, CO · Joined Sep 2006 · Points: 325

There were some sweet boulders in Serengeti Nat. Park, but I was advised not to climb them because there could be jaguars, baboons, or lion hiding among them. Which was interesting, because a ton of boulders were 50' from our unfenced tent camping area. Sure enough when we woke up there was a pair of lions mating 100 yards from our tent. I asked why don't the animals come into the campsite and our guide said "I don't know, they just don't...no need to worry"

You might try around the general Lushoto region and Usambara Mountains. Around Mtae and the Mambo viewpoint there was definitely rock...whether it is work climbing I don't know. It seemed to be more on the escarpment facing the plains than in the hills around Lushoto.

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Paul,
I have heard about massive boulder fields up near the Kenyan border. Lions getting it on would be a damper though.
Did you get to spend much time in the Usambura Mountains. It looks like a really neat part of the world regardless of climbing potential.

Todd Cook · · Hawthorne, CA · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 230

I was there in 2011 and I was eyeballing extensively for climbing opportunities. Most often I saw sandstone (?) like formations nearby, like this:

near Arusha, typical formation

These were very close to fields and roads and seemed the most promising.

I asked my guide about climbing and hiking and trekking and breaking trail, etc, and he pretty much said "We don't do that here. Unless you're a shepherd bringing cattle somewhere..." I brushed it off, but...

Further into the bush and up a mountain, near the Ngorongoro crater, along the dirt road we were traveling, I photographed this puff adder.
Puff adder, found alongside a dirt road.

Every year, puff adders kill lots of Tanzanians. Later, at another camp, I learned a guide had detoured a simple nature walk to pulled us out of the way of a spitting cobra he spotted near camp. He neglected to tell us and only told our guide, who confessed the truth days later.

Man eaters, check.
Poisonous snakes, check.
Malaria, check.
Jungle humidity, check.
Hyenas that make coyotes look like golden retrievers, check.
Tsetse flies that can bite through denim, check!
If you insist on going "way out there" don't skimp on water treatment or thoroughly cooking everything--I won't even bother to relate the weird Africa amoeba stories I've heard.
...It's hard to come up with a more inhospitable place for outdoor activities.

I don't mean to burst your bubble or shatter your dream of climbing in Tanzania, but outside of the well traveled Kilimanjaro routes, I would exercise extreme caution. Pack *a lot* of meds, and don't skimp on your first aid. Otherwise there are easier ways to get a first ascent story in the American Alpine Journal.

Climbing? that's the easy part.

Happy trails!

Todd
Todd Cook · · Hawthorne, CA · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 230

When would taking a shit in your car not be a bad idea?
How about Serengeti?

Can you spot the leopard? Turns out they are way into climbing.

Can you find the leopard?

Free solo head first down climb?--respect!

"Never get out of the boat"
Sam Keller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 30

Bobby, will you be around TZ in December 2014? I used to live in TZ, speak some passable form of Kiswahili, and would totally love to climb my face off there if any feasible rock and routes are found....

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728
Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Found this blog/guide book for bouldering and climbing near Mwanza on Lake Victoria.
mwanzabouldering.blogspot.com/

Adam Duchac · · Seoul, Korea · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 18

I was in Moshi in the summer of 2012 and remember seeing Mt Longido in the distance, just over the boarder after crossing into Tanzania from Kenya (just off the A104, straight north of Arusha). It looked incredible, like a giant granite horn. Zoom in on google earth, looks like some awesome, long lines.

Here's a pic: 3dphoto.net/africa3d/tanzan…

Also, check out the rock just north as well, on the Kenyan side. Could be some impressive FA's in that area.

I

Bobby Hutton · · Gold Country CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 728

Thanks Adam, I had run across Mt Longido in my research, but not the pictures that you shared. Very impressive. There looks to be lots of good natural lines. As it is the most accessible thing to Arusha that I have found I will be checking it out if i have the chance. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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