Climbing Mount Kenya
Kilimanjaro, Africa's highest peak, has 2,283 feet on 17,058-foot Mount Kenya, but Kili is mainly a trekker's mountain, whereas Kenya offers challenging technical climbing. (You need to have at least solid 5.6 skills.) On this 14-day trip, you'll spend four to five days acclimatizing while hiking from tropical to high-alpine terrain and camping at sites with sweeping vistas. You'll climb 15 to 20 pitches of 5.6-5.8 rock on Shipton's Route, to one of Mount Kenya's twin summits, 17,021-foot Nelion Peak. (The next day you can do the optional 17,058-foot Batian.) If you're ambitious, sign up for an extension to climb Kili's Umbwe Route, and determine for yourself which peak is the true African king.
High Point: You'll encounter none of Kili's midmountain Coca-Cola vendors.
Low Point: You'll encounter none of Kili's midmountain Coca-Cola vendors.
Travel Advisory: You'd better like your climbing partners. The hut atop Nelion barely sleeps four, and there's hardly room to sit up.
Outfitter: Mountain Madness (206-937-8389, www.mountainmadness.com)
When to Go: November to March
Price: From $3,975
Mountain-Biking the Savanna
Being outpaced by a cheetah as you roll through the savanna isn't out of the question on this 13-day, 300-mile ride from the base of 14,979-foot Mount Meru to the Ngorongoro Crater. You'll bike up to 40 miles a day along dirt roads and singletrack and check in on animal hot spots like Tarangire National Park (ostrich habitat), the shores of Lake Manyara (pink flamingo country), and the edge of the Ngorongoro Crater (the whole cast of The Lion King).
Outfitter: KE Adventure Travel (800-497-9675, www.keadventure.com)
When to go: June and September
Price: From $2,595
Trekking the Highlands
Explore Simien Mountains National Park on this 17-day adventure, more than half of which you'll spend trekking through terraced farms, along volcanic escarpments (home to Simien fox and walia ibex), and to the summit of 15,158-foot Ras Dashen, Ethiopia's highest peak.
Outfitter: World Expeditions (888-464-8735, www.weadventures.com)
When to Go: January and November
South Luangwa Walking Safari
On this two-week safari, you'll hoof four to seven miles a day across the northeastern woodland savannas of 3,500-square-mile South Luangwa National Park, escorted by an armed ranger and a guide who will track giraffes, elephants, lions, hyenas, zebras, and, if you're lucky, the rare African wild dog. In the evening you'll wind down at comfortable bush camps like the Chikoko, on the roadless banks of the Luangwa River, and open-roofed (don't worry—you'll be there during the dry season) bungalows at Mwamba.
Outfitter: The Africa Adventure Company (800-882-9453, www.africa-adventure.com)
When to Go: June to October
Price: From $3,995