About Hanang Mountain
Hanang District is situated in Manyara region, about 242 km south west of Arusha. Mount Hanang, standing at 3418m, is the fourth highest mountain in Tanzania and a dominant landmark in Hanang district. . The spectacular views of small craters, Lake Bakangida, The Mangati plains stretching at the south and the Rift Valley escarpment at the North West.
This district is inhabited by the two major ethnic groups, namely the Barbaig and the Iraqw. Visitors can mix freely with the Barbaig, commonly known as the Mang’ati living in the Mang’ati plains. If you are interested in bird watching, 400 bird species will welcome you on your walks in the area.
The Barbaig are ethnically classified as Nilotes where as the Iraqw are referred to as southern Cushites.Both of them have rich and interesting culture. The Barbaig women are usually clad in goatskin skirts and cotton blanket. Men are usually dressed in black cloth, and they walk about carrying spears. The Iraqw people are usually attire in colorful cotton blankets.
The main economic activities in Hanang district is subsistence and commercial farming. This is predominantly practiced by the Iraqw. The Barbaigs are predominantly pastoralists. The Iraqw also keep livestock though they are not highly dependent on them as the Barbaigs.
The people of Hanang offer:
• A special Barbaig cultural insight hike
• An exclusive Mount Hanang climb
• Cycling expeditions through remote areas
• A chance to participate in local brick and pottery making and beer brewing
Guides: English speaking guides who know the area will help you around. A Barbaig born guide will tell you about Barbaig culture.
Hanang Climbing Route
The easiest way to arrange a climb up Mount Hanang is through Bush Routes Adventures, which also offers an excellent four-day trip combining an ascent with a visit to a Barbaig community.
The shortest and most popular ascent is the Katesh route, from Katesh up the southwestern ridge: five to six hours to the summit, camping at 3000m, and a three-to four-hour descent the following day. You can go up and down in one day if the physical challenge is more important than enjoyment, but do start early. Allow time to arrange transport from Babati to Katesh, and to pay the forest fee, so count on a minimum of two or three days in total.
To vary the scenery, descending via the Ngendabi route is recommended, or alternatively ascending along it and descending to Katesh. The route starts 16km (3hr) northwest from Katesh at Ngendabi village, Accommodation in Ngendabi offered informally by teachers from the primary school, but shouldn’t be counted on.
The main alternative to the Katesh and Ngendabi routes is the Giting route, from Giting village on the northeast side of the mountain. You might need your own 4WD of the bad road, You’ll also need to visit Katesh first to pay the forest fee. Accommodation along this route has been planned for years, to take advantage of the beautiful view of Lake Balangida; enquire whether this has finally happened in Babati.
Camping is possible on all routes, but you need to be fully self-sufficient; take enough water as there’s none near the summit and no guarantee of any further down. Don’t underestimate the mountain: it gets pretty cold at 3417m so come suitably equipped.