Mt Hanang is one of Tanzania’s most rewarding mountain treks is also one of its least known. The volcanic Mt Hanang (3417m), Tanzania’s fourth-highest mountain, rises steeply above the surrounding plains between Babati and Singida and you’ll likely be the only climber on the satisfying trek to the summit. The principal path to the top is the Jorodom Route, which begins in the town of Katesh on the mountain’s southern side and can be done in one long day (usually 10 hours) with an additional day necessary for making arrangements, although overnighting at the top is more enjoyable. While a guide isn’t strictly essential, the trail can be hard to follow so we definitely recommend hiring one. This is best arranged through Kahembe’s Cultural & Wildlife Safaris in Babati. With a group of two, the climb costs US$128 per person, including food, guide, lodging in Katesh the nights before and after the climb, and the US$30 per person forest reserve fee and Tsh2800 per person village fee. Transport is extra.
If you’re trekking independently, register and pay at the forest cachement office (0784 456590) in room 15 of the Katesh municipality building (Idara ya Mkuu wa Wilaya) on the hill above Katesh. It’s best to call ahead since the staff is sometimes out of the office. Guides can be hired here for Tsh12,000 per day, but you’ll be responsible for your own food and water. Don’t go with any freelancers who hang around Katesh (many of whom will say they’re with Kahembe’s). Some are legit, but there have been instances of these guides taking climbers part way up the mountain and then robbing them. Regardless of how you do the trip, carry plenty of water since there’s none to be found during the climb.
Katesh is also known for its large mnada held on the 9th, 10th and 28th of each month. Maasai, Barabaig, Iraqw and other peoples from a wide surrounding area converge to buy and sell cattle and trade their wares.