One challenging question I am often asked is: “What is the difference between a Hill and a Mountain? Why is Mount Patti (1500ft) called a Mountain and Idanre Hills (3000ft)  is called a hill?

The truth is Hills and mountains are both natural land formations that rise out of the landscape, but what is the difference between the two reliefs? To further complicate things, there is no universally accepted standard definition for the height of a mountain or a hill.

Mountain  Or  Hill?

True a Mountain should be taller than a hill, Yes but at what height? And this even get much more complicated in that some  mountains can be called hills while some hills can be called mountains. 


Even leaders in geography, like the United States Geological Survey (USGS), do not have an exact definition of a mountain or hill.

So how to we differentiate between them?

Before 1970’s  the United States, defined a mountain as having a local relief higher than 1000 feet (about 300m), but this  defintion was later dropped. Till date no height standard has been accepted to define what should be a hill or a Mountain, but note that very high elevations are always called Mountains. A lot of countries differentiate using the height, with any landform that exceeds 2,000 feet is considered a mountain and below 2,000 feet is considered as hill. As hikers we should just hike and forget about what definition to follow.



According to wikipeadia, The summit of a mountain or hill may be measured in three principal ways:

  1. The topographic elevation of a summit measures the height of the summit above a geodetic sea level.[2][3]
  2. The topographic prominence of a summit is a measure of how high the summit rises above its surroundings.[4][3]
  3. The topographic isolation (or radius of dominance) of a summit measures how far the summit lies from its nearest point of equal elevation.[5]

The Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain or point in Africa at the height of 5,895 meters above sea level, located in Tanzania. In the Nigeria, only Chappal Waddi exceeds 7000ft (2419 m) elevation. Four major summits exceed 2000 meters , six  exceeds 1500 meters.

So here is a list of 10 tallest points in Nigeria:

1. Chappal Waddi (highest point in Nigeria)

Elevation / Prominence: 2419 meters / 7936 ft 

Location:  Gashaka Gumti National Park ,Taraba



2. Tsaunin Kwaiki 

Elevation / Prominence: 2359 meters / 7740 ft 

Location: Niger State


3. Kumari

Elevation / Prominence: 2280 meters / 7480 ft 

Location: Borno State


4. Mount Dimilang (tallest of the Shebshi Mountain range)

Elevation / Prominence: 2042 meters / 6699 ft 

Location: Adamawa State


5. Sankwala Mountains

Elevation / Prominence: 1800 meters / 5906 ft 

Location: Cross River State


6. Shere Hills

Elevation / Prominence: 1829 meters / 6001 ft 

Location: Plateau State


7. Masaijeh Hill

Elevation / Prominence: 1,593 m (5,226 ft

Location: Bauchi State

Atlantika Mountains

1300m (4300ft)


8. Zeim Hill

Elevation / Prominence: 1,593 m (5,226 ft

Location: Bauchi State


9. Atlantika Mountains

Elevation / Prominence: 1,300m ,4300 ft

Location: Adamawa State


10.Idanre Hill

Elevation / Prominence:1,053 m (3,455 ft

Location: Ondo State







(10 May 2010). Table of the Highest Major Summits of the United States – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from:

  1. Nice Update , i love your pictures

  2. I didn’t see kilang mountain located in kaltungo/ shongom LGA in Gombe south. Or how are you making your classification?

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