Oldonyo Lengai Trek (Ngorongoro Highlands Trek)
The highlands of Ngorongoro are home to some of the East Africa’s most spectacular sights; misty forests and rolling hills, ancient craters and the noble Maasai who inhabit the area. The trek begins at the rim of the remote Empakai Crater, a forested crater with an emerald green lake at its bottom. The first day’s hike is around the lake at the Empakai crater floor, then the next day the trek begins in earnest, from Empakai Crater downwards into the highland meadows to a small Maasai village called Nayobi. We spend the night camping in a private Acacia grove atop the Rift Valley escarpment, with magnificent views of Oldony’o Lengai, the ‘Maasai Mountain of God’, and the world’s ‘coolest’ volcano. On the third day we continue down the Rift Valley escarpment wall to the base of Oldony’o Lengai and the great expanse of Lake Natron and the salt flats that surround it. We set a camp near a clear, cool river which flows from a nearby waterfall emanating from a fissure in the escarpment wall. Year-round, this clear river flows into the barren, parched plain close to Lake Natron, and disappears into the sand! From here there are many trekking options, including a trek up Oldony’o Lengai. Of course, this itinerary can be included as part of any safari, including Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Tarangire & Manyara before or afterwards.
This trek is suitable for people of many ages and abilities, but minimum age recommended is 10 years. The daily trekking time ranges from 4 to 6 hours, and trekkers are only required to carry a daypack.