Ngorongoro Trekking

This is how a family of lions looks on a walking safari in Ngorongoro Highlands – don’t worry you have maasai guides to protect you!

The Ngorongoro Highlands is a jewel in the Tanzanian crown often completely ignored by the vast majority of visitors to the region who flock to the crater itself.

Under the protection of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority is the archaeological site of Odulvai Gorge, and a large area of tropical highland, peppered with dormant and active volcanoes, the climax of which is the starkly beautiful Ol Doinyo Lengai Crater which has seen recent volcanic activity in 2007 and 2008.

The region offers superb long range trekking in an environment that hosts both human and natural interest. It is a landscape of rolling hill country, deep crater lakes and spectacular volcanic peaks. Treks can run from a few days to full coverage of the reserve over the course of 10 days or more.

Features of our treks include:

  • The lake bottomed Empakai Crater with its significant flamingo population, including a long lakeshore hike.
  • Naiyobi Maasai Village and Lerai Forest Camp.
  • A climb to the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai itself.
  • Lake Natron, a saline lake set in a volcanic landscape and noted for large flamingo population.

On all of our treks you will be accompanied by our walking guide, a park ranger and Maasai warriors to protect you from animals. Donkeys will be carrying your luggage and supplies, and can even assist you if you feel too tired to walk by yourself. Overnight will be in campsites throughout the safari.

Day 1: Arusha to Olmoti Crater to Empakai
An early start to get to Olmoti from where you will continue on your way heading to Empakai crater and hike into Empakai Crater with an armed ranger. There are no roads and no human inhabitants in the crater which contains forests and a deep lake, where flocks of flamingos can be spotted. The caldera is 6km wide and the lake occupies nearly half of its floor.  The scenery is spectacular at every point. From the northern and eastern side you can look out to the dramatic cone of Oldonyo Lengai, the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron. On the valleys eastern side you might see the snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro.Accommodation: Private camp on the Crater Rim of Empakai, Meals: Full board
Day 2: Empakai to Rift Valley
In the morning after breakfast at around 08.30 using donkeys for camp porterage, you will walk from Empakai Crater down towards the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment. We camp at an excellent viewpoint onto the Rift Valley and the splendid cone of Lengai volcano (for the Maasai, the Mountain of Godalley).Accommodaton: Private campsite near Escarpment, Meals: Full board
Day 3: Rift Valley to Lake Natron
In the morning trek into the Rift Valley, base of Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain. Hike into the Rift Valley: steep cliffs on one side, Lake Natron in front and the impressive stratovolcano of Lengai on the other side. Down in the valley, you will relax at a comfortable campsite near Lake Natron.
Accommodaton: Private campsite near Lake Natron, Meals: Full boardDay 4: Lake Natron
Full day tour of Lake Natron where the highlights include the Engaresero river gorge, breeding flamingos in the soda lake, waterfalls and rift cliffs, (water-shoes are required, and swimsuits!).

Accommodaton: Private campsite near Lake Natron, Meals: Full board

Day 5: Travel back to Arusha
In the morning after breakfast drive from Lake Natron back to Arusha

Day 1: Arusha – Lake Manyara – Ngorongoro
In the morning depart Arusha and drive to Lake Manyara National Park for game viewing, in the afternoon at around 13.00 you will stop for picnic lunch, after lunch you will continue with game viewing in the Manyara Park and at around 15.30 you will leave Manyara Park and drive to Ngorongoro for sunset.Highlights of Manyara Park: A major attraction of the Lake Manyara National Park is the tree – climbing lions. However, there are other things to see – elephants, hippos, zebras, impalas, buffalos, baboons, plains animals as well as huge variety of birdlife, both resident and migratory.  At certain times of the year, Lake Manyara is home to thousands of flamingos (attracted by the Lake itself), which form a shimmering pink zone around the lake shore. Other birds found here include ostriches, egrets, herons, pelicans and storks. Also seen are African spoonbills, various species of ibises, ducks and the rare pygmy geese. The most noticeable feature of the landscape within this park are the very impressive baobab trees with their huge
trunks.
Accommodation: Camping (Simba Campsite), Meals: Full board.
Day 2: Morning game drive in Ngorongoro – Olmoti Crater
In the morning descend into the crater for a game drive, continue to Olmoti crater, hike to the crater rim and down to waterfalls. Afternoon: continue to Embulbul, and spend the night at a campsite. Thie shallow grassy  Olmoti crater is the source of the Munge river, which pours through a notch in the rim in a spectacular waterfall on its way to Ngorongoro crater. You will walk from Nainokanoka ranger post, through the forest up to the top of the waterfall.Accommodation: Private camp, Meals: Full board
Day 3: Olmoti Crater to Empakai
After breakfast you will continue on your way heading to Empakai crater and hike into Empakai Crater with an armed ranger. The crater contains forests and a deep lake, where flocks of flamingos can be spotted. The caldera is 6km wide and the lake occupies nearly half of its floor.  The scenery is spectacular at every point. From the northern and eastern side you can look out to the dramatic cone of Oldonyo Lengai, the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron. On the valleys eastern side you might see the snow capped peak of Kilimanjaro.
Accommodation: Private camp on the Crater Rim of Empakai, Meals: Full board.Day 4: Empakai to Rift Valley
In the morning after breakfast using donkeys for camp porterage, you will walk from Empakai Crater down towards the edge of the Rift Valley Escarpment. Camp at an excellent viewpoint onto the Rift Valley and the splendid cone of Lengai volcano (for the Maasai, the Mountain of Godalley).

Accommodaton: Private campsite near Escarpment, Meals: Full board.

Day 5: Rift Valley to Lake Natron
In the morning treking into the Rift Valley, base of Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain. Hike into the Rift Valley: steep cliffs on one side, Lake Natron in front and the impressive stratovolcano of Lengai on the other side. Down in the valley, you will relax at a comfortable campsite near Lake Natron.

Accommodaton: Private campsite near Lake Natron, Meals: Full board.

Day 6: Lake Natron
Full day tour of Lake Natron where the highlights include the Engaresero river gorge, breeding flamingos in the soda lake, waterfalls and rift cliffs, (water-shoes are required, and swimsuits!).

Accommodaton: Private campsite near Lake Natron, Meals: Full board.

Day 7: Travel back to Arusha
In the morning after breakfast drive from Lake Natron back to Arusha.