Ngorongoro Highlands Walking Safari
Duration: 7 days/6 nights
Accommodation: Camping (Hotel in Arusha) Essential Style
Highlights: Ngorongoro Crater, Empakaai Crater, Lake Natron, Ol Doinyo Lengai
Best Time to Travel: Jan, June – December.
Contact us and let us work together on the budget that suits you.
This special trek offers you fresh air, peace, and serenity in the wilderness, along with with authentic cultural interaction with the Masaii, plus panoramic views of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Meru, Olmoti and Lolmalasini. Other sights include Empaki crater, the famous Lake Natron flamingos, and for those who are very fit, the optional opportunity to climb the “Mountain of God” (Ol Doinyo Lengai). Ol Doinyo Lengai (2870 (9650 ft) is an active volcano on the southern shore of Lake Natron. This impressive peak is revered by the Maasai as the sacred home of God. A nearly perfect cone, it still erupts occasionally and you may have the opportunity to walk on the still-steaming new ground. This trek brings you across the volcanic Masai lands north of Ngorongoro Crater, scrambles down game-filled craters and up active volcanoes to the Rift Valley and Lake Natron where there are swathes of pink flamingos. Nights are spent at wilderness camps, open to the elements and passing wildlife and equipment is carried by backup 4wd vehicles and/or Donkeys during the trekking.
This trek can be combined with a northern circuit lodge or camping safari, please inquire if you are interested in more game viewing or encounters with different tribes.
Day 1 – Arrive at JRO/ Arusha Town:
Arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport/ Arusha Airport. After passing through immigration and baggage claim, you will be met and assisted by your Yao Safaris guide. He will bring you your lodge in Arusha to stay overnight at on Bed and Breakfast basis. We will also confirm that you have the appropriate mandatory medical coverage and travel insurance as well.
Overnight: The African Tulip Hotel (B&B)
Day 2 – Arusha – Ngorongoro Crater Game Drive:
Early this morning, after breakfast, we head by 4WD to Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the spectacular Ngorongoro Crater – a wonder of the natural world. We descend into the crater for the game-drive tour of the Crater floor, where you will have a packed lunch. Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest caldera measuring 600 meters in depth and covering 250 square kilometers in area. The crater is a stunning setting and contains an abundance of wildlife with over 20,000 large animals including Tanzania’s few remaining black rhino. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is unique in that Masaai pastoralists with their cattle, goats, and sheep live alongside the abundant wildlife in relative harmony.
Dinner & Overnight: Nainokanoka Campsite (Full Board basis).
Day 3 – Drive to Nainokanoka/ Trek to Bulati:
Today we start our spectacular walking safari. Plan on approx 5 to 6 hours of walking each day over the next 4 days.
- Duration: 4-5 hrs
- Distance: 16 km
Early this morning, we head by 4WD to the village of Nainokanoka, still in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. We will stop at a Masai boma along the way to experience the Masai culture. From Nainokanoka village you will commence your walking safari with your private Maasai guide, a cook plus donkeys to carry supplies. Today’s walk will bring you to Bulati Village. The campsite is in very close proximity to a Masai boma.
Dinner & Overnight: Bulati Campsite (Full Board basis).
Day 4 – Trek to the Empakaai Crater Rim:
- Duration: 3-4 hrs
- Distance: 9 km
Today we continue our walking to Empakaai Crater. Dinner and a scenic overnight stay tonight on the rim of Empakaai Crater. Bushbuck, buffalo and blue monkey may be seen on the rim, which boasts splendid views on a clear day to Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano, Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Natron. Later this day we’ll descend into Empakaai crater. The crater is 300 meters high with almost half of the floor filled by a pristine soda lake.
Dinner and overnight: Empakaai Crater Rim Campsite (Full Board basis).
Day 5 – Empakaai Crater / Trek to Acacia Campsite:
- Duration: 4-5 hrs
- Distance: 13 km
Today we hike to Nayobi village, which is a Masai village. The path we follow is very good with views of Ol Doinyou Lengai in the distance. We will enjoy lunch in Naiyobi village. After lunch, we continue our trek. the landscape becomes drier and warmer. We will set up camp for the night in an acacia forest.
Dinner and overnight: Acacia Campsite (Full Board basis).
Day 6 – Acacia Campsite – Lake Natron
- Duration: 2-3 hrs
- Distance: 6 km
Today you will walk from Acacia campsite to the foot of Ol Doinyo Lengai. Here you will be met by your driver and 4WD vehicle. You will be driven to the campsite near Lake Natron. Once at camp, after a short break, you can go to a waterfall and relax in the river, or drive out to the shoreline of Lake Natron and see the massive flamingo colonies wading in the shallows.
Dinner and overnight: Ngaresero Campsite (Full Board basis).
If you are fit enough after the 4 days of trekking, then the Ol Doinyo Lengai summit option may be applied.
(optional extra) Ol Doinyo Lengai climb
For those interested in climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai, we can arrange your trek for an extra fee of US$ 120 per person. Oldonyo Lengai (2870 (9650 ft) is an active volcano on the southern shore of Lake Natron. This impressive peak is revered by the Maasai as the sacred home of God. A nearly perfect cone, it still erupts occasionally and you may have the opportunity to walk on the still-steaming new ground.
Oldoinyo Lengai is the only active Sodium Carbonate Volcano in the world. We must get up at midnight and get to the trailhead by 1:15 am. It is an exhilarating climb to the summit and we should reach the caldera floor just in time to see the sun rising behind Mount Meru far, far in the distance. Further still, on the edge of our view, is Mount Kilimanjaro. Stay a while and bask in the incredible beauty of the place before starting our descent. On descending, you will be met by the driver and brought to the campsite for breakfast.
Day 7 – Return Back to Arusha / Kilimanjaro International Airport:
After breakfast this morning, you will begin your drive back to Arusha town or to Kilimanjaro International Airport. There will be opportunities to stop along the way for souvenir shopping and packed lunch.
End of the trip and Services.