climbing ol doinyo lengai

Overview

Ol’Doinyo Lengai is the “Mountain of God” for the Massai. On its top the god of the tribe has its home. This beautiful stratovolcano lies on the Rift Valley, a cliff-like scrap running from Djibouti to Mosambique. Ol’Doinyo Lengai is one of the most active volcanos of this fault – and moreover he is the only active volcano of the world with carbonatited lava.
The volcano is rarely visited, because you need two days from the next airport to reach him. Maybe one or two groups of tourists/scientists climb it a day.
The climb is not that hard – always about 45° slopes – near the top you have to use your hands because of ash and lava channels.

Getting There

From Kilimanjaro Int. Airport you need about 1 hour to the town of Arusha. Take the road to the west and after 116 km you will reach Mto-Wa-Mbu (River of Mosquitos). Take the dusty road to the north (to Lake Natron, only 4×4, not during wet season) and after 6 hours you will arrive at OlDoinyo Base Camp. From there it’s only half an hour to the trailhead at the slopes of Lengai.

The best way to visit the crater highlands including Lengai is to organise a walking safari to the crater highlands: walk with Masai guides and donkeys through the highlands, pass Lengai and climb it!

When To Climb

You can climb the volcano the whole year round, only in the wet seasons (march to may, october to december) the roads are in bad conditions.

7 DAYS TREKKING OL DOINYO LENGAI

Lake Natron is situated in the north of the Ngorongoro Highlands; to the south is the active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai and to the west, is the edge of the Serengeti National Park.

The journey is a long but beautiful passage through dramatic, harsh territory. Making this an outstanding destination for walking safaris. Walking in the African Bush with Maasai Warriors as you guides is a unique opportunity for spectacular game viewing combined with the prospect to experience cultural encounters amongst the Maasai, Datoga, and nomadic Bushmen.

Lake Natron is a soda lake at the base of the active Ol Donyo Lengai volcano, the area around the lake is often described as having a desolate and almost lunar beauty. Walks around the lake and up along the side of the streams to the waterfalls along the nearby escarpment make for a fantastic adventure that is well and truly “off the beaten track”.

Day 01: NAIROBI | ARUSHA | NGORONGORO CRATER Catch the morning shuttle bus to Arusha. Lunch in Arusha. Proceed to Ngorongoro Crater with an en route late afternoon game viewing in the crater, 3500m.  Dinner and overnight at a campsite, L,D.  

Day 02: NGORONGORO | EMPAKAI CRATER Full day in the Ngorongoro Crater. Morning game viewing in the crater then drive through highlands to the rim of Empakai crater campsite, B,L,D.  

Day 03: TREKKING EMPAKAI CRATER. Full day of trekking and walking in the crater, we explore this unique forested crater on foot, and marvel at the variety of its wildlife and flora that abounds in it. Dinner and overnight at a campsite, B,L,D.

Day 04: TREKKING RIFT VALLEY | SALEI PLAINS Today, we hook up with Maasai guides for a walk/trek down the Rift Valley escarpment to the Salei plains. Dinner and overnight at campsite, B,L,D. Ol-doinyo Lengai Climb

Day 5: TREKKING RIFT VALLEY | LAKE NATRON We continue with the trek/walk along the Great Rift Valley escarpment. The views over Lake Natron are magnificent. The flamingo colonies from a distance are a splash of dark pink colour on the lake. We reach the floor of the Rift valley where we camp for an overnight stay. An early sleep would be preferred owing to the next day’s early trek up the Lengai to summit by sunrise, B,L,D.

Day 06: TREK LENGAI | LONGIDO 01:00hrs – An early start just after midnight. Start the climb up Lengai mountain to reach the summit just in time for the sun rise on Mount Kilimanjaro some 200 km away. Inside the crater we witness small eruptive cones spurting liquid magma which in turn form pools of hot lava. It is a powerful magical place sacred to the Maasai. We descend to catch our afternoon vehicle transfer across the Rift Valley towards Mount Longido for an overnight camping, B,L,D.

Day 07: LONGIDO | NAIROBI OR ARUSHA Return to Arusha or Nairobi. We take a little-used track to reach the main road to the border (Arusha – Namanga Road). After border formalities, we head back to Nairobi, B,L.

 Tour Cost Per Person Sharing: US $1,995.

Safari Cost Includes:
All transfers made by road to all destinations as per Itinerary
Full board accommodation in Ol donyo Lengai and other areas as per itinerary.
Park fee and village charges
Service for Maasai guide and their donkey
Fee for a professional driver guide & an armed ranger
Pure natural water 1.5 liter per person per day
Sleeping bag

Safari Cost Excludes: Ol-doinyo Lengai Climb
Accommodation in Arusha on the arrival and departure day
International flight
Airport departure tax
Flying doctors insurance
All expenses of personal nature
Tips for diver and cooker
Alcoholic drinks while in the Camp.

WHAT TO WEAR

  • Sun hat
  • sunglasses
  • head torch
  • buff or lightweight neck gaiter (for keeping out dust)
  • rain shell
  • light fleece
  • long sleeve t shirt x 2
  • hiking trousers (zip off style are recommended so you have shorts too)
  • waterproof trousers
  • socks x 3 pairs
  • hiking shoes preferably with some decent ankle support
  • teva or flip flops for in camp
  • walking poles
  • gaiters for those that have low cut hiking shoes
  • water bottles x 3 enough to hold 3 Liters
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