The Crater Highlands consist of an elevated range of volcanoes and collapsed volcanoes, which rise from the side of the Great Rift Valley and run along the Eastern edge of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The peaks include Oldeani, Lemagrut, Olmoti, Loolmalasin, Empakaai, Ngorongoro and the active Ol Doinyo Lengai all with a number of impressive peaks, with steep escarpments, crater lakes, dense forests and grassy ridges, streams and waterfalls. The area is secluded and rarely visited but offers some of Tanzania?s most jagged and extraordinary scenery and some of the finest trekking Most walking is done at around the 3000m mark though there are more routes available to the more adventurous. Donkeys will be provided to carry camping and cooking equipment and other personal belongings, to help relieve us from excess luggage whilst we trek.
Day 1: Lake Natron/Ngare Sero
Departing Arusha in the morning we drive to Mtu wa Mbu; (meaning mosquito Lake / Lake Manyara) for lunch. After lunch, we drive north along the bottom of the Great Rift Valley wall to Lake Natron and the village of Ngare Sero at the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai. We spend the night at a campsite by the lake.
Lake Natron is a spectacular soda lake north of Ol Doinyo Lengai and lies at 610m below the Rift Valley in the harsh Kenyan border area. Lake Natron is highly scenic in an almost ancient quality; it also offers fine game viewing and bird watching. Natron is also the only known breeding ground for East Africa’s lesser flamingo.
Day 2: Ngare Sero/Ol Doinyo Lengai
From Lake Natron to Ngare Sero is a 3-hour walk. Ol Doinyo Lengai is best approached from the west. It is another 3 hours walk to get from Ngare Sero to Ol Doinyo Lengai’s lower slopes. The vehicle will go on ahead here so that it is there to take you up this large gully and save you at least 6 hours of walking. Overnight stay at a camp in the gully.
Day 3: Ol Doinyo Lengai summit and back to Lake Natron campsite
A very early start is in order to gain as much height as possible in the cool of the morning. Sun hats and large water in-takes are essential. Great care should be taken on the way down: loose volcanic gravel on bare rock makes it risky in some places. We spend the night at Lake Natron campsite.
Please note the dehydration and sunstroke are serious threats to hikers who don’t take adequate precautions. Ol Doinyo Lengai is a demanding ascent to the crater of the Masai Mountain of God; the only lively carbonate volcano in the world. We walk through some superb arid scenery with amazing views of the Rift Valley. Ol Doinyo Lengai last erupted in 1966 and between 1996.Although the crater has been filling with lava; it has not yet spilt over the edge.
Day 4: Arusha Town
Departing after breakfast we drive back to Arusha town and drop you off at a hotel of your choice. Accommodation at an extra cost.