Mount Ol’doinyo Lengai

Mount Ol’doinyo Lengai

Northern Circuit

Mount Ol’doinyo Lengai

Mountain Range 2962 m Northern Circuit, Arusha

"Oldoinyo Lengai" means “The Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. The summit of this strato-volcano is 2962 metres above sea level, and affords direct views into the caldera of Tanzania’s only officially-certified active volcano, and the world’s only carbonatite volcano; records of eruptions have been maintained since 1883, the largest of which deposited ash 120 from Arusha Town and 100 kilometres away in Loliondo on the Kenyan border to the north west.

It is located in northern Tanzania lying just south of Soda Ash Lake Natron in the Rift Valley, in the heart of Maasai country, and locally regarded as a sacred mountain. Looking north from it’s summit crater, the hot barren salt flats of Lake Natron stretch into the distance. To the south stretch the crater Highlands and the Ngorongoro Game Reserve. The eastern horizons dominated by Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Rift Valley. Every seven years Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater.

It is possible to walk across the crater floor. The ascent of Oldoinyo Lengai is demanding on account of the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unsuitable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks and considerable height gain. Normally you can start ascending to summit early in the morning and reach to summit at sunrise. Short and a warm jacket are suitable for ascent, also long trousers are good as the summit before dawn can be cold. Access route from the North West allows an early descent to be made from the summit in the morning shadow.

Since the past ancestors the Holly Lengai has been used by Maasai for their prayer to their GOD known as NGAI. Ol’doinyo Lengai is the only active volcano in the world that erupt natrocarbonatite lava which is cooler than other lavas about (510 degrees C) compare to the temperatures of basaltic lavas (1,100 degrees C) with less silicon.

The Mountain frequently does minor eruptions and form cone like structures to its crater base.

Unlike others two highest Mountains, Lengai takes about six to seven hours to the summit crater. Also the Mountain is an ideal place for a working safari escort by the Maasai guides with weapons tourist can sight wild animals like olive baboon, velvet, monitor lizard, hyenas, lion, leopard, jackal, Grant’s gazelle, impala and zebra.

The nearby are the Maasai BOMAS that gives you a chance to interact with the indigenous learn their cultures, taboos and traditional.

Climbing Ol'donyo Lengai

You climb this 3,000 meter high ‘Mountain of God’ (as it is called by the Maasai) at night. This is the only active carbonatite volcano in the world. With the moonlight, this is a mystical and unforgettable experience. From the mountain, you have an indescribably beautiful view.

The walk to the top of Ol’Doinyo Lengai is very intense due to the many loose grains on the mountain.

It is important to know that the daily conditions on the mountain are changing. The guide can decide on the spot to cancel the climb to the top.

Duration: 12 hours.

Walk on Great Rift

The Great Rift Valley (also known as the East African Slenk or Great Slenk) is a beautiful area.
At Lake Natron you can take a beautiful walk along this Rift Valley. With the majestic mountain Ol’Donyo Lengai in the background this is a special day.

This walk starts at the Lake Natron Camp, early in the morning. From here, you walk to the foot of the Rift Valley wall. You walk along this wall to the beginning of the Ngare Sero gorge. You climb this to enjoy the dawn on top. Breakfast is served while you enjoy the breathtaking at the top of this gorge.

After breakfast you descend via a different route to return to Lake Natron Camp.

Duration: 6 hours

Waterfalls and Springs

From Lake Natron Camp you can take a beautiful walk to the Engare Sero gorge where there are several waterfalls and springs.

You can opt for a half day or a full day tour. You walk to the waterfalls where you can swim and cool off. This oasis is a beautiful mix of tropical palm trees and volcanic rocks.

Duration: 4 – 6 hours, incl. picnic basket.

Enquire: Mount Oldoinyo Lengai

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