8 Days Hiking to Ngorongoro Highlands and Oldoinyo Lengai Trekking

8 Days Hiking to Ngorongoro Highlands and Oldoinyo Lengai Trekking

Tour snapshot

8 Days / 7 Nights
Safari Type
Mountain Climbing, Walking Safaris
Can be Tailor-made:
Free Cancellation
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Climbing / Trekking
Bird Watching
Walking / Hiking
Forest Walk


This 10 day trekking tour takes you to the diverse landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands – Ngorongoro, Olmoti and Empakaai - eventually leading to Lake Natron where you have the opportunity to attempt trekking Ol Doinyo Lengai, (Mountain of God) named by the Maasai. The trail winds through some of the greatest scenery in Tanzania. A breathtaking hike through wild grasses and mountainous landscapes, as well as thick mountain forest and the volcanic scarred savannah of the Rift Valley. In addition to stunning landscapes and wildlife sightings, this trek allows a deep insight into the lives of the Maasai.


Day 1
Moshi / Arusha – Ngorongoro Crater – Nainokanoka – Walking to Olmoti Crater
Olmoti Crater Campsite

We will pick you up from your hotel at 0800 and depart for Ngorongoro Crater, descending for game viewing and a tour of the crater with a picnic lunch in the crater. Ascend to the rim and proceed to Nainokanoka Village campsite where you have dinner and overnight. You may hike to Olmoti Crater rim for about 1.5 hours and Mungu Waterfalls before dinner and overnight at the camp.

Crater Tour: 3-4 hours (Optional) | Walking time: 1-2 hours | Walking Distance: About 2 km | Altitude: Nainokanoka/Olmoti ↑ ↓ 300 m

Day 2
Nainokanoka Camp – Bulati Camp
Bulati Camp

After breakfast and loading the Masai donkeys, the journey begins and you will pass many traditional Masai bomas and cattle herds. Soon, you might also see wild animals such as Thompson and Grant’s gazelles, zebras and wildebeests with hungry jackals not far behind and majestic eagles observing the situation. After approximately 16 km ~ 5hrs of hiking you will reach a campsite not far from the Masai village Bulati for dinner and overnight at the camp.

Distance: About 16 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Altitude: ↑ 500 m

Day 3
Bulati Camp – Empakai Camp
Empakai Camp

After breakfast, the journey goes up a hill from where you have a last panoramic view of the grass plains below. The trek (9 km ~ 4-5 hrs) continues up and down through the bushy landscape which finally opens up to the active volcano, Oldonyo Lengai. The trek gives you great views of the majestic volcano as well as into the impressive Empakai Crater (6 km) wide before reaching the campsite for the night. You can explore the crater and on a well-maintained path you descend to Lake Empakai inside the crater. This alkaline soda lake is an important food source for flamingos, which can be seen throughout the year. During the night you might hear the flamingos call as they fly back to their breeding nests at Lake Manyara and Lake Natron. Dinner and overnight at the camp.

Distance: About 9 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Altitude: ↑ 500 m

Day 4
Empakai Camp – Empakai Crater – Empakai Camp
Empakai Camp

An early start descent to Empakai Crater with an armed ranger, Empakaai Crater is 300m deep with almost half the floor covered by a soda lake.  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. Bushbuck, buffalo, and blue monkey can be seen on the rim, which on a clear day boasts superb views to Ol Doinyo Lengai, Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Natron. In the afternoon return to the camp for dinner and overnight.


Day 5
Empakai Camp – Acacia Camp
Acacia Camp

Today you will hike to the Masai village Naiyobi and following a good path, the village as well as Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano, can be seen from a distance. After lunch in Naiyobi, the trek leaves the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the landscape becomes drier and warmer. Tonight’s camp will be set up at amongst an acacia forest.

Distance: About 13 km | Walking time: 4-5 hours | Altitude: ↑ 200 m

Day 6
Acacia Camp – Kamakia Camp
Kamakia Camp

The last stage of the journey is not too long and travels mainly downhill. The highlights of the morning are the fantastic views of Ol Doinyo Lengai, Lake Natron, and the Rift Valley. The trek descends deep into the dry and hot Rift Valley, where the dried-out ashes can be viewed up close. Just before lunch you will reach the waiting vehicles and transfer the short distance to the foot of Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is the only active carbonite volcano in the world. Settle into camp for a few hours’ sleep, before the optional activity of climbing the volcano tonight. Sleeping elevation 2600 m. In the late afternoon, you will have the opportunity to hike to the beautiful waterfalls around the area. Dinner at Kamakia Camp.

Walking Distance: About 6 km | Walking time: 2-3 hours | Altitude/Descend: ↓ 1200 m

Day 7
Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai – Night Hike – Kamakia Camp
Kamakia Camp

Shortly after midnight, you start climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai, the Maasai’s Mountain of God. This ascent requires good levels of fitness, as the track to the top is very steep, climbing in altitude from 800m to 3000m. The ascent can take anything from 8-14 hours with no shade, hence an early start. Return to camp around 11:00 is for brunch. Once back at camp, you have an afternoon to sleep and recover from your climb. Approximate trekking time 8 to 14 hours covering a distance of 15kms. In the afternoon visit to Lake Natron and overnight at Kamakia Camp.

Distance: About 15 km | Ascending / Descending time: 8-14 hours | Altitude: ↑ 3000 m

Day 8
Kamakia Camp – Lake Natron – Engare Sero – Arusha / Moshi

In the morning drive to Engaruka Ruins (The Africa’s Oldest civilization) we may visit the ruins and later we continue to Mto wa Mbu and continue to Arusha/Moshi, which will take the majority of the day.

94% of travelers recommend this experience
Not sure? You can cancel this reservation up to 24 hours in advance for a full refund.

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