5 Day Crater Highlands Trek
Ngorongoro Crater to Olmoti We start our journey with an afternoon trek through the rain-forested slopes of Olmoti Crater to the rim viewpoint. The trek winds down to the grassy plains of the crater floor and to Mungwe Falls, named after the distinctive white flourish of the Colobus Monkey tail. We overnight at the Olmoti Campsite.
Olmoti Crater to Empakai After breakfast we continue our trek to Empakai Crater. The trek covers open grassland through a natural amphitheater created by volcanoes. The steep walk up Empakai affords incredible views, especially from the top where the sheer sided sunken crater can be seen. We camp on the Crater Rim, with Empakai on one side and Ol Donyo Lengai, the holy Maasai volcano, on the other.
Empakai to Nayobi After breakfast, we walk down onto the Empakai crater floor for a walking safari. Empakai Crater is a sunken volcano with a soda lake covering most of the crater floor. Flamingos nest here during the day and the large forest on the western shore is home to antelope, buffalo, leopard and lion. During migration season, a large zebra and wildebeest population pass through this area. We spend the night at Acacia Campsite.
Nayobi to Ngaresero We start our trek early to avoid the heat of the day. We descend to The Great Rift Valley and after a 6km walk on the valley floor, arrive toOldonyio Lengai, the Maasai Mountain of God. The views on our way down are some of Africa’s finest. Sweeping vistas of the Rift Valley 1500ft below, and the scattered active volcanoes, primitive rock formations, glimmering soda lakes and clustered Masai bomas are all in front of you to behold. Our shaded camp is perched above a refreshing stream and a short walk from Kamakia waterfall, where you can enjoy a cool swim.
Ngaresero An optional climb of Ol Donyo Lengai (2878m), please see inset for details. Today we visit Lake Natron (short afternoon visit if Ol Donyo Lengai trek is taken), one of the soda alkaline lakes, where there is an array of water birds including hordes of flamingos. There is also an opportunity to walk up to Kamakia waterfall for a refreshing swim. We will return for a second night at Moivaro Campsite.
Optional Trek of Oldoinyo Lengai
OPTIONAL CLIMB OF OLDOINYO LENGAI
We offer an optional climb of Oldoinyo Lengai (2878m), an active carbonate volcano with spiritual significance to the Maasai.
This is a very demanding trek, which starts around midnight so as to avoid the fierce midday heat. There is no shade on the mountain, and the terrain underfoot consists of tough scree, lava and volcanic ash, with steep furrows and gullies to negotiate.
At the summit, there are two craters (one of which is still active) which can be explored, with due care, and the views across the Rift and towards Lake Natron are breathtaking. This trek is recommended for serious trekkers in good physical condition. A large water intake and a sunhat are strongly advised.
This trek can be added onto our Rift Valley Trek, for the ultimate wilderness trek across some of the most primeval, spectacular, unvisited landscapes on Earth.