Mount Ol’Doinyo Lengai
This is an active volcano in northern Tanzania lying just south of Lake Natron. It is located in the Rift Valley, in the heart of Masaai country, and locally regarded as a sacred mountain.
Looking north from its 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 horizon is dominated by Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Rift Valley.
About every seven years Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater. Almost always it is possible to walk across the crater floor, often to the edge of the molten lavas.
The ascent of Lengai is demanding on account of the Day time heat, lack of water, steep and unstable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks and considerable height gain, 1600m. or just over 5000ft. Starting at midnight from Lake Natron it is just possible to reach the summit by dawn at a gentle pace.
Although shorts and a warm jacket are suitable for the ascent, long trousers might be more pleasant as the summit just before dawn can be cold. Our access route from the north-west allows an early descent to be made from the summit in the morning shadow.
A suggested minimum itinerary:
Arusha â€“ Oldonyo Lengai – Arusha
Day 1: Drive from Arusha to Lake Manyara, game drive, overnight at the Lodge/Campsite.
Day 2: Drive to Ngare Sero campsite. Walk up to the Ngare Sero source – a magnificent rock amphitheatre with springs gushing out of the rock faces.
Day 3: Midnight start, drive to the base of the climb, walk to the summit (allow 5 hrs). If possible descend into the active crater then walk down. Lunch at Ngare Sero. Drive back to Arusha or Moshi.