crater highland treks tanzania
Trekking through the Crater Highlands is not very difficult, a lot of uphill and downhill walking but no dramatic altitude changes.You will walk all the way to the Massai people holy mountain Ol Donyo Lengai, The Mountain of God, and then you will visit lake manyara national park for game drive and wildlife viewing.
Arrive in Arusha – overnight in Arusha at Meru View Motel included on B&B
Day 1 – Arusha to Ngorongoro Crater
Depart from Arusha drive to the Ngorongoro Crater and descend for full day crater tour. This is world heritage site, the incomparable Ngorongoro crater is the world’s largest “caldera”*.
Dominated by cliffs standing some 600 meters high and presenting a sheer drop down to a wide open space of some 246 square km, and you may see everything from elephant to lion, and if you’re lucky, the near-extinct black rhino, all amongst large herds of zebra and wildebeest. Stay overnight on the rim at Simba Campsite. B.L.D
Day 2 – Ngorongoro Crater to Empakai 6-7 hrs
Drive from Ngorongoro Crater to the trekking starting point. trek to the distant Empakai Crater. On this day the trek covers open grassland through a natural amphitheatre created by encircling volcanoes. Masai people rush out of their traditional homes (Boma’s) to greet trekkers as they pass by. The steep walk up Empakai affords awe-inspiring 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 Masai volcano, on the other. Overnight at Empakai Special Campsite – B,L,D
Day 3 – Empakai to Nayobi – 6-7 hours
From the overnight camp, we scramble down the sheer-sided slopes of Empakai onto the crater floor for a foot safari. Empakai Crater is a sunken volcano with a soda lake covering most of the crater floor. Flamingos nest here during the day to escape the blazing heat of the Rift Valley. A large forest on the western shore is home to antelope, buffalo, leopard and lion, with large seasonal zebra and wildebeest populations when they pass through on their migratory circuits. Trek to Nayobi village for overnight at Acacia Public Campsite. B.L.D
Day 4 – Nayobi to Lake Natron up to 5 demanding hours
After a leisure breakfast, the final treks continues across the tough uncompromising terrain of the valley floor… on extreme heat and admire one of the finest views in Africa. Sweeping vistas of the Rift Valley, the scattered active volcanoes, primitive rock formations, glimmering soda lakes! Arrive at Lake around noon, overnight Lake Natron campsite or (attempt Oldonyo Lengai at night) B.L.D
Day 5 – Lake Natron
Return from Lengai – spend full day at lake Natron surroundings, visit the lake there is an array of water birds including hordes of resident flamingos. Visit the water falls to cool down the extreme heat… visit the foot prints. Afternoon leave Natron and drive to Mto Wa Mbu. Stay overnight at Jambo Campsite – Just outside Lake Manyara National Park. B.L.D
Breakfast at leisure, then drive to Lake Manyara national park for game drive, Lake Manyara is a shallow freshwater lake in Tanzania. It is said to be the “loveliest [lake] … in Africa,” Lake Manyara is covering 127 square miles (329 km2) of Lake Manyara National Park, the lake’s alkaline waters cover approximately 89 square miles (231 km2). It is famous for a good number of baboons and birdlife, also home to herbivores such as hippos, impalas, elephants, wildebeests, buffalo, warthogs, and giraffes, giant fig trees and mahogany seen in the groundwater forest immediately around the park gates – around 12 noon leave Manyara and drive to Arusha. Stay overnight at Meru View Motel B&B
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Oldonyo Lengai; is the active carbonated volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai is 2878m (9650ft), in the heart of Masai land with spiritual significance to the Masai is offered, 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.