The 7-day Ngorongoro crater Highland trekking tour takes you through diverse landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands, such as the Ngorongoro crater, Olmoti and Empakai. The trek will bring you, above all, the greatest sceneries on earth you will never have imagined existed.
It is a breathtaking hike through wide grasses, mountainous countryside, thick mountain forests, and the volcanic-stamped savannah landscape of the Rift Valley. Next to the unique nature and animal sightings, this trek allows an insight into the daily routines of the Maasai. You will be trekking/hiking with Guides, rangers, and donkeys to carry the equipment.
- Drive to the Ngorongoro crater Highlands:
We leave Arusha early morning around 6:00 driving towards the Ngorongoro Crater Highland. On arrival, you will go on a full-day game drive in the Ngorongoro crater. The crater hosts Africa’s most abundant wildlife and amazing panoramic views as we descend the crater and the Big Four. You will have dinner and stay overnight at the Simba Campsite on the crater rim.
- Depart for Nainokanoka Village:
Early morning we will drive to Nainokanoka village where we will set camp for a later dinner and overnight. We then have a walk/trek around the Olmoti crater rim (Light to medium fitness) with a magnificent view of the Olmoti Crater floor, shallow and covered with tussocks of grass. Besides the Maasai and their livestock, you might see eland, buffalo and reedbuck. You will during the trek/hike visit the Munge waterfalls formed from the Munge River that originate from the waters of the Crater walls, crossing the caldera and plummeting down a great number of meters into the steep ravine below. You then return to the Camp at Nainokanoka village for dinner and overnight.
- Walk to the Empakaai Crater:
The crater is about 6 km wide, and nearly half of its floor is covered by an alkaline lake, with an unusual depth of 85m for an Alkaline lake in East Africa. The steep walls of the caldera, are covered with forest. Following the path through open grass and bushland, proceeding through forests gradually gaining heights to the rim of the Empakaai crater, before descending into the crater floor.
In the early morning, we leave to follow the path to the rim of the crater, where we will set camp, before descending into the crater. At the rim, you have a fantastic view of the craters’ green paradise. The caldera is about 6 km wide and nearly half of its floor is covered by a lake. The water in the lake is alkaline and the depth of the lake is about 85m, unusually deep for soda lakes in East Africa. The steep walls of the caldera, covered in forest, rise in some places to almost 300m above the floor. The views along the trail downward are spectacular at every point. All along you can enjoy the changing views of Empakaai itself. In addition, from the eastern and northern sides, you can view the dramatic cone of the still-active volcano, Oldoinyo Lengai. If the day is clear, you can even see beyond Lengai to the Great Rift Valley and Lake Natron.
On rare occasions, you can see the snow of Kilimanjaro in distance towards the east. On your way downwards to and the walk around the lake, you might see buffaloes or bushbucks, birds (like sunbirds and turacos). Waterbucks and elands are often found on the shore of the lake. It is a joy to walk around the lakeshore, experiencing the serenity and quiet beauty of this wild spot. Overnights at the camp on the crater rim. The nights at the Craters are fairly cold as both craters are at around 3500 m, especially in June, July and August(in June 2022 it was below 9 degrees Celsius).
- Walk to Naiyobi Maasai Village:
After breakfast, we depart for Naiyobi Maasai village circling the crater rim and descending on the Northwestern side. The trail leads to Naiyobi Maasai Village which we will arrive at in the early afternoon. The evening is spent relaxing or visiting the village school and also interacting with the friendly local Maasai people. We will set up camp at the Acacia trees forest near the village and enjoy dinner and overnight.
- Walk to Mounwongoni Village:
After an early morning breakfast, you depart downhill following the dusty path and off the crater highlands to Mounwongoni Maasai village. It is an about 11 km trek/hike. depending on the speed it’ll take about 5 to 6 hours to walk beginning in the early morning after breakfast. Overnight at the camp on the edge of the village
- Trek to Ol Doinio Lengai:
After an early morning Breakfast, we leave before the sun gets too hot, following the winding path across bare volcanic rocks and dusty lava soil. The Path rounding the north-western floor of the active Mt. Lengai crosses the Ngaresero river to the nearby village. Camp is set near the river and a bath in the river can be very refreshing. Dinner and overnight at Campsite
- Trek up Mt. Lengai and visit Lake Natron for a game drive:
Early the next morning (between 3.00 a.m. and 4.00 a.m.) you will be transferred to the foot of 2962M tall »the Mountain of God«, Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain by a 4×4 vehicle, to start the trek of Mt. Lengai. It is one of the few volcanoes in the world to omit Sodium carbonate and potassium, whose runoff accounts for the extremely alkaline and corrosive swill of neighbouring Lake Natron.
It is the only active volcano in East Africa with the most current eruption period starting in 2017 with the latest reports from 2022. For photographers, the perfectly conical shape is delightful to see, especially if you can get Maasai cattle herders in the foreground. The weird perilous sight of magma flows bubbling at 510 degrees Celsius on top leave the tourists astonished.
After Lunch at around 13:00, you will have descended from the mountain and we would go for a game drive around lake Natron and its habitat. Seen are the built flamingo nests resembling miniature volcanoes. It is a bizarrely beautiful breeding ground and home to thousands of Flamingos feeding on the blue algae. Much to see are wildlife like Zebra, wildebeest, gazelle, ostrich, fringed eared Oryx, lesser kudu, gerenuk and golden jackal. You may also be amazed to see volcanic implosion crater, ravines containing nesting sites for Ruppel’s griffon vultures and several waterfalls. Swimming is also possible and a visit to Maasai bomas and a walk up the escarpment is the best way to end a perfect day.
After lunch drive back to Arusha