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Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

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 the Mountain of God, or Ol Doinyo L’Engai, as named by the Maasai. The trail winds through some of the greatest scenery on earth. 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.

Start Planning your Journey

Day 1: Arrival & Briefing

Upon arrival at Kilimanjaro International Airport you will be transferred to your accommodation where your guide will meet you for a full briefing and equipment check.

Overnight Ameg Lodge – half board (www.ameglodge.com)

   

Day 2: Ameg Lodge to Ngorongoro Conservation Area / Nainokanoka Village

This morning you will depart from your hotel and travel to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, enjoying a game drive in the crater. Afterwards ascend and drive to your camp. Settle into your first campsite and prepare for your first trek in the morning.

Overnight Nainokanoka Village (no showers & limited toilet facilities)

   

Day 3: Nainokanoka to Bulati

Leave Nainokanoka with our guides, cooks and donkeys for a day of hiking to Bulati Village.  Wild animals can be seen, such as Thompson and Grants gazelle, zebras and wildebeest. Where there are many animals, hungry jackals are not far away and high in the sky majestic eagles watch their every move. Approximate trekking time of 5 hours, covering 16kms. Tonight, you will sleep at an elevation of 2,650m.

Overnight Bulati Village (no showers & limited toilet facilities)

   

Day 4: Bulati to Empakaai

Leave this morning to trek to Empakaai. The walk offers spectacular views of both recent and ancient volcanic mountains, including Kilimanjaro, Meru, Olmoti Crater and Lolmasin.  The Empakaai crater is 300m deep with almost half the floor covered by a soda lake.  Bushbuck, buffalo and blue monkey can be seen on the rim, which on a clear day boasts superb views to Ol Doinyo L’Engai, Mount Kilimanjaro and Lake Natron. During the night you may hear flamingo calls as they return to their breeding ground at Lake Manyara and Lake Natron. Approximate trekking time 4-5 hours covering a distance of 9kms. Tonight, you will sleep at an elevation of 3,100m.

Overnight Empakaai Crater Rim (no showers & limited toilet facilities)

   

Day 5: Empakaai to Acacia Camp

Morning descent into the Empakaai crater. A well-maintained track goes to the crater floor. The alkaline/soda lake found there is an important source of food for flamingos, which can be seen throughout the year. The crater floor is also home to a variety of antelope and aquatic birds. Return to the crater rim, where the trek will begin to move away from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the landscape becomes drier and warmer, as we head towards Acacia Camp. Approximate trekking time 5 hours over a distance of 13kms. Sleep at an elevation of 3,200m.

Overnight Acacia Camp (no showers & limited toilet facilities)

   

Day 6: Acacia Camp to 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 L'Engai, Lake Natron and the Rift Valley.  A big part of the rugged countryside is covered by ash from the last eruption in 2007, which adds to the surreal nature of the landscape. 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 L'Engai, 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. Approximate trekking time 5 hours, covering 6kms. Sleeping elevation 2,600m. In the late afternoon you will have the opportunity to hike to the beautiful waterfalls around the area.

Overnight Kamakia Camp (good shower and toilet facilities tonight)

   

Day 7: Ol Doinyo L’Engai Volcano - Night Hike

Shortly after midnight you start climbing Ol Doinyo L’Engai, 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 11:00am 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. Sleeping elevation tonight will be 2,600m.

Overnight Kamakia Camp (good shower and toilet facilities tonight)

   

Day 8: Lake Natron to Moshi

This morning you start driving back to Moshi, which will take the majority of the day.

Overnight Ameg Lodge – half board (www.ameglodge.com)

   

Day 9: Departure

Today you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro Airport in time for your flight, or if you’ve decided to extend your Tanzanian adventure, begin the next part of your journey!

Start Planning your Journey

What’s Included:  

Park fees; camping fees; 5-6 days hiking including support vehicle; donkeys; tents & all camping equipment including sleeping bag; guide(s) & cook salaries; all food; drinking water; transport where specified; volcano climb at Lake Natron; Lake Natron & waterfall visit; half board accommodation in Moshi pre & post trek; private toilet; airport transfers & 18% VAT tax.

What’s Not Included:

Additional Costs:

  • Hiring of personal equipment, including clothing & walking poles etc.
  • Tipping to your crew. The standard recommendation for this is USD$20 per day to the head guide, $12 per day per ranger, $12 per day per assistant guide, $12 per day to the cook

Other Additional Costs:

Visas; vaccinations; spending money; drinks at camps and in Moshi

 

Accommodation

Ameg Lodge

Conveniently close to Moshi town, the lodge itself is located in a tranquil setting, surrounded by extensive gardens. Ensuite, air-conditioned rooms with private verandas are complimented with a large, serene swimming pool and views of Kilimanjaro as a backdrop. The hotel restaurant offers a variety of continental and international cuisine.