Ol Doinyo Lengai (2890 metres) is located in one of the beautiful places of North Tanzania, some 240 kilometres to the northwest of Arusha town, along the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley near Lake Natron where hundreds of thousands of pink flamingos fly every year. Ol Doinyo Lengai, or Mountain of God in Maasai, is the only active volcano in Tanzania.
The mountain is unique among active volcanoes in the East Africa and unique in the world which produces natrocarbonatite lava or “cold lava”. It has a dark-brown or black color in liquid state and fluidity as water. This temperature is much lower than other lavas but, though, not so cool because it is approximately 510-600°C. In a hundred years Lengai has erupted about 15 times, the last time was in 2013. Auspiciously, eruptions occurs lacking victims because the volcano has moderately small size and it is situated rather far from nearest Maasai villages.
The Ol Doinyo Lengai Mountain can be climbed in 6 hours, affording spectacular views of the Great Rift Valley and volcanic formations in the Ngorongoro highlands as you get to the summit. It is an adventurous hike starting at dawn. Remember this is an active volcano, the mountain remains closed for climbing when we have eruptions.
Lying on the base of the mountain, Lake Natron is said to be the only breeding area for the endangered Lesser Flamingoes that live in the Great Rift Valley and it is believed to be the world’s most important breeding site for the Lesser Flamingoes, accounting for 75 per cent of the global population.
2 Hours Before Flight Time
Our driver will pick you up at your hotel in the morning and drive you to Lake Natron. The drive is rather long and you will probably reach Lengai Safari Lodge after lunch. At the same time, the scenery on the way is picturesque and you will have an opportunity to see the local people, including Maasai tribesmen, as well as some variety of wildlife. After your check-in a guide will take you on a walking tour to Ngare Sero waterfall. The trail runs through a gorge and you will occasionally need to ford the stream, so we propose that you wear sandals or the like to shun frequently having to take off your shoes. A drive to the lakeshore, where you get a chance to detain its great scenery on camera takes place before you return to the Lodge for dinner and some rest.
At 1:00 a.m. driver takes you to the foot of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano for the start of your climb. The footing on the slopes of the volcano can be treacherous, particularly in the dark, so follow your guide without overtaking him. The trek is tiring and takes between 7 and 12 hours depending on your robustness and resultant pace. The gradient is steep, so it is best to make a short stop with every 100 m or so of altitude gained in order to get acclimatized.
It recommended making a break for breakfast on the way to the top in order to regain some strength for the remainder of the climb. At the edge of the crater you will have reached the altitude of 2,960 m. Here, you can actually hear the lava flow inside the Mountain of God crater.
While descending watch your steps! Descending being easy may tempt you to move faster, this is where most injuries occur.
Our driver will be awaiting you as you return to the foot of the mountain with cold drinks, ready to drive you back to the town of Arusha.