Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking Safari
This 5-day trekking tour takes you through the diverse landscapes of the Ngorongoro Crater Highlands. You will hike through grassy plains and the mountainous countryside as well as thick mountain forest and the savannah landscape of the Rift Valley. Apart from unique landscapes and seeing wild animals, this trek allows insight into the daily routine of the Masai people.
Day 1 Arusha – Olmoti Crater – Nainokanoka
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel and you will travel on a good tar road to the village of Mto wa Mbu with the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley towering up ahead. From a viewpoint above the town you will see the Masai plains stretch to the horizon with the alkaline Lake Manyara down below. A short drive further and you will reach the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The journey continues along the scenic crater road, to the Masai village of Nainokanoka. While the camp is being set up, you will hike to the rim of the Olmoti Crater during the afternoon. There is also a possibility to visit a small waterfall along the way. Dinner will be served at the camp. Depending on the time of year, it might be cold (the camp is at an altitude of 2,650 m).
Day 2 Nainokanoka – Bulati
In the early morning a Masai guide will arrive with his donkeys. After breakfast and loading the donkeys, the journey begins and you will pass many traditional Masai bomas and cattle herds. Soon, you might also see wild animals such as Thompson and Grant’s gazelles, zebras and wildebeests with hungry jackals not far behind and majestic eagles observing the situation. After approximately 16 km of hiking you will reach a campsite not far from the Masai village Bulati.
Day 3 Bulati – Empakai
After breakfast, the journey goes up a hill from where you have a last panoramic view of the grass plains below. The trek continues up and down through the bushy landscape which finally opens up to the active volcano, Oldonyo Lengai. The trek gives you great views of the majestic volcano as well as into the impressive Empakai Crater before reaching the campsite for the night. You can explore the crater and on a well-maintained path you descend to Lake Empakai inside the crater. This alkaline soda lake is an important food source for flamingos, which can be seen throughout the year. Returning to camp, supper will be waiting for you. During the night you might hear the flamingos call as they fly back to their breeding nests at Lake Manyara and Lake Natron.
Day 4 Empakai Crater – Acacia Camp
Today you will hike to the Masai village Nairobi and following a good path, the village as well as Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano, can be seen from a distance. After lunch in Naiyobi, the trek leaves the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the landscape becomes drier and warmer. Tonight’s camp will be set up amidst an acacia forest.
Day 5 Acacia Camp – Engare Sero – Arusha
The last stage of the journey is not too long and it goes mainly downhill. The highlights of the trek are the great views of Oldonyo Lengai, Lake Natron and the Rift Valley. The rugged countryside looks almost surreal covered by grey ash of the last eruption in 2007. The trek descends down into the dry and hot Rift Valley, where the ash can be seen up close. Around lunchtime you will reach the waiting vehicle and your driver will take you back to Arusha.
- Ngorongoro Highlands trekking according to the itinerary
- Professional, English-speaking guide
- Professional, English-speaking safari cook
- Masai guide and donkeys
- Overnight stays in safari tents and mountain tents
- Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
- Meals according to the itinerary
- Drinking water
- All national park fees
- All mentioned transfers
- Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the trekking