The “Mountain of God” for the Masai Tribes – altitude 2886 meters (9524 feet)
Ol’Doinyo Lengai is the “Mountain of God” for the Massai. On its top the god of the tribe has its home. This beautiful stratovolcano lies on the Rift Valley, a cliff-like scrap running from Djibouti to Mosambique. Ol’Doinyo Lengai is one of the most active volcano’s of this fault – and moreover he is the only active volcano of the world with carbonatited lava.
The volcano is rarely visited, because you need two days from the next airport to reach him. Maybe one or two groups of tourists/scientists climb it a day.
The climb is not that hard – always about 45° slopes – near the top you have to use your hands because of ash and lava channels.
From Kilimanjaro Int. Airport you need about 1 hour to the town of Arusha. Take the road to the west and after 116 km you will reach Mto-Wa-Mbu (River of Mosquitoes). Take the dusty road to the north (to Lake Natron, only 4×4, not during wet season) and after 6 hours you will arrive at OlDoinyo Base Camp. From there it’s only half an hour to the trailhead at the slopes of Lengai.
The best way to visit the crater highlands inclosing Lengai is to organize a walking safari to the crater highlands: walk with Masai guides and donkeys through the highlands, pass Lengai and climb it!
It will take 6-9 days, you will encounter all kinds of animals and small unspoilt Masai villages.
There are no permits required. You only need a visa for Tanzania, and there are entrance fees for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area(NCA). But if you only climb OlDoinyo you won’t enter this area.
If you do the walking safari as described above you will have to pay the fees (included in organized trips).
When To Climb
You can climb the volcano the whole year round, only in the wet seasons (march to may, October to December) the roads are in bad conditions.
Be sure to bring enough water on the way up as it’s a barren and hot environment and many have become dehydrated during the ascent or descent!
Camping is allowed everywhere (only forbidden in the NCA). But think about it – the ground consists only of sand and rocks and the wind is strong. You can put up your tent on the ground of the base camp.
Arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport , Pick up by Authentic Kilimanjaro
Tonight we overnight in a mid range hotel/lodge
Drive to Mto Wa Mto and enter the Great Rift Valley, passing via Engaruaka basin and into a semi-desert Area hot wild and dusty with extinct volcanos Kitumbene and Gelai off to the right and the Mountain of God “Ol Doinyo Lengai” always in front.
Around midday we arrive at Falls Camp on the banks of the Engaresero river, a welcome place to shower or bathe in the river,or take a trek to the waterfalls hidden in the Western wall of the rift valley.
Rest and around mid night drive to and start the climb of Lengai (circa 4 hours climb) One should be able to see Lava glowing once at the peak
Enjoy the sunrise and the views up the Rift Valley as far as Kenya. Descent around lunch, and drive to Lake Natron one of the major Flamingo breeding grounds in East Africa – en-route visit a Massai “Boma” village.
Overnight Falls camp
Drive to Arusha and overnight .
On our way back to Arusha we will haveï¿½ample time to stop and buy some of the Makonde carving for which Tanzania is so famous.
Also for those who wish a chance to stop atï¿½Mesarani Snake Park, to see the snakes that areï¿½normally difficult to see in the wild due to theirï¿½natural shyness.
NB: STEEP CLIMB, ONE SHOULD BE REASONABLY FIT AND NOT WORRIED ABOUT HIGHTS