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7 Days Ngorongoro Highland Trekking

7 Days Ngorongoro Highland Trekking

The rugged and beautiful Ngorongoro Highlands offers one of the finest blends of culture, landscapes and wildlife in Tanzania. The best way to experience the highlands is no doubt on foot. It’s diverse landscapes consisting of elevated volcanoes and craters, forests and vast grassy plains offers a remarkable experience for those hiking through this area. Hikers will experience first-hand how the Maasai people, who inhabit these highlands and the wildlife, coexist. The journey thought the highlands takes us to the edge of the great rift valley where we then descend to the base of the escarpment wall right on the foot of Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai. Known to the Maasai as the “Mountain of God”, Ol Doinyo Lengai is one of the most unique active volcanoes in the world. Our trek ends up on the shores of the beautiful Lake Natron, an alkaline lake which serves as the breeding ground for the Lesser Flamingo.


Day 1: Arrive in Tanzania

You will be picked up at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (JRO) and transferred to Karatu town near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The transfer takes approximately 31/2 hours so it is highly recommended you arrive on the midday flight at the latest. While at the camp your guide will brief you about your upcoming trek through the highlands. After your briefing, you will enjoy your dinner and drinks by the fireplace before retiring for the day to get your much-needed rest.

Accommodation: Lodging at Karatu Forest Tented Camp (or alternative lodge of the same standard)

Meals: Dinner Included


Day 2: Olmoti Crater Trek

Your day starts off with a 2-hour drive to Nainokanoka Village where you will be based tonight. During your transfer, if it’s not too foggy, you may get great views of the Ngorongoro Crater from the viewpoint on the edge of the crater rim. You then proceed along the Henry Fosb Rooke road through the dense forest towards Nainokanoka, where you will get to see wildlife such as buffalos and wildebeest. Today you will explore the Olmoti Crater and Munge waterfalls on a 3-hour hike. The Olmoti Crater is a shallow grassy crater where the Munge River originates.

Total Walking Distance: 3hrs

Accommodation: Camping at Nainokanoka Campsite

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included



Day 3: Trek from Nainokanoka Village to Bulati Village

We depart Nainokanoka camp at 0800hrs and commence our trek to Bulati Village. We will pass a few Maasai Bomas on our way. We will have packed lunch half way to Bulati. We cross the Elbulbul depression, a vast grassland with no trees, but many zebras can be seen grazing, wildebeests, raptors due to the many mole rat mounds found in the area. We arrive in Bulati early in the afternoon for rest and refreshments. Late afternoon Maasai Boma visit in the village of Bulati where we will be spending the night.

Total Walking Distance: 14km

Accommodation: Camping at Bulati Campsite

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included



Day 4: Trek from Bulati Village to Empakaai Crater

Today you will change the environment from temperate grassland to montane forest zone on the crater rim. Plenty of spectacular panoramic views of the landscape. We have packed lunch half way on the trek. In the afternoon you will descend into the crater where you can see lesser flamingos who reside on the crater soda lake. The Caldera is 300m deep and 6kms wide. The trek is roughly 45 minutes down and an hour walk back up. Today we will be camping right on the rim of the Empakaai Crater.

Total Walking Distance: 14km

Accommodation: Empakaai Campsite 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


Day 5: Trek from Empakaai Crater to Acacia

After breakfast, we walk a short way around the Empakaai crater to stretch our legs and get some good panoramic photos of the caldera. The first half of the trek is to Nayobi village where you will stop for lunch. From Nayobi we head down to Acacia Campsite. You will head out on a late afternoon walk to view the surrounding area and to take photos of the majestic Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is a Maasai name for “Mountain of God”. This mountain is unique amongst geologists because it is the only active volcano on Earth that erupts with a carbonatite, a type of igneous rock rich in carbonates such as calcite and dolomite.

Total Walking Distance: 11km

Accommodation: Acacia Campsite

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Included


Day 6: Trek from Acacia to the base of Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai

We finish off our last day of trekking with a very early start from Acacia. The terrain is very dry and recently covered by ash from the 2008 Oldoinyo Lengai eruption. We maximize our trek in the early hours of the day to avoid the late morning sun intensity and heat. We descend the Rift Valley Escarpment, via Pembe ya Swala to the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai. At the base we are picked up by our vehicles and transferred to our camp in Lake Natron for Lunch. Late afternoon excursion to Lake Natron shores to view the Lesser Flamingos in their breeding habitat or for the fitter ones a hike up to the Engare Sero waterfalls.

Total Walking Distance: 15km

Accommodation: Lake Natron Tented Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included


Day 7: Depart Tanzania (or go on safari and Zanzibar extensions)

After breakfast, an early morning transfer back to Kilimanjaro International Airport via Arusha for optional shopping (if time allows) for your onward flight back home. 

*Safari and Zanzibar add-ons are available if you wish to continue exploring Tanzania

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch Included

These prices include:

  • 2 nights hotel accommodation in Moshi (before & after climb)
  • Group transport to and from Moshi to the trail head
  • Kilimanjaro National Park permits, camping/hut fees, rescue fees and Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Expert guide, assistant guides, cook and porters
  • Bottled oxygen, for emergency rescue only
  • Private toilet
  • Four season, 3 person mountain tents, double occupancy
  • Sleeping pad, foam, 1.5 inches thick
  • Mess tents, tables, chairs, lanterns
  • Fresh, nutritious meals on the mountain
  • Breakfast at hotel

Not included in price:

  • Airfare
  • Lunch or dinner at hotel
  • Beverages at hotel
  • Personal gear and equipment
  • Tips


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