Ol Doinyo Lengai

Ol Doinyo Lengai (9,482 feet/2,890 m) is located along the western escarpment of the Great Rift Valley, overlooking Lake Natron on the border of Kenya. Ol Doinyo Lengai, or Mountain of God in Maasai, is the only active volcano in Tanzania.

The mountain can be climbed in 6 hours, affording breathtaking views of the Great Rift Valley and volcanic formations in the Ngorongoro Highlands as you make your way to the summit. It is an adventurous hike starting at dawn. Remember this is an active volcano, and for safely reasons the mountain is closed for climbing when there are eruptions.

It is possible to walk across the crater floor. The ascent of Oldoinyo Lengai is demanding on account of the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unsuitable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks and considerable height gain. Normally you can start ascending to summit early in the morning and reach to summit at sunrise. Shorts and a warm jacket are suitable for ascent, also long trousers are recommended as the summit before dawn can be cold. The access route from the Northwest allows an early descent to be made from the summit in the morning shadow.

The Mountain frequently does minor eruptions and forms cone like structures at its crater base.

While on the summit of Mountain Oldoinyo Lengai, one can see clearly the Soda Lake Natron which accommodates and consist of good nesting sites for different bird species especially the Flamingos, pelicans and geese, more than 350 different types have been recorded to date.   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 percent of the global population.

Unlike the other two highest Mountains, Lengai takes about six to seven hours to the summit crater. Also, the Mountain and Lake Natron are ideal places for walking safari’s escort by a Maasai guides and an Armed Park Ranger.  Keep your eyes open for wild animals like olive baboon, velvet monkeys, monitor lizard, hyenas, lion, leopard, jackal, Grant’s gazelle, impala and zebra.  Walks around the lake and to the streams and waterfalls along the nearby escarpment, make for a fantastic adventure off the beaten track.

The nearby Maasai Bomas (villages) give you a chance to interact with the indigenous people if you wish to learn their cultures, taboos and traditional.

%d bloggers like this: