MtKilimanjaro Travel Guide
MtKilimanjaro
Climb MtKilimanjaro
Email our kili experts!

Ngorongoro Crater Highlands Trek


View of LengaiA handful of obvious activities spring to mind when one is contemplating a trip to Tanzania. Two of the most obvious are probably Mount Kilimanjaro and a combination of Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater Reserve, all three of which owe their place in African mythology to their unique and undeniable appeal, which of course also helps to eclipse many other equally compelling possibilities very close at hand.

The Crater Highlands

One of these is the Crater Highlands Trek that has recently begun to grow in popularity. This trip is less focused than Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, since no summit forms the climax, and there is of course much to see and do on a daily basis in one of the most unusual human and natural landscapes on a continent replete with such things.

The Crater Highlands of Tanzania is usually associated almost entirely with Ngorongoro Crater itself, but in actual fact the reserve is much larger, and although its wildlife potential is largely concentrated in the Crater, a more diverse and subtle attraction exists in the wider landscape of the reserve.

empakaai-craterIt would be difficult as a consequence to pinpoint a focus for the 10-day plus Crater Highlands Trek, but probably the itinerary would be diminished considerably if it did not include Ol Doinyo Lengai, one of the most rugged and spectacular features of an already extravagant landscape. Meaning Mountain of God in the language of the local Maasai, Lengai Crater is an active volcano that last recorded a significant eruption in 1966, with lesser eruptions in 2007 and 2008.

A number of smaller, sister craters also litter the landscape, giving the region its name, and making for a unique trekking environment that intermingles the distinctive culture of the Maasai with the land that their traditional existence depends upon.

This is a landscape of moulded volcanic peaks and rolling tropical highland countryside punctuated by lakes, streams and rivers. It exists in a state of grace, with a large human population, but with no development, and certainly do advanced tourist infrastructure to speak of.

The Ngorongoro Crater Highland Trek can be completed over the course of ten days, or can be broken up for smaller excursions of 1 to 3 days. Features of the trek include:

  • The lake bottomed Empaakai Crater with its significant flamingo population, including a long lakeshore hike.
  • Naiyobi Maasai Village and Lerai Forest Camp
  • A climb to the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai itself
  • Lake Natron, a saline lake set in a volcanic landscape and noted for large flamingo populations
  • The Crater Highlands Trek is certainly a different way to see this part of Tanzania with its multi-layered cultural diversity and changing landscapes. The tropical highlands scenery, peppered with Maasai villages, and the day to day life of this pastoral people, is uniquely Africa, and uniquely Tanzania.

    The trek is fully supported, with donkey portage and local guides provided a rich flavor of local knowledge, anecdotal insights and local history.

    Official Trail Map

    Crater Landscape



    By Peter Baxter | Permalink | 1 comment | June 5th, 2009
    Tags: Random
    Related posts

    Comments

    By Ngorongoro | June 11th, 2009
    Corner

    Very good pictures as well as info. Ngorongoro crater which is part of Ngorongoro national park is one of the best safari destination in Tanzania. Just beautiful part of the country you don’t want to miss if you visit Tanzania.

    Corner

    Mt. Kilimanjaro News



    Read more archives

    RSS Feed Subscription

     

    Reader Comments

    Climb Kilimanjaro on Add Adventure Trips to Kili Trek for Trip of a Lifetime
    If you travel all the way to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro its worth taking atleast a few days ontop...

    Shu on Historic Kilimanjaro
    Hi Angie...Climbed Kili in September 2010 and had the most incredible experience of my life. Went wi...

    Catherine on Historic Kilimanjaro
    My brother is planning to climb kilimanjaro with this company http://www.footlooseadventure.co.uk/ki...

    angie on Historic Kilimanjaro
    Hi Eric, I'm glad you summited with no problems! Way to go!! My boyfriends trek also had rather b...

    eric on Historic Kilimanjaro
    climbed it this past June with no climbing experience. We had amazing guides though! @Angie-it is ...