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Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano & Lake Natron

- Volcano expedition to Ol Doinyo Lengai and Lake Natron, Tanzania -

Group photo after descending from Lengai
Pick-up from airport - Arusha - Lake Natron - climb and camp on Lengai (1-3 nights) - Lake Natron and surrounding area (1-2 nights) - Lake Manyara Natl Park (1n) - Arusha - departure
Pick-up from airport - Arusha - Lake Natron - climb and camp on Lengai (1-3 nights) - Lake Natron and surrounding area (1-2 nights) - Lake Manyara Natl Park (1n) - Arusha - departure
Tour code: TAN_ODL
Tour type: Volcano expedition
Difficulty: Challenging
Duration: 6-8 days

Dates:

Custom tour dates only

Price (p.p.): on request


Included:

  • All accommodation as described
  • All local staff (guides, cooks, porters, drivers, etc)
  • Full board (breakfast, lunch & diner) according to the day-by-day itinerary
  • Drinking water, tea & coffee
  • All local transport in 4x4 safari vehicles out and to Arusha
  • All entry, transit, goverment and other applicable fees
  • All camping equipment
  • Experienced accompanying volcanologist guide on request
Ol Doinyo Lengai - surely one of the world's most fascinating volcanoes, is in fact unique as it is the only known active volcano that erupts natrocarbonatite lava. A perfect cone, almost 3000m high, this impressive peak is called by the Maassai the "Mountain of God".
Even though at present there seems to be no natrocarbonatite lava eruptions to be observable, Lengai remains a mysterious and fascinating volcano well worth a visit. At the site of the former hornitos, a huge ash cone has formed that has been producing spectacular ash eruptions, ranging from mild to extremely violent. During phases of low activity, it is still possible to climb the summit of Lengai for a close-up visit.
  • Visit the only active natrocarbonatite volcano on earth
  • 1-3 full days and nights at the active crater with optimum observation opportunities
  • Spectacular scenery near Lake Natron
  • Game drives in Lake Manyara Natl. Park
  • Dramatic landscapes and views of the Great Rift Valley
  • Highly qualified and experienced staff

Sample itinerary (7 days)

Day 1: Transfer to Lake Natron & climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai at night
Transfer to base camp in the early morning. It takes about 6 hours to get there. After an afternoon and evening of relaxation and preparation it’s time to start climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai at midnight. While porters carry the luggage, the equipment and our water we silently ascend under a starry night. At sunrise the view from the mountain is breathtaking. The “living summit” will probably catch your attention right away, not to let it loose for the next three days…
Acc.: : campsite near Lake Natron (B, L, D)
Day 2-3: Two full days to enjoy the activity at very close range
Two full days to explore the summit region of this volcano. There is a good chance we see and hear some activity, even though its former natrocarbonatite activity is probably now no longer visible.
---
Note:
Since its eruptions in 2007-2008, the previous configuration of the active north crater with the natrocarbonatite-spitting hornitos does no longer exist and has been replaced by an impressive ash cone that has produced violent and spectacular ash eruptions. If activity is not too intense, observing this new crater would be a rewarding experience, but entering the north crater itself or climbing the ash cone is high risk due to the danger of the (expected) collapse of the north crater,- even at times when its activity itself is low.
Acc.: : basic camp on Lengai volcano
Day 4-5: Comfortable break (2 nights) near Lake Natron
Descend from Lengai (2-4 hrs), return to campsite at Lake Natron. 1 1/2 days to explore the area: Lake Natron (Flamingoes!), hike to a waterfall in a deep gorge, visit a Maassai village etc.
Acc.: : comfortable campsite of Lake Natron (B, L, D)
Day 6: Lake Manyara game drive
Drive to Mtowa Mbu. Game viewing in Lake Manyara National Park with picnic lunches.
Acc.: : guesthouse or lodge at Lake Manyara Natl. Park (B, L, D)
Day 7: Return to Arusha - night in Arusha
Transfer to Arusha (ca. 2 hrs), end of service
Acc.: : hotel (upper mid-range) in Arusha (B, L, D)

Sample itinerary (8 days)

Day 1: Transfer to Lake Natron & climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai at night
Transfer to base camp in the early morning. It takes about 6 hours to get there. After an afternoon and evening of relaxation and preparation it’s time to start climbing Ol Doinyo Lengai at midnight. While porters carry the luggage, the equipment and our water we silently ascend under a starry night. At sunrise the view from the mountain is breathtaking. The “living summit” will probably catch your attention right away, not to let it loose for the next three days…
Acc.: : campsite near Lake Natron (B, L, D)
Day 2-4: 3 full days to enjoy the activity at very close range
3 full days to explore the summit region of this volcano. There is a good chance we see and hear volcanic activity.
---
Note:
Since its eruptions in 2007-2008, the previous configuration of the active north crater with the natrocarbonatite-spitting hornitos does no longer exist and has been replaced by an impressive ash cone that has produced violent and spectacular ash eruptions. If activity is not too intense, observing this new crater would be a rewarding experience, but entering the north crater itself or climbing the ash cone is high risk due to the danger of the (expected) collapse of the north crater,- even at times when its activity itself is low.
Acc.: : basic camp on Lengai volcano
Day 5-6: Comfortable break (2 nights) near Lake Natron
Descend from Lengai (2-4 hrs), return to campsite at Lake Natron. 1 1/2 days to explore the area: Lake Natron (Flamingoes!), hike to a waterfall in a deep gorge, visit a Maassai village etc.
Acc.: : comfortable campsite of Lake Natron (B, L, D)
Day 7: Lake Manyara game drive
Drive to Mtowa Mbu. Game viewing in Lake Manyara National Park with picnic lunches.
Acc.: : guesthouse or lodge at Lake Manyara Natl. Park (B, L, D)
Day 8: Return to Arusha - night in Arusha
Transfer to Arusha (ca. 2 hrs), end of service
Acc.: : hotel (upper mid-range) in Arusha (B, L, D)

Arrival info:

The tour starts and ends in Arusha, a friendly, mid-sized town that is the main starting point for excursions in the area. You can easily combine the trek to Lengai with other activities (see extension programs). To get to Tanzania, convenient airports to fly in are:
- Kilimanjaro International (30 miles or 1-1,5 hr minibus ride to Arusha)
- Nairobi (5 hours minibus ride to Arusha, involves an easy border crossing and an extra night in Nairobi on the return travel)
- Dar-es-Salaam (9 hour bus ride to Arusha, or domestic Air Tanzania flight to Kilimanjaro International).
On request, we will be happy to help you with your individual travel arrangements, including transfers and possibly necessary accommodation e.g. in Nairobi; depending on your departure airport, we can offer to find airfare for you at very competetive rates. Please contact us!

Accommodation:

Accommodation is based on double room or tent occupancy shared by the same sex (unless this is no problem or requested).
• Camping at Lake Natron: a comfortable well-equipped camping site with fresh running water, a bar, basic toilet facilities but suplebly located and well managed.
• Camping on Lengai volcano (1-3 days): On Ol Doinyo Lengai we stay in the inactive, vegetated northern crater right next to the active southern crater (10-15 min. walking distance). Basic camping is the only option here, but we have our own spacious, modern mountain tents (but of course, no shower and toilet tent available...)
• Accommodation in Arusha: your choice, but we recommend l'Oasis Lodge, a comfortable small hotel with clean, spacious rooms, a swimming pool, an excellent restaurant and modern facilities near the city center

Location of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania
Location of Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano, Tanzania

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