Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai

Lake Natron is a soda lake with a large resident population of flamingos. Lying on the border of Kenya, just north of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Natron and the active volcano Ol Doinyo L'Engai occupy a surreal landscape, overshadowed by the Rift Valley Escarpment. Lake Natron is a good area to visit authentic Maasai communities, experiencing first-hand the Masai culture. Foot safaris along natural river gorges are another possibility, as there are waterfalls, plunge pools and a natural jacuzzi fed by water coming from the Ngorongoro conservation area.

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At the head of the valley lies the active volcano Oldoinyo Lengai, Tanzania's only active volcano and the world's only natrocarbonatite volcano. This unique and amazing geological feature is the most remarkable geological sight Tanzania has to offer, towering over the desolate landscape produced by the ash falling from its constant eruptions; Lengai created - and still creates - the Serengeti Plains, and is the cause of the archaeological fossil layers of Olduvai Gorge! Oldoinyo Lengai means "mountain of God" in KiMaasai (the language of the Masai tribe), and when you see an eruption under-way (last eruption in 2008/9) you can understand why how Oldoinyo Lengai got its name. It is usually possible to climb Oldoinyo Lengai, if the volcano is not erupting too savagely, and although the climb is hard (some might say savage) the views from the top are truly breath-taking.

If you are interested in visiting Lake Natron or Oldoinyo Lengai contact us< directly and our field staff will help you design your own personal Tanzania safari itinerary selecting from our wide range.

Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai Locations view all

Lying on the border of Kenya, Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa's millions of lesser flamingos. The best time to see the flamingos is during the breeding months from August to October. The surreal scenery is great for landscape photography. Because the area is not inside any national park it is possible to go on a foot safari with your local guide.

The base of Ol Doinyo L'Engai, on the Engaruka Plains, lies at about 800m. The Masai's 'Mountain of the Gods' is the only active carbonate volcano in the world. The steep ascent to the top (currently just under 3000m) requires determination and good fitness levels, but the views alone are more than worth the effort. It is usually possible to stroll over solidified lava flows, and walk amongst the lava cones belching out sulphuric gases. Ideally the hike begins at 1-3am, and the summit reached as the sun rises - you cannot have too much film for your camera!

Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai Activities

Bridwatching around Lake Natron

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Climbing Ol'doinyo Lengai

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Engaruka Ruins

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Lake Natron Waterfall Walk

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Maasai Bomas near Lake Natron

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