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..
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 Natronmore info ->
Lake Natron is the only known breeding ground for East Africa's population of lesser flamingos which literally cover the lake between August and October.
Climbing Ol'doinyo Lengaimore info ->
climbing the Maasai's 'Mountain of God' overlooking Lake Natron and the great plains of Kenya to the north is a truly unforgettable experience. Ol'doinyo Lengai is an active natro-carbonitite volcano.
Engaruka Ruinsmore info ->
Engaruka is an abandoned system of mainly Iron Age ruins in the Great Rift Valley in the Arusha region. It is famous for its irrigation and cultivation engineering. Egaruka is one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. Several thousand people in the 15th century developed a complex irrigation and cultivation system of a stone-block canals and stonelined cultivation terraces.
Lake Natron Waterfall Walkmore info ->
Hike into the Ngare Sero Gorge (located next to the camp-site at Lake Natron) then walk to the waterfalls along the Ngare Sero River for about an hour until you come to a natural jacuzzi. This spectacular falls is a superb place to cool down after a dusty day on Lengai or walking around the lake.
Maasai Bomas near Lake Natronmore info ->
There are several Maasai Bomas close to Lake Natron and if you wish you can go to visit them.