MOUNT OL’DOINYO LENGAI

Ol’doinyo Lengai by its name “means“ the Mountain of God” in the Maasai language of the native people. This mountain is also known as Mountain Lenkai.  The mountain is located in the northern Tanzania and southern end of Lake Natron at an elevation of 9,442 feet, above the East African Rift Valley floor to a height approximately 2,880 m. Ol’doinyo Lengai is an active volcanic mountain and is part of the volcanic system of the Great Rift Valley located in Eastern Africa. Because of its unique features, visiting Mount O’ldonyo Lengai should be within tourist’s or trekker’s minds. Moreover, The Maasai people conduct prayers to God “Enkai” or “Engai” whom the Maasai believe is the Creator of all things on this active volcanic mountain.

Unlike other volcanic mountains which spew silica-rich basalts, O’ldoinyo Lengai is the only active volcano on Earth that erupts with carbonatites that are instructed into other formations as well as composition and rarely reach Earth’s surface as eruptions. It is one of the exciting Tanzania destinations that you wouldn’t want to miss.

From the records, the mountain eruptions occurred on the dates of 1883, and again get recorded in the year between 1904 and 1910 and then in the year 1913 and 1915. A major eruption took place in June 1917, which resulted in volcanic ash being deposited about 50 km away. It’s most recent, the eruption was in the year 2007 and 2008 which created a magnificent coat over the mountain and made it an amazing destination to reach during your safari in Tanzania including the great culture of the maasai people which will excite you and make this destination a wonderful location to be in Tanzania.

Ol’doinyo Lenkai is the only active volcanic mountain in the East African Rift Valley Region which attracts many geologists from all over the world to come for research. Scientifically, carbonated lava is dark brown upon extrusion, but reacts very rapidly and turns into moisture to hydrate, then to secondary modified minerals that impart a white colour to the rock. The Maasai believe that the “white rock” symbolizes the white beards of “Enkai”.

Tanzania experiences many tourists who visit and climb this mountain every year. One should not underestimate this 2,880 meters high mountain, as it needs much determination to climb because of the steeper walking. However, trekkers should know that climbing Ol’doinyo Lenkai doesn’t require technical skills and expertise to get to the peak. At the summit, the small cones formed by lava can be seen on the crater rim. Despite the fact that Ol’doinyo Lenkai’s volcano erupts frequently there are no records of injuries or deaths experienced since then. Geologists tell that Ol’doinyo Lenka’s lava is not as hot as other volcanoes’ lava recorded in other parts of the world. It takes three days to the summit of Ol’doinyo Lenkai. After a climb Ol’donyo Lengai mountain, GVTS advice tourists to spend their time and take a tour around Lake Natron. Lake Natron is the largest lake in East Africa which accommodates numerous flamingos and other birdlife which eats algae. Zebras, elephants, giraffes, can be viewed on the walking safari from Ngare-Sero, Engaruka to Loliondo accompanied by armed rangers.

Trekking Interventions in Days

Drive to Mto Wa Mbu and enter the Great Rift Valley, passing via Engaruka basin and into a semi-desert area hot wild and dusty with extinct volcanoes, Kitumbaine and Gelai off to the right and the Mountain of God “Oldoinyo Lengai” always in front.

Around midday we arrive at Camp on the banks of the Engaresero river, in the afternoon take a trek to the waterfalls hidden in the Western wall of the rift valley.

You will have a short rest at Kamakia camp while waiting for your dinner. Thereafter you will have a nap before been transferred in the mid night by your driver guide to start the climb of Oldoinyo Lengai (approximately 4 hours climb). When you will arrive the peak, you should able to see the lava glowing.

Meal(s) plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

You will enjoy the sunrise and the views up the Rift Valley as far as Kenya and therefore descent and drive to the camp for shower, and late breakfast follows with a total rest. You will have some small walking in the evening on your wish and thereafter retire to Kamakia campsite for dinner and overnight.

Meal(s) plan: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

In the morning after breakfast you will have a walking around the Lake Natron with your local guide. Lake Natron one of the major flamingo breeding site in East Africa – en-route visit a Maasai “Boma” village. You will have time to interact with Maasai people and learn their culture and day to day activities.

After having the cultural tour you will be back to the campsite for hot lunch and preparation to drive back to Arusha or Moshi for dinner and overnight at the designated hotel or lodge. Depending with the itinerary you might be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your flight back home.

Meal(s) plan: Breakfast and Lunch

KARIBU TANZANIA – KARIBU AND VISIT MOUNT OLDOINYO LENGAI