Ngorongoro highlands trekking

Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world’s largest intact volcanic caldera. It is just one part of a much larger area of interrelated ecosystems. Had it not become the world's sixth-largest unbroken caldera, then what is now known as the Ngorongoro crater could have been a towering volcanic mountain, as high as Kilimanjaro.Ngorongoro Crater is an internationally important wildlife site. The crater is the flagship tourism feature for the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. It is a large, unbroken, un-flooded caldera, formed when a giant volcano exploded and collapsed some three million years ago. The Ngorongoro crater sinks to a depth of 610 metres, with a base area covering 260 square kilometres. The height of the original volcano must have ranged between 4,500 to 5,800 metres high.

Apart from the main caldera, Ngorongoro also has two other volcanic craters: Olmoti and Empakai, the former famous for its stunning waterfalls, and the latter holding a deep lake and lush, green walls. On the leeward of the Ngorongoro highlands protrudes the iconic OldonyoLengaimountain, an active volcano and Tanzania's third highest peak after Kilimanjaro and Meru. Known to local people as the Mountain of God, Mount Lengai's last major eruption occurred in 2007. At the mountain's foot is Lake Natron, East Africa's major breeding ground for flamingoes.

Day trips to Olmoti are available as well as to Empakaai crater (weather & road permitting) allex-Ngorongoro as an addition on to regular safaris.

Our popular programmes are 4-6 days Olmoti Crater/Empakaai Crater/Lake Natron trek (walking, driving & camping).

All these are accompanied by an armed ranger as you will find animals like buffalo, hyenas, leopard, eland, bushbuck, blue monkeys. The flow where the lake situated is home to flamingoes.

Mt OldoinyoLengai

South of Lake Natron in the eastern rift valley of North Tanzania, lies Mount OlDoinyoL'engai (locally regarded as the sacred Mountain of God in the Maasai Language), an active volcano.

At 2878m, Mt. Lengai is the only known volcano in the world that sometimes eruptsnatrocarbonatite lava, highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon. Natrocarbonatite lava (most fluid lava) is also much cooler than other lavas. During the day most of this lava flows look like fluid black oil. Some feel the lava flows resemble mud like-flows. Natrocarbonatite lava turns white when in contact with moisture. During rainy periods, the lava turns white almost immediately whilst this whitening takes longer during the dry periods.

Mount OlDoinyoLengai also has phases of explosive activity during which the composition of the lava may contain much more silicate material. With this type of eruption, initial phases of the eruption may include strong lava fountains but usually there is no fluid lava and ash eruptions accompanied by ejection of rocks and explosions occurs. The two most recent eruptions of this type occurred during 1966-1967 and 2007-2008. Almost without fail, about every seven years Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater. At other times it is possible to walk down into the crater, almost to the edge of the molten lava flows.

Views in the north from its summit crater lies the hot barren salt flats of Lake Natron stretch into the distance, beyond lies the Kenyan border. The day temperatures by the lake often exceed 40°C and a few animals survive here with the flamingo making its home here as breeding grounds, nesting on the salty surface on upraised mounds. The view on the east is dominated by Mt Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Great African Rift Valley.

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