Hiking Mount Ol Doinyo

Hiking Mount Ol Doinyo : Probably, you have been in Tanzania for several days exploring the wildlife in Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, or whatever. After a rewarding wildlife safari, you may need an extra activity to embark on. Moreover, if you are scared of climbing the highest mountains like Kilimanjaro, Mount Ol Doinyo is the best choice for you.

 Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai                                            

Mount Ol Doinyo is an active volcano in northern Tanzania. The spectacular Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano is found in the Lake Natron area. The name Ol Doinyo Lengai means “the Mountain of God” in the Maasai language.

 Myths about Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai

The Maasai tribe holds many myths about this active volcano. Here are a few of them:

  • The mountain was once the home to a god, “Lengai,”.  Lengai left the Ol Doinyo after being hit by an arrow.
  • Infertility in women can be cured by offering a pure black female sheep as a sacrifice.
  • Small eruptions that do not harm people or livestock cleanse. These eruptions provide nutrients to the grasses and make livestock healthier.

Getting to Mount Ol Doinyo

Ol Doinyo Lengai is accessible from Arusha and Lake Natron. The most common way is from Lake Natron. After a wildlife safari, visit Lake Natron and climb the Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano to the summit.

From Arusha, you can drive to the base of the volcano, a journey that will take you 4 to 5 hours. From Lake Natron, the volcano is just a 30-minute drive south of the lake.

How hard is the Old Doinyo Lengai hike?

The highest peak of this mountain is about 2890 meters above sea level. Sometimes, real lava flows from its cap. So, it is a challenging hike and a hard one to accomplish, and not for the faint-hearted. Don’t underestimate it. It has to be accomplished in a single day, so, there is a certain fitness required to conquer this mountain. Climbing is permitted if there are no eruptions. However, a small amount of lava may be flowing at the time of your climb.

You can climb Ol Doinyo Lengai in 10 hours only, that is 5 hours up and 5 hours down. On your climb, you will spot the volcanic activity of this active volcano. When you look to the north, you will also view Lake Natron from a distance.

The lake appears incredibly with its coloration, especially in the dry season. The reason behind such color is the presence of haloarchaea algae. On a clear day, you can expect to see the caps of Mount Meru and Kilimanjaro through the horizon to the east.

 When to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai

The best time to climb this mountain is during the dry season. You can also hike it during the rainy season. However, roads become muddy and slippery during this time.

 Ol Doinyo Lengai hike

Ol Doinyo Lengai is best experienced at night. After your migration safari, your guide to a nearby accommodation where you will prepare for the climb. After an early dinner, sleep to reshuffle what you have experienced in the African wilderness.

At around 11:30 p.m., a guide will awaken you to prepare for the hike. You will have tea and some snacks to boost your body’s energy. Afterward, you will drive to the base of Lengai, where you will start the hike.

For the next five or six hours, you will ascend the volcano. The trail is steep and technical. It is the most challenging one-day hike in East Africa, but you will endure. Your guide will determine whether you should reach the peak depending on the weather. Safety is Focus East Africa’s priority.

By 6.am., you will witness an illuminating sunrise at the top of Lengai. You will also enjoy a glimpse of stunning African landscapes. After enjoying a lot at the peak, you will start the descent which will take you five to six hours.

After getting down, you can spend the remainder of your day exploring the Lake Natron area or visiting the Maasai. 

 Lake Natron

Lake Natron’s high degree of alkalinity is dangerous to various forms of life. Therefore, don’t expect to see wildlife close to this stunning lake. However, pink flamingos thrive in such alkaline environments. Lake Natron is, therefore, a breeding site for over 2.5 million flamingos. Their pink coloration stains the shore of this lake pink.

Lake Natron is home to the Maasai community. They are a world-famous tribe known for their unchanging cultural practices that have thrived through various generations. Their unique dressing style and traditional dances will capture your attention. Some visitors try their Ol Doinyo Lengai climb dressed in adorned Maasai dress.

Hiking Mount Ol Doinyo
Lake Natron

The cost of the climb

Ol Doinyo Lengai Volcano climb costs $100 per person for a group of two people.

The Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano hike is a must-try thing to enrich your memories. It is challenging and offers wonderful safari experiences. Focus East Africa Safari can get this hike ready for you.

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