Oldoinyo Lengai Mountain

By Editor


Ol Doinyo Lengai is located South of Lake Natron in the eastern rift valley of North Tanzania, (locally regarded  by the natives Maasai  people as the sacred Mountain of God in the Maasai  Language), an active volcano. At 2878meters, Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only known volcano in the world that sometimes erupts natrocarbonatite lava, a highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon. Natrocarbonatite lava (most fluid lava) is also much cooler than other lavas.  In the day light, most of this lava flows look like fluid black oil. 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.

Ol Doinyo Lengai mountain  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.  Most recent eruptions of this  nature happened back in  1967 ,  2007 to 2008.  It is now evident that after every seven years, Ol doinyo Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke puff  out of the crater.  On 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  which stretch into the distance, beyond lies the Kenyan border. The day temperatures by the lake often goes between 36 to 40 sometimes exceed 40°C and a few wildlife  including Maasai heards of cattle’s  survive  with the flamingo making its home there as  their 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  Rift Valley.

To the south stretches the Crater Highlands, Ngorongoro being one of the prime Seven Wonders of the World.

An early start climb to the top of Oldoinyo Lengai   is recommended and the best approach is from the west where the morning sun can be avoided for a while. Water is essential in this area. As it is dry ensure with your guide a good supply of water. Before, during and after the climb.

Ol donyo Lengai mountain Climb – 3 Days / 2 Nights  . A sample itinerary.
Duration: 3 days

Included in the rates are:

  • Transport to the lake Natron and back.
  • Accommodation,
  • Park entry fee,
  • Camping fees,
  • Mountain Tents,
  • Sleeping bags,
  • Sleeping Mattress,
  • Three meals daily,
  • Cook,
  • Driver/guide,



 Detailed itinerary.

Day 1: Depart Arusha at early morning .Drive to Ngaresero village (Lake Natron) with packed lunch. It takes about 8 hours’ drive. Via Engaruka Ruins village.

Dinner and overnight at sunken crater camp.

Day 2: Wake up at mid night. Prepare for the climb. At very early morning 12:30 a.m. drive to the base of the Ol’doinyo Lengai Mountain ready to start the climb. Trek to the summit just before or during sunrise. Spend some time with picture taking before descending to the base. A 4×4 car will meet you for the transfer to the Kamakia camp for shower and a short rest, then drive back to you camp.

Dinner and overnight at the Kamakia camp.

Day 3: Early breakfast a visit to the Lake Natron then drive back to Arusha.

In case you have booked a safari extension you can proceed with a safari to Ngorongoro, Serengeti, and Tarangire or Lake Manyara national park.


  • Sunglasses
  • head torch
  • buff or lightweight neck gaiter (for keeping out dust)
  • rain shell
  • light fleece
  • long sleeve t shirt x 2
  • Hiking trousers (zip off style are recommended).
  • Waterproof trousers.
  • socks x 3 pairs
  • Sun hat
  • hiking  boots ,shoes preferably with some decent ankle support
  • Flip flops for using in camp
  • Walking poles
  • gaiters for those that have low cut hiking shoes
  • water bottles x 3 enough to hold 3 Liters
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