The “Mountain of God” is a sacred site for the Maasai tribe. It is the only active volcano in the world that produces carbonatite lava.
The active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai lies south of Lake Natron. Ol Doinyo Lengai, the “Mountain of God”, is a sacred site for the Maasai, who believe that their God Eng’ai dwells within the majestic volcano and causes eruptions and drought when he is displeased.
The Maasai honor their God with a long pilgrimage up the mountain to receive his blessing for rain, cattle and children, and women who cannot have children are brought to the mountain by elders to receive the blessing for motherhood.
Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only active volcano in the world that produces carbonatite lava. This lava is very thin and has almost the viscosity of water. Recently solidified lava has a dark color like liquid black oil, but then turns white when it comes into contact with moisture.
The natrocarbonatite lava of this volcano reaches a comparatively low temperature of between 491 °C and 590 °C, but it originates from the earth’s mantle.
Depart from your accommodation in the morning and travel to Lake Natron. Wild and remote, it is situated at the base of Africa’s only active volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, known as the “Mountain of God” to the local Maasai people.
The area surrounding Lake Natron contains some of the most harsh and amazing scenery in Africa and is breathtaking.
Together with your Guide, you will be accompanied by a local Maasai Guide and walk up to the Engero Sero Waterfalls. Winding up through the shady gorge you will reach a beautiful natural swimming pool surrounded by steep rock walls showered by cascading spring water where you will have the opportunity to swim.
Lake Natron is one of the most alkaline lakes in the world. Home to millions of tiny crustaceans, the lake is a haven for literally thousands of flamingos and it is one of the most important flamingo breeding grounds on earth. It is the landscape rather than the animals that is the attraction here, the area around the lake is dry, desolate and beautiful.
After breakfast you will walk out across the baked mud to the shores of the great Soda Lake. From here, you can look back at the memorising view of Ol Doinyo Lengai standing tall amongst the rolling hills and flat plains. Its ash-grey colour will remind you that this is still an active volcano.
You will return to camp in time for lunch and a leisurely afternoon before enjoying an early dinner and retiring to your tent for some rest.
At approximately 11pm, you will be woken up with tea or coffee and a light snack before meeting your Mountain Guide and beginning your trek into the night.
Your climb will continue into the early hours of the morning before reaching the summit in time to witness the sun rise as it illuminates the Great Rift Valley below.
The views are breathtaking!
To the north you will see the salt flats of Lake Natron and in the distance, the Kenyan border.
To the east you will see Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley and to the south stretches the Ngorongoro Highlands and Ngorongoro Crater.
Together with your Guide, you will explore the peak and enjoy a picnic breakfast before beginning your climb down the mountain where you will be welcomed back with lunch before returning to Arusha or Moshi where you safari ends upon arrival.