Home » Tanzania Trekking » 5 Days Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking Experience
Ngorongoro Highlands trekking, the, the rugged and beautiful offers one of the finest blends of culture, landscapes and wildlife in Tanzania. The best way to experience the highlands is amazing trek on foot. The Ngorongoro Highland’s diverse landscapes consisting of elevated volcanoes and craters, forests and vast grassy plains offers a remarkable experience for those hiking through this area. Trekking party will experience first-hand how the Maasai people, who inhabit these highlands and the wildlife, coexist. The journey thought the highlands takes us to the edge of the great rift valley where we then descend to the base of the escarpment wall right on the foot of Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai. Known to the Maasai as the “Mountain of God”, Ol Doinyo Lengai is one of the most unique active volcanoes in the world. Our trek ends up on the shores of the beautiful Lake Natron, an alkaline lake which serves as the breeding ground for the Lesser Flamingo
ALNCAT01 – NGORONGORO HIGHLANDS TREKKING
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5 Days Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking Tour
Day 1-5 | Ngorongoro Highland Trekking – Tanzania
Altitude: ↑ ↓ 300 m
Distance: 2 km
Walking time: 1-2h
Altitude: ↑ 500 m
Distance: 16 km
Walking time: 4-5h
Finish: Empakai Crater
Altitude: ↑ 500 m
Distance: 9 km
Walking time: 3-4h
Start: Empakai Crater
Finish: Acacia Camp
Altitude: ↑ 200 m
Distance: 13 km
Walking time: 4-5h
Start: Acacia Camp
Finish: Lake Natron
Altitude: ↓ 1200 m
Distance: 6 km
Walking time: 2-3h
Day 1 Arusha – Olmoti Crater – Nainokanoka
In the morning you will be picked up from your hotel or lodge and you will drive to the village of Mto wa Mbu town near Lake Manyara with the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley towering up ahead. From a viewpoint above the town you will see the Maasai plains stretch to the horizon with the alkaline Lake Manyara down below. A short drive further and you will reach the gate of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The journey continues along the scenic crater road, to the Maasai village of Nainokanoka. While the camp is being set up, you will hike to the rim of the Olmoti Crater during the afternoon. There is also a possibility to visit a small waterfall along the way. Dinner will be served at the camp. Depending on the time of year, it might be cold (the camp is at an altitude of 2,650 m).
Day 2 Nainokanoka – Bulati
In the early morning a Maasai guide will arrive with his donkeys. After breakfast and loading the donkeys, the journey begins and you will pass many traditional Maasai bomas and cattle herds. Soon, you might also see wild animals such as Thompson and Grant’s gazelles, zebras and wildebeests with hungry jackals not far behind and majestic eagles observing the situation. After approximately 16 km of hiking you will reach a campsite not far from the Maasai village Bulati.
Breakfast | Lunch |Dinner
Day 3 Bulati – Empakai
After breakfast, the journey goes up a hill from where you have a last panoramic view of the grass plains below. The trek continues up and down through the bushy landscape which finally opens up to the active volcano, Oldonyo Lengai. The trek gives you great views of the majestic volcano as well as into the impressive Empakai Crater before reaching the campsite for the night. You can explore the crater and on a well-maintained path you descend to Lake Empakai inside the crater. This alkaline soda lake is an important food source for flamingos, which can be seen throughout the year. Returning to camp supper will be waiting for you. During the night you might hear the flamingos call as they fly back to their breeding nests at Lake Manyara and Lake Natron.
Breakfast | Lunch |Dinner
Day 4 Empakai Crater – Acacia Camp
Today you will hike to the Maasai village Naiyobi and following a good path, the village as well as Oldonyo Lengai, an active volcano, can be seen from a distance. After lunch in Naiyobi, the trek leaves the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the landscape becomes drier and warmer. Tonight’s camp will be set up at amongst an acacia forest.
Breakfast | Lunch |Dinner
Day 5 Acacia Camp – Engare Sero – Arusha
The last stage of the journey is not too long and it goes mainly downhill. The highlights of the trek are the great views of Oldonyo Lengai, Lake Natron and the Rift Valley. The rugged countryside looks almost surreal covered by grey ash of the last eruption in 2007. The trek descends down into the dry and hot Rift Valley, where the ash can be seen up close. Around lunchtime you will reach the waiting vehicle and your driver will take you back to Arusha.
Ngorongoro Highlands trekking according to the itinerary
Professional, English-speaking guide
Professional, English-speaking safari cook
Maasai guide and donkeys
Overnight stays in safari tents and mountain tents
Camping equipment (tents, sleeping mats, chairs, tables etc.)
Meals according to the itinerary
All national park fees
All mentioned transfers
Flying Doctors insurance (AMREF) during the trekking
Alcoholic and soft drinks
Personal spending money for souvenirs etc.
What is expected in terms of group tour size and nationality?
This is a private tour and hence there won’t be any other guests joining the trekking. It will just be you, your guide and cook, the Maasai herders and donkeys and on several occasions a park ranger.
What is the age limit tor this highland trek?
There is no set age limit, however, we wouldn’t recommend this trekking for children under the age of 10 years.
Where do we overnight and how is the camp set up during trek?
The camp is set up on special campsites or in nature close to Maasai villages. You will sleep in tents, which have sheltered space for two chairs and a table. If you are more than two people we will provide a separate mess tent for dining. In fine weather, you will enjoy your meals under the African sky.
Are there ablution facilities at the campsites?
Unfortunately, the campsites have no or only very basic ablution and shower facilities. Water sources are very scarce in the Ngorongoro Highlands and water often has to be transported to the campsites. For your daily wash we provide you with a bowl of warm water.
Should I be extremely fit for this experience?
You do not have to be extremely fit to take part in this trekking tour. Furthermore, the safari vehicle that transports the equipment for the first few days is always close by and tired hikers can catch a ride in the vehicle if necessary.
How is the equipment transported?
Where and whenever possible we use our vehicle to transport the equipment. As a result, thereof, the camp is already set up and snacks are prepared when you reach your daily destination. If and when it’s not possible to reach the campsite by car, the equipment will be carried by Maasai herders and their donkeys.
How is the weather expected and when is the best time to trek?
The warmest time with the least rainfall is between December and February, followed by the main rainy season from March until the beginning of June. Between June and October, temperatures are moderate with almost no rainfall. November is regarded as the small rainy season and daily short rainfalls with cloudy views are common.
Except for the rainy season, this trek can be done the whole year round. Please keep in mind that you will be 2000 meters above sea level and the nights can get quite cold, even dropping to freezing point during the coldest months of July and August.
What do I expect from the expedition route through the highlands landscape?
You will hike across grassy plains, the mountainous countryside, evergreen mountain forests and finally the semi-desert savannah
What kind of food can I expect and is it included in the tour package?
The tour is run on a full-board basis and meals are included as indicated in the itinerary. Mineral water is also provided, whereas all other beverages (soft drinks & alcohol) are excluded and on your own account.
Breakfast includes eggs, sausages or bacon, toast and jam
Lunch-boxes are provided for lunch and are enjoyed en-route at a picnic spot. These can include sandwiches, boiled eggs and fruits or grilled chicken thighs.
Dinner is freshly cooked and meals consist of meat or fish and some sort of starch (pasta, rice, mashed potatoes etc.) and vegetables.
Please let us know if you have any special dietary requirements or food allergies and we will do our outmost to cater for them (only possible with advanced notification).
What should I bring along for this trekking Expedition?
We will provide you with a detailed packing list at the time of the booking (please feel free to contact us should you have any questions or wish to hire a sleeping bag).
Are there luggage restrictions?
Luggage is restricted to one large bag / rucksack weighing no more than 12 kg. You are also allowed a day pack with daily essentials such as your lunch, water, sunscreen etc. which you will however carry yourself. Additional luggage can usually be stored in the safari vehicle.
Should I bring some extra cash with me?
Yes, we suggest that you bring some spending money for drinks, snacks, souvenirs and tips. Please only bring USD bills that have been printed after 2004 as earlier dated bills will not be accepted.
Are tips included?
Tips are not included in the price and we recommend 12-18 USD per group per day for the Maasai guide, 8-12 USD per group per day for the cook and 6-8 USD per group per day for each donkey herdsmen. Tips for the rangers are at your own discretion.
Is a visa required for this trip?
Most nationalities can apply for a visa upon arrival in Tanzania but all travellers need to contact their respective embassies to check the latest visa regulations. Furthermore, it is the sole responsibility of each traveller to be in possession of the required documents.
Do I need to get myself vaccinated and is malaria a concern?
We do recommend that you get a yellow fever vaccination as Tanzania finds itself in a yellow fever region.
Tetanus, Diphtheria, Polio, Hepatitis A & B vaccinations are not required, but nevertheless recommend by us.
Malaria is also present and we hence suggest some precautions for this as well. Please contact a travel clinic or your health care practitioner for further information on prophylaxis and the effects and side effects that come with it.
Dates & Rates for Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking
Prices depend on the number of travelers in this Tour
|SEASON||TRAVELLERS – (Price Per Person)|
|01 JAN 2020 – 31 DEC 2021||$USD
|2,230||$USD 2,140||$USD 1,940||$USD 1,915||$USD 1,905|
|All year Round|