The Maasai are Nilotic-speaking
pastoralists who live in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Serengeti/Maasai Mara
ecosystem. You can hike through this unique
African landscape and learn about these unique people.
The hike begins on the northern rim of the Ngorongoro Crater, traverses the
Crater Highlands, and descends in to the Rift Valley to Lake Natron. You can add this hike to your Serengeti safari, or
go out to the Ngorongoro Crater from Arusha and begin from there. The program is 7 days, 6 nights (including a day
of game driving in the Ngorongoro Crater), but can be extended 1-2 more days to explore
Click here to view a map of the
Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Day 1: Journey to the
Ngorongoro Crater (from Arusha or your safari), all day in the Crater. You can stay
on the Crater rim for the night, or make your way to Nainokanoka village where the hike
Looking over the crater at Empakaii
Day 2: You meet your Maasai
guide and donkey porters at Nainokanoka Village on the slopes of Olmoti Crater. The hike
proceeds to Empakaii Crater (4-6 hrs). At Empakaii, you will have time to explore the rim
of the Crater. Camping will be on the Crater rim to minimize the environmental impacts on
the Crater floor ecosystem.
Note: extra days can be added here to explore
the Olmoti Crater. The Olmoti Crater is the primary fresh water supply for the Ngorongoro
Crater and is full of wildlife, birds, and the Munge Waterfalls. You will camp at a Maasai
Lunch on the crater floor at Emapkaii
Day 3: This day is spent exploring the
Empakaii Crater floor. The lake is a primary breeding ground for flamingos, the forest is
full of birds, buffalo and hyena inhabit the plains, and there is a good chance of
spotting a leopard in the early evening. Camping will again be on the crater rim.
Leaving the Yellow Acacia forest
Day 4: You cross the Crater
Highlands and arrive at Naiyobi Village. Here you will have an opportunity to visit a
Maasai school, a clinic, talk with local elders, and immerse yourself in Maasai Village
life. (As a gesture of friendship you may want to bring pencils and sharpeners, pens,
notebooks for the school kids and we will supply a red Maasai blanket for the oldest male
in your group to give to the Chief of the Village). If we are lucky we will find a
cultural activity, i.e., a marriage, or circumcision ceremony in progress and will be free
to participate. Camping will be in a Yellow Acacia forest on the edge of the Rift Valley
Campsite at the base of Mt. Lengai
Day 5: You descend down the
Rift Valley escarpment to Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano and the home of the Maasai
God. We will camp at the base of Lengai and start our 5 hour ascent of the volcano that
night at 02:00 a.m. in order to enjoy the spectacular sunrise over the highlands.
Sunset over Mt. Lengai
Day 6: After our descent, we
will go to a permanent campsite on the Ngare Sero River where there is a sacred waterfall
famous for its healing properties. After a traditional Maasai meal, we will relax at the
camp and visit the waterfalls.
Day 7: A morning walk around
the shores of Lake Natron, and after lunch return to Arusha.