to Lake Natron Trek
15 Nov – 31 Mar*
(*) Excludes 20 Dec – 5 Jan
5 Days, 4 Nights
Start & End Points
Empakaai Crater to Lake Natron Ngare Sero Airstrip
Provided the child is fit and active
About This Asilia Adventure:
The very epitome of getting off the beaten track, this adventure takes you on foot through the volcanic landscapes of northern Tanzania, travelling through areas that are simply impossible to reach by road. Easy to combine with a traditional safari on the northern circuit, you can fit in this adventure after your Ngorongoro Crater game drives and at the end of the trek, fly onward to the Serengeti.
Experience the fascinating lives of the Maasai between Ngorongoro and Lake Natron accompanied by Maasai guides, and spend time learning more about their culture and traditions. Beginning at Empakaai Crater, where the dirt road ends, you can hike to the floor of this seldom-visited volcanic crater, home to flamingo, bushbuck, waterbuck, and various monkey species in the forest. The trek continues northwards along the Rift Valley wall with spectacular views of Ol Doinyo Lengai ahead, descending to your finishing point at Lake Natron.
We’ve included two nights here to give you time to fully explore the area which has so much to offer: an abundance of flamingos for whom the lake is an important breeding ground, hominid footprints, hikes to the Ngare Sero waterfalls, and various shorter walks.
We recommend spending a couple of nights at Asilia’s The Highlands beforehand, to visit the Ngorongoro Crater on a game drive, as well as spending time with the Maasai communities or having a warm-up hike up the Olmoti Crater behind the camp. Alternatively, you can stay elsewhere in the Ngorongoro or Karatu region.
What Is Included In This Adventure?
Private trek from Empakaai to Lake Natron with qualified walking guide and Maasai guides, park and camping fees for the trek (Ngorongoro Crater game drive and fees are not included in this trip so should be done before you start the adventure), fully-equipped fly camping for two nights with camp crew, donkeys, support vehicle, all meals from lunch on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 5, soft drinks, limited stocks of beer and red wine, all activities from Lake Natron camp with exception of day hike up Ol Doinyo Lengai (additional fees payable) and two nights game package basis at Lake Natron Camp, Asilia conservation charge, and Medevac cover. Transfers to the start point of the trek and your onward flight out of Lake Natron are not included – if you do not have a driver-guide for your safari who can drop you off, i.e. you are on a flying safari, we can arrange a pickup and transfer at additional cost.
Snapshot of this Asilia Adventure
Arrive at Empakaai fly camp in the late morning in time for lunch and to meet your trekking guide and team. This afternoon, descend into the Empakaai Crater with your Maasai guide. The path is quite steep and often slippery, so you’ll need to take care. It will take around 45mins to an hour to reach the crater floor, emerging from the forest to enjoy views of the crater lake where flamingos are often found.
Explore with your guides, learning more about the plant life and species that live here, before hiking back to your fly camp on the crater rim. The hike back is similarly steep, and the altitude makes most people short of breath, so this hike takes between 1.5 to 2hrs. Return to the fly camp for a hot shower and a tasty campfire-cooked dinner.
Overnight: Empakaai Fly Camp
Wake to the sunrise this morning, and soak up the incredible vistas, and the peace and quiet, before enjoying a camp breakfast. The camp crew will break down the camp and set off ahead with donkeys to prepare your fly camp for tonight, and you’ll start your trek with Maasai guides, passing through rolling hills and remote Maasai villages which can only be reached on foot.
Very few tourists pass through this area, so make the most of this rare opportunity to see a part of Tanzania that few others have. Stop for a picnic lunch before arriving at camp in the mid-afternoon. In the late afternoon, there is a hike up to a nearby viewpoint where your efforts are rewarded with spectacular views and the perfect spot for sundowner drinks.
Overnight: Leonotis Fly Camp
Depending on your fitness levels, there is the choice of a shorter hike down to the rift valley floor or a longer and more strenuous route along the rift wall. Whichever you choose, the views are spectacular with Ol Doinyo Lengai looming up ahead at an impressive 2,692 metres above sea level. This still- active volcano, whose Maasai name means Mountain of God, is the reason for a total variation in terrain, hydrology, and flora and fauna, as you’ll soon see.
Descend to the rift valley floor where vehicles await to transfer you to Lake Natron Camp near the natural springs where you can have a swim and a cool down. After your long and likely dusty walk, this will be a welcome treat. The team at camp will arrange sundowner drinks to celebrate the end of your trek in a scenic spot nearby.
Overnight: Lake Natron Camp
A day to explore and enjoy activities from Lake Natron Camp, depending on your interests and how active or relaxed you feel like being. There are numerous short and long hikes to enjoy, including the Ngare Sero gorge and waterfalls, the hominid footprints that are thought to date back possibly as far back as 100,000 years, and of course the flamingos which flock to Lake Natron to breed.
Overnight: Lake Natron Camp
After breakfast, you will be dropped off at the Ngare Sero Airstrip at Lake Natron for your light aircraft flight to your next destination, likely the Serengeti, or Arusha. You can fly out of the airstrip by charter, or if you prefer, we can arrange (at an additional cost) for you to be transferred to Manyara Airstrip for an onward scheduled flight. Alternatively, a driver-guide can pick you up and drive you to the Serengeti, also at an additional cost.
A picnic lunch is included for you to ensure you arrive at your destination well fed.
Good To Know
Fly Camp Accommodation Facilities
Simple canvas dome tent with bedrolls, proper duvets and pillows.
There’s a shared toilet tent and a shared shower tent. Towels and bedding are provided. Meals are mostly eaten outdoors but there is an undercover option if there is rain.
There is no backup tent at the main camp held for the two nights in fly camps.