The Great Rift Vally Trek - Empakai to Natron
why this adventure?
For active types Tanzania has a lot to offer and this is one of the most dramatic hikes in East Africa. As well as the amazing scenery there is also the chance to witness the changing lives of the Maasai in both Ngorongoro and Natron.
A 2 night trek combined with 2 nights in Lake Natron. The trek starts with a night at Empakai Crater in the Ngorongoro highlands (and depending on arrival time can include a descent into Empakai) from which our guides lead you down the outer slopes of Empakai with the second night on the edge of the Gregorian rift. You then trek down the rift valley with stunning views throughout and once at the base are transferred for 2 nights at Lake Natron Camp (Ngare Sero) and use this as a base for activities such as seeing the flamingoes on Lake Natron, visiting the hominid footprints, delving deep into the Ngare Sero gorge or even just relaxing in camp and enjoying the natural plunge pools. For the very active you can also climb Oldonyo Lengai (extra cost).
Ngorongoro volcanoes – Empakai crater
Walking with Maasai Warriors
Learning about local tribes and customs
Being a witness to changing times and culture
The unique habitat of Lake Natron
Flamingoes feeding & preening in fresh water streams
day 1 - empakai crater
On arrival at Empakai crater there is the option to descend into the crater. This is around 40 minutes down and depending on season can be quite slippery but certainly a great hike with stunning views. Flamingoes are often seen flying into the crater or feeding in the lake at the base. A hot shower is available before dinner. Overnight Empakai Camp (full board).
day 2 - Rift Valley scarp
Dawn rises and our lofty position affords a great sunrise. As we take breakfast our camp crew break camp and depart to send the camp ahead with donkeys. We then set off hiking with Maasai guides following a route that takes us through picturesque Maasai villages and rolling hills. Lunch can be taken on route as a picnic or if guests are very fit a late lunch can be had in camp. In the late afternoon a hike up to a nearby viewpoint is highly recommended and a great place for sundowners! Dinner & overnight Leonotis Camp (full board).
day 3 - lake natron
The final section of hiking has two options of a shorter hike or a longer more strenuous option right along the rift wall. The views are spectacular with the active volcano Oldoinyo Lengai dominating the foreground. This volcano affects almost everything from hydrology to lifestyle, as will become apparent. Once down on the rift valley floor we are picked up and transfer to Lake Natron Camp, Ngare Sero and here have the chance to jump in the natural pools to cool down. Sundowners are served at any number of beautiful points close to camp. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
day 4 - lake natron
Lake Natron has a number of activities that are very easily combined with dawn walks and sundowners and in the middle of the day there is the nearby Ngare Sero gorge that you can walk to options of long hikes to the source or shorter hikes to waterfalls. The staff are on hand to make you stay as adventurous or relaxing as you want. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
day 5 - depart
After breakfast you can do some additional activities before departure and picnic lunches are provided to ensure you reach your goal well fed.
END OF SERVICES
WFR Trained guide
NCAA entry fees
NCAA Empakai private campsite fees
Meals as described
Limited stock of red wine / beers / sodas
Tea / coffee / hot chocolate
Donkeys to carry guest luggage to Natron
2 nights Expedition ‘Fly-camping’
2 nights Lake Natron Camp
Activity fees Ngare Sero
Village fees Ngare Sero
Wildlife Department fees
Gate fees Longido
Gate fees Engaruka
Gate fees Ngorongoro District
Ngorongoro game drive fees ($200 per car if needed)
Any changes to the itinerary requiring change of route or accommodation
Items of a personal nature
Personal evacuation insurance / travel insurance
Lengai climb fees (payable direct to village at $100 for 1 climber, $140 for 2 climbers)
WHAT TO WEAR
buff or lightweight neck gaiter (for keeping out dust)
long sleeve t shirt x 2
hiking trousers (zip off style are recommended so you have shorts too)
socks x 3 pairs
hiking shoes preferably with some decent ankle support
teva or flip flops for in camp
gaiters for those that have low cut hiking shoes
water bottles x 3 enough to hold 3 Liters
PLEASE NOTE IF YOU ARE PUSHED FOR TIME THIS TREK CAN BE MADE INTO 4 DAYS, BY MISSING OUT A STAY AND A DECEND INTO EMPAKAI CRATER.