Mount Oldoinyo Lengai in the Northern Circuit : In Maasai, Oldoinyo Lengai translates to “The Mountain of God. “At 2962 metres above sea level, the summit of this stratovolcano offers direct views into the caldera of the only carbonatite volcano in the world and the only officially certified active volcano in Tanzania. Since 1883, eruption records have been kept, with the largest eruption depositing ash 120 kilometres from Arusha Town and 100 kilometres away in Loliondo on the Kenyan border to the northwest.

Situated in the centre of Maasai nation, in the Rift Valley of northern Tanzania, directly south of Soda Ash Lake Natron, it is considered a sacred mountain by the locals. From the summit crater, one can see Lake Natron’s scorching, desolate salt wastes stretching off into the distance. The Ngorongoro crater Highlands are located to the south. The western sides of the Rift Valley consist of hills and forested escarpments, while Kilimanjaro dominates the eastern horizons. Lengai erupts and billows smoke out of the crater once every seven years.

The crater floor can be traversed on foot. The heat during the day, the lack of water, the steep and inappropriate ash and crumbly rock slopes, and the significant elevation gain make the ascent of Oldoinyo Lengai difficult. Usually, you can begin climbing to the summit early in the morning and arrive at sunrise. For ascents, a short, warm jacket is appropriate. Long trousers are also a good idea because the top before dawn might get chilly. It is possible to make an early descent from the top in the morning shadow thanks to the North West access path.

Maasai have been using the Holly Lengai for their NGAI prayer to their god since their ancient forefathers. The only active volcano in the world, Ol’doinyo Lengai, spews natrocarbonatite lava, which is 510 degrees Celsius colder than other lavas and 1,100 degrees Celsius hotter than basaltic lavas with less silicon. The mountain regularly erupts in small eruptions, creating cone-shaped formations at the base of its crater.

Lengai takes roughly six to seven hours to reach the summit crater, longer than the other two highest mountains. In addition, the mountain is a great location for a working safari, where visitors can see lions, leopards, olive baboons, velvet, monitor lizards, hyenas, jackals, Grant’s gazelles, impala, and zebras. The Maasai guides accompany these safaris with firearms.

The Maasai BOMAS in the area allow you to contact with the native people and learn about their customs, taboos, and cultures.

Climbing / Trekking Mount Ol’doinyo Lengai

At night, you ascend this 3,000-meter-tall “Mountain of God,” as the Maasai refer to it. The world’s sole active carbonatite volcano is this one. This is a mysterious and remarkable experience under the moon. You can’t describe the breathtaking view from the peak. Ol ’Doinyo Lengai’s many loose grains make the trip to the summit exceedingly strenuous.

The fact that the mountain’s everyday conditions are shifting is crucial to understand. The decision to postpone the summit ascent might be made immediately by the guide.

It takes approximately 12 hours to the summit.

Mount Oldoinyo Lengai in the Northern Circuit
Mount Ol’doinyo Lengai

The Great Rift Valley walk

The East African Slenk, sometimes referred to as the Great Slenk or the Rift Valley, is a stunning region.

You can have a lovely stroll across this Rift Valley in Lake Natron. This is a special day with Ol ‘Donyo Lengai, the gorgeous peak, in the background. This walk begins early in the morning at the Lake Natron Camp. You can stroll down to the base of the Rift Valley wall from here. You stroll beside this wall till you reach the start of the Ngare Sero canyon. To enjoy the sunrise at the summit, you climb this. While you take in the amazing views at the top of this gorge, breakfast is served.

You take a different path back to Lake Natron Camp after breakfast.

Time: Six hours

Explore the waterfalls and springs

There are multiple waterfalls and springs in the Engare Sero gorge, which is reachable via a lovely hike from Lake Natron Camp.

A half-day or full-day tour is an option. You trek to the cascading waterfalls for a refreshing swim. The stunning combination of volcanic rocks and tropical palm plants makes up this oasis.

Time: 4–6 hours, including the picnic basket.

Chemka Hot Springs

In the heart of the Kilimanjaro region’s hinterland, Chemka Hot Springs is a haven. Located one hour’s drive from the town of Moshi. The finest spot to go after hiking Kilimanjaro or going on a safari is Chemka Hot Springs.

After an intense hike up Kilimanjaro or an exciting bush safari, you can unwind in style at these picturesque underground springs with their pristine blue water. They’re also a great place to go on day trips. The Chemka Hot Springs welcome everyone, young or old, peaceful or energetic, to stay, swim, and explore.

The pond is quite deep—up to ten metres in certain spots—but the water is so pure that you can always see the bottom. You can set up tent, have refreshments, and relax in the sun among the thick trees along the shore.

Materuni waterfalls

Materuni waterfalls are around thirty to forty minutes’ drive outside of Moshi town. Given its proximity, this trip is perfect for individuals with tight schedules who yet want to take in some of the natural beauty that this part of Tanzania has to offer. Although these falls are not as large as the Ndoro previously discussed, at 150 metres high, they are nonetheless quite magnificent and well worth visiting.

We will trek to the waterfall for around thirty minutes from Materuni Village. The stroll itself is really interesting because it passes by numerous canals and a few smaller waterfalls that are a part of the irrigation system used by the nearby farmers to grow coffee, bananas, and a variety of other fruits and vegetables.

Remember to pack your swimwear so you may cool down in the pristine, refreshing water near the waterfall! Before taking a quick tour to Materuni hamlet to witness a normal day in the life of the Chagga tribe, you will also pause here for lunch. Situated approximately 1300 metres (4300 feet) above sea level, the village is surrounded by a striking terrain consisting of steep cliffs and profound valleys, all enveloped in a lush tropical rain forest.

Coffee farms tour

Numerous perishable items, including as yam, sugar, maize, and beans, are produced in Materuni Village. But coffee is the principal crop cultivated. You may discover the entire coffee-making process in the hamlet, from the time the beans are planted until the moment they are poured hot and steaming into each cup.

You will choose your own coffee, take off the lid, and then grind your previously dried-out coffee into little pieces. You’ll be able to savour your very own fulfilling cup of freshly made coffee once you’ve seen the entire process of producing coffee. Along with this, you will discover the manner in which the Chagga tribe prepares and consumes food, keeps their animals, and maintains their homes.

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