Drive from Arusha and then descend into the Ngorongoro Crater for a crater tour. This 100 square mile natural amphitheatre is host to an astonishing array of wildlife and you may be lucky enough to see rhino, elephant and lion, as well as large herds of zebra and wildebeest. A picnic lunch will be taken in the Crater before returning to the lodge. Stay at Ngorongoro Simba Campsite on the rim of the Crater.
Ngorongoro Crater to Olmoti
Your career break travel journey starts with a drive to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. Then you descend into the Crater for a game drive. Travel onwards to Nainokanoka. Here you take a short trek to Olmoti Crater which takes you through the rain forested slopes of Olmoti Crater to the rim viewpoint.
Olmoti Crater to Empakai
The trek continues to the distant Empakai Crater across open grassland through a natural amphitheatre created by encircling volcanoes. Maasai rush out of their traditional homes (Boma’s) to greet trekkers as they pass by. The steep walk up Empakai affords inspiring views, especially from the top where the sheer sided sunken crater can be seen. You camp on the Crater Rim, with Empakai on one side and Ol Donyo Lengai, the holy Maasai volcano, on the other.
Empakai to Nayobi
From the overnight camp, we scramble down the sheer-sided slopes of Empakai onto the crater floor for a foot safari. Empakai Crater is a sunken volcano with a soda lake covering most of the crater floor. Flamingos nest here during the day to escape the blazing heat of the Rift Valley. A large forest on the western shore is home to antelope, buffalo, leopard and lion, with large seasonal zebra and wildebeest populations when they pass through on their migratory circuits.
Nayobi to Ngaresero
The Maasai Mountain of God, “Ol Donyo Lengai” looms out of the sunrise as you head out early today to avoid the heat. You arrive at the escarpment, the sheer wall that looms out of the Rift Valley floor, to admire one of the finest views in Africa. Take in the sweeping vistas of the Rift Valley below, and the scattered active volcanoes, primitive rock formations, glimmering soda lakes and clustered Maasai bomas. The final six kilometres are across the tough uncompromising terrain of the valley floor in extreme heat. Our shaded camp is perched above a refreshing stream, a half-hours walk from a paradisiacal waterfall.
Very early this morning there is chance for an optional ascent of Ol Donyo Lengai (2878m), an active carbonated volcano with spiritual significance to the Maasai. Then visit Lake Natron (short afternoon visit if Ol Donyo Lengai trek is taken), one of the soda alkaline lakes that jewel the East African Rift, here there is an array of water birds including hordes of resident flamingos. There is also the opportunity to walk up a gorge carved into the Rift Escarpment to a waterfall to wash off five days of dust!
Ngaresero to Arusha
A long driviz day returning back to Arusha.