Mountain Ol doinyo Lengai
Ol doinyo Lengai
The Oldonyo Lengai is the Maasai name which means “The Mountain of God”. This stratovolcano’s summit, which is 2962 meters above sea level, provides direct views into the caldera of the only carbonatite volcano in the world as well as Tanzania’s only officially recognized active volcano; eruption records date back to 1883, and the largest of these eruptions dumped ash 100 kilometers away in Loliondo on the Kenyan border to the north-west.
It is a sacred mountain in the Maasai community and can be found in northern Tanzania, in the Rift Valley, just south of Lake Natron. Looking north from its summit crater, Lake Natron’s scorching, desolate salt flats are visible in the distance. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area and the Crater Highlands are both to the south. Kilimanjaro dominates the horizons to the east, and the western slopes of the Rift Valley are comprised of forested escarpments and hills. Lengai erupts every seven years, sending smoke plumes out of the crater.
The floor of the crater can be traversed on foot. Due to the intense daytime heat, lack of water, steep and hazardous slopes of ash and crumbly rocks, and significant height gain, climbing Oldoinyo Lengai is difficult. In most cases, you can begin your ascent to the summit early in the morning and arrive there at sunrise. Short, warm jackets are ideal for ascent; long pants are also recommended because the summit can be chilly before dawn. An early descent from the summit in the morning shadow is possible thanks to the access route from the northwest.
Mountain Oldoinyo Lengai, also known as the Mountain of God to the local Maasai community, is 2,878 meters above the soda ash Lake Natron and is located about 120 kilometers northwest of Arusha, Tanzania, in the Ngorongoro highlands and the African Rift valley.
Since their ancient ancestors, the Maasai have prayed to their God, known as NGAI, using the Holly Lengai. Oldoinyo Lengai is the only active volcano in the world that produces natrocarbonatite lava, which has a lower melting point than other lavas (510 degrees C) and a lower silicon content than basaltic lavas (1,100 degrees C). The mountain frequently erupts mildly and forms cone-shaped structures at the bottom of its crater.
One can see Soda Lake Natron clearly from Mountain Oldoinyo Lengai’s summit, and it provides good nesting locations for a variety of bird species, including more than 350 different types of geese, pelicans, and flamingos.
Lengai takes about six to seven hours to reach the summit crater, unlike the other two highest mountains. A working safari led by Maasai guides armed with weapons is a great way for tourists to see wild animals like olive baboons, velvet, monitor lizards, hyenas, lions, leopards, jackals, Grant’s gazelles, impalas, and zebra. The Maasai BOMAS in the area give you the chance to interact with the locals and learn about their customs, taboos, and cultures.
HOW DO I GET THERE?
Ol’ Doinyo Lengai is far from the nearest city, Arusha, and is off of any paved roads. This makes one-day return trips challenging, if not impossible, if you intend to hike up it. Typically, excursions to the mountain are made from one of the conservation area’s lodges or campsites, from nearby villages, or from nearby towns like Mto wa Mbu and Karatu.
There are two ways to get there: one involves driving through the Ngorongoro conservation area up to the eastern rim of Empakai (or, depending on the roads, up to Naiyobi village), then taking a walk from there with the option of camping along the way. The alternate route departs from the conservation area and turns north from Mto wa Mbu before ending at the eastern base of the mountain.
OL DOINYO LENGAI TREKKING
Ol Doinyo Lengai is a part of the Great Rift Valley’s volcanic system in eastern Africa. For the Maasai Tribes, the name denotes the “Mountain of God”. You will ascend to 2,886 meters (9,524 feet) of elevation. The volcano is distinctive in that it produces natro-carbonatite, and hikers are rewarded with the opportunity to see the rich glow of molten lava after a challenging ascent.
OTHER ACTIVITIES AROUND OL DOINYO LENGAI MOUNTAIN INCLUDES:
- Visit Lake Natron and see flamingos.
- Trekking to the waterfalls
- Visit Maasai Boma.
- Walking Safari: You can spot zebras and other animals in this area.