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tanzania adventure trek

4-Day Nature Hike from Empakai Crater to Lake Natron

Travel off the beaten path on foot on this unique walking safari with a donkey train! The highlands of Ngorongoro are home to misty forests and rolling hills, ancient craters and the red blazes of Maasai who inhabit this beautiful land. Hike around an emerald lake at the Empakai crater floor, and through highland meadows to a Maasai village. Be refreshed by cool, clear waterfalls and enjoy beautiful views of Oldony’o Lengai, the Maasai ‘Mountain of God,’ and an active volcano. Cap the experience with a walk along the shores of Lake Natron, a giant alkaline lake in the Rift Valley.

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Day 1 – Arusha/Empakai: You will meet in the morning where you will be introduced to your Empakai camp staff, including your driver/camp-hand and cooks. You will meet you Maasai trekking guide at Empakai. Depart Arusha for Empakai Crater, enjoying a picnic lunch en route. Descend with your ranger and Maasai walking guide to the Empakai Crater floor for a short hike. The donkeys will arrive in camp on this day, with Masai morani handlers. Back at camp, relax with a hot shower before dinner around a camp table. Overnight at Empakai Special Camp (Dome Tented Camp).

The Dome Tented Camp includes small but comfortable walk-in tents (7.5′ x 7.5′) with 3” foam mattresses on bed frames with comfortable linens. A washstand and hurricane lamp are provided outside of each tent. There is a toilet and shower set up for every guest. The friendly staff will set up all the facilities, as well as prepare and serve delicious meals which are enjoyed in a separate dining tent. Campfires will be prepared where possible.

Day 2 – Empakai/Acacia Camp: After breakfast, trek to Nayobi and on to your private bush campsite set amidst a forest of Migunga (yellow fever trees), with views of Lengai’s top. Donkeys carry your gear which will be protected from dust in plastic kit bags. You will visit an authentic Maasai boma en route. Tonight, you will have mbuzi choma (your camp cook slaughters a goat and prepares a Masai-style barbeque) and Maasai traditional dances. The private campsite is set under acacia trees, with a stunning view of Lengai. Snacks and drinks upon arrival at camp. Dinner and overnight at Acacia Private Camp (Fly Camp).

The Fly Camp is set up in the bush using small mountain tents, with foam mattresses on the ground. There is also a dining tent with tables and chairs and a toilet tent, but no shower tent. Pails of water will be provided.

Day 3 – Acacia Camp/Lake Natron: After breakfast, trek to the base of Lengai where you will be met by your vehicle and transferred to your private campsite. This afternoon, enjoy a visit to the lower waterfall for cooling off. Tonight, you have the option for an overnight climb of Lengai (priced separately). Dinner and overnight at Lake Natron Private Camp (Dome Tented Camp).

Day 4 – Lake Natron/Arusha/Depart: After breakfast, enjoy a morning walk on the Natron flat, home to flamingos. Following your walk, depart for Arusha with a picnic lunch. Upon arrival in Arusha, you will be transferred to Kilimanjaro International Airport for your onward flight.

Add an additional day in the Lake Natron area and enjoy a trek to the waterfall source and large waterfalls. This trek is approx. 4-6 hours with a picnic lunch. Footwear for water crossing and swimwear is required. Call for more information.

Photo Credit: Nature Discovery

Interested in this trip? Give us a call or drop us an email.

Quick Facts

Perfect for:

  • Perfect for Adventure Seekers
  • Perfect for Active Travelers
  • Perfect for Cultural Visits
  • Duration 4 days
  • Departures Anytime
  • Accommodations Moderate adventure camping
  • Fitness Rating Moderate/Difficult
  • Activities Crater trekking, nature walks & cultural visits
  • Safari Type Adventure
  • Style Value
  • Land-Only Price* $

*Pricing is per person and an estimate. Contact a Journey Specialist for a customized quote.
$ = <$5,000 | $$ = $5,000 – $9,999 | $$$ = $10,000 – $20,000 | $$$$ = >$20,000

Contact a Journey Specialist