Summit Trails Logo

MOUNT OL DOINYO LENGAI CLIMBING

Mount OldoinyoLengai

"OldoinyoLengai" means “The Mountain of God” in the Maasai language. The summit of this strato-volcano is 2962 metres above sea level, and affords direct views into the caldera of Tanzania’s only officially-certified active volcano, and the world’s only carbonatite volcano; records of eruptions have been maintained since 1883, the largest of which deposited ash 100 kilometres away in Loliondo on the Kenyan border to the north west.

It is located in northern Tanzania lying just south of Lake Natron in the Rift Valley, in the heart of Maasai country, and locally regarded as a sacred mountain. Looking north from it’s summit crater, the hot barren salt flats of Lake Natron stretch into the distance. To the south stretch the crater Highlands and the Ngorongoro Game Reserve. The eastern horizons dominated by Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Rift Valley. Every seven years Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater.

It is possible to walk across the crater floor. The ascent of OldoinyoLengai is demanding on account of the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unsuitable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks and considerable height gain. Normally you can start ascending to summit early in the morning and reach to summit at sunrise. Short and a warm jacket are suitable for ascent, also long trousers are good as the summit before dawn can be cold. Access route from the North West allows an early descent to be made from the summit in the morning shadow.

South of Lake Natron in the eastern rift valley of North Tanzania, lies Mount OlDoinyoLengai (locally regarded as the sacred Mountain of God in the Maa Language), an active volcano. At 2878meters, Mt. OlDoinyoLengai is the only known volcano in the world that sometimes erupts natrocarbonatite lava, a highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon. Natrocarbonatite lava (most fluid lava) is also much cooler than other lavas. During the day most of this lava flows look like fluid black oil. Some feel the lava flows resemble mud like-flows. Natrocarbonatite lava turns white when in contact with moisture. During rainy periods, the lava turns white almost immediately whilst this whitening takes longer during the dry periods.

Mount OlDoinyoLengai also has phases of explosive activity during which the composition of the lava may contain much more silicate material. With this type of eruption, initial phases of the eruption may include strong lava fountains but usually there is no fluid lava and ash eruptions accompanied by ejection of rocks and explosions occurs. The two most recent eruptions of this type occurred during 1966-1967 and 2007-2008. Almost without fail, about every seven years OldoinyoLengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater. At other times it is possible to walk down into the crater, almost to the edge of the molten lava flows.

Views in the north from its summit crater lies the hot barren salt flats of Lake Natron stretch into the distance, beyond lies the Kenyan border. The day temperatures by the lake often exceed 40°C and a few animals survive here with the flamingo making its home here as breeding grounds, nesting on the salty surface on upraised mounds. The view on the east is dominated by Mt Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Great African Rift Valley. To the south stretches the Crater Highlands, Ngorongoro being one of the prime wildlife conservation areas in Africa. The ascent of OldoinyoLengai is demanding on account of the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unstable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks. An early start is recommended and the best approach is from the west where the morning sun can be avoided for a while

3 DAYS OL DONYO LENGAI

3 DAYS OL DONYO LENGAI

KNOW MORE
4 Day Tanzania Family Luxury Tented Camps Safari

4 Day Tanzania Family Luxury Tented Camps Safari

KNOW MORE
7 Days Climbing OldoinyoLengai Itinerary

7 Days Climbing OldoinyoLengai Itinerary

KNOW MORE
7 Days Walking Safari in Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Natron

7 Days Walking Safari in Ngorongoro Crater and Lake Natron

KNOW MORE

WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR

BOOK A TAILOR MADE

BOOK A TAILOR MADE

BOOK NOW
MAKE AN INQUIRY

MAKE AN INQUIRY

INQUIRY NOW
REQUEST A BROCHURE

REQUEST A BROCHURE

DOWNLOAD NOW