Ol Doinyo Lengai was derived from the Maasai language meaning ‘mountain of God.’ The mountain is an active volcano located in the Gregory Rift, south of Lake Natron within Arusha, Tanzania.
The summit of this strato-volcano is 2962 meters above sea level, and affords direct views to the caldera of Tanzania’s only officially-certified active volcano, and the world’s only carbonatite volcano. Every seven years Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater.
The Ngorongoro Game Reserve and highlands are visible from the southern stretch of the crater. The eastern horizon is dominated by Mt. Kilimanjaro and the western side is characterized by forested escarpments, hills and the slopes of the Rift Valley.
The ascent of Oldoinyo Lengai is challenging due to the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unsuitable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks.
Normally, one can start ascending to summit early in the morning and reach to summit at sunset. It takes about 6-7 hours to reach the crater. The summit can be accessed from the North West route that allows an early descent to be made from the summit in the morning shadow.
As you climb the mountain, one should keep warm since it can get really cold.
Moreover, the mountain is an ideal place for a walking safari escorted by the armed Maasai guides where one can sight wild animals like the olive baboon, velvet, monitor lizard, hyenas, lion, leopard, jackal, Grant’s gazelle, impala and the zebra.
Nearby one cannot go without noticing the Maasai ‘Bomas’ that give you a chance to interact with the locals and learn their cultures, taboos and traditions.