The most spectacular safari itineraries are those that include Ngorongoro Highland trekking safari. Mostly, it starts with a drive to the enchanted Ngorongoro Crater with its truly amazing scenery. You will then continue round the rim, where a crew of guides, a ranger, Maasai and donkeys will be waiting. Begin a marvelous walk in this pristine Maasai land. The track takes you part way around the rim of the crater through open woodland and acacia forests. To your right are the remarkably spectacular views of the crater floor below, and to your left are the endless plains of the Serengeti. A very simple camp is set in a remote location where one of the important rivers off the highland volcanoes enters the crater.
After an early breakfast camp is packed up and the morning trek continues along the crater rim traversing the Olmoti slopes. The trail leaves the rain forest and cuts through grassland and open woodlands inhabited by local Maasai. In the late afternoon we reach a vehicle track which winds out of Ngorongoro crater towards Empakai crater.
There are also options to trek in Empakai crater floor. This unique hundred-square mile wildlife paradise has a greater density of wildlife than sensibly any other protected wilderness in Africa. It’s the last place to see relatively easily free-ranging black rhino. There are numerous lions, and large families of buffalo. The plains gazelle seem inestimable. The crater provides a scenic wonderland famed by its central lake and many shore birds including at times large numbers of flamingo.
Day 1 – Empakai Crater
On arrival at Empakai crater there is the option to descend into the crater. This is around 40 minutes down and depending on season can be quite slippery but certainly a great hike with stunning views. Flamingoes are often seen flying into the crater or feeding in the lake at the base. A hot shower is available before dinner. Overnight Empakai Private Campsite (full board).
Day 2 – Rift Valley Scarp
Dawn rises and our lofty position affords a great sunrise. As we take breakfast our camp crew break camp and depart to send the camp ahead with donkeys. We then set off hiking with Maasai guides following a route that takes us through picturesque Maasai villages and rolling hills. Lunch can be taken on route as a picnic or if guests are very fit a late lunch can be had in camp. In the late afternoon a hike up to a nearby viewpoint is highly recommended and a great place for sundowners! Dinner & overnight Lerai Camp (full board).
Day 3 – Lake Natron
The final section of hiking has two options of a shorter hike or a longer more strenuous option right along the rift wall. The views are spectacular with the active volcano Oldoinyo Lengai dominating the foreground. This volcano affects almost everything from hydrology to lifestyle, as will become apparent. Once down on the rift valley floor we are picked up and transfer to Lake Natron Camp, Ngare Sero and here have the chance to jump in the natural pools to cool down. Sundowners are served at any number of beautiful points close to camp. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
Day 4 – Lake Natron
Lake Natron has a number of activities that are very easily combined with dawn walks and sundowners and in the middle of the day there is the nearby Ngare Sero gorge that you can walk to options of long hikes to the source or shorter hikes to waterfalls. The staff are on hand to make you stay as adventurous or relaxing as you want. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
Day 5 – Depart
After breakfast you can do some additional activities before departure and picnic lunches are provided to ensure you reach your goal well fed.