Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

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About 'Ngorongoro Highlands Trek'

There’s a heck of a lot going on in the glorious Ngorongoro Highlands Trek. The best way to see it all? On foot, for sure. 

Lofty volcanoes looming out of vast grassy plains, dense forests rich bursting with strange plantlife and crazy creatures, culture and craters like you’ve never seen before; this totally epic trek in Tanzania has it all.

You’ll set out from Nainokanoka Village.  Spend seven days exploring the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, immersing yourself in ecosystems and environments like no other. 

Home to 25,000 wild animals, including the endangered black rhino and the densest concentration of lions in the entire world, Ngorongoro offers a unique opportunity to see some of the most incredible creatures on earth. 

And the Ngorongoro Crater itself? At more than 20km wide and 600m deep, it’s the biggest unbroken caldera you will ever see. 

So if you want to head to Tanzania and Kilimanjaro isn’t on your list.  Maybe the Ngorongoro Highlands Trek could be for you?

What is 'Ngorongoro Highlands Trek' like?

Read more about Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

“Simba, it is time.” 

Said no-one ever in Ngorongoro. That’s because the Lion King was set in Serengeti National Park, which gets a whole lot more press for Tanzania than Ngorongoro. 

Of course, we appreciate everything Mufasa did, we really do, but if you want to see more diverse scenery than anywhere else in East Africa? The Ngorongoro Conservation Area is surely it. 

With mountain forests, woodlands, grasslands, lakes, swamps and two major rivers – not to mention a handful of critically endangered animals and four of the Big Five – Ngorongoro is unique in its ability to set your heart racing. 

(The trekking helps, sure.)

You’ll be tying your laces and warming your calves as your trek through rich landscapes and rugged highlands on this 54km journey to the edge of the Great Rift Valley.

Hope you’re ready for some tongue twisters too because you’ll be getting your mouth around plenty of fabulous names in Ngorongoro. Case in point. 

Ngorongoro itself means “gift of life” and was the name that the Maasai tribe gave to this amazing place way back when. During the trek, you’ll get to experience first-hand how this incredible indigenous people lives and get a glimpse of the rich, authentic social side of East Africa. 

You’ll tick tons of stuff off your Bucket List as you trek from Nainokanoka across the Ebulbul depression, past Bulati up to the Ngorongoro Crater itself and eventually down to the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai. 

Going from temperate grasslands to the montane forest zone and camping right on crater rims, you’ll experience Africa up close and personal, and etch this incredible place in your memory for the rest of your life. 

It might sound epic and a touch OTT but, well, that’s exactly what this place is like. 

 

The Ngorongoro Highlands Trek Itinerary

  • Day 1

    TRAVEL TO KARATU TOWN FOR A TREK BRIEFING

    Depart from the UK and arrive Kilimanjaro Airport. We will be transferred to Karatu town near the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The transfer takes approximately 3 1/2 hours so it is highly recommended you arrive with the midday flight at the latest.

    While at the camp your guide will brief you about your upcoming trek through the highlands.

    After your briefing you will enjoy your dinner and drinks by the fireplace before retiring for the day to get your much needed rest.

  • Day 2

    EXPLORE THE OLMOTI CRATER AND MUNGE WATERFALLS

    Your day starts off with a 2 hour drive to Nainokanoka Village where you will be based tonight. During your transfer, if it’s not too foggy, you may get great views of the Ngorongoro Crater from the viewpoint on the edge of the crater rim.

    You then proceed along the Henry Fosb Rooke road through the dense forest towards Nainokanoka, where you will get to see wildlife such as buffalos and wildebeest.

    Today you will explore the Olmoti Crater and Munge Waterfalls on a 3 hour hike. The Olmoti Crater is a shallow grassy crater where the Munge River originates.

  • Day 3

    TREK TO BULATI VILLAGE ACROSS THE ELBULBUL GRASSLAND

    We depart Nainokanoka camp at 0800hrs and commence our trek to Bulati Village. We will pass a few Maasai Bomas on our way. We will have a packed lunch half way to Bulati.

    We cross the Elbulbul depression, a vast grassland with no trees, but many zebras can be seen grazing, wildebeests, raptors due to the many mole rat mounds found in the area.

    We arrive in Bulati early in the afternoon for rest and refreshments. Late afternoon Maasai Boma visit in the village of Bulati where we will be spending the night.

  • Day 4

    TREK THROUGH FOREST AND LAKE TO THE EMPAKAAI CRATER

    Today you will change environment from temperate grassland to montane forest zone on the crater rim. Plenty of spectacular panoramic views of the landscape. We have packed lunch half way on the trek.

    In the afternoon you will descend into the crater where you can see lesser flamingos who reside on the crater soda lake. The caldera is 300m deep and 6kms wide. The trek is roughly 45 minutes down and an hours walk back up.

    Today we will be camping right on the rim of the Empakaai crater.

  • Day 5

    TREK TO MT. OL DOINYO LENGAI

    After breakfast we walk a short way around the Empakaai crater to stretch our legs and get some good panoramic photos of the caldera.

    The first half of the trek is to Nayobi village where you will stop for lunch. From Nayobi we head down to Acacia Campsite.

    You will head out on a late afternoon walk to view the surrounding area and to take photos of the majestic Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai, which is a Maasai name for “Mountain of God”. This mountain is unique amongst geologists because it is the only active volcano on Earth that erupts with a carbonatite, a type of igneous rock rich in carbonates such as calcite and dolomite.

  • Day 6

    TREK THE RIFT VALLEY ESCARPMENT TO LAKE NATRON

    We finish off our last day of trekking with a very early start from Acacia. The terrain is very dry and recently covered by ash from the 2008 Oldoinyo Lengai eruption.

    We maximize our trek in the early hours of the day to avoid the late morning sun intensity and heat. We descend the Rift Valley Escarpment, via Pembe ya Swala to the base of Ol Doinyo Lengai.

    At the base we are picked up by our vehicles and transferred to our camp in Lake Natron for Lunch.

    Late afternoon excursion to Lake Natron shores to view the Lesser Flamingos in their breeding habitat or for the fitter ones a hike up to the Engare Sero waterfalls.

  • Day 7

    SAFARI ADD-ON OR FREE DAY

    Today you have the opportunity to enjoy a Tanzanian safari add-on or a day of R&R!

  • Day 8

    TRAVEL BACK TO THE UK

    Today you can relax at the lodge while you wait for your transfer back to the airport.

Food and Accomodation for Ngorongoro Highlands Trek

  • Day 1

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 2

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Breakfast Lunch Dinner

Reviews about the Ngorongoro Highlands Trek trip

Here’s what some of our awesome customers had to say:

“I booked up to do Kilimanjaro as a bucket list activity. It was sheer luck that I discovered The Bucket List Company’s Facebook page, which lead me to their website. It was a spontaneous booking since I had a year plus (at the time) to then freak out, do training, get organised and buy equipment – all of which was provided in a detail information/check list email with attachments.

Even though it was only Kilimanjaro on my bucket list, my feet are getting itchy… I think I need to make another booking for another trip, which I’m already excited and nervous about!

I would recommend these guys 100% if you are contemplating booking an adventure. It’s the biggest achievement ANYONE could experience and with Keith, Gareth and Whitey… YOU CAN DO IT! The entire group of people that were brave enough to do this “wee walk” all successfully reached the summit. I shared some amazing banter, tears and laughs with you. Most importantly, I have the memories.”

Claire Campbell Mount Kilimanjaro climb The Bucket List Company Reviews

WOW what an amazing trip of a lifetime. I can’t recommend The Bucket List Company enough, I took home from this trip so much more than I ever thought I would and all my expectations were exceeded.

Keith, Whitey and all the guides and porters worked so hard to ensure the group had an amazing time and managed to reach the summit. Can’t wait to book my next trip with them.

Tara Hall Mount Kilimanjaro climb The Bucket List Company Reviews

Having never traveled abroad before I chose The Bucket List Company because they deal with everything start to finish making life really simple and stress free.

Keith and his team are clearly experts in the world of adventure and I can’t recommend them enough. Kilimanjaro was fantastic and I’m planning my next adventure already.

Joe Butler Mount Kilimanjaro climb The Bucket List Company Reviews

Just got back from an awesome time in Tanzania climbing Kilimanjaro. Can’t recommend this company enough. Keith and the team from Day 1 kept me updated with everything. This really is the all under one roof service. All I had to do was pack and turn up at the airport!! I wouldn’t use any other company for an adventure holiday now! Will be booking my next one very soon!

Glenn Westwood Mount Kilimanjaro climb The Bucket List Company Reviews

“Kilimanjaro has always been high up on my bucket list, and when I saw that The Bucket List Company were running another trip, I knew it was time to get myself booked on.

Keith and his team were always at the end of the phone to answer questions and Keith’s Guide to Kilimanjaro just answered all of my queries. I attended the pre-expedition training weekend, which enabled me to meet the other people I would be travelling with. It also gave me chance to meet Keith and the Bucket List team and put faces to names. The training weekends are certainly a must.

On the expedition, Keith was very aware of his whole group’s needs and made sure everyone was coping well. The team’s in-country guides and porters were also amazing. They cooked for and looked after us amazingly. Summiting Kilimanjaro was a dream of mine and the Bucket List Company made that a reality. I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to book another trip with The Bucket List Company, and would urge anyone considering a trip to just book and start training!”

Nat Vaja Kilimanjaro The Bucket List Company Reviews

“If you want to realise your dreams, the team at The Bucket List Company need to be your travel companions. From the ease of booking, preparing kit lists and training encouragement to the summiting of Mt Kilimanjaro, the team are there to support you 100% of the way. The knowledge and in country support was amazing. We came back a team of successful climbers, full of knowledge and experiences of Tanzania and her wonders. 

We laughed (a lot) and we cried; we sang and danced and we ate extremely well. They even managed pizza and chips halfway up the mountain! Everyone became one big family, relaxed and laid back, each of us supporting everyone’s ambition to get to the top. A truly life changing experience. We are already planning our next trip with Keith and the team.”

Andrea Shaw The Bucket List Company Reviews

Find out more about this trip

On your trek through Tanzania’s Ngorongoro Highlands, you’ll soak up the finest blend of culture, landscapes and wildlife the world has to offer. It’s pretty special. 

Saturated with utterly amazing natural phenomena, this 54km journey will take you through the handsome highlands to the edge of the Great Rift Valley. From there, you’ll descend to the base of the escarpment wall right at the foot of Mount Old Doinyo Lengai – or the “Mountain of God” as the Maasai call it. 

This active volcano is just as epic as it sounds. 

With the help of your guides, you’ll eventually make your way to the shores of the beautiful alkaline Lake Natron, which serves as the breeding ground for the Lesser Flamingo.

Do the whole thing on foot and you’ll drink in this deluge of nature’s finest feats and experience the Ngorongoro National Park the very best way you can. Just make sure your walking boots are up to scratch!

Once we’ve finally reached Lake Natron, you might want to spend your final full day bathing in the sun (and the glory of your 54km achievement). But why not add on a safari to the end of your adventure?

Home to nearly 400 species, it’s common to see elephants, buffalo, giraffes, zebras, waterbucks, warthogs, impalas and wildebeest in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. And if you’re really lucky? You even might spot a leopard or a tree climbing lion among the broken forests and escarpment.

This place really does have everything. 

So if you want to soak up countless ecosystems, incredible creatures and unrivalled natural phenomena…

If you want to bypass the busier destinations and drink in some of Tanzania’s best kept secrets…

And if you want to feel a huge sense of achievement knowing your own legs have carried you 54km to do it…

A trek to the Ngorongoro Crater has your name on it. 

Check out the itinerary, chuck any questions you have in our direction, book your spot and get ready to tick an incredible experience off your Bucket List. 

If you don’t do it now, will you ever? 

 

    Trip Date
    Total Cost
    Monthly Payments
  • 20/11/2023 16 Spaces available
    £2000
    £
    £133.33 x 15

    Booking fee: £200 Non-refundable & not included in the total cost of this trip.

    Payment options:

    Single payment: £2000

    Single payment: £

    Monthly payments: £133.33 x 15

    Monthly payments: £0.00 x 15

    Price is per adult in a twin share room

    Only Pay £200 Today. Secure this base price then add your flights & extras in the Trip Builder

    Go To Trip Builder
  • 10/06/2024 16 Spaces available
    £2100
    £
    £95.45 x 22

    Booking fee: £200 Non-refundable & not included in the total cost of this trip.

    Payment options:

    Single payment: £2100

    Single payment: £

    Monthly payments: £95.45 x 22

    Monthly payments: £0.00 x 22

    Price is per adult in a twin share room

    Only Pay £200 Today. Secure this base price then add your flights & extras in the Trip Builder

    Go To Trip Builder
Ngorongoro Crater trek guide
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