There are a number of walking safaris across the Ngorongoro Conservation
Area of Northern Tanzania they vary in length from eight to twelve
days. Generally your safari will begin with a day or two of game
drives. The Tarangire is a nice place to have your pre-walking
safari game drives. These first few days can also include morning
walking safari along the border of the park it is essential you
take a guide and an armed ranger with you. Bellow is an eight
On day three the walking safari proper begins. Starting in the
Ngorongoro Conservation Area and walking to the Olmoti crater
takes about four hours and is a pretty walk as you advance up
through the rainforest slopes to the crater rim and viewpoint.
As you walk across the Ngorongoro Conservation area the altitudes
will vary considerably. So be prepared and have many layers of
clothing available as the temperature may vary as dramatically
as the altitude. A water proof jacket is essential.
Altitude related Illness can kill you and every year tourists
die from altitude related illnesses. Higher altitudes are colder
even in Africa; there is less oxygen and to walk slowly is essential
especially if you climb above 1,500 to 3,000 meters above sea
level. You should be breathing easily with no panting and no extreme
physical excursion. Drink water regularly and eat a light diet
with lots of carbohydrates. It is essential to keep warm.
The fourth day will continue across to the distant Empakai Crater.
This walk covers open grassland through a dramatic natural amphitheatre
created by encircling volcanoes. As you pass the local villages
the Maasai will rush out of their traditional homes to greet you.
A few moths ago as we passed a village the elders of the village
asked for help with a woman who had just been bitten by a snake;
we still had the vehicles with us were able to take this woman
to a hospital. Ordinarily this woman may have died as there are
no clinics or hospitals in the area.
Day four: The walk up to Empakai is steep and slow going but
affords awe-inspiring views, especially from the top where the
sheer sided sunken crater can be seen. This is a special day as
you will camp on the Crater Rim, with Empakai on one side and
Ol Donyo Lengai, the holy Masai volcano, on the other. Be warned
this day has about eleven hours of walking and is a very tiring
Hiking in hot or sunny weather often causes heat exhaustion the
signs/symptoms are weakness/fatigue, headache, vertigo, thirst
nausea/vomiting faintness high body temperature. The treatment
is to lay flat in shade, remove clothing to cool the patient,
soak the body with cold water, re-hydrate patient and monitor
Heat stroke is more serious with the signs/symptoms being delirium,
coma, rapid pulse, rapid breathing; skin hot and dry, body temperature
above 40c [104 f]. Treat as for heat exhaustion but this condition
can be fatal so seek medical assistance quickly evacuate if
Day five will have you scramble down the sheer-sided slopes of
Empakai onto the crater floor for a foot safari. Empakai Crater
is a sunken volcano with a soda lake covering most of the crater
floor. Flamingos nest here during the day to escape the blazing
heat of the Rift Valley. A large forest on the western shore is
home to antelope, buffalo, leopard and lion, with large seasonal
zebra and wildebeest populations when they pass through on their
migratory circuits. Today makes the hard slog of the previous
day well worth the effort. This is Africa as few tourists will
Day six and the Maasai Mountain of God, Oldonyo Lengai looms
out of the sunrise as we head out early to avoid the African heat.
We arrive at the escarpment, the sheer wall that looms out of
the Rift Valley floor, to admire one of the finest views in Africa.
Bellow lays the sweeping vistas of the great Rift Valley; a drop
of 1500ft. The scattered active volcanoes, primitive rock formations,
glimmering soda lakes and clustered Maasai bomas make for a dramatic
and moving experience. The final six kilometers are across the
tough uncompromising terrain of the valley floor is in extreme
heat; it is a long six kilometers. The reward to your walk is
a shaded camp that is perched above a refreshing stream, only
a half-hours walk from a heavenly waterfall.
Day seven has a very early morning an optional climb of Ol Donyo
Lengai (2878m), an active carbonated volcano with spiritual significance
to the Maasai. It is best not to book this climb in advance as
many people are just too tired to climb this mountain. The climb
starts at midnight so as to see the dawn from the top it is
also because the climb is very steep and on loose scree and there
is no shade from the sun. The cost will be about US$50 per group
of six people.
The end to this walking safari is a visit to Lake Natron one
of the soda alkaline lakes that jewel the East African Rift, here
is a display of water birds including a multitude of resident
pink flamingos. There is also the opportunity, body willing after
the past few days hiking, to walk up a gorge carved into the Rift
Escarpment to a waterfall to wash off five days of dust.
Day eight is a return to Arusha town where most safaris in Northern
Tanzania begin and end.