Hiking in Ngorongoro Highlands & Great Rift valley escarpment


Lake Natron

Trekking in Ngorongoro Highlands & on Great Rift escarpment

If Mount Kilimanjaro is not your thing. Or you’ve ‘’been there, done that’ . Then you may like to consider the wonderful walking opportunities around the Ngorongoro Highlands, the Rift Valley Escarpment and down to Lake Natron.

Experiencing the Maasai pastoral life

The appeal of the Ngorongoro Highlands is as much about preserving the pastoralist way of life of the Maasai people as it is about the wildlife. Here the Maasai co-exist with the migratory and resident wildlife of the Ngorongoro conservancy. There are boundless opportunities to walk in these dramatic volcanic landscapes.

You can choose to stay at one of the lodges such as Lemala Ngorongoro or The Highlands and walk from there.

Or – if you are a keen walker – you may like to do a trek from the Ngorongoro highlands. You continue down the rift valley escarpment to the beautiful Lake Natron camp where you can spend two nights. This makes for a stunning contrast.

Empakai crater in Ngorongoro highlands

Great Rift Valley Trek – 2 night/2 day hike

The trek starts with a night at Empakai Crater in the Ngorongoro highlands, with stunning views inside the crater. Depending on your arrival time, it could include a descent into Empakai Crater.

The following morning you then trek to Leonotis Camp, through picturesque Maasai villages. This is a remote camp just on the edge of the Gregorian Rift. You spend a magical night at Leonotis Camp, camping underneath the stars and golden acacia trees. Then you trek down the Rift Valley, with breathtaking views throughout. You are collected at the base of the rift valley escarpment, by vehicle, and transferred to Lake Natron Camp.

We show the full itinerary of this hike (together with two nights at Lake Natron) on our Great Rift Valley Trek.

Shortened Great Rift Valley Trek – 1 night/2 day hike

If you are lacking in time, this hike can be shortened to only 1 night. You head to Empakai to look at the crater but then you continue to the end of the walk where the walk starts half way between Empakai and Leonotis Camp. You walk to the camp and the rest of the itinerary is the same as the above.

Please note that there would not be enough time to hike down into Empakai crater on this shorter trek. Again we usually combine this with Lake Natron camp to make a 4 day/3 night tour.


Other Options

You can also do multi-day treks from Lake Natron camp such as the 2 nights Walking in the Footsteps of Man trek (combined with the camp to make a 4 night tour). You can even combine the Great Rift Valley, Lake Natron and the Walking in Footsteps of Man tour to make a grand 6 night/7 day itinerary.

Contact us for more information…