Mount Oldoinyo Lengai
Size: height of 2,886 m/9,469 ft.
Location: Northern Tanzania, 300 km (190 miles) Northwest of Arusha.
Mountain Lenkai (normally known as “Ol'doinyo Lengai”) rises about 2,100 meters above the East African Rift Valley floor to a height approximately 2,880 m. The name Ol'doinyo Lenkai which means “Mountain of God” originates from the Maa language (the Maasai's language) from Ngorongoro area. The Maasai people conduct prayers to God “Enkai” or “Engai” whom the Maasai believe is the Creator of all things on this active volcanic mountain.
Ol'doinyo Lenkai is the only active volcanic mountain in the East African Rift Valley Region which attracts many geologists from all over the world who come for research. Scientifically, carbonated lava is dark brown upon extrusion, but reacts very rapidly and turns into moisture to hydrate, then to secondary alteration minerals that impart a white colour to the rock.
The Maasai believe that the “white rock” symbolizes the white beards of "Enkai". Many tourists visit and climb this mountain which is located in Northern Tanzania every year. One should not underestimate this 9,442 feet long mountain, as it needs much determination to climb because of the steep walking.
However, climbing Ol'doinyo Lenkai doesn't require technical skills to get to the peak. At the summit, the small cones formed by lava can be seen on the crater rim. Despite the fact that Ol'doinyo Lenkai's volcano erupts frequently there are no records of injuries or deaths. Geologists tell that Ol'doinyo Lenka's lava is not as hot as other volcanoes lava recorded in the world. It takes three days to the summit of Ol'doinyo Lenkai.
After a climb to Lenkai, the company advices tourists to spend sometime and take a tour around Lake Natron. Lake Natron is the largest lake in East Africa which accommodates numerous flamingos and other birdlife.
Zebras, elephants, giraffes, can be viewed on the walking safari from Ngare-Sero, Engaruka to Loliondo accompanied by armed rangers.
There is little wildlife on this mountain besides small antelope, reptiles, and insects, but birdlife is quite extensive along the routes..
Depart Moshi or Arusha at 7.00 am and drive to Ngaresero village (Lake Natron) with packed lunch. This is about 8 hours driving. Dinner and overnight at Kamakia camp.
At very early morning 7:00 a.m. drive to the base of the Ol'doinyo Lengai mountain to start the climb. Reach at the summit during sunrise and spend sometime there before coming down to the base of the mountain. From there clients will be transfered by jeep to Kamakia camp for shower and rest. Dinner and overnight at Kamakia camp.
After breakfast then drive back to Arusha or Moshi. (This depends on the itinerary.)
Recommended Tipping Guidelines:
Those who have climbed Mt Kilimanjaro before know that without the hard work and strength of the mountain crew, one would not be able to fully experience the magnificence of the mountain. Naomi Grace Tours, we pay our crew more than the salary suggested by the Kilimanjaro National Park and Tanzania Tour Operator Association. However, many crew also heavily depend on tips to support their families. The following are recommended daily rates for the entire group to tip per staff member:
Senior guide - $20 – 30 / day
Assistant guide - $15 – 25 / day
Cook - $12 – 15 / day
Waiter - $10 – 12 /day
Porter - $8 – 10 / day
Summit porter - $12 – 15 / day
Toilet crew - $10 – 12 / day
In general for all Kilimanjaro routes except Marangu you will have*:
1 Climber: 1 senior guide, 1 cook and 3 porters
2 Climbers: 1 senior guide, 1 assistant guide, 1 cook and 6 porters
3 Climbers: 1 senior guide, 1 assistant guide, 1 cook and 9 porters
4 Climbers: 2 senior guide, 1 assistant guide, 1 cook, 1 waiter and 9 porters
For Marangu you will have*:
1 senior guide and 1 cook for each 8 climbers
1 additional assistant guide for each 3 climbers
2 Porters per climber
* These are estimates and actual numbers may vary depending on the needs of the group.
It is ideal to have a tipping ceremony with the climbers and crew on the last day on the mountain. Ideally tips should be given to the individual crew members directly to ensure the full amount of the tip is received.