South of Lake Natron in the eastern rift valley of North Tanzania, lies Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai (locally regarded as the sacred Mountain of God in the Maa Language), an active volcano. At 2878meters, Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai is the only known volcano in the world that sometimes erupts natrocarbonatite lava, a highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon. Natrocarbonatite lava (most fluid lava) is also much cooler than other lavas. During the day most of this lava flows look like fluid black oil. Some feel the lava flows resemble mud like-flows. Natrocarbonatite lava turns white when in contact with moisture. During rainy periods, the lava turns white almost immediately whilst this whitening takes longer during the dry periods.
Mount Ol Doinyo Lengai also has phases of explosive activity during which the composition of the lava may contain much more silicate material. With this type of eruption, initial phases of the eruption may include strong lava fountains but usually there is no fluid lava and ash eruptions accompanied by ejection of rocks and explosions occurs. The two most recent eruptions of this type occurred during 1966-1967 and 2007-2008. Almost without fail, about every seven years Ol doinyo Lengai erupts and plumes of smoke billow out of the crater. At other times it is possible to walk down into the crater, almost to the edge of the molten lava flows.
What To Wear
- Sun hat
- head torch
- buff or lightweight neck gaiter (for keeping out dust)
- rain shell
- light fleece
- long sleeve t shirt x 2
- hiking trousers (zip off style are recommended so you have shorts too)
- waterproof trousers
- socks x 3 pairs
- hiking shoes preferably with some decent ankle support
- teva or flip flops for in camp
- walking poles
- gaiters for those that have low cut hiking shoes
- water bottles x 3 enough to hold 3 Liters
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 1:00 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.