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Maasai Trek

13 days including 8 days of trek and 2 days of safari

Region: Northern Tanzania, Crater Highlands

Duration: 13 days including 8 days of trek

Type: Trek, Cultural encounters and Safari

Activities:

  • Continuous 8-day trek
  • Game drives during 2 days
  • Cultural encounters during the trek

Physical level: Difficult

Period: December to March and June to October

Group: 3 to 7 participants

 

A sneak preview:

Situated in Northern Tanzania is without contest, one of the most beautiful regions created by the East African Rift: the sodium-based Lake Natron (the nesting site of flamingoes), numerous active or dormant volcanoes including the exceptional Oldoinyo Lengai – an imposing escarpment that dominates the landscape of its impressive cliffs; unique nature protected by Maasai pastoralists because their cattle depend on it… All these bestowing upon these places a magical character!

Even though these wonderful places are the climax of this trip, they are far from being the only sites worthy of your interest. Not far from here, amidst ancient rounded volcanoes, hides a true paradise of lush highlands, where the Maasai look after their valued cattle beside gazelles, zebras and wildebeest. It is a simple life guided by tradition, a quiet environment: a true Eden.

Finally, en-route, we will encounter the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti plains where we will do amazing game drives.

 

Trip strengths:

  • Use of exclusive routes in a forgotten part of Northern Tanzania:
    • the classic Lake Natron, Empakai Crater and (optional) climb of Mount Oldoinyo Lengai.
    • and in addition, exploration of Olomoti Crater, Embulbul depression and Kapenjiro Hills… wonderful places that few know of.
  • A continuous 8-day trek, mainly using donkeys for portage.
  • Time reserved for great cultural encounters with the Maasai people, whose tradition-imprinted omnipresence and rhythm of life idealise these places.
  • Double guiding – by our Maasai friend and guide (anglophone) and an African Rift Odyssey (francophone), the region’s specialist.
  • Game drives in the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti Plains.
  • Most nights in private campsites.

 

Day to day plan:

Day 1: Nairobi > Tanzania > Mto Wa Mbu: Drive to Mto Wa Mbu town, not far from Ngorongoro Conservation Area, night in lodge to recover from the flight.

Day 2: Ngorongoro Crater: Game drive in the Ngorongoro Crater. At the end of the day we arrive at a wonderful and unknown site on the edge of the crater. It is here that we meet our Maasai team (guide and donkey handlers).

Days 3 to 10: 8-day trek from Crater Highlands to Lake Natron: We begin our 8-day trek across the Crater Highlands to get to the Rift Valley where the Lengai Volcano and Lake Natron are located. The Crater Highlands, set on an altitude of 3400 to 1600 meters, are part of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area: very many Maasai live here but are not allowed to practice any form of agriculture. It is therefore exclusive pastoralism that is practiced here, as their ancestral tradition dictates. Being within a variety of stunning landscapes and immense horizons, we continue in this unique ecological and cultural environment: bypassing Ngorongoro Crater, Olomoti Crater, Embulbul Depression, Kapenjiro Hills and the escarpments of the Rift – offering magnificent views over the Rift and Oldoinyo Lengai, which are our next goals. The wonderful descent down the escarpment leads us to the foot of Lengai, the sacred Volcano of the Maasai. The most courageous can attempt the climb, before we all get to Lake Natron, the nesting site of flamingoes…

Days 11 and 12: Serengeti National Park: We leave for Serengeti, where we will do our 2nd day of game drive, before going back to Mto Wa Mbu town.

Day 13: Mto Wa Mbu > Nairobi: Drive back to Nairobi then night outbound flight.

 

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