Rift Safari
Traveling along the Rift Valley: Ngorongoro Highlands Trekking

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Empakai crater

The highlands of Ngorongoro are commonly associated to the majestic crater but as soon as you move away from it a stunningly beautiful and wild landscape opens out in front of you and the visitors traffic drops dramatically making of this day perhaps one of the most rewarding one of your trip. There are several path to choose from [ranging from 3 to 7 hours walking] but the following two are in our opinion the best options:

Empakai crater: after breakfast you will depart by 4x4 with armed ranger aboard and drive all along the dirt road that skirts the crater rim until you will reach Nainokanoka gate nearby the Olmoti crater. From here until you reach Empakai crater it is a very beautiful and scenic 2 hours drive through a volcanic mountain landscape with virtually no other vehicle except yours. You will encounter little masai settlements, children taking care of cows and goats flocks, masai warriors moving to destinations unknown to us, few women intent on gathering herbs and roots: real snapshots on their daily life. None of them will approach you to get something or to sell you something, none of them is after you they are simply after their day. Nearby Empakai you will leave the car and start walking through the pristine forest up to the rim and down into the crater where lays the soda lake often covered in flocks of flamingos. The hike can take 3 up to 4 hours depending on whether you decide to descent from the southern wall [1 km. 700 meters of altitude. 1,5 hr] or from the eastern one [2 km. 300 meters of altitude. 2 hr].
Both ways the crater's sides are steepy. Before dark you will be back at the lodge.

Mount Lemagarut: that is a tough alternative for well trained people. After breakfast you will depart by 4x4 with armed ranger aboard and drive west of the crater to Irmisigiyo hill, which you will reach in about 20 minutes. From here you will start hiking through woods, meadows and forest valleys until you will reach the top of Lemagarut [3147 mt]. On a clear day the view can encompass the endless savannah of the Serengeti, Lake Eyasi at the foot of the rift escarpment and the Ngorongoro Crater That is a physically demanding hiking [4.5 km. 800 m. in altitude. 7 hours]. Before dark you will be back at the lodge.

At the end of the excursion we recommend you leave a tip to the ranger that escorted you, as customary in Tanzania