Trip Summary and Itinerary Map
Spend 5 days exploring gorges and waterfalls, valleys and volcanoes in the heart of Tanzania.
It’s the flamingos that people primarily come here to see. They arrive en masse, perching in the scorching shallows on one leg, almost motionless, splatters of a delicate pink against an otherwise desolate terrain.
Day 1: Empakaai Fly Camp
Arrive at Empakaai fly camp in the late morning in time for lunch and to meet your trekking guide and team. This afternoon, descend into the Empakaai Crater with your Maasai guide. The path is quite steep and often slippery, so you’ll need to take care. It will take around 45 minutes to an hour to reach the crater floor, emerging from the forest to enjoy views of the crater lake where flamingos are often found.
Explore with your guides, learning more about the plant life and species that live here, before hiking back to your fly camp on the crater rim. The hike back is similarly steep, and the altitude makes most people short of breath, so this hike takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. Return to the fly camp for a hot shower and a tasty campfire-cooked dinner.
Day 2: Leonotis Fly Camp
Wake to the sunrise this morning and soak up the incredible vistas and the peace and quiet before enjoying a camp breakfast. The camp crew will break down the camp and set off ahead with donkeys to prepare your fly camp for tonight, and you’ll start your trek with Maasai guides, passing through rolling hills and remote Maasai villages which can only be reached on foot.
Very few tourists pass through this area, so make the most of this rare opportunity to see a part of Tanzania that few others have. Stop for a picnic lunch before arriving at camp in the mid-afternoon. In the late afternoon, hike up to a nearby viewpoint where your efforts are rewarded with spectacular views and the perfect spot for sundowner drinks.
Day 3: Lake Natron Camp
Depending on your fitness levels, there is the choice of a shorter hike down to the rift valley floor or a longer and more strenuous route along the rift wall. Whichever you choose, the views are spectacular with Ol Doinyo Lengai looming up ahead at an impressive 2,692 metres above sea level. This still- active volcano, whose Maasai name means Mountain of God, is the reason for a total variation in terrain, hydrology and flora and fauna, as you’ll soon see.
Descend to the rift valley floor where vehicles await to transfer you to Lake Natron Camp near the natural springs where you can have a swim and a cool down. After your long and likely dusty walk, this will be a welcome treat. The team at camp will arrange sundowner drinks to celebrate the end of your trek in a scenic spot nearby.
Day 4: Lake Natron Camp
A day to explore and enjoy activities from Lake Natron Camp, depending on your interests and how active or relaxed you feel like being. There are numerous short and long hikes to enjoy, including the Ngare Sero gorge and waterfalls, the hominid footprints that are thought to date back possibly as far back as 100,000 years and a visit to the flamingos that flock to Lake Natron to breed.
Day 5: The Journey Ends
After breakfast, you will be dropped off at the Ngare Sero Airstrip at Lake Natron for your light aircraft flight to your next destination, likely the Serengeti or Arusha. You can fly out of the airstrip by charter or, if you prefer, we can arrange (at an additional cost) for you to be transferred to Manyara Airstrip for an onward scheduled flight. Alternatively, a driver-guide can pick you up and drive you to the Serengeti, also at an additional cost.
A picnic lunch is included for you to ensure you arrive at your destination well fed.
Prices, Departures and Inclusions
Prices are per person based on two people travelling together. Travel during some peak season months will incur higher rates.
- Domestic flights.
- All road transfers and airport pickups/drop-offs.
- All accommodation as per the itinerary. Accommodation can be amended based on budget and preferences.
- All camping equipment where necessary.
- Fees for guides, scouts, drivers, and cooks.
- All entrance fees as per the program.
- Meal plan full board.
- Fees for all activities as per the program.
- Conservation charge.
- International flights and visa fees.
- Activities not mentioned or stated as optional in the itinerary.
- Other personal expenses, souvenirs, tips and gratuities, etc.