Mt. Ol Doinyo Lengai, meaning mountain of God in Maasai, is the only active volcanic mountain in East Africa. At 2,962 meters/9,718 feet, it’s the third highest peak in Tanzania. It has explosive eruptions every 20 to 40 years. The last big eruption was in 1966, although there have been several smaller ones since then.

It is the only active volcanic mountain in the world that produces carbonatite lava, which is a very rare igneous type of rock, composed of rare sodium and potassium carbonate minerals. The lava appears black in the sun instead of the more common red. 

This tour can be customized or included with the following park safari packages: Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and Lake Manyara National Park.

It’s about a 4 hour drive from Arusha to Ol Doinyo Lengai

If not included among safari packages, Ol Doinyo Lengai can be climbed in two days including a trip to the nearby Lake Natron, a flamingo breeding ground.

With Mt. Oldoinyo Lengai in the background, Lake Natron Flamingoes

Oldoinyo Lengai Climbing

2 Days, 1 Night

Day 1

We’ll drive from Arusha to the mountain base. Along the drive you might spot wild animals, such as wildebeest, zebra, elephant, buffalo, and giraffes.

During the day, you can explore the amazing hot springs around the area, watch the flamingo in Lake Natron, go on a waterfall tour, or visit the Maasai Boma for a cultural tour.

Later that night, we’ll sleep for a few hours in a tent or lodge, then we’ll drive to the starting point for the hike to the summit of Lengai.

You’ll start the steep 6-hour climb around midnight with the goal of reaching the crater rim at sunrise. After exploring the crater you’ll complete your adventure by doing a 4-hour hike down the mountain. The descent down is no joke; it’s hard because it’s very steep. 

Day 2

From the summit we’ll descend down to the bottom for breakfast or lunch then drive back to Arusha for overnight or departure.