Empakai to Lake Natron Trek – 3 nights / 4 days
PLEASE NOTE: this is the SHORTER VERSION of the 4 night / 5 day Empakai to Natron trek and MISSES OUT descending into Empakai crater and camping at Empakai. For those that want more trekking you should select the longer version which we highly recommend.
Why this adventure?
For active types Tanzania has a lot to offer and this is one of the most dramatic hikes in East Africa. As well as the amazing scenery there is also the chance to witness the changing lives of the Maasai in both Ngorongoro and Natron.
How to book
All our adventures can be booked through a tour operator near you. Just ask them about Lake Natron Camp, Ngare Sero and our range of activities and adventures and specify the “Empakai to Lake Natron Trek – 3 nights / 4 days”. You can add this adventure into your dates – all trips are customised to your dates.
A 1 night trek combined with 2 nights in Lake Natron. The trek starts at Empakai or just below and normally descending into Empakai crater is NOT POSSIBLE due to time constraints, instead you hike down to our Leonotis camp below Naiobi. For those that have the energy a trek to our Rift Valley sundowner spot is highly recommended, the views are amazing!
After one night in our remote fly camp you then trek down the rift valley with stunning views throughout and once at the base are transferred for 2 nights at Lake Natron Camp (Ngare Sero) and use this as a base for activities such as seeing the flamingoes on Lake Natron, visiting the hominid footprints, delving deep into the Ngare Sero gorge or even just relaxing in camp and enjoying the natural plunge pools. For the very active you can also climb Oldonyo Lengai (extra cost).
The Gregorian Rift Valley
Walking with Maasai Warriors
Learning about local tribes and customs
Being a witness to a changing times and culture
The unique habitat of Lake Natron
Flamingoes feeding & preening in fresh water streams
Itinerary In Short
Day 1: Drive to Empakai. Trek into crater and trek to Leonotis Camp (fb) Trek 16km
Day 2: Trek to Lake Natron Camp with a pick up at the bottom of the rift valley. Lake Natron Camp (fb) Trek 12km, Drive 14km
Day 3: Relax and take part in activities at Lake Natron Camp (fb)
Day 4: Depart
Itinerary In Full
Day 1 – Leonotis Camp, Rift Valley Scarp
Most guests are met at Empakai crater and begin the program trekking down from Empakai towards the rift valley. The walking is through remote Maasai villages perched on the edge of the rift valley. Lunch can be taken on route as a picnic or if guests are very fit a late lunch can be had in camp. In the late afternoon a hike up to a nearby viewpoint is highly recommended and a great place for sundowners! IF GUESTS WOULD LIKE TO TREK INTO THE CRATER BEFORE HEADING TO LEONOTIS CAMP THEY ARE ADVISED TO ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 10:30AM. The driver must wait for the guests and then transfer to Nairobi village to start the walk to Leonotis Camp. Otherwise, if trekking the crater is not wanted, they can meet the guide at Naiobi Village no later than 2pm to start the trek to Leonotis Camp. Dinner & overnight Leonotis Camp (full board).
Day 2 – Lake Natron
The final section of hiking has two options of a shorter hike or a longer more strenuous option right along the rift wall. The views are spectacular with the active volcano Oldoinyo Lengai dominating the foreground. This volcano affects almost everything from hydrology to lifestyle, as will become apparent. Once down on the rift valley floor we are picked up and transfer to Lake Natron Camp, Ngare Sero and here have the chance to jump in the natural pools to cool down. Sundowners are served at any number of beautiful points close to camp. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
Day 3 – Lake Natron
Lake Natron has a number of activities that are very easily combined with dawn walks and sundowners and in the middle of the day there is the nearby Ngare Sero gorge that you can walk to options of long hikes to the source or shorter hikes to waterfalls. The staff are on hand to make you stay as adventurous or relaxing as you want. Dinner & overnight Lake Natron Camp (full board).
Day 4 – Lake Natron
After breakfast you can do some additional activities before departure and picnic lunches are provided to ensure you reach your goal well fed.
END OF SERVICES
For agents that use Wetu, you can also view this trek on the multi-day tour builder here.
- Support vehicle
- WFR Trained guide
- NCAA Empakai private campsite fees
- Ranger fees Empakai
- Meals as described
- Limited stock of red wine / beers / sodas
- Tea / coffee / hot chocolate
- Donkeys to carry guest luggage to Natron
- 2 nights Expedition ‘Fly-camping’
- 2 nights Lake Natron Camp
- Activity fees Ngare Sero
- Village fees Ngare Sero
- Wildlife Department fees BEDNIGHT Natron
- Transfer to Lake Natron Ngare Sero Airstrip
- Ngorongoro game drive fees ($200 per car if needed)
- NCAA entry fees
- Transfer Arusha OR Lake Manyara Airstrip to Empakai
- Transfer Natron to Mto Wa Mbu OR Arusha
- Any changes to the itinerary requiring change of route or accommodation
- Items of a personal nature
- Personal evacuation insurance / travel insurance
- Lengai climb fees (payable direct to village at $100 for 1 climber, $70 per person for 2 or more climbers)
- Wildlife Department Fees ENTRY Natron
- Gate fees Longido
- Gate fees Engaruka
- Gate fees Ngorongoro District
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