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Lake Natron, Ol Donyo Lengai & Lake Eyasi

Off the Beaten Track

This area is popular for those seeking to really get off the beaten track. Temperatures often reach 41°C and the wildly beautiful parched landscape offers the intrepid traveller and avid birder a worthy destination.

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4 days

Off the Beaten Track Tanzania Safari

Arusha | Lake Eyasi | Lake Natron
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Millions of Flamingos on a Red Lake

Lake Natron

The remote Lake Natron is an excellent destination for the adventurous traveller who wants to explore something different. Lake Natron can be a riot of colour with its red-orange waters and massive flocks of pink flamingos.

Laying at the foot of Ol Doinyo Lengai in the north of Tanzania, the lake is famed for its red waters. The water is highly alkaline, an excellent environment for growth of bacteria deadly to wildlife. Algae blooms transform the colour of the water, turning it red in the centre and orange in the shallows.

The lake may be inhospitable to most life, but that makes it a perfect breeding ground for the lesser flamingo. Every year, 2.5 million flamingos flock here, crowding the shores and shallow waters of the lake.

Lake Natron is an excellent destination for bird lovers. Apart from the massive flamingo flocks, you can also see plenty of other bird species. Other wildlife includes small antelope, some zebra, and wildebeest.

Lake Natron Safaris

Lake Natron Highlights

Millions of pink flamingos flock to the lake to breed each year
The vibrant red-orange colours of the lake make it like no other

Best Time to Visit

Best time to visit is the dry season, from late May to early November. The flamingos flock to the lake between July and October.
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Late May – Early November

  • The best time to visit is the dry season, from late May to early November.
  • The flamingos lay their eggs during September; hatching starts during the wet season.
  • The dry season provides the best conditions for hikes in the surrounding areas.

Mid November – Early May

  • New life springs, and the landscape becomes more lush.

The 'Mountain of God'

Ol Doinyo Lengai

Ol Doinya Lengai, the only active carbonatite volcano in the world, is the eastern-most volcano in the range of mountains (all extinct volcanoes) located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Tanzania’s only active volcano. Although the most recent significant eruptions occurred over a one-year period from July 2007 to August 2008, plumes of steam and ash constantly vent from the crater.

The highest point of Ol Doinyo Lengai is 3,188 m (10,459 ft) above sea level. The crater is over 200 m deep.

The name Ol Doinya Lengai means '*Mountain of God*' in the Maasai language.

For the adventurous (and fit), Ol Doinyo Lengai offers a challenging night climb to the summit. Imagine climbing in the moonlight, ascending the slope, to be rewarded with the sight in sunrise breaking over the African savannah.

Ol Doinyo Lengai Safaris

Ol Doinyo Lengai Highlights

A challenging night-time climb up an active volcano
View the sunrise from the crater rim

Best Time to Visit

You can visit all year round, but as June to August are the coolest and driest months, they are most popular with climbers.
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June – October / December - March

  • Dry seasons
  • Average daily maximum between 23°C and 28°C and average minimum of 15°C

April – May / November - December

  • Wet seasons
  • Average daily maximum between 23°C and 28°C and average minimum of 16°C

Traditional Home of the Hadzabe Tribe

Lake Eyasi

Lake Eyasi is a seasonal shallow soda lake on the floor of the Great Rift Valley at the base of the Serengeti Plateau, just south of the Serengeti National Park and immediately southwest of the Ngorongoro Crater in the Crater Highlands of Tanzania.

This is an ideal place for bird-watchers or those who just want to relax in total peace. The lake is a seasonal stop for migrating flamingos, storks, and pelicans. You can also spot spoonbills, avocets, superfowls, Fischer's lovebirds, barbets, and more.

The lake also supports minor local fishing in wet years, but more often, catfish and lungfish are taken from the streams and springs that feed the lake.

The Hadzabe tribe are the indigenous inhabitants of the region and have lived here for over 10,000 years. These hunter-gatherers still maintain their traditional lifestyle, living in harmony with nature.

Lake Eyasi Safaris

Lake Eyasi Highlights

Cultural visit with the Hadzabe hunter-gatherer tribe
The Ngare Sero waterfall, an oasis in the wilderness
Hadzabe man

Best Time to Visit

Lake Eyasi can be visited all year round. The dry season is from June to October with the rainy seasons being November to December and again March to May.
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June – October

  • Dry season
  • Average daily maximum between 25°C and 30°C and average minimum of 18°C

November - May

  • Wet season
  • Average daily maximum between 22°C and 28°C and average minimum of 16°
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