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The great rift valley trek 4 nights, 5 days

Itinerary Details

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 Great Rift Valley Trek” OR “Empakai to Lake Natron Trek”. You can add this adventure into your dates – all trips are customised to your dates.

HIGHLIGHTS

Ngorongoro volcanoes – Empakai crater – Stunning vistas – 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.

DESCRIPTION

A 2 night trek combined with 2 nights at Lake Natron Camp.

Starting on the rim of Empakai Crater, in the Ngorongoro Highlands, with stunning views inside the crater, you spend a cosy night at Empakai Camp. You then trek to Leonotis Camp, through picturesque Maasai villages, to a remote camp just on the edge of the Gregorian Rift. After a magical night at Leonotis Camp, camping underneath the stars and golden acacia trees, you trek down the Rift Valley, with breathtaking views throughout. You are collected at the base of the rift, by car, and transferred to Lake Natron Camp, where you can relax by the natural pool, have a massage and take part in activities such as waterfall gorge hikes, flamingo walks and seeing hominid footprints…and not to forget well deserved sundowners!

This is easily combined with a game drive in Ngorongoro, before the trek.
ITINERARY IN SHORT

Day 1: Drive to Empakai. Empakai Crater trek. Overnight Empakai Camp (fb)

Day 2: Trek to Leonotis Camp. Overnight Leonotis Camp (fb) Trek 16km

Day 3: Trek to Lake Natron Camp with a pick up at the bottom of the rift valley. Overnight Lake Natron Camp (fb) Trek 12km, Drive 14km

Day 4: Relax and take part in activities at Lake Natron Camp. Overnight Lake Natron Camp (fb)

Day 5: Depart

Day by Day Itinery

DAY 1 – EMPAKAI CRATER

On arrival at Empakai crater there is the option to descend into the crater. This is around 40 minutes down and depending on season can be quite slippery but certainly a great hike with stunning views. Flamingoes are often seen flying into the crater or feeding in the lake at the base. A hot shower is available before dinner. PLEASE ARRIVE NO LATER THAN 3PM TO BE MET AT EMPAKAI CAMP BY YOUR GUIDE. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOU BRING AT LEAST 3 LITRES OF WATER. Overnight Empakai Camp (full board).

DAY 2 – LEONOTIS CAMP, RIFT VALLEY SCARP

Dawn rises and our lofty position affords a great sunrise. As we take breakfast our camp crew break camp and depart to send the camp ahead with donkeys. We then set off hiking with Maasai guides following a route that takes us through picturesque Maasai villages and rolling hills. 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! Dinner & overnight Leonotis Camp (full board).

DAY 3 – 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 4 – 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 5 – DEPART

After breakfast you can do some additional activities before departure and picnic lunches are provided to ensure you reach your goal well fed

Our Reviews

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Excellent
Based on 23 reviews
finnkai
finnkai
2024-04-04
Malaki is an above and beyond safari guide and person Our 4-person Tanzania adventure with Malaki of Malaki Safaris was beyond expectations. Malaki’s combination of professionalism, warmth, knowledge, passion, and cultural connection made the trip phenomenal. Our itinerary took us to Tarangire, Ngorongoro, Empakai, Lake Natron, and Central and Southern Serengeti. Every place awed us with the wildlife and scenery, and we enjoyed staying at a variety of lodges and tented camps, all in beautiful settings. We also spent 2 days hiking with local Maasai guides who taught us about some of their traditions and current realities facing pastoral people in Tanzania. Malaki is a skillful, responsive communicator, so trip planning was enjoyable rather than stressful. He provided suggestions, and he customized our safari according to preferences we expressed. A review below from September 2023 by tomtom771 highlights outstanding aspects of Malaki Safaris, all important to consider when splurging on a trip of a lifetime. Many Tanzania safari itineraries are similar, but it’s the guide who makes the biggest difference. Malaki is from a rural Maasai village, and he pursued his formal education in cities. He knows Tanzania’s landscapes, wildlife, and cultures from lived experience, and he truly loves sharing all of it. Our group had a particular interest in birds, and Malaki eagerly brushed up on his already impressive birding repertoire. When we had questions, Malaki usually had answers, and he often came back later with more information. He has stellar abilities maneuvering the jeep to maximize views and photo opportunities, and he manages to do so without ticking off other drivers. When one of our group members stayed on in Tanzania to do solo travel, Malaki continued to check in on him, occasionally arranging lodging or transfers as a courtesy. It’s not essential that one has a guide who you befriend and hope to see again, but with Malaki we got the best of both worlds, an A+ safari and a talented guide who brightened every day.
sandrab
sandrab
2024-04-04
A good, honest and knowledgeable guide! Malaki was highly recommended to us by a friend, and we had a great time with him on the 14-day tour he designed. He guided us at Tarangire National Park, Ngorogoro Crater and Serengeti NP. He worked with us on our budget and is a good communicator. He was very patient, knowledgeable with animals and birds and his pleasant personality made our adventure lots of fun! You could tell that he’s been guiding tours for many years. Other guides respected him and he has good contacts in the area. We stayed in a variety of lodges/tented camps, all pleasant and at times luxurious. If you want an honest guide with good morals and great experience, you can’t go wrong with Malaki.
Renato M
Renato M
2023-09-30
5 day safari Great guide, speaks excellent english! Perfectly organized trip with great accommodations! He was not just our guide and secure driver but become a friend and was a member of our group! Great experience and absolutely recommandatable!
tomtom771
tomtom771
2023-09-27
Unvergesslich Schön Overall for our safari was an unforgettable and, most likely, a ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. However, if we are ever fortunate enough to go on another safari in the Serengeti, we will definitely use Malakisafaris Safaris again. For anyone considering a personal safari tour, they should book with Malakisafaris Safaris and here is why… A. Our Malakisafaris team was very organized and provided clear communication and great service from the time we began the scheduling/reservation process early on until the time we departed Tanzania to come back home. Everyone that we interfaced with was very friendly, personable and always answered our questions to our satisfaction. B, Once in the Serengeti, our safari driver/guide was excellent. We always felt safe in the vehicle and he was an absolute expert at spotting animals on our game drives. In fact, very informative. We where very impressed with our guide’s extensive knowledge of the African cultures, animals, etc., that we experienced. C. Our vehicle was always clean and comfortable, obviously well maintained and reliable on the trail. The vehicle was always well stocked with drinks, bottled water and snacks. The seats even had extra top cushions to protect our hind parts from the daily “African Massage” provided by the trails. D. All of the accommodations provided at the various camp/overnight locations exceeded our expectations. Each of the tented camps/lodges that we stayed at in tarangire, the Serengeti National Park, and in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, were in beautiful natural settings and were conveniently located for the daily game drives. E. The food, and the food service, was very good and the in-camp meals were delivered/provided in unexpectedly formal dining areas. This was tent dining at its finest, but it really wasn’t tent dining at all! We were all surprised at how nice all of the dining areas were. Therefore, keep up the great work, the high standards and thank you folks for a wonderful vacation! You will not go wrong choosing Malakisafaris to organize your trip
Kai H
Kai H
2022-11-06
Great 7-day Safari in late October We had a fantastic trip with Malaki, visiting the National Parks of Arusha, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Ngorongoro, Central and North Serengeti. Excellent service, with plenty of water, cookies, plugs for camera and phones while the car was always clean (not easy given the dusty roads). Most importantly Malaki is a safe driver, excellent in spotting animals (we were alone in spotting a rhino, a lioness on the hunt and wildebeest crossing the Mara river) and knows the best spots to take pictures (he worked a few years for National Geographic). He knows most of the camps and their managers so that we could have our lunch box and a free tour in some of the most stunning places in the Serengeti and Tarangire. Furthermore, he is an interesting person with lots of knowledge of Tanzania and the animals you encounter, so I can fully recommend him if you want to organize a Safari in Tanzania.
kathy s
kathy s
2020-02-23
My second tour with Malakisafaris Another amazing adventure in Africa with Malakisafaris. Once again, Malaki delivered with a great tour of Kenya and Masai Mara by Onesmu. Malaki was our second guide and didn't miss a beat. The animal behavior info and knowledge of culture and country makes for a robust adventure in an amazing country. THANK YOU!!!
Erin S
Erin S
2020-02-04
masai mara the safari was more than I could have imagined. both Malaki and Onesmus were INCREDIBLE guides, with knowledge on any topic we asked them, We learned about the animals, the jungle, Kenyan culture, government and so much more. Onesmus was a great driver, with an amazing energy and laugh. It was clear that both Malaki and Osesmus love their job, love sharing their country and truly respect the animals.
Xavier
Xavier
2020-01-12
No tourist traps - Malaki Safaris are exceptionally! Our family of four including a 9 and 6 year old went on a 6 day safari with Malaika. The whole experience was amazing. We were impressed by the guiding knowledge and absolutely blown-away with Malaikas ability to accommodate our kids. From a smaller height Jeep to allow kids views to a specialized itinerary was only the beginning. Malaika truly enjoys kids. We highly recommend Malaika Safaris.
Shukti N
Shukti N
2019-11-27
Ngoragora and Sarengeti The Safari experience was an unforgettable, fantastic and amazing journey. With a passionate, knowledgeable and experienced guide to educate us on the animals and their whereabouts made the tour phernorminal. 100% go again with Malachi. It was also a safe, fun and humourous trip!! Thank you!
Toddle
Toddle
2019-06-20
Amazing Malaki himself runs these tours. He’s top tier, does a first class experience. Go to the Legendary Lodge. Don’t go to Rhino lodge.