We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Spectacular active volcano” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Ol Doinyo Lengai

Ranked #11 of 60 things to do in Arusha
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The only volcano in the world to emit "cool" (950 degrees Fahrenheit) fluid lava.
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Spectacular active volcano”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 30, 2014

Most recent eruption was 2009. We completed a trek through Empakai Crater around Ol Doinyo Lengai from the south to the north side, ending at Lake Natron. It was a once in a lifetime experience. Just make sure your feet are broke into your boots, and don't tell them you want to walk as much as possible.

Visited March 2014
1 Thank canoe2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

103 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Zurich, Switzerland
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Lengai ascent planning”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2014

We climbed Lengai in November 2013. Reading these reports one would think this climb is only for Rheinhold Messner and alike. It is challenging indeed, but, if you are fit you will ascent in 4 hours, spend one hour on top and descend in 2 hours. You will be back in camp for breakfast.

If you start your climb too early, you will have to wait for sunrise and it is cold up there. Even if you bring warm clothes, your masai guide will most probably not and only be wearing open sandals and a thin jacket. He will sit on the ground shivering from the cold and after 20 min you will feel sorry and start your descend hours before sunrise JJJ

Consider your fitness and plan accordingly ... If you are fit and used to mountaineering, allow yourself 4 hrs for the ascent. If you do sports regularly but you are not so used to climbing, count in 5 hrs for the ascent. If you think it will take you 6 hrs or more, this mountain is not for you.

It is a fantastic volcano and well worth the effort.

Visited November 2013
4 Thank Hape_Luethi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Karatu, Tanzania
Level Contributor
83 reviews
32 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Difficult climb, but amazing views!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 8, 2014

This 12 hour hike takes you to the peak of the only active volcano left in Tanzania (also the sacred home of the Maasai god) where- if the sky is clear- you get a perfect view of the tanzanian portion of the great rift valley. This is a difficult hike though. You start at midnight (because its too hot to do the whole hike during the day). The incline is steep the entire way- we spent most of the climb up scrambling on our hands and knees because of the incline and the surface- you're climbing on relatively fresh volcanic ash that crumbles beneath you. It's cold at the top so bring layers. Once you get to the peak around 6am you spend about 30 minutes there at the most then head down. The hike down is grueling on your knees and toes- wear good hiking boots! A walking stick is helpful for the hike down, but definitely expect to slip your way down the mountain. But the combination of the challenge, the view, and the prospect of climbing this lesser known mountain make it completely worth it!

Visited January 2014
Thank twendesasa90
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Torquay, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“O M G”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 14, 2014

Whilst climbing Kilimanjaro in 2008 we saw Ol Doinyo Lengai erupting and had great views of Meru at the same time, so decided to return and climb the two in the same trip.Have done many mountain treks before including Kili,Meru,Everest Base Camp, Kinabalu,Toubkal,Austria, Switzerland etc. Non of the above can prepare you for Ol Doinyo Lengai (mountain of the gods or the "mad" ??) We had just walked from Bulati for 3 days across the Crater highlands and could see ODL for most of the trek and had many conversations about which was the way up ? so until you are at the base at midnight you hav'nt a clue where you are heading exactly. Although had read other peoples reveiws and stored all the knowledge that you think you possibly can its not until you are 3 hours into the climb that it hits you that this is going to be Hard !! My wife had hurt her back whilst trekking from Bulati so sat this out wanting to do meru after, I had to leave my 3 day guide Maca meru at the natron campsite as you have to use a local Masai guide for the climb, my guide was called Sheero and seemed ok ? we drove for about 30 min to the start of the climb but unfortunatly broke down about 1km from the start ! After about 3 hrs of climbing Sheero informed me that at the speed i was going at it will take about 9 hrs to get to the summit then about another 4 hrs to get back down !!!! meanwhile a group of 5 were well ahead of me and I nearly turned around, however i said to Sheero that his job was to get me to the top , He went quiet started playing music on his ipod, after about 4 1/2 hours we reached the group of 5 shivering in a hole, waiting to summit, when i asked them how much longer to summit they told me 45 mins and all the guides were asleep, needless to say my guide had started to curl up to sleep as well, I told him that i will be carrying on slowly to summit at sun up then the other group came with me as they had been there for about 45 mins an were cold. We all summited just as the sun came up. I climbed slowly and still had plenty of time, so if the same happens to you as long as you are moving you will make summit on time !!Forgetting all that it is a climb not a hill walk, i am nervous at heights and all the way up i was wondering what will be facing me on the way down, the last part before summit is over a crack venting steam and for about 50m very smooth and steep, i was on all 4s to get to the crater, and on the return down was on my backside for that 50m, but after that was slow but managable. After all that WOW it was well worth it the views were AMAZING. I finished the climb up and down in 9 1/2 hrs ( 13 hrs my eye) ??

Visited December 2013
2 Thank nigs69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peterborough, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A step up from Kilimanjaro”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 12, 2013

I probably should have researched this climb more carefully because if I did, then I would have realised it's not just an easy days trek! Having summited Mount Kilimanjaro the week before I believed that this climb would be far less challenging and require far less motivation. It became clear to me that it was already not as simple as first thought when our Maasai guide instructed us to be up and ready to leave the tented camp at midnight so we could begin the accent in the dark. The accent was incredibly demanding, requiring me to often use hands and feet and be bent over crawling up the volcano rather than walking. I definitely recommend hiking poles for this climb. However the view of the stars as I climbed was quite spectacular, and made it worth while. After what seemed like days of clambering, we finally reached the rather rim. After sleeping for an hour to wait and see sunrise (take warm clothes for this wait!!) we begun our decent. I personally am not great with heights, and it seemed inevitable that I would need to face my fear on the way down after thinking of how steep it was on the way up. It was not as scary as I thought, apart from dodging falling rocks from people behind.. This section was by far the hardest as it puts much strain on the knees along with having very low morale because of being tired and in slight pain. It is extremely dusty on the way down, if you war contact lenses (like I do) I recommend you wear good sunglasses overtop as I had to take my contacts out on the way down because they became too dusty. After finally reaching the jeep, I realised what a feat this climb actually was, accenting and descending a 10,000 foot ACTIVE volcano all in the space of 10 hours is quite an achievement. I definitely recommend you do this if feeling physically up to it, it makes for a good story!

Visited July 2013
1 Thank travel_xpert874
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Ol Doinyo Lengai also viewed

Arusha, Arusha Region

Been to Ol Doinyo Lengai? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing