This full-day hike explores the dramatic Empakaai Crater. With a lake on the Crater floor and the entire caldera encircled by a steep, densely forested wall, Empakaai is a scene of vast natural beauty. On clear days the Crater offers views of Ol Doinyo Lengai, Tanzania’s most recently active volcano. The steep slope calls for a degree of fitness, but the walk through the lush forest, with its ancient strangler figs and rich birdlife, is well worth the effort. The trail continues to the lakeshore, where you can view water birds such as flamingo.
A caved in volcanic caldera, Empakaai Crater stands at 300 metres in height and more than six kilometres in width. Rippling at its heart is Empakaai Lake, an 85 metre deep alkaline pool that envelops three quarters of the crater’s floor. Standing at Empakai Crater’s imposing rim, you can see landmarks, such as the distant fleecy snows of Kilimanjaro far on the eastern side of the Valley, the Great Rift Valley, and Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano.
Along your hiking sojourn, while taking in the glorious sights, you are sure to spot a profusion of animals including blue monkeys, buffalo, bush bucks, water bucks, and an extensive array of kaleidoscopic bird life.