Lake Natron Activities: Hiking, Birding, and Cultural Encounters



Lake Natron is a great place for adventure seekers, as it offers a range of captivating activities. This article highlights the exciting activities that await you near the lake. From hiking the majestic Ol Doinyo Lengai to immersing in the vibrant Maasai culture, and from exploring ancient footprints to encountering diverse birdlife, Lake Natron offers a wealth of unforgettable experiences. Prepare to be enchanted by the natural treasures and serenity of Lake Natron's surroundings.

Ol Doinyo Lengai Hike

Hiking Ol Doinyo Lengai, the third highest peak in Tanzania, is an exciting adventure near Lake Natron. With the help of experienced Maasai guides, you can conquer the challenging hike that lasts between 6 to 12 hours.

The trail becomes steeper as you climb higher, and the rocky terrain can be tough to navigate. It also gets hotter as you go up due to the volcano's activity. However, the guides know the way and will support you throughout the journey.

Ol doinyo Lengai

What makes this hike unique is that it starts at night. The ascent to the rim of Ol Doinyo Lengai typically starts between 10 to 12 P.M. The reason behind this is twofold. Firstly, the cooler temperatures at night offer respite from the scorching heat that engulfs the mountain during the day. Secondly, as the sun begins to rise, you are treated to an awe-inspiring spectacle as the first rays of light paint beautiful colors across the landscape, creating a magical atmosphere.

Reaching the summit is a rewarding achievement. From there, you'll see gasses coming out of the volcano, creating a fascinating sight. The panoramic view from the top allows you to take in the vast surroundings covered in a gentle haze.

Ol doinyo lengai

Remember to be careful and prepared for the challenging conditions. Wear sturdy hiking boots, comfortable clothing, and carry enough water to stay hydrated.

Hiking Ol Doinyo Lengai near Lake Natron is an incredible opportunity to connect with nature's power. Standing on the summit, you'll feel a sense of pride and appreciation for the stunning scenery. It's a memorable experience that showcases the beauty of Tanzania's landscapes.

The hike will cost between 70$ to 100$

Maasai Village Tour

One of the most enriching experiences near Lake Natron is the opportunity to meet the Maasai people, renowned for their vibrant culture and traditional way of life. Interacting with the Maasai provides a unique glimpse into their customs, traditions, and everyday activities. Unlike the more touristy Maasai village experiences in popular destinations like Ngorongoro, encountering the Maasai near Lake Natron offers a truly authentic and immersive encounter.

Maasai women

As you explore the region, you will come across Maasai communities and may even have the chance to visit their Bomas, that is, their traditional villages. With the assistance of your knowledgeable guide, you can engage in conversations with the tribesmen, gaining insights into their ancient heritage and deep connection with the land.

Participating in the Maasai's daily routines can be a memorable experience. You might witness their traditional dances, learn about their distinctive jewelry and clothing, and even try your hand at milking cows or starting a fire using traditional methods. The experiences here will certainly leave a lasting impression.

Meeting the Maasai near Lake Natron is often regarded as a more authentic encounter compared to other tourist-oriented experiences. The Maasai in this region have maintained their traditional way of life and cultural practices, largely unaffected by commercialisation. This allows visitors to truly immerse themselves in the genuine traditions and customs of the Maasai people.

The Masaai Village visit near Lake Natron will cost 25$ per person.

To understand more about what goes on during a Maasai village visit, please click here.

Flamingo Walk, Ngare Sero, and Engare Sero Package

Flamingo Walk

Experience the captivating Flamingo Walk near Lake Natron, where you embark on a guided stroll to witness the sight of lesser flamingos and discover a diverse array of bird species. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you'll explore the picturesque surroundings in the soft evening light around 4 or 5 pm when the heat is not too much.

Lesser Flamingo

As you walk along the shores of Lake Natron, keep your eyes peeled for remarkable bird sightings. Look out for pelicans gliding across the water's surface and vibrant kingfishers perched on branches. Spot marabou storks, secretary birds, and herons near the shores. Look to the skies, and you may even catch a glimpse of fascinating birds of prey, such as the mighty martial eagle and the iconic African fish eagle.

Secretary bird

The duration of the Flamingo Walk can vary based on your interests, ranging from one to two hours.

Join this leisurely walk and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the surroundings of Lake Natron.

Ngare Sero Waterfall Hike

Another captivating destination for hiking enthusiasts in the Lake Natron region is the Ngare Sero Waterfall. This picturesque waterfall offers a refreshing adventure for nature lovers. While the trail leading to the waterfall is generally manageable, it can become narrow, slippery, and is filled with water in certain regions, resulting in wet shoes and trousers. However, like the Ol Doinyo Lengai hike, the journey is truly rewarding.

The highlight of the Ngare Sero Waterfall hike is the serene pool at its base, akin to an oasis in the midst of a desert. After a sweaty hike, the opportunity to cool down in the pool becomes a delightful reward. You can take a refreshing swim, stand under the waterfall, and even enjoy a peaceful picnic on the nearby rocks.

Ngare Sero waterfall

In terms of difficulty, the Ngare Sero Waterfall hike is quite easy. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is highly recommended to undertake this hike with the assistance of a knowledgeable Maasai guide. Their expertise and familiarity with the area will enhance your journey and provide valuable insights into the surroundings.

The hike's duration can vary depending on your pace and the time spent at the waterfall. On an average, it takes around 2 to 3 hours to complete the round trip. Remember to wear suitable footwear with good traction, bring extra clothing for changing after the swim, and carry drinking water to stay hydrated throughout the hike.

Exploring the Ngare Sero Waterfall offers a delightful combination of natural beauty, adventure, and relaxation. Embrace the tranquility of the pool, revel in the refreshing spray of the waterfall, and create lasting memories amidst the remarkable surroundings.

Engare Sero Footprints

Lake Natron is a place of great significance for those interested in ancient history. To the south of the lake lies Engare Sero, a remarkable site that can transport you back a staggering 19,000 years. Here, you'll find incredibly well-preserved footprints of early humans, offering a captivating glimpse into the lives of our ancient Homo sapiens ancestors.

These footprints, hidden beneath layers of volcanic debris, have been protected for thousands of years. The volcanic flow acted as a shield, keeping these footprints intact and allowing us to study them today. They are incredibly exciting for scientists and history enthusiasts because they provide valuable insights into what life must have been like for early humans so long ago.

Visiting the Engare Sero footprints is a truly fascinating experience. As you observe these ancient imprints, you can imagine the people who once walked in these same places. Each footprint tells a story, revealing details about how they moved and interacted with their surroundings. It's a humbling connection to our shared human past. It will indeed be a captivating journey through time.


The Flamingo Walk, Ngare Sero Waterfall hike, and Engare Sero footprints visit are a part of a single package which costs 20$ per person. In addition, you will also be required to pay 29.5$ as Wilderness Management Area fees, and 35$ as village fees.

Please note that since all the three activities are a part of a single package, you will required to pay the same amount whether you choose to engage in all the activities or not.


In conclusion, Lake Natron is a fantastic destination for those seeking adventure and a close connection with nature. With activities like hiking to the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai, encountering the Maasai people, exploring ancient footprints, and discovering diverse birdlife, Lake Natron offers a range of exciting experiences. Whether you enjoy thrilling adventures, cultural immersion, or observing wildlife, Lake Natron has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and embark on a remarkable journey to Lake Natron, where you can create lasting memories and immerse yourself in the beauty of this incredible destination.

To understand Lake Natron better, you may check out our guide to Lake Natron here.


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