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Mount Oldoinyo Lenkai and Lake Natron





Ol'doinyo Lenkai is the only active volcanic mountain in the East African Rift Valley Region which attracts many geologists from all over the world who come for research.


Scientifically, carbonated lava is dark brown upon extrusion, but reacts very rapidly and turns into moisture to hydrate, then to secondary alteration minerals that impart a white colour to the rock. The Maasai believe that the "white rock" symbolizes the white beards of "Enkai".


Many tourists visit and climb this mountain which is located in Northern Tanzania every year Mountain Lenkai (normally known as "Ol'doinyo Lengai") rises about 2,100 meters above the East African Rift Valley floor to a height approximately 2,880 m.


The name Ol'doinyo Lenkai which means "Mountain of God" originates from the Maa language (the Maasai's language) from Ngorongoro area.

The Maasai people conduct prayers to God "Enkai" or "Engai" whom the Maasai believe is the Creator of all things on this active volcanic mountain.









There are thousands of flamingos, mainly at the end of the rain season. Besides being famous for the discovery of remains of stone tools from more than a million and half of years ago.



We could say that is one of the most unusual and surprising lakes, because in some occasions their waters are colored of a reddish color (due to the numerous concentration of marine algae combined with the salt that



South of Lake Natron in the eastern rift valley of North Tanzania, lies Mount Ol Doinyo L'enkai (locally regarded as the sacred Mountain of God in the Maa Language), an active volcano. At 2878meters, Mt. Lengai is the only known volcano in the world that sometimes erupts natrocarbonatite lava, a highly fluid lava that contains almost no silicon.



The Lake Natron;Located about 25 Km to the north of Oldonyo Lengai and making opposite with Kenya, this lake, in spite of its difficult access, is a marshy area, is advisable to visit.


Views in the north from its summit crater lies the hot barren salt flats of Lake Natron stretch into the distance, beyond lies the Kenyan border. The day temperatures by the lake often exceed 40°C and a few animals survive here with the flamingo making its home here as breeding grounds, nesting on the salty surface on upraised mounds. The view on the east is dominated by Mt Kilimanjaro and to the west the forested escarpments and hills comprising the western slopes of the Great African Rift Valley.

To the south stretches the Crater Highlands, Ngorongoro being one of the prime wildlife conservation areas in Africa. The ascent of Lengai is demanding on account of the day time heat, lack of water, steep and unstable slopes of ash and crumbly rocks. An early start is recommended and the best approach is from the west where the morning sun can be avoided for a while.