Hiking Mount Makarot In The Ngorongoro Highlands : Unquestionably, the 19 km long and 16 km wide crater is the Ngorongoro Conservation Area’s main attraction. The Ngorongoro Highlands themselves, however, are humming with excitement for exploration.
The full-day Tanzania safari to the crater will be the highlight of your visit to our Ngorongoro Conservational Area, but we also have another little gem to discover, and this one is on foot. Set aside half a day for this hike, sleep in a little later in your cozy bed, eat a leisurely, hearty breakfast, and then hike up Mount Makarot with our Maasai staff and an armed conservation ranger.
This hike is lovely because it begins at your front door! From the camp, a path ascends directly to the mountain, where you will emerge from the canopy of the acacia forest and begin a steep ascent that will take you two hours to complete. The peak of the Ngorongoro Crater sits at an impressive 3132 meters above sea level, and the camp itself is already at a high altitude. The key is to go slowly, and the rewards are incredible.
Vistas for Days
But more than just the vantage point from the peak is impressive. Every time you gaze out at the vast landscape, something intriguing will catch your attention. You’ll soon become aware of the numerous tiny villages below. Some are as close as the cows and donkeys can hear them, while others stretch as far as the eye can see. These Maasai villages are part of the rich cultural heritage of the Ngorongoro Highlands.
However, there is more wildlife than just the Maasai livestock, which is why both the ranger and the Maasai are carrying their impressive long spears. The guides are constantly alert and listening for signs of life as buffalo roam these hills, and there may even be a lion or leopard nearby.
There is a level area of grass with an alluring tree to climb about halfway to the top. If the going gets too tough, it makes a great turning point for those who feel they’ve gotten everything they need out of this hike. It also makes a great resting place. It can be difficult to resist the urge to eat the packed lunch, but resisting will eventually pay off. The Maasai are kindly and deftly transporting lunch and water for a picnic at the top in their colorful blankets that have been cleverly transformed into carrying pouches.
The single file resumes its upward march after a brief pause. Hillside brush scrub gives way to longer grasses and then to incredibly lush, atmospheric, and jungle-like trees and vines. The Masai will lead you around the valley’s ridge before suddenly opening up the forest canopy to reveal the coziest slopes under clear skies, where you can relax and eat lunch. It’s a very welcome spread of sandwiches, fruit, and nuts, and like everything else in life, it tastes even better after you’ve earned it.
The views are breathtaking, and the peak is only a short 2-minute scramble above the picnic slope. Write down the height. This may be the highest you have ever been in your life, at 3132 meters above sea level.
It’s easy to see how the geography all fits together by looking south into the Ngorongoro crater. The enormous Lake Eyasi and the Western Wall of the Rift Valley are in the direction of your camp below (way below). The Serengeti plains, which you are probably traveling to or from, are located over the steepest drop from the Makarot peak to the northwestern horizon.
- Wear long pants.
- Shoes are likely to get wet from the dew on grass and foliage.
- Even though the total distance is less than 10 kilometers, it is a half-day hike.
- At least a basic level of fitness is required.
BEST TIME TO VISIT?
Just keep in mind to pack water-resistant gear if you plan to visit during the region’s wetter months of March through June each year. Hiking can generally be done at any time of year.
LOCATION OF MOUNT MAKAROT
In the Arusha region of northern Tanzania, close to the Western crater rim of the Ngorongoro crater, is Mount Makarot. Numerous Maasai traditional bomas and landmarks like the Malanja depression are close by.
HOW TO GET THERE
The final section must be completed on foot, but you can drive to its base from the Loduare gate or one of the nearby lodgings.
Conclusion: If you’re up for the challenge and want to hike Mount Makarot, get in touch with us so that our top-notch customer service team can design a trip specifically for you and leave you with priceless memories.