Engaresero Cultural Tourism – Arusha Region
Engaresero village is located on the southern side of the famous Lake Natron. Lake Natron is a salt lake located in Northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border, in the eastern branch of the East African Rift Valley Escarpment. The Lake falls within the Lake Natron Basin Wetlands of International Importance Ramsar Site. It forms a major breeding ground for lesser flamingos worldwide. Its beauty with thousands of flamingo flocks is astonishing. On the Southern side it borders the majestic and beautiful scenery of the Ngorongoro highlands. It is in this village where Oldonyo Lengai (the Maasai name meaning ‘the Mountain of God’) is located. This cone shaped mountain is the only active volcano in the world that produces natrocarbonatite lava, a unique occurrence of volcanic carbonatite. The temperature of its lava as it emerges is only around 510 °C (950 °F). A few older extinct carbonatite volcanoes are located nearby waiting you to explore. Engaresero is also rich in Maasai cultural heritage. The Maasai community in Engaresero continues to practice its age old pastoral ways of keeping livestock, moving their herds in harmony with nature’s patterns. The time-tested ways of the Maasai are environmentally sustainable and beneficial to wildlife. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has therefore designated Engaresero as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS) site.
The following tours are organized for you by the Engaresero Community.
– Village tour
– Hot spring visit
– Visit to the waterfalls
– Biking tour to Orpul caves
– Visit to the footprints
– Visit rift valley escarpment, Embalulu crater and Leparakash plains
– Oldonyo Lengai trekking
– Maasai Ethno-Botanic/herbal tour
– Herding tour
Hot Spring Tour (3 Hours)
The tour starts at the tourism office at Engaresero village to the baboon caves, spend sometime there before heading to lake shore for bird watching. Drive further down through acacia woodland and on the side of rift valley escarpment to the last point on a major hot spring through other numerous small hot springs.
Waterfalls Tour (2 Hours)
The tour starts from the tourism office at Engaresero village then takes its way to the rift valley escarpment where you leave behind your 4×4 vehicles. Tourists get off the vehicle after travelling 3 kms, then start walking along the Engaresero river gorges towards the waterfalls. The walking tour to & from the waterfalls takes two hours (but it does depend on the time spent enjoying the falls and water at the destination).
The tour takes three hours. One starts at the CBO office then proceed to the baboon caves. Enjoy the ride within the gorges of a small river for a couple of minutes. After exploring the Orpul then take a short bike ride down to the lake shore for a bird watching experience. Enjoy the lake scenery and proceed with a ride to the petrified historic footprints of our ancestors (120.000 years old) where the tour ends for the picnic lunch at the lake shore/hot lunch at your lodge/camp. Rift valley escarpment tour-Embalulu Crater-Leparakash Plains (From the floor to the roof then back) (3-4 hours).
The tour starts from the office then walk up the rift valley escarpment. The slope of the escarpment is challenging but people do manage. At the Embalulu crater visitor will have opportunity to Enjoy a panoramic breathtaking view of the Lake Natron, Engaresero Maasai village, Oldonyo Lengai and other escapment features found in this active volcanic area. Astonishing view of Embalulu crater will print a memory in your mind by its beauty the tour Proceed to Leparakash plains where one will get to know the Maasai’s livestock keeping activities undertaken by the these pastoralist.
Leparakash Plains To Engaresero Village Tour the tour will take (4 hours)
The tour srift valley escarpment where one leaves back 4X4 safari vehicle and enjoys the plains of the wet season pastures for Maasai livestock. Get a breathtaking view of the Lake Natron and other volcanic features found down in the rift valley and view mountain of god. Walk down to the valley through a walking trail developed during colonial times. Explore various medicinal plants found on the rift valley wall as you descend to Engaresero village.
Extended Biking Tour (3-5 hours)
Bikers coming from Serengeti Klein’s gate/Ngorongoro Conservation Area have an opportunity to leave back their 4X4 safari vehicle and start biking from Masusu where our professional biking guides will meet you and ride down to the beautiful valleys and gorges of the rift valley to Engaresero village/Lake Natron. This is very important opportunity to exercise and keep your body fit.
Oldonyo Lengai Trekking (10-12 hours Ascending & Descending)
Trekking this active volcanic mountain takes place at night,whereby ascending starts at 00:00 then conquer the summit around 6:00 a.m, start descending before it gets hot and so reflective on the volcanic ash. Enjoy a nice breath taking and hair raising view of the gorges and surrounding volcanic features of the mountain. Get to know the ritual sites along the mountain trekking route used by Maasai as they believe this is the Mountain of God. Local tour guides will assist you in this challenging climb.
Ethno-Botanic Tour (2 hours)
The tour starts at the CBO office then takes a round walk in the Bush where various herbs will be identified and its medicinal content explained by the Maasai warriors. Get to know various herbs that treat various diseases such as fever, malaria, pneumonia, chest complications, sterility and their use. Learn how to prepare various herbal plants ready to consume.
Herding Tour (2 hours)
The tour is conducted in different areas and seasons of the year due to livestock pasture rotation. Tourist will get to visit the Maasai herding cattles where an opportunity to learn about livestock keeping and ways to look for green pastures around is guaranteed. Visitors will get to see and appreciate division of labor amongthe family members in taking care of the livestock.cattles are the main Maasai economic activity and the centre of their culture. The tour is done in the evening as the livestock are about to get back into a boma where milking activities and heading cattles in their respective kraals takes place.
Where to stay
Accommodation is based into permanent tented camps,logdes and mobile tents. For more information visit Engaresero website.
Tour Guides: The guides of the Engaresero CBO are from the Engaresero community who are well trained and speaks English. They offer good service and share nice stories that will print a memory in your life.
Reservations: Various excursions and tours can be made at Tanzania Tourist Board-Tourist Information Office in Arusha or tour operator/ travel agent/ lodge or hotel operators.
Getting there: Engaresero can be accessible by road form Arusha town. From Arusha bus terminal there daily public buses which leave once per day to Loliondo. Get off at Engaresero; it takes 6 hours from Arusha to Engaresero which lies 220km North Western of Arusha.