Close to the Ngorongoro Crater
there are two more craters, less famous and less visited, but very
interesting for a Walking Safaris off the beaten track. Both craters
offers you the rare sense of pure solitude and peace, found only
in remote, pristine places.
The Olmoti Crater
Olmoti Craters's floor is shallow and covered
with tussocks of grass. Besides the Maasai and their livestock you
can sometimes see eland, buffalo and reedbuck. The Munge River origins
from the waters from the Crater walls, crosses the caldera and plummets
down over cliffs, falling some hundreds of metres into the steep-sided
Returning from Olmoti you can see the depression
that is formed where the slopes of Olmoti, Empakaai, Lolmalasin
and Losirua volcanoes join with the outer rim of Ngorongoro. this
shallow, grassy bassin is called the Embulbul depression. Like the
similar Malanja depression to the west, it probably collects and
provides a sink for a good deal of water that appears lower down
at the foot of the mountains.
The Empakaai Crater
From the crater rim you have a fantastic view in
the craters' green paradise. The caldera is about 6 km wide and
nearly half of its floor is covered by a lake. The water in the
lake is alkaline and the depth of the lake is about 85m, unusually
deep for soda lakes in East Africa. The steep walls of the caldera,
clothed in forest, rise in some places to almost 300m above the
The views along the trail downwards are spectacular
at every point. All along you can enjoy the changing views of Empakaai
itself. In addition, from the northern and eastern side you can
look out to the dramatic cone of the still active volcano, Oldoinyo
Lengai. If the day is clear, you can look beyond Lengai to the Great
Rift Valley and Lake Natron. Sometimes you can even see the distant
snows of Kilimanjaro far on the eastern side of the Valley.
On your way downwards to the lake you might see
buffaloes or bushbucks, blue monkeys, many birds (like sunbirds
and turacos). At the shore of the lake are often waterbucks and
elands. It is a joy to walk around the lake shore, experiencing
the serenity and quiet beauty of this wild spot.
the nights at the Craters can be quiet cold (both
craters are at 3500 m), especially in Juni, July and August.