4 Days Oldoinyo Lengai
This mountain is the only active volcano in East Africa. Volcanic activity on the mountain has been observed from as far back as 1883, and it is still active today. The Oldoinyo Le Ngaimountain reaches a height of approximately 9442 feet.The MaasaiOldoinyo Le Ngai is the sacred mountain of the Maasai. The Maasai go to the mountain to pray and offer sacrifices to the god of the mountain. Reasons for going to the mountain include sickness, infertility, and other misfortunes, like if a person loses his livestock. The Maasai who go to pray on the mountain take with them a sacrifice: a flawless female black sheep (a young ewe) which has not reproduced. The sheep is kept in a specific place on the mountain, a dry water hole, and the Maasai sings songs of worship and praise to the mountain god late into the night. In the morning, when the Maasai awakes, he discover that the sheep has vanished, with no traces to be seen.
The Maasai who take the sacrifices are not allowed to eat until they have left the mountain, but those who have been to the mountain say that they wake up with full stomachs, belching meat and milk. The Maasai believe that God speaks to them on the mountain as they feel his presence and hear mysterious voices but do not see the person talking. The Maasai also believe that a bad person (like a person who practices witchcraft) does not dare to go to the mountain because the mountain god will strike them dead. (The elders I spoke to say no such incident has happen because bad people do not dare to go to the mountain, as they fear the god’s wrath).
Another reason why the Maasai are awed by this mountain is because the soil keeps changing colour from white, gray, red, brown, black and even yellow (because of volcanic activity). One American explorer referred to this mountain as the “Big rock candy mountain” because of its varying colors. Oldoinyo Le Ngai is the most sacred place of worship for all the Maasai from the whole Maasai Diaspora in both Kenya and Tanzania. The Maasai from both countries come to pray and seek Gods intervention in the mountain of God.Climbing the mountain requires 4-5 hours moderate exertion. The ascent is quite difficult and challenging because the mountain is steep and climbers are exposed to the hot sun as there is hardly any shade. The best time to climb the mountain is early in the morning before the sun gets too hot. Herds of zebra and wildebeest can sometimes be seen on the trip. A trip to the mountain can also encompass other nearby areas of interest like Lake Natron. Lake Natron is a breeding ground for flamingoes and other birds. There are several Maasai bomas (homesteads) which can be visited, and one can also visit the nearby Mount Gelai, which has geysers and a spectacular waterfall.