Oldonyo Lengai

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Jan 26th, 2006, 02:08 AM
  #1
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Oldonyo Lengai

Hello All

I have arranged a 2-week safari for a group of 9 in TZ during February 2006, and the group will have the option to climb Oldonyo Lengai when staying in the Lake Natron area.

For those that have experienced this hike, what is a measurable level of fitness that is required??? E.g. for Kilimanjaro, some say you should be able to jog for 45 minutes continuously. I know this is a difficult question to answer, but any views would be appreciated.

I have also heard conflicting reports regarding the incline eg. some say it is 45 degrees all the way, others say it is only 45 degrees at the end of the hike.

It would be great to get some experienced answers.

Thanks

Africa
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Jan 26th, 2006, 02:30 AM
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Africa Travel Resource (ATR), a respected outfitter, has a photo of the mountain at the following link. It certainly looks 45 degrees all the way to me, but I've never climbed it. Maybe the website will be of help:

http://www.africatravelresource.com/...-natron/00.htm
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Jan 26th, 2006, 03:05 AM
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Thanks for your response wjsonl, I have many photos of the mountain from different angles and also from climbers on the mountain. Also, my trip is booked with ATR but through experience I have learnt that photos can be deceptive.
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Jan 26th, 2006, 03:10 AM
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So true. Even if it's only 30 degrees, that would be too steep for me. My speed's more like 180 degrees.
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Jan 26th, 2006, 03:29 AM
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We're also planning to hike up Mount Makarot in the NCA, but with an armed escort. With this hike there is a good chance of bumping into our buffalo friends.
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Jan 26th, 2006, 03:31 AM
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I've climbed Kili and spoken with others who have hiked out across the Maasai lands to the Volcano. As well as the inclination one must also bear in mind that it is volcanic ash and therefore perhaps take 2 steps up sliding 1 back. I think I've seen some trip reports in here somewhere detailing the climb. Perhaps if you are not climbing Kili it is worth it, but if climbing Kili before hand you will be to aching to even consider it!

Matt
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Jan 26th, 2006, 03:46 AM
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Thanks for the replies. The reason that I am asking is, that I recently injured my knee playing football....therefore no activity for 3 months.

I have been training again for the last 3 weeks and my knee is a lot stronger...but we fly out in 2 weeks time. At the moment, I can happily climb 30 flights of stairs (a tower at work) without feeling pain. So I am still pondering......
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Jan 26th, 2006, 04:40 AM
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Hi Africa,
I have climbed many mountains all over the world and would advise you not to attempt this coming off a knee injury.

The climb up is one thing, but its the climb down that will cause the most damage. Its just not worth it.

Keep in mind this is a one day climb. Can you manage to climb down flights of stairs for hours with no pain?
Just some thoughts...
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Jan 26th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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Thats the problem with planning trips so far in advance, and getting injured before you get there.

My main passion is the video & photography of wildlife.....hopefully the birthing of the migrating herds. I am also taking a Hi-Definition camcorder this time, so hopefully I'll get some good footage. I've been doing safaris for 10 years now (annually) but mainly Kenya.

I used to be fussy about food and lodges e.t.c., but not anymore......as long as I get some good shots.

Whenever I return home with the same number of people, as what I left with....I regard that as a sucessful safari!!!!
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Jan 26th, 2006, 09:39 AM
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Hi Africa,

Hate to say it, but I too advise strongly against climbing Lengai with a bad knee! My husband and I climbed both Oldonyo Lengai and Mount Meru when we were in Tanzania in January 2005 - you may wish to take a look at my trip report, called "26 Glorious Days in Tanzania". In my report, I explained why, in hindsight, I was glad that I had climbed Lengai, but why I regretted it the whole time I was climbing and would never do it again!!!

Perhaps the most telling is the opinion of the local Tanzanians that we spoke to (consisting of many guides, porters, locals from the towns) - Lengai is considered the hardest climb in Northern Tanzania. Although Kilimanjaro is the highest and longest and therefore the most challenging in that way, it is clear to all locals that Kilimanjaro is easier, then comes Mount Meru (a little lower, but much harder climb) and then Lengai as the absolute toughest. I enjoyed climbing Mount Meru 100x more than I enjoyed Lengai... although the view from the top of Lengai was beautiful, it wasn't worth the climb up or down...

The only part of Lengai that isn't at a 45 degree angle is the very bottom slopes (most of which, your vehicle will drive for you to drop you off further up) - the rest is at a 45 degree angle and I absolutely agree with Queenie - it's if not up that will be the last straw, then down certainly will! I remember after 3 or 4 hours of climbing down at that angle (along with a few tumbles...), I was ready to cry (and we're no strangers to hiking mountains... and I have never felt the urge to cry before!).

Sorry to be so blunt about it... but I figure it's better than if you find out once you're at the top of the mountain...

Please read my trip report... you may find it more rewarding to trek for a while through the highlands themselves - it was the favourite part of my trip.

Whatever you end up doing - have a fabulous trip!!!

Jenn
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Jan 26th, 2006, 11:27 AM
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Thanks Jenn, great trip report!!! The problem is that my group is made up of people in the medical profession.....which means we are the worst when it comes to listening to medical advice!!!!!

But I think I will give Lengai a miss, personally I'm not really bothered, as I put it in the itinerary to please other members of my group. I'll stick to my wildlife filming & photography and looking after the rest of the group, as the other 8 members are all safari virgins.

Gaurang
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