Engaruka

Engaruka, situated 63 km north of Mto wa Mbu, on the road to Oldonyo Lengai and Lake Natron lies at the foot of the Rift Valley escarpment. It is an important historic site as some 500 years ago, a farming community of several thousand people chose to develop an indigenous irrigation and cultivation system here. For unknown reasons, the farmers left Engaruka around 1700, but the ruins speak volumes about the highly specialized agricultural economy.

The people of Engaruka offer visitors the following attractions:

* A guided visit to one of the oldest African irrigation systems.

* A visit to the Maasai cattle market.

* A visit to a Maasai Boma.

* Walking safaris in an area of outstanding beauty.

* A look at the local community life.

Half-day tours

Visit to the ruined city

You can see the remnants of the ruined city of Engaruka. The guide will help you to identify old graves, house walls, irrigation canals and terraces, and explain the various theories about the rise and fall of the farming community. Enjoy en route, the colourful birds and butterflies, remnants of the German era, and also visit an ‘orpul’ or Maasai slaughterhouse.

Engaruka farming tour

From the ruins, walk to the village of Engaruka. En route, visit several farms and learn about various farming and irrigation methods. The guide will throw light on the tribal background of the village. On the way back, visit the market area located in the shade of an Africa tulip tree and a huge mkuyu tree.

Rift Valley escarpment

Tour from the ruined city, narrow footpaths wind up the Rift Valley escarpment. Climb the escarpment guided by a Maasai warrior, who will help you spot many colourful birds and show you trees and plants that the Maasai use for making food and medicines.

One-day tour

Kerimasi mountain climb north of Engaruka is the green mountain of Kerimasi. The climb takes three to four hours from the foot to the summit. From the top, you see impressive views of Oldoinyo Lengai, Lake Natron, the Ngorongoro highlands and the mountains of Kitumbeine and Gelai. The descent takes about two hours.

Two-day tour

Hike to Oldoinyo Lengai

Conquer Oldoinyo Lengai or ‘the mountain of God’ in Maasai parlance. On the first day, you climb Kerimasi Mountain and descend on the north side to camp at the foot of Oldoinyo Lengai, the only active volcano in Tanzania. On the morning of the second day, start the 4-5 hour climb to the top, where you an even enter the crater to watch the volcanic activity. The descent takes about 2 1/2 hours.

Getting there:

From Arusha, take a bus to Mto wa Mbu. In the late afternoon, 4 x 4 cars drive you down the 63km to Engaruka. It takes roughly 4 hours. (Income from tourist visits will be used to improve the local primary school and for conservation of the ruined city).

For further information contact:

Tel: + 255 787 228653 / 754 507939
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Contact Us

Tanzania Cultural Tourism Programme
Museum Buildings, Boma Road
P . O . Box 2348
Arusha, Tanzania
Tel: + 255 27 205 0025
Cell: + 255 786 703 010 / 713 230 134
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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