Empakai Crater

The Empakai Crater (see Plate 16) is about 6 km wide and a lake covers nearly half of its floor. The lake is about 85 m deep which make it unusually and unique deep compared to many soda lakes in East Africa. The waters being alkaline the lake has attracted flamingos as in the case of Manyara and Natron lakes. The walls of the crater are steep, clothed in the forest and rise in some places to almost 300 m above the floor.

The views along the trail downwards are spectacular at every point. From the crater rim you have a fantastic view in the craters’ green paradise. All along one can enjoy the changing views of Empakai itself. In addition, from the northern and eastern side you can look out to the dramatic cone of the still active volcano, Oldonyo Lengai. Also if the day is clearer, 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. The crater hold aesthetic value as one can have a joy to walk around the lakeshore, experiencing the serenity and quiet beauty of this wild spot.