Mountains have been regarded in mythology and cultures as a place of connection to gods and goddesses, and it’s easy to see why. Towering peaks are cast towards the heavens and this is considered a territory into the unknown. This isn’t the only reason for their significance. Many mountains are connected with historic events.
- Mount Sinai, according to Jewish, Islamic and Christian tradition, is where Moses received the 10 Commandments on stone tablets
- Mount Athos, in Greece, has many connections to Eastern Orthodox monasticism and is governed separately to that of Greece
- Machu Picchu, located in Peru, is significant because it’s considered the birth place of the Inca Empire, under the founder and first emperor Tawantinsuyo
There’s a mountain in Tanzania that also holds great cultural significance for the Masai. Ol Doinyo Lengai is located near Lake Natron in the Rift Valley of northern Tanzania. Ol Doinyo Lengai translated means ‘Mountain of God’. At 2,879 m (9,445 feet) this is the home of the Masai god Eng’ai who has shown her wrath through eruptions and drought. Many Tanzanians still make the pilgrimage to the mountain, paying for rain, healthy cattle and healthy children. Footprints, of adults and children, can even been seen in dried out lakes surrounding the mountain and these are dated to be around 5,000 to 15,000 years old.
While some travellers have climbed Ol Doinyo Lengai, you don’t have to stand atop its peak to get a feel for the significance this mountain has had on the local people. Whilst staying near Lake Natron you can see how the mountain dominates the landscape, towering over the dusty plains, the pale pink of the lake ringed with flamingos, the wandering herds of cattle and game. Changing colours throughout the day, and catching the last of the sun in the evening, man has lived in the shadow of this mountain for many thousands of years and you’ll quickly understand why it has become so significant to the people who inhabit this area.
One of our latest tour offerings provides you with the opportunity to explore the Sacred Places of the Masai. On this ten day safari you will go into the northern parks of the Serengeti, as well as explore Lake Natron and Tanzania’s Rift Valley. You will also have the opportunity to climb Ol Doinyo Lengai. Contact us for more information or click on the link above for further package details.