Lake Chala is a caldera lake formed 250,000 years ago, sitting at 8 km from Taveta, border town of Kenya, this is the deepest inland lake of Tanzania carved in ancient rock and is fed by Kilimanjaro underground water, the history is full of myths and legends including a Maasai village that disappeared into the lake. Chala is a quiet site away from the busy tourist usual attractions that will give you a sense of connection with nature.
Depending on the season the color of the lake could be deep blue, turquoise or green. It offers a flora that can be exclusive to the area. The fauna includes a stunning variety of birds (200 species) with birds of prey, Colobus Monkeys, Blue Monkeys, baboons, dik-dik, kudu, pythons, monitor lizards and maybe migrant elephants.
Day trip – Moshi – Lake Chala
Non-game-viewing travel time: 1 hour
Distance: 55 km from Moshi
Meet our professional naturalist guide/driver at the lodge, who will deliver a short safari info briefing, after which, we travel to the Lake Chala. You can choose any activity from a nature bush walk, canoeing on the lake, fishing or swim in the Lake.
The bushwalk will last (2-4) hours depending on the pace. The walk offers scenic views with Kilimanjaro in the background, you will go down the rocky gullies formation to the water.
After the walk, we can have lunch at the Lake Chala lodge with a spectacular view of the lake as well as Kilimanjaro view in the clear days.
If you want to paddle in a canoe, this is a one-hour activity and if you want to go fishing it can be extended. You can find the specific Lake Chala tilapia, though you must fish and release since this is an endangered species.
You can swim in Lake Chala but it is recommended to stay close to the shore if you are not a strong swimmer. There a no dangerous aquatic creature but the depth of the lake with a seventy meter drop off is a caution.
Later in the evening, the driver will take you back to the lodge for your next adventure.
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAFARI PACKAGE:
- Lunch at the Lake Chala Safari camp.
- Canoe and fishing rod.
- Experienced English-speaking naturalist guide.
- Transport from and to your lodge.
- Drinking water
- All park entry fees and 18% VAT
EXCLUDED FROM YOUR PACKAGE:
- Alcoholic and soft drinks
- Tipping(we recommend $70 per car per day )
Lake Chala Day Trip
A crater lake in a caldera at the border between Tanzania and Kenya and 52 km from Moshi town, Lake Chala was measured at a depth of 95 meters, which makes it deeper than famous Lake Victoria. Filled and drained by underground waters, the lake ranges in color from deep blue to turquoise and green. Take a walk down the 100m deep crater rim to the lake shore and cool your feet at the water’s edge among the rocks as you watch the water ripple peacefully through the lake in shimmering delight.
What to do in Lake Chala
Day Visiting: 15.000 TSH a day (10.000 for citizen and residents) including use of all facilities and an accompanied walk, but except Kayaks. Kayaking is 10,000 TSH for day guests for one hour. (Please note, that there is a governmental fee to the Wildlife Management Association at the barrier on the road before Chala land. This money is not available for Lake Chala, but is distributed elsewhere by the state administration.)
Climate: Chala has a temperate but varied climate. It can be very hot in the day time, especially in December to March, but evenings and mornings are cool and nights can be chilly. From May to September it can be quite cold, warm clothes are needed in the early morning and evening.
What to bring: We do advise good walking shoes, and maybe a stick to go down to the lake. It is a steep ascent. Bring binoculars for birding, sunscreen, hat, appropriate clothes for temperature changes, check ‘Taveta weather reports’. If you want to have a cold refreshing shower after the hike, please bring a towel.
Walking: Chala is a wonderful area in which to walk. All walks have to be accompanied by a staff Member of Lake Chala Safari Lodge.
Birding: The Chala bird survey is ongoing. Birds are plentiful and raptors in particular are many and spectacular in the area. Chala is thought to be an important migration corridor on the eastern flank of Kilimanjaro, and unexpected birds can be found here during migration time. We appreciate reports of birds seen by visitors to increase our bird survey.
Fish: The lake is home to the Lake Chala Tilapia, a species of fish in the cichlidae family. This fish is endemic to Chala, but is now a threatened species due to over fishing, a concern which needs to be adressed. That’s why fishing is not allowed at Lake Chala.
Crocodiles: Crocodiles were introduced to Lake Chala in the 1930’s. According to legend they were brought in by E.S. Grogan, a British explorer who became famous for walking from Cape Town to Cairo in 1898. The terrain is totally unsuitable for crocodiles to breed, there being no beaches or sandy areas to make their nests. In the early 1990s fishermen, angry that their nets were continually being destroyed, began a program to eradicate them. Since 2002 there are no longer any crocodiles left in Lake Chala.