Trip report of day trip to Lake Chala by Leila Humphreys

 A few days ago I finally came home from Africa where I successfully managed to climb Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa. It was the biggest adventure of my life, which is unlikely to forget. I’ll tell you about it someday.

Before our trek to Kilimanjaro we had one spare day. Altezza Travel, which had organized the ascent for us, offered a one-day tour to Lake Chala. This is a great place for those who want to stay one-on-one with nature. We spent the entire day away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Up until today we often remember our trip to Lake Chala with great pleasure.

Chala Lake is a Crater Lake – a cauldron-like depression immediately on the border of Tanzania and Kenya on the eastern skirt of the renowned mount Kilimanjaro. I’d like to offer some Lake Chala history just in case you don’t feel like googling. Archaeologists believe Lake Chala was formed thousands of years ago as a result of the first volcanic eruption. It’s the remnant of a huge mountain destroyed in the eruption.

Chala Lake on the border of Tanzania and Kenya

Our tour to Lake Chala started from Moshi early in the morning. The distance to the lake (approximately 80 km) took us two hours and got us to the top of the crater. You can’t even imagine what magnificent views of tropical rainforests and lakes open up from this peak. Never have I ever seen anything as beautiful in my life! Next up, we took a long trekking trip down to the lake through the rainforest. If you also plan to do this tour, do not forget to wear comfortable shoes.

On our way to the lake we saw a variety of birds and animals. We were lucky to see baboons. These species are called intellectual monkeys and it is said that their intelligence and comprehension outnumbers that of chimpanzees. Among all African primates they communicate with humans the most.

Finally, the lake! It was beautiful, turquoise in color with stony beaches. The guide told us that depending on the season, the lake color varies from dark blue to moss green. We were offered to swim in a kayak (the rent for it was included in the tour).

The lake used to be inhabited by crocodiles, which made the tour dangerous. When hunters and fishermen got tired of repairing their broken nets, they exterminated all crocodiles. Nowadays, you can swim in the lake with ease, without being afraid to be eaten by a predatory crocodile.

Chala Lake in Tanzania

Although we had taken our own tents, there was an option of renting at pretty reasonable prices. The camping area was divided into sections, which was quiet convenient. Each section included an area with a cooking space and access to water. What surprised us even more was the bar found around the area. The good food and its variety gave us another reason to be pleasantly surprised, especially since it was only an hour away from the nearest town. We stayed for dinner and had an excellent experience.

After lunch, we continued enjoying our rest at the lake. We sunbathed, swam, walked. I really liked the fact that not a lot of people know about the lake and you can stay alone, away from the big crowd of people.

On our way back to Moshi we admired the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro. Lake Chala was indeed worth the long way. The water was crystal clear, the weather was wonderful, dinner was delicious, people were hospitable, and nature was simply fabulous! Our special thanks go to the professional team of Altezza Travel, who ensured our incredible experience.



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