Lake Chala |1 Day Trip In Kilimanjaro | East Africa Travel Company

Lake Chala is the deepest inland body of water in Africa and is a unique caldera lake.
Mt. Kilimanjaro feeds Lake Chala with underground springs. Contact us
150 130 P.P 120 P.P 110 P.P
100 P.P

lake chala

The lake is home to a wide variety of wildlife.

It may be possible to contrast a lush lake shore forest with a stunning volcanic savannah; a river bed carved into ancient rock might be compared to a thick bush or an open ‘mbuga’.
Lake Chala offers a magical experience that will reconnect you with nature.
Groundwater flows from Mount Kilimanjaro feed and drains the lake underground at a rate of about 10 million m3 / year.
There is a 100-meter-high crater rim surrounding it, whose color ranges from deep blue to turquoise and green depending on the time of year.
Chala has a huge variety of amazing trees, grasses, and plants; some are unique to the area. According to the time of year, there are hundreds of species of butterflies and birds, including spectacular birds of prey.
The African Fish Eagle, with its haunting techniques, Verreaux’s Eagle, Augur Buzzards, and many other species of birds can be seen around the crater walls.
Wild mammals do vary including Blue Monkeys, Colobus Monkeys, baboons, dik-dik, kudu, and elephants.
Chala is an untouched part of a truly ancient land and a must-visit place.

Activities at this lake: walking safaris, canoeing, swimming, and fishing.

Moshi – Lake Chala day trip

Non-game viewing travel time: one hour Moshi is 55 km away

Meet our naturalist guide/driver at the lodge. He will deliver a short safari information briefing, then we will drive to Lake Chala.
Choose from nature bush walks, canoeing on the lake, fishing, or swimming in the lake.
The bushwalk should last between 2 and 4 hours, depending on your pace.
By going down a rocky gulley formation, you can reach the water. Kilimanjaro is visible in the background.

The lake
If it is clear, we can have lunch at Lake Chala Lodge with a spectacular view of the lake and Kilimanjaro.
Canoeing and fishing are both hour-long activities.

The specific Lake Chala tilapia can be caught, but it must be released since it is an endangered species.
If you are not an experienced swimmer, it is not recommended to swim far from the shore.

 If you are not a strong swimmer, it is recommended to stay close to the shore of Lake Chala.
Despite the fact that there are no dangerous aquatic creatures in the lake, the drop-off at the bottom of the lake is a warning.
The driver will take you back to the lodge for your next adventure.

Lake Chala: A Geographical History

Lake Chala lies 30 kilometers southeast of Kilimanjaro (52 kilometers from Moshi) and is 95 meters deep, making it deeper than Lake Victoria.
The caldera is believed to be the result of the first volcanic eruption some three-quarters of a million years ago.
According to recent geological research, a magma chamber under Lake Chala collapsed after nearby volcanoes erupted, which created the crater lake.
The Kilimanjaro massif was formed by the great eruptions that caused the Great Rift, a major fault in the earth’s crust that runs through East Africa.
As molten lava burst through the fractured surface of the land, huge pressures pushed part of the Earth’s crust upward, forming the Shira volcano, one of the oldest volcanoes of Kilimanjaro.
Mawenzi formed after Shira’s extinction after another eruption within Shira’s caldera. Some of Mawenzi’s volcanic shape remains today. 
A volcanic eruption 100,000 years later created Kilimanjaro’s characteristic shiny black stone, which poured from Kibo’s crater into Shira’s caldera and created the “Saddle”.
During later eruptions around Chala, a series of distinctive mini-cones, or parasitic craters, run southeast to northwest across the mountain.
Since Lake Chala Entrance Fee is entirely fed by underground streams from Kilimanjaro, its waters are usually clear.
Chala feeds more than 30 kilometers away from Lake Jipe through its underground systems.
Due to a drop in water levels over the last few years, there have been concerns that one of the caves may have collapsed, or that the water from Kilimanjaro is no longer soaking down so deeply due to melting glaciers and reduced rainfall.     
Among the first white women to visit eastern and central Africa was May French Sheldon (1847-1936), an explorer and best-selling author.
A circumnavigation of Lake Chala, which lies inside a steep volcanic cone, attracted universal attention during her 1891 explorations.   

Legends and Myths  1893, ‘POPULAR SCIENCE’

When Kilimanjaro erupted, the Masai lived in a village on the mountain where the crater lake now gurgles.
 Their cattle and poultry were blown into the air, while their spirits are floating in space.
While the wind still blows through the trees, the strange rustling sound caused by the reflection of the cliffs surrounding the lake is caused by their spirits.
 This lake has a lot of fish, but the natives won’t eat them.
The people of the same culture believe that their ancestors inhabit the bodies of Colobus monkeys, so they would never harm them.
Lake Chala still moans today.
The wind may stop blowing on the savannah, but it continues to whip around the crater lake, bouncing off its walls like surf crashing onto a reef.
Waves and wind patterns can produce white horses on the lake’s surface.
Although the lake is now accessible, much of the forest has been cleared, and the beliefs above are no longer valid, there is still superstition among the locals, and some refuse to go down to the lake.


  • Lunch at the Lake Chala Safari camp.
  • Naturalist guide with experience in English.
  • Transfers from and to your lodging.
  • Water
  • Park entry fees and 18% VAT
  • Soft drinks and alcohol
  • Tip (we recommend $20 per car per day)
  • Kayaking 1 hour $5