Lake Chala

Northern Circuit

Lake Chala

Lakes and Rivers 4.2 km² (Min. depth: 81m - Max. depth: 98m) Northern Circuit, Kilimanjaro

Lake Chala is a unique caldera lake, and is thought to be the deepest inland body of water in Africa. This lake is fed by underground springs from Mt. Kilimanjaro. 

Lake Chala, also known as Lake Challa, is a crater lake that straddles the border between Kenya and Tanzania. The lake formed approximately 250,000 years ago. The lake is east of Mount Kilimanjaro, 8 kilometres north of Taveta, Kenya, and 55 kilometres east of Rombo District.

The lake has a great diversity of life. From lush lake shore forest to stunning volcanic savannah; from river beds marvelously carved through ancient rock, to thick bush or open ‘mbuga’. Walking at Lake Chala is a magical experience that will put you back in touch with nature. 

The lake is fed by groundwater flows, which come from Mount Kilimanjaro, fed and drained underground with a rate of about 10 million m³ / year. Depending on the time of year, it ranges in colour from deep blue to turquoise and green, it is surrounded by a 100 metres high crater rim.

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 elephant. Chala is an untouched part of a truly ancient land and a must visit place.

The only native fish in this lake is the Lake Chala tilapia (Oreochromis hunteri), which is found nowhere else in the world. It is considered critically endangered by the IUCN, and now greatly outnumbered by other tilapia species that have been introduced to Lake Chala.

Enquire: Lake Chala

Your Travel Journey Starts Here

Sign up and we'll send the best deals to you