Lake Chala

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Description

Lake Chala (Crater Lake).

Lake Chala straddles Kenya and Tanzania. On the Kenya side, this picturesque crater lake is just north of Taveta, and because of its volcanic formation (a caldera) it’s therefore very deep, which may account for its beautiful green/blue colour. If passing by, you would never know that it existed as it’s completely hidden which makes it all the more mysterious and exciting to visit.

Apart from a few friendly fishermen in their dugout canoes, you can be practically guaranteed to be alone in this four-square-kilometre crater lake. Lake Chala is fed by groundwater flows, which come from Mout kilimanjaro and the good news is that it is free of bilharzia.

The bad news is that in 2002 a young British traveller died in the lake, and her body was discovered with an arm missing. The cause of her death ia thought to have beeen a crocodile, so it seems likely that crocs could still be present in the lake. The Kenya sub-aqua club still run diving trips here so they obviously think it must now be safe! You would have to decide for yourself whether swimming here is a good idea or not though!

The locals say that there was a campaign to shoot and kill any crocodiles in the lake after the girl’s death and it is now completely safe to swim in. Our advice is not to swim here no matter how tempting it is. If you decide you must, don’t swim in twilight hours and listen carefully to local advice before jumping right in.

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