Camping at Lake Chala

I have found that my favourite weekends away are not usually the ones spent in glittering cities and fancy hotels. My favourite memories begin with a long car journey and end with me gazing at the stars. For the Easter long weekend, some friends and I packed up a car and drove from Arusha, through Moshi to Lake Chala!

Swimming

On the boarder of Tanzania and Kenya, I almost felt like I was in a whole new place. You even have to cross a boarder of sorts in order to enter the Lake Chala area.We were semi-horrified when arriving at the boarder that the boarder patrol where demanding at $25USD entry fee (the website said $5 for non-residence). New rules meant more fees and more sweet talk to lower the price to a more respectable amount.

The view of the lake from the top of the cliffs was breathtaking and worth every minute spent haggling over the price of entry. Never had I looked out at such a beautiful vista. With the sun gleaming off the water and the dense forest creating a view that seemed untouched by anyone.

Views

In the morning we got up early and set off on the somewhat rough walk down to the lake. Now, when I say walk, it was more of a climb. It’s easy enough but definitely not a breeze. However, all of that cardio is worth it when the trees clear and you’re met with the most beautiful expanse of water. Standing on the edge of the lake, you feel like you’ve found a hidden oasis in the jungle. The water is so clear you can see the bottom, and so inviting you feel as though you could swim all the way to Kenya and back. It’s easy to spend hours splashing in the water, lounging on tree branches and sitting on the banks watching butterflies dancing together in the breeze. We could even spot a few busy baboons high up in the trees; we could not have felt further from civilization in that moment if we tried. I felt like I was in a scene from Tarzan.

Wilderness

 

This is a destination where you can easily avoid the over-priced touristy vibe and really feel connected to the land. We camped in a secluded spot, trees and bushes blocking the view of other campers. We set up a bonfire with what we found around us and spent the evening by the fire telling stories and eating snacks we had brought with us in the car.

It’s holidays like these that make me want to relive them over and over again; And it’s places like these that make me thankful to be living in such a beautiful country. So many people would pay a hefty sum to experience wonders such as this, but here we have heaven in our backyard.Although not the cheapest get away for us, the costly-ness was more due to us being unprepared. If you go with your own tent and food to cook on the BBQ this is easily the cheapest destination to head to when you feel like doing something a little adventurous.

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