One of Tanzania’s hidden gems, the Lake Chala Safari Camp, has just opened their latest addition, 5 luxury tents set right on the rim of the crater with magnificent views of the lake and Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Carolyn and Rob Waltenberg, the owners of the camp, have been working on this upgrade for some time, initially offering a campsite, then a simple tented camp where location and ambience more than made up for the lack of 5 star amenities until they completed their most ambitious project yet, the addition of 5 new en suite tents and a general modernization of Lake Chala’s facilities.
Lake Chala, a crater lake with an elevation of about 900 metres above sea level, is accessible from both Kenya and Tanzania but the setting of the camp is no doubt using the best vantage point of them all around the rim of the crater. The views are as good as they come and of the kind which evokes that single word, followed by a moment of silence to take it all in ‘awesome’. Birdlife is prolific and in fact one of the main attractions for coming to this less visited part of East Africa, besides the solitude visitors can find here. Bird species include, depending on the season, a number of migratory bird species as Lake Chala is within one of the main North – South – North migration corridor but also a good number of birds regularly seen in this part of Tanzania. Not being inside a national park has its advantages here as bush walks, with guides, can be arranged by the camp as can be boat rides on the lake, watching the birds from the water side.
The main buildings of the camp, now more of a lodge really, are perched right at the edge of the rim and allow, from the lounge and restaurant, sights of the not too far away Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, from an angle otherwise rarely seen. The new kitchen produces great home cooked meals, not aimed to compete for Michelin stars but aimed to fill hungry stomachs with good food prepared from fresh ingredients, most of them organic.
The Lake Chala Safari Camp is located not far from the Taveta border crossing between Tanzania and Kenya, some 50 odd kilometres outside the town of Moshi and some 80 kilometres from the Kilimanjaro International Airport.