Your driver and guide will pick you up at your accommodation in Moshi around 7.30 AM and you will drive for about 2:15 hours to Lake Jipe. The Usambara mountains will be the background for most of the ride, offering some lovely views. After arriving at the lake, you can have a stroll through the village while the fishermen prepare their boats.
Depending on the number of reeds that are present on the shore of the lake, this trip will be slightly different. If there’s little to no reeds and you can cross easily, you’ll start the day by spending a few hours on the lake, after which there will still be some time left for a hike to a nearby waterfall. If however there’s more reeds and it becomes difficult to get through, there will be no time left to go to the waterfall. In this case, the budget for the visit to the waterfall will also have to be spend on extra fishermen that will have to create a path through the reeds. Unfortunately, the amount of reeds can change very quickly and are pretty unpredictable, so we can’t predict this.
Usually hippos and crocodiles can be seen on the Tanzanian side of the lake from June to August. You are not allowed to go to the Kenyan side of the lake without the appropriate visa, so we prohibit our guides and the fishermen to do so.
You’ll leave the area again around 3 – 4 pm to return to Moshi.
GOOD TO KNOW
This is not a luxurious trip. You will almost certainly get dirty and your shoes and clothes will get wet. Water inevitably comes into the boats as they are not fully watertight and the fishermen scoop it out as they go. In the boats you’ll sit on a small bench and at times when the reeds are very dense, it might take quite a while to get through. Lunch is provided in lunch boxes and there is no comfortable place to sit down and eat. Instead, you’ll sit on top of the reeds in the middle of the lake and water might get through from underneath. In the village, there’s one toilet available for tourists. It’s a squat toilet which is very clean but there is no place for washing your hands afterwards. But we absolutely think it’s worth it, or even more, this is simply part of what turns this trip into a real adventure!
We recommend you wear clothes that are allowed to get dirty. Loose trousers are not a good idea as they will hang in the water that comes into the boat whilst you sit on the very low bench. Please wear either waterproof shoes or sandals that can handle water and don’t get uncomfortable when wet. We don’t recommend flipflops but sandals that stay around your feet tightly are fine. Of course, you’ll have a slightly higher risk of injuring your feet compared to closed shoes, but there is barely any walking during this trip. It’s not a good idea to bring a heavy bag, as you’ll have to carry it on your back even when you’re sitting in the boat to keep it from getting wet. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must, as the water reflects the sunlight very strongly.