Lake duluti is a crater lake that is located in one of the subsidiary vents for mount Meru, in the outskirts of the city of Arusha – Tanzania. It gets its water mainly from rainfall and groundwater that seeps into it, keeping it filled throughout the year. The depth is yet to be confirmed, although estimates put it at 700 metres deep, with a length of 1 km and width of about 600 metres.
Around the perimeter of the lake is a dense rain forest, which grows right up to the edge of the water. As it is in a crater, it is mostly surrounded by steep walls, which in some places are rocky and up to 30 metres high, with the exception of a small stretch of land in its northern part where the reserve offices and several other establishments are located.
The lake has a small island in its western part and is also home to several species of reptiles, fish and birds. Some commonly sighted animals include the monitor lizard, snakes (rarely) and more abundantly, birds. The lake currently serves as a water source for communities nearby as well as a tourist hot spot and is currently managed by the Duluti forest reserve, under the ministry of natural resources.
What to do there?
The two main possible activities at the lake are hiking and canoeing, with swimming being prohibited as the water is used by nearby communities. Hiking takes place through a small trail that has been cleared out by the reserve authorities, going through the whole perimeter of the lake, keeping close to the water’s edge at all times. The path is normally well maintained throughout the year and a ranger does accompany guests throughout the hike.
There also are a lot of canoes for rent at the site, several of which can be found at the reserve’s offices and other in the nearby Duluti campsite and Duluti forest club. For safety reasons they do give you a life jacket and canoeing can either be done around the whole perimeter of the lake or just to the lake’s island and back. There also are small boats present, although none of them are motorised for environmental conservation purposes.
The nearby campsite and club also offer food, although the campsite does require you to pre-order your meal. The campsite also does offer space to camp in, although you are required to bring your own tent and at the time of writing (2017), camping fees are 10,000 TSHS for locals and 10 USD for non residents. Normal entry fees into the reserve for hiking are TSHS 3000 for locals and 12 USD for foreigners.
Lake Duluti is located in Akheri ward of Arumeru district, in the eastern outskirts of the city of Arusha – Tanzania. It is in a rural area, surrounded mostly by farms including big plantations for coffee, maize and flowers. For more information about its location, please see the map below (click to start)
How to get there?
The best way to get to the lake would be through the Arusha Moshi highway, with a turn heading south at Tengeru. There are a lot of signs at the turning point and from there, you can either rent a taxi to the lake or walk about 1 km. The lake is at the end of Duluti road, with a lot of signposts leading to it.
If you are using private transport, then please see the map below. There are other roads to the place (apart from the ones described), although these do become impassable during the rainy season