Lake Rukwa

Southern Highlands

This large salt lake is notable for its many water birds and its enormous crocodile population. The northern section is part of Rukwa Game Reserve, which is contiguous with Katavi National Park. As the lake has no outlet, its water level varies greatly between the wet and dry seasons. It rarely exceeds about 3m in depth, and sometimes splits into two lakes separated by swamplands.

From Mbeya, the trip to the lake can make an adventurous loop for those with their own 4WD transport. Head northeast along the edge of the Mbeya escarpment, passing World’s End Viewpoint, with views over the Usangu catchment area (source of the Great Ruaha River). Once past Chunya (where there is a basic guesthouse), it’s possible to continue via Saza and Ngomba to the shores of the lake. Return via Galula and Utengule Coffee Lodge towards Mbeya on a somewhat rougher road.

There are no facilities at the lake.