LAKE JIPE DAY TRIP FROM MOSHI
Located on the Kenyan border about 2 hours driving from Moshi, Lake Jipe is only visited by a handful of tourists. It’s a trip that is never the same twice in a row, as the wind determines how much reeds are present at the shores of the lake and how easy or difficult it is to get through. The lake is home to an abundance of hippos and crocodiles and if you visit during the right time of the year, mainly June – August, you’ll be able to spot them on the Tanzanian side of the lake!
LAKE JIPE ITINERARY
Your guide will pick you up at your accommodation in Moshi early in the morning to drive to lake Jipe. We recommend starting around 6.30 AM because the sun can really burn on the lake, so the earlier you go, the better. You’ll make a small detour to the Jipe Village Office, which is not located near the lake itself, and will arrive at lake Jipe after around 2,5 hours. 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 amount 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.
OUR OFFER – PRICES AND SERVICES
Prices depend on the size of your group and are as follows:
- 1 person: 180 USD per person
- 2 people: 120 USD per person
- 3 people: 100 USD per person
- 4-5 people: 90 USD per person
- 6-7 people: 80 USD per person
Please note that we only organize short excursions such as this one in combination with a safari or a mountain climb.
- Private transport from your accommodation in Moshi to Lake Jipe and back
- English speaking guide
- Village fee for Jipe Village
- Visit to the lake in a fishing boat, guided by local fishermen
- Entrance fee to the waterfall OR budget for extra fishermen in case of very dense reeds, depending on the current situation
- Bottled water
In Tanzania, a tip is expected after your participation in a tourist activity. This tip is not included in your package. The recommended amount for a tour guide is 20-25 USD per day if you’re satisfied, to be divided by all your group members. For the fishermen, a tip of between 2.50 and 5 usd per fisherman is appropriate. Normally there’s 1 fisherman per tourist but if the reeds are very dense, there will be 1,5 – 2 fishermen per tourist. As we pay a lot of attention to creating good working conditions for all our crew members and making sure they get paid according to guidelines from organizations that defend their rights, we kindly request you to respect these amounts for any trip. Thank you!
Life vests can be rented at a small extra fee. We can rent these for you depending on availability, please let us know if you want one as early as possible. The average depth of the lake is less than 3 meters and if the reeds are dense, the life jacket might be quite annoying, so we leave it up to you to decide whether you want one or not.