Chemka Hot Springs: Tanzania’s Only Beauty Oasis in the Middle of the Savannah

Image: Seashells Tours & Safaris

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Tanzania is endowed with spectacular wildlife, mountains, lakes, rivers, beaches, forests, and old ruins and her warm and caring people with varieties of ways of life, and ready to host and show visitors from far and wide the breathtaking beauty of this great East African powerhouse.

Most visitors visit Zanzibar and coastal areas for their beautiful beaches, the northern circuit safari destination where the famous attractions including Serengeti, Manyara, Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tarangire and Ngorongoro crater and now the Southern circuit is gaining recognition and attention as another destination where visitors can experience an unforgettable safaris with the likes of Ruaha, Kitulo, Udzungwa, Mikumi and Nyerere national parks.

READ RELATED: REGROW: The Tourism Link Propelling Tanzania’s Southern Circuit to New Heights.

There is no better gateway to relax and recover energy after a safari tour or a mountain climb of the Kilimanjaro or Meru mountains than a trip to Chemka hot springs. An oasis like no other  in the middle of the savannah, located in Hai district at Chemka a few kilometers from Boma Ng’ombe where over 40-50 foreigners and Kenyans  and over 250-350 Tanzanians visit mostly from Fridays to Sundays and on other weekdays, most visitors are foreigners.

The Hot springs is under lush trees, with vibrant blue contrasted beautiful water, with tropical green ferns and palm trees draped into the water. It is  the only place in Tanzania and probably in East Africa where ground water actively interacts with geothermal sources forming small lakes with warm and clean and clear water small lakes with warm, never-stagnating water. There are two places where one can swim and enjoy the warmth of this beautiful hidden germ.

Open canal and small lagoon with dead trees under the water, where catfish and small fish that nibble at your feet when you dip your toes. Light rays  stream the water during the day which is truly amazing. Most of the actions for visitors take place here. The other place is the large lagoon where one can free-dive down under 5-6 meters to inspect the depths of the cavern. Arriving early in the morning is perfect for the cleanest and clearest of water.

Image: Jackson Groves/Journey Era

How to Get to Chemka Hot Springs?

A 40 minutes drive from Moshi or one and a half  hours from Arusha city, a visitor can arrive at the hot spring by private or public transport to Boma Ng’ombe before heading to Chemka which is a few kilometers from this bus stop. The road from Boma Ng’ombe is rudimentary, dusty and rocky and the Hai council needs to maintain this important road more often to make Chemka hot springs accessible throughout the year.

A group of friends or workmates can rent transport from Moshi or Arusha depending on their budget and head all the way to the Hot Springs or one can arrive at Boma Ng’ombe and find any transport of his her choice for a few thousand shillings  and head to the spring. For those with private transport, one may ask for directions from locals around Boma Ng’ombe and you are good to go to the springs.

ALSO READ Get to Know Bondwa Peak: The Hidden Gem Among the Highest Peaks of the Uluguru Mountains.

How to Prepare for an Unforgettable Experience at the Hot Springs

Most of the equipment one may need to enjoy a memorable experience at Chemka hot springs are readily available for hire at the springs except maybe in some days snorkeling equipment. So one can have his or her own beach towel, a snorkel, a mask and beach wear.  You can rent one at the hot springs as they are for hire. Remember to have your camera ready to snap and capture the moment one will never forget.

What Chemka Hot Springs Offers?

Chemka hot springs is unique and like no other picnic vacation found in East Africa. With warm, clean and clear water ideal for relaxation and family or friends gateway. Family and friends can visit the spring on a budget and experience this beautiful hidden gem and get the chance to see Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru on a clear day while enjoying  a snack or locally prepared BBQ or other foods and drinks and coconut juice too.

Visitors should definitely include this germ in their travel list. For those who love swimming, this is more than a dream paradise, with its warm, clean and clear water ideal for swimming and relaxation. Those who do not know how to swim are not left out either as there are tire tubes that are readily available for hire where one can rent and float for the whole day for a few thousand shillings.

Image: Jackson Groves/Journey Era

There are village camping areas which are continuously being improved where visitors can camp and sleep in their safari tents.  In  forests in the  spring one can see small monkeys and birds which are residents of this oasis. At 1.5 kilometers from the spring, one can visit Chemka waterfalls and a few kilometers from the springs, one can visit Maasai traditional houses and experience their traditional way of life as well as enjoy their BBQs and cultural dances.

There are also shops that sell tourists souvenirs including bracelets, caps, t-shirts, artifacts, drawings and many more. On a clear day, one can take snapshots of Mount Kilimanjaro and Meru popping above the clouds which is always a nice moment.

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Travel and swimming enthusiasts from across Tanzania and the world at large, especially those who happen to visit the northern circuit safari destination in Tanzania are encouraged to place Chemka hot springs in their bucket list to relax and recover energy after a safari tour or mountain climb.

They are sure to not regret visiting this beautiful and warm paradise. More needs to be done to make this hidden gem a gateway for travelers by continuously renovating the infrastructures around the spring so it can host more visitors who also wish to camp for a few days.

The potential is unbelievable and it’s high time all stakeholders invest in world class infrastructures and promotion to make it one of the best hot springs in the world and attract more visitors as Tanzania strives towards the 2025 tourism goal of receiving 5 million tourists and generating over USD 6 billion from tourism products.

hold a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and Marketing from St. Augustine University of Tanzania. I am currently working as a Hub Data Officer for Benjamin Mkapa Foundation at Usangi District hospital. I am an experienced Marketing and Sales professional where I have worked in this field for over 5 years. I have now worked in a PEPFAR HIV funded programme for over 3 years where I have been receiving various training and facilitation on the basics of comprehensive HIV care. I am passionate about traveling and creative writing and I am determined to learn more about writing to express my ideas that will inspire positive and constructive discussion in Tanzania for the welfare of the Tanzanian society.

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