Kikuletwa [ chemka ] hotspring
CHEMKA HOT SPRINGS (KIKULETWA) IN TANZANIA
Travelers to Tanzania usually base in Arusha or Moshi in between hiking trips and safaris. While
recovering from multi-day tours and hiking trips one of the best things to do is a day-trip to the
Chemka Hot Springs, also known as the Kikuletwa Hot Springs. Just 1.5 hours from Arusha
and nearby Moshi Town, this is one of the hidden gems of Tanzania that you need to visit. The
water was crystal clear in this jungle oasis where you can relax all day and even enjoy rope
swings, tire tubing, and some high jumps out of the trees. It’s possible to drive to the hot springs
independently but most tourists join a tour or a group to reach the hot springs on a day-trip from
Arusha or Moshi. Book your Kikuletwa Hot Springs Day Travel with Bush and Forest Explorer
African Safari and you will really enjoy with the service, organization, and lunch from our guide.
CHEMKA HOT SPRINGS (KIKULETWA HOT SPRINGS) LOCATION
Chemka Hot Springs is a two-hour drive from Arusha Town and just over an hour drive from
Moshi Town by car. If you are taking the bus, you can expect to add some time on for the slower
drive, pick-ups, and transits to a motorbike or tuk-tuk. If you are planning a day-trip to the hot
springs from Arusha, you can catch a local bus to Boma la Ngombe and then transfer from the
bus to a motorbike, local taxi, or tuk-tuk.
BOOKING A TOUR TO CHEMKA HOT SPRINGS (KIKULETWA HOT SPRINGS)
If you aren’t renting a car or catching a bus and organizing your own day, which is a little harder
than you might think, you’re the best option is to book a tour to the Chemka Hot Springs as I did.
There are quite a few options for BOOKING a tour and even as you walk around the streets of
Arusha, you will meet some local guides who offer to take you on a coffee tour, waterfall tour,
or to the hot springs. I even had one guide offer to cheaper one me but on a DIY route so it would
be cheaper but he would make sure we caught the right buses and at fair prices. It’s really up
to your preference, budget, and level of adventure.
EXPERIENCE AT THE CHEMKA HOT SPRINGS (KIKULETWA HOT SPRINGS)
After some big hiking trips up Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru, it was time to enjoy a relaxing
day and recover our legs. A day-trip from Arusha to a tropical hot spring sounded like the exact
remedy our bodies needed! I booked our tour the night before and at 9 am the next morning, we
were into a van and on our way towards Chemka Hot Springs. The drive takes about two hours
and along the way, you will have views of Mount Meru and Mount Kilimanjaro on a clear day. This
spot with views of Mount Kilimanjaro was taken when we quickly pulled over the side of the road
to snap a shot of the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro popping above the clouds.
The drive is quite comfortable until the last thirty minutes, which is when we left the paved road
and ventured on to a very bumpy, rocky road. Passing through a Maasai cattle trading area
definitely made for some interesting sightseeing on the drive towards the hot springs. Just a
few minutes away from Chemka Hot Springs,You couldn’t quite imagine how there would be a
nice swimming sot nearby. It is bone dry outside with gravel, dust, and dry dirt in every direction.
The hot springs truly are an oasis amidst the dry rock of the region.
The water truly is crystal clear. Once the sediment and sand are kicked up a bit it can be a bit
hazy but when you first get in it’s basically transparent, making it a dream to snorkel in. There
are two main areas at the Chemka Hot Spring. The first area is the open canal and small lagoon.
Here you can find dead trees under the water, cat-fish, and the small fish that nibble at your feet
when you dip your toes in. The light rays that stream through this region during the middle of
the day is truly phenomenal. This part of Chemka Hot Springs is where all the action happens
with trees to jump off and several levels of rope-swings to attempt if you are up for it. The water
is quite deep but you still need to take care of your landing position and style as you are only
working with a couple of meters of depth. If you are really adventurous, you can climb up the tree
(opening scene of my video above) and jump down into the hot spring. I always wait to see what
the locals are up to and then follow suit. The guys who work and hang out at the hot spring are
basically an acrobatic troupe and were keen to show me all the highlights of the hot spring and
also the ins and outs of the rope swing and jumps. you will nbe happy to give them a small tip for
sharing their local knowledge and good vibes throughout the day.
The second area is the large lagoon, where you can lay about in the sun and explore the
underwater cave if you are capable of free-diving down 5-6 meters to inspect the depths of the
CHEMKA HOT SPRINGS FACILITIES
On your kikuletwa Hot Spring daytrip you actually have the entire set-up. You’ll find multiple
food and drink vendors who are cooking a local-style charcoal barbecue as well as selling other
meals, drinks, and alcohol. We also enjoyed a fresh coconut to keep us hydrated. Throughout
the small complex, there are many chairs and tables set-up to relax with your group of friends
beneath the shade of the huge trees that tower over the hot springs. A toilet block and a
changing area (made of palm leaves) are available so you can get in and out of your swimming
gear before and after you enjoy the hot springs. All of the vendors and local guides at the hot
springs were very friendly and we felt comfortable leaving our cameras and gear on the table
while we swam but be safe with your gear as you never know.