Explore Lake Ngozi / Ngosi : With hundreds of visitors each year, Lake Ngosi, the second-largest Crater Lake in Africa, is the most popular tourist destination in Tanzania’s Southern Highlands’ Rungwe area. A stunning crater lake called Lake Ngonzi may be located in Tanzania’s Mbeya area, 38 kilometers from Mbeya City. Lake Ngozi is a “crater lake,” being the second largest in Africa and measuring about 2.5 km long, 1.6 km wide, and roughly 75 m deep (although estimates range widely from 50 m to 300 m). Its surroundings, like the Ngorongoro Crater, were formed by catastrophic volcanic activity. It is a portion of the Poroto Ridge, which rises to a height of 2620 meters along the greater crater rim. A caldera is formed when a volcano erupts and then collapses in on itself. According to legend, Ngozi was formed 12000 years ago after a Plinian eruption (an eruption which ejects a large amount of pumice with very powerful continuous gas explosions).
Despite the placid appearance of the stunning surroundings and the absence of volcanic activity in the region for thousands of years, Lake Ngozi emits a sizable amount of CO2 and exhibits symptoms of the potential for a limnic eruption (an eruption that can produce a noxious cloud of volcanic gas). Then come local myths about the lakes’ lethal potency (which include a 12-headed snake that protects German colonial treasure).
The myths and local stories that surround Lake Ngozi are some of the lake’s most fascinating features. The lake and its surroundings are not only well-known for their breathtaking beauty and diverse, unique animals.
According to the Nyakyusa People, an ethnic group in this region of southern Tanzania, a Sharman by the name of Lwembe was driven from his native town of Ukwama after the locals became tired of his cunning deception. He is alleged to have run off to a location close to the water. Every time they grazed close, cows started to vanish; people also started going missing. The Nyakyusa elders made the decision to cast their own magic spells as they heated a large rock in a fire for three days before rolling it into the lake to drive away the devil. After that, the threat vanished.
Other legends claim that German soldiers from the colonial era deposited a sizable amount of loot into the lake’s waters and cast a spell to secure the gold and thwart anyone else’s attempts to retrieve it. Some claim that this also involves the release of toxic gases, although we now know that these gases may be related to the nearby volcanic activity. According to other versions of this folklore, the treasure is guarded by a 12-headed serpent that emerges from the ground on sunny days. It’s unclear whether there has ever been a treasure.
Despite all of these grizzly tales, there is an abundance of species in the sea itself. The lake hosts a wide variety of vegetation (albeit less than some of the crater lakes around Mbeya) and unusual terrestrial creatures in addition to fish and other marine species, possibly including that snake.
HOW TO GET TO LAKE NGOZI
The Ngozi Lake is accessible by road after a 50-minute hike from the park’s entrance. You can take a bus (or your own vehicle) from Mbeya to the Tukuyu-Lake Malawi Junction and proceed to the right. You will see road signs for the Ngozi crater on the right after traveling 10 kilometers along that route. There can be a fee to enter the trail leading to the lake, as well as a fee for the crew to watch over the automobile (if you have one). Make sure to have a little bit of cash on hand—say, $20—as they vary frequently.
Banana trees, enormous bamboos, and lush green bushes line every side of the track and Lake Ngozi. Although it can be steep and overgrown at times, a person of ordinary fitness shouldn’t find the trek itself to be too challenging. After 2.5 kilometers, the road splits; the right path ascends to the peak, while the left path descends to the water’s edge. When you reach the top, your efforts will have all been worthwhile. When the weather is warm, sunny, and clear, you can see all of Lake Ngozi, which is renowned for its vivid emerald green waters, Explore Lake Ngozi / Ngosi
Keep a lookout for the Black and White Colobus Monkey and Three-Horned Chameleon if you recently returned from a safari or have a passion for wildlife (the area is famous for these).
LAKE NGOZI VIEW
It is a green, shimmering lake surrounded by the caldera of the extinct Ngosi Volcano, which has fallen. The Uporoto Ridge Forest Reserve’s top is its highest point. An endangered three-horned chameleon lives in the wild (Chameleon fuelleborni). This magnificent caldera lake was created sometime during the Neocene era. The water is up to 75 meters deep, slightly brackish, and has some fish in it. For the locals, the lake has spiritual importance.
A caldera is a roughly elliptical depression created when the ceiling of a magma chamber falls inward onto the molten body below. It is a sizable spherical depression that was created when a volcano erupted violently.
It is estimated that the mountain and lake are one million years old. They are still an old volcano that has collapsed to create a sizable crater that is now filled with sparkling alkaline “soda” waters.
The lake’s waters are reputed to have mystical healing properties. In the common Kinyakyusa dialect, Ngosi denotes “The Big One.” Climbers who want to see this beautiful lake are rewarded with fantastic views from the top of the jagged crater rim, where the lake shimmers below with an overwhelming sense of tranquility and the countryside is punctured with the points of lesser volcanic peaks.
Upland grasslands and tropical forests are passed through on the way to the rim, where a miasma of birds seek sanctuary and Colobus monkey families chatter and play. After roughly 2.5 kilometers of walking through the forest, the path starts its ascent to the crater’s summit. The trail divides into two just before the top; the right-hand way ascends quickly to the peak, while the left-hand path descends to the water’s edge.