Nature and outdoors

Wild Place: Lake Toba, Sumatra

Sumatra's huge lake, created during a volcanic explosion millions of years ago, offers spectacular views

Lake Toba is 100 kilometres long, up to 30 wide and 505 metres at its deepest. So ‘inland sea’ might be a better description.

It’s thought that the lake in North Sumatra, Indonesia, was created by the largest volcanic explosion in the past 25 million years, which spewed ash as far as Africa.

Around four hours’ drive from Medan, the lake is where you’ll also find the island of Samosir (which you can see in the distance), home to the local Batak people. 

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