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Lake Natron is a stunningly beautiful alkaline lake located in northern Tanzania, at the base of the active Ol Doinyo Lengai volcano. It is known for its unique ecosystem and its bright red color, which is caused by the presence of salt-loving microorganisms called haloarchaea. The lake is also an important breeding ground for lesser flamingos, which can be seen in hundreds of thousands at certain times/seasons of the year.
Lake Natron is part of the East African Rift Valley System and is fed by several rivers, including the Ewaso Ng’iro and the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro. The lake is surrounded by the beautiful volcanic landscape of the Great Rift Valley and is located near several important natural reserves, including the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area.
The area around Lake Natron is home to several Maasai villages, and visitors can learn about the local culture and way of life. The lake and its surroundings are also a popular destination for hiking and camping, with several trails and campsites available.
Things to do
Lake Natron is one of the best places in East Africa to see flamingos. The lake is home to up to 2.5 million lesser flamingos, which come to the lake to breed and feed on the algae that grow in the alkaline waters. Visitors can take a boat tour of the lake or hike to the nearby breeding grounds to see these beautiful birds up close.
The area around Lake Natron is a paradise for hikers, with several trails that offer stunning views of the lake and the surrounding volcanic landscape. One of the most popular hikes is the climb to the summit of Ol Doinyo Lengai (2960m / 9711ft), which is an active volcano that last erupted in 2008. The hike is challenging but rewarding, with panoramic views of the Great Rift Valley and the surrounding plains.
Visitors to Lake Natron can learn about the local Maasai culture and way of life. The Maasai people are semi-nomadic pastoralists who have lived in the area for hundreds of years. They are known for their distinctive dress and their close relationship with their cattle. Visitors can take a guided tour of a Maasai village and learn about their traditional way of life.
Lake Natron has several campsites where visitors can pitch their tents and spend the night under the stars. The campsites offer basic facilities, including toilets and showers, and some also have restaurants and bars. Camping is a great way to experience the beauty and tranquility of the lake and its surroundings.