The lake Natron famously known as the red lake as it can turns animals into the stone is located on the northern part of Tanzania on the border of Kenya near the great East Africa rift valley.it is the soda lake that is located on the base of the Ol Donyo Lengai volcanic It is famously named this way because of its alkaline nature with the PH of 10.5, the lake is very rich with soda and salt minerals hence can burn the animals that are not acquainted with water. The lake Natron is the home of over millions of the red flamingos mostly during the dry season they flock on the shores of this Lake.
High evaporation happens here that leaves the high level of sodium carbonate decahydrate and trona sodium sesquicarbonate dehydrate. At some point the alkaline level of this lake can rise up to 12 pH. The lake covers the total area of 56 kilometers longs and 24 kilometers wide and the water level differs due the evaporation process hence the level of water is normally low during the dry season since there is high rate of evaporation, the evaporation process is normally high on the month of June to October which are the dry seasons in Tanzania. Its surface is cover with the pinkish-white soda crust that looks beautiful for the photo taking activity. The water comes from the hot spring and river but the lake does not have drains out to sea or any other river such that the only way the lake water is through evaporation due to the shallow nature of the lake.
The area is attractive due to the large number of the volcanic implosion craters, numerous waterfalls and ravines with nesting places. The lake is also the breeding area for millions of the red flamingos, these flamingos feed on the spirulina algae. The other animals that can be spotted on the shores of Lake Natron includes the zebra, ostrich, fringed, eared Oryx, gazelles, lesser kudu as well as the golden jackals. It is also the home of other birds and the tilapia fish.
The bright red coloration of the lake is more attractive but not convincing enough for taking a deep swimming due to the alkaline nature of the water, but the water is so eye catching. The alkaline nature of the water cannot turn human beings into the stones hence one can try to swim but is not advised as the water won’t be so comfortable and when the water comes in contact with the open wound it so painful that can make you so much uncomfortable. The lake is considered as deadly and hence many people do not visit it so it’s less crowded. It is corrosive in nature hence can corrode the human skin when comes in contact with the water.
As for the flamingos their blessed with lots of feathers and hence their skin is covered by feather this is the feature that makes them survive on the red lake as the feathers are their protective mechanism against the salt minerals.
Most of the birds species cannot tolerate the salt nature of this lake hence they die when can in contact with the water of the red lake. As the birds comes in contact with water it’s not like they turn into stone immediately no, they dehydrate as times goes on that when they die also the dead birds and other animal species that die on the shores of this lake they get preserved with the salty water and hence becomes dry and that is why people take it as the lake that turns animals to stones as they remain preserved and dry. The dead dried animals because attractive and so photogenic since they are stuck in the exact same position.
Bird watching at the red lake, this activity hits differently on this lake not like in any other places. The flamingo walk will amaze the tourists as they spot the countless flamingos at the crater, it is best bird destination for the bird enthusiasts especially the once that are found of the flamingos as here are found millions of them. The walk towards the bird watching activity normal takes place in the evening and early morning.
Hiking to the Enga Sero waterfalls, on the visit to the lake Natron the hiking of the Enga Sero waterfalls should be on the bucket list. Having fun hiking up the water falls and relaxing while watching the water falls is one of the unforgettable and amazing experience. The hiking can take half or full day, having parked lunch tastes different and even better Enga Sero waterfalls as you eat while listening to the heavy roaring of the water falls. The place to take the amazing waterfalls is here, at the top of the water falls provides you the impressive photo opportunity and also majestic views of the lake Natron.
Visit Oldonyo Lengai is volcanic mountain named by the famous natives the Maasai, the name Oldonyo Lengai means the mountain of God. On your trip to Lake Natron please do not forget to hike this mountain. On the peak of this mountain there is the most amazing scenery of the lake Natron on the day that the sky is clear the spectacular and clear view of the Kilimanjaro Mountain is also enjoyed. The mountain is found on the southern end of the Great Rift Valley.
Experience the Maasai culture, as part of the experience on the tour to the Lake Natron meet the famous tribe in Tanzania that has managed to preserve most of its cultural activities to date. The tourists have the opportunity to interact with the local Maasai people, as they discover the life style as well as their cultural activities. Visit the Maasai Bomas, this the name of their homes as they live as the big clan in one compound famously named as Bomas. The Maasai warriors also perform to the tourism as they are dancing style is very unique as the dance with sticks and compete to jump higher so as to win the ladies hearts.
The Maasai women as also famous as they make the most attractive traditional materials with the exceptional art styles. They make the famous beaded jewelries necklaces, earing which are also exposed for sale. This tour is important as you have the opportunity to grab some gifts for your loved ones when you get back home. The famous Maasai tribe are mainly pastoralist as they mainly keep cows mostly, goats as well as sheep.
Guided walks makes the tour to the Lake Natron exceptional , walking around the destination includes walking to the hominid footprints at the Lake natron where the foot print of human of about 5000 to 12000 years at the mud can be seen as they are well preserved. The other walking activities can occur on the Ngara Sero gorge as well as on the forest where giraffes can be spotted.
Family picnic or friend’s picnic at the Red Lake, the rift valley hiking trail will lead you to the most beautiful picnic sites on top of Oldonyo Lengai. Hiking on the rift valley wall on foot after the picnic lunch or breakfast is the one of the amazing activity as you pick another route on the valley on your way down.