Shimmering lake with millions of flamingos
Lake Natron is a rugged and remote place of extraterrestrial beauty, northeast of the Ngorongoro crater.
Lake Natron is one of the many shallow salty lakes in the Great Rift Valley area with fantastic views of the Ol’Doinyo Lengai volcano.
- Surface 1.040 km2
- Best travel season June to October
- Spring rain season Around April
- Fall rain seasonAround November
About Lake Natron
Walks around the lake in the volcano landscape, the streams and waterfalls ensure an amazing adventure off the beaten track.
Landscape of Lake Natron
Lake Natron is a salt or soda lake in the Arusha region of Tanzania. It’s located in the Gregory Rift, the eastern branch of the East African Rift.
The Natron lake is mainly fed by water from the southern Ewaso Ng’iro river and mineral-rich hot springs. The shallow lake is no more than 3 meters deep at its deepest point.
Climate & season
The climate at Lake Natron is mild and temperate. The average temperatures are consistent throughout the year. During the day it is never too hot, at night and in the morning it is nice and cool. We advise you to bring warm clothing for a walk in the morning.
June to October
The afternoon temperatures are usually around 24 degrees. Beautiful skies and sunshine are common. It is possible that the short rains start in October. The average evening / night / morning temperature is around 14 degrees, but close to freezing is also possible.
November and December
This is the 30-day period with the short rains, with afternoon showers. It rarely rains all day, so it won’t have much impact on your trip. Daytime temperatures are around 27 degrees, in the night and early morning around 16 degrees.
January and February
These are the dry months between two rainy seasons.
March to May
Although it rains daily in these wettest months, it rarely rains all day. Clouds are usually present. The maximum day temperature is around 26 degrees, 16 degrees at night. Closer to the freezing point is sometimes also possible.
1. Lake Natron is a shallow salt lake (also known as an alkaline or soda lake), 58 km long and 22 km wide. The lake is 600 meters high and is at its deepest point a maximum of three meters deep.
2. Due to evaporation, Lake Natron has a high concentration of sodium (sodium carbonate decahydrate) and trona (sodium sesquicarbonate dihydrate). The alkalinity of the lake can reach a pH of more than 12. A caustic brine.
3. As the water from the lake evaporates during the dry season, the salt levels increase, causing salt-loving micro-organisms to thrive. The pigment in the cyanobacteria colors the more deep red, orange and sometimes pink.
4. The millions of flamingos feed on spirulina, the blue-green algae with red pigments. This also gives them their own beautiful color. The rosier the healthier.
5. Lake Natron is a safe breeding ground because the caustic environment forms a barrier against predators trying to reach their nests.
6. Seventy-five percent of all smaller flamingos in the world are born on Lake Natron.
7. Flamingos are completely balanced on one leg and do that to save energy.
The fascinating lunar environment of Lake Natron invites you to explore.
The ultimate way to do this is on foot. From short walks to a multi-day climb of the volcano Ol ‘Doinyo Lengai
Animals in the area
Despite the high temperature (up to 60 degrees) of the water and the high salinity, Lake Natron is home to endemic algae, invertebrates, birds and some fish.
Lake Natron is the gathering place for millions of flamingos from June to November.
An exciting scene.
Dieren overzicht Lake Natron
- Diverse bird species
Stays at Lake Natron
At Lake Natron you can enjoy a few days of rest.
Away from everything and everyone with a good book and your feet in a clear pool of water.