Africa Safari Lake Natron is in the East African valley’s deepest part, at an elevation of 600 meters (about 2000 feet) above sea level. This unique place experiences rapid water evaporation, producing remarkably high soda concentrations. Within this soda-rich environment, algae and zooplankton flourish, providing an abundant food source for numerous flamingos.
The remote and harsh soda mud flats create a secure breeding ground for flamingos and their adorable chicks. Scattered springs encompass the lake, with some offering freshwater sources vital for various animals, both large and small.
The Great Rift Valley stretches an impressive 5600 kilometers from northern Ethiopia to the southern reaches of Mozambique. This geological marvel is shaped by the gradual separation of two tectonic plates, causing the valley floor to descend while the surrounding valley walls, known as escarpments, remain standing.
The most prominent escarpment in this region is to the west, adding to the valley’s grandeur. The Great Rift Valley also boasts a collection of volcanoes and craters of varying ages. Notably, Oldoinyo Lengai, often called the “Mountain of God,” stands as the sole active volcano in Tanzania. The volcanic activity in the Great Rift Valley yields soda, primarily in the form of sodium carbonate, which is carried down by rain and groundwater.
Discover the Ultimate Africa Safari Lake Natron Experience
You’re in for a treat when you find yourself at Lake Natron Camp. This remarkable place offers an array of activities to make your stay unforgettable. Let’s delve into the top things to do while you’re here:
Swimming in Natural Plunge Pools
Take a refreshing dip in the natural plunge pools right in front of your accommodation or near the dining/bar area. Further downstream, you’ll find a larger pool perfect for swimming. And don’t forget to bring your goggles or ask our friendly team for a pair.
Lake Natron is a special place for lesser flamingos, who choose to breed almost exclusively here. You can witness their beauty up close by taking early morning or sunset walks to the lake flats. Read more about the Lake Natron Flamingos.
The Lake Flats surrounding the water’s edge provide a variety of hospitable environments for birds that thrive in this alkali oasis. Enjoy morning or evening walks to the lake, pond, and marsh areas for some bird watching.
Explore the concession area and discover hominid footprints that are 120,000 years old, the oldest Hominid trackways ever discovered. It’s a fascinating journey back in time.
Ngare Sero Waterfalls
Embark on half or full-day walks to the Engare Sero gorge, where you’ll encounter several captivating waterfalls. The landscape here uniquely blends arid volcanic rocks and lush tropical palms. Remember to wear suitable shoes, carry a liter of water, and pack some snacks for the adventure.
Ngare Sero SOURCE Adventure Hike
Don’t miss the river’s source for a full-day hiking experience deep into the Ngare Sero gorge. Bring along a picnic lunch and a minimum of 3 liters of water. It’s a great alternative to climbing Lengai, especially if the Lengai ascent is considered too challenging.
The Rift Valley Day Hike
This thrilling 6-hour, 10-km hike begins at dawn, taking you to the base of the Rift Valley wall. Scale the wall on foot and ascend close to the Ngare Sero gorge, where you’ll witness a stunning dawn. Bring a picnic breakfast along and revel in the dramatic views from the top. Depending on the time, you can choose to descend a different route or retrace your steps.
Sundowner with a View
A 10-minute drive will transport you to the top of a nearby hill. Enjoy a delightful sundowner with a breathtaking view of Lake Natron, the majestic Lengai and Gelai mountains, and the mesmerizing sunset behind the Great Rift Valley’s escarpment.
Visit Maasai Boma During Your Africa Safari Lake Natron Stay
The Great Rift Valley region is home to the Maasai people, and you can get a glimpse of their unique way of life by visiting their bomas. The central village, Engare Sero, is just a few kilometers to the west at the base of the escarpment. Engare Sero means “dappled water,” aptly describing the river flowing through this spectacular, arid, lush gorge.
With these incredible activities, your stay at Lake Natron Camp promises to be an adventure you’ll cherish forever. Embrace the wonders of nature, culture, and history in this remarkable part of the world.
Can you swim in Lake Natron?
Swimming in Lake Natron, located in Tanzania, is not a typical or recommended activity. Lake Natron is known for its extremely high alkalinity and high concentrations of sodium carbonate and other minerals. The water has a pH level of around 10.5 to 12, which is highly alkaline and can be caustic to human skin and eyes. Swimming in Lake Natron can be hazardous, as it can cause skin and eye irritation and lead to burns or other health issues.
Additionally, the lake’s high mineral content can make it inhospitable to most aquatic life, and it is known for its bright red and orange colors, which are caused by the presence of microorganisms and algae.
Lake Natron is more of a curiosity for its unique geological and ecological features rather than a destination for recreational activities like swimming. If you do visit Lake Natron, it’s essential to exercise caution, adhere to local guidelines and restrictions, and avoid any direct contact with the water.
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