Lake Natron is one of nature’s most fascinating sites. The only regular East African breeding ground for the Lesser Flamingo, the lake is one of the most important non-protected sites in all of Tanzania. The high water temperatures (reaching over 120° F) and high salt and mineral contents provide an environment perfect for microorganisms. These red algae are not only the primary diet for the flamingos, they also turn the lake to a beautiful ruby red color. As the waters evaporate, large red salt islands form in the lake. The salt islands are perfect nesting grounds for the flamingos, providing an environment that is safe from predators.
The moonscape around the lake is fascinating. Formed in part by the still active Ol Doiny Langai Volcano, the unique lava has characteristics unlike any other in the world. Unfortunately the unique minerals found in the area have lead to several proposed projects that could alter the lake, destroying the unique breeding ground for the 2.5 million Lesser Flamingos.
The lake is located along the Northern Tanzanian border about 125 miles from Arusha. The lake can be reached by car via badly maintained dirt roads (5 hours from Arusha). As there is no landing strip access by air is limited to helicopter.