Tour Lake Natron in Tanzania

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Lake Natron in Tanzania offers a unique combination of stunning natural beauty and diverse wildlife. Situated in northern Tanzania, Lake Natron is found on the border with Kenya, alongside the Gregory Rift. As part of the East African Rift System, Lake Natron covers 1,040 square kilometres and is a Salt Lake and its dammed-up river.  The area around the shore is often described as ‘barren and featureless plain’. Lake Natron is also home to a variety of wildlife and a fascinating but bleak and rugged landscape. Surrounding the lake is the Ngare Sero mountain range and to the southwest lies another striking Ol Doinyo Lengai – Volcano.

The climate here makes it such a significant location and National Park. 35% of the lake consists of soda and hot mineral water, which it has been feared for some it may erupt. It is also a vital habitat for algae, which gives the lake its characteristic red colour. Because of these harsh conditions and the endemic species able to live there, the lake has been given the classification of a Ramsar site. On top of this, the entire area became a national wildlife conservation area in 2001 and is still under the protection of Tanzania National Parks today. Such a special area might be expected to have a fascinating history. Lake Natron has been a recurrent theme in the long-term history of the region and an important aspect of the lives of many groups of people – the Masai, including animals.

Birds such as the Flamingos use the lake as a breeding ground, and it is an essential part of Maasai history and culture. Today Lake Natron plays a major role in the Tanzanian economy, attracting tourists from around the world as well as being used to support the about 1.6 million heads of cattle and other vital agriculture. The evaporation of Lake Natron and the deposition of minerals have been turning the alkaline lake into dry land. However, the activities of a mining company in the area are damaging the fragile ecosystem of the lake in turn. This however is affecting the wildlife and the Maasai people. Ergo, the cultural aspect, the number of species that are unique to the area, and the beauty of the landscape combined make Lake Natron a truly ‘must-see’ location.

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