Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai

Lake Natron & Ol Doinyo Lengai

In every legend there is a grain of truth, and Lake Natron feels like it could be the inspiration of the Gorgons of Greek mythology. High in alkaline and salinity, this rare body of water produces its namesake, natron, in high quantities and has the potential to strip ink off of boats in seconds.

While the surrounding area is perfect for walking safaris and exploration, the Lake itself is probably most well known for, morosely, seeming to turn animals into stone. Due to the high base levels in the water, any animals that die in the lake become calcified due to the chemical composition of the water.

Lake Natron is a breeding ground for thousands of lesser flamingos, despite the highly alkaline state of the striking red waters. The lake sits below a famous mount Ol Doinyo Lengai, a soaring active volcano in the great East Africa Rift Valley. Trails lead from the lake to the Engero Sero waterfalls, which flow over craggy rocks into a natural pool.

Ol Doinyo Lengai is a mountain of singular uniqueness – a place that stands out more than most even when surrounded by all the other enchanting sights of northern Tanzania. Known as the ‘Mountain of God’ to the Maasai people of the East African rift valley, Ol Doinyo Lengai is an iconic active volcano.

While its last major eruption was in 1966, the volcano continues to flow occasionally with its unique natrocarbonatite lava, the only place on the planet where the substance is produced. However, touring the volcano is quite safe and popular, especially when paired with a tour of nearby Lake Natron.

Photos from Lake Natron National Park


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