Lake Natron

Located near the border with neighbouring Kenya, in northern Tanzania, Lake Natron is situated in the northeast of the Ngorongoro Crater. The landscape is dominated by Ol Doinyo Lengai, an active volcano which is just south of Lake Natron. Reaching an alkalinity of over PH 12 and scorching temperatures up to 60⁰C, Lake Natron is an extremely hostile environment. However the lake’s pinkish waters are the only breeding ground in East Africa forn2.5 million lesser flamingos which have evolved to withstand the lake’s extremely high salt content, allowing them to breed in an area that is free from predators. Lake Natron has a maximum length of 56 kilometres and a width of 22 kilometres, primarily fed by the southern Ewaso Ng’iro river and by hot springs that are rich in minerals. The extreme alkaline levels in the lake is due to high concentration of natron which makes the surrounding landscape eerie due to it’s proximity to a deadly body of water, but it is rich with rare frola and fauna.

Best time to visit
The best time to visit lake Natron is during the cool season which is from late May to early November since these months the area is much cooler compared to any other time of year. The flamingos start to gather and amass from the months of August to October. Visiting during these months is and seeing the spectacular gathering is very exciting. The dry season is also good for hiking in the surrounding areas because paths can be treacherous to climb during wet season


Lake Natron is a birdwatchers paradise. It is the only breeding area for 2.5 million lesser flamingos. Their dependence on the location led the International Union for Conservation of Nature to give the flamingos status of “near threatened”
You can climb Ol Doinyo Lengai (meaning the “mountain of God”) from Lake Natron with an experienced guide because the climb is very steep and is best for people with experience in mountaineering. The climbing is usually completed during the night to avoid the scorching temperatures during daytime. Climbing at night will also give you an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful sunrise in the morning.
Other activities to enjoy at Lake Natron

  • Waterfalls
  • Maasai villages where you can get an opportunity to stay at a Maasai boma
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