This pink, alkaline lake is at the bottom of the Gregory Rift (part of the Great Rift Valley), touching the Kenyan border and about 250 km from Arusha. It is surrounded by escarp- ments and volcanic mountains, with a small volcano at the north end of the lake in Kenya, and the much larger volcano, Ol Doinyo Lengai, to the southeast of the lake . The lake is infrequently visited by tourists because of its remoteness but numerous Masai herd cattle around here. The route from Arusha is through an area rich with wildlife, depending on the season, particularly ostriches, zebra and giraffe.
The lake has an exceptionally high concentration of salts and gets its pink colour from the billions of cyano-bacteria that form the flamingo’s staple diet. There are hundreds of thousands of lesser flamingos here as this lake is their only regular breeding ground in East Africa. Often more of the birds are found here than at either Lake Magadi in Kenya or Lake Manyara. Lake Natron is also an important site for many other waterbird species, including palearctic migrants. A few kilometres upstream to the Ngare Sero River there are two waterfalls. Follow the river from the campsite: with the occasional bit of wading, it is a hike of about an hour.
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