Weird Places: Lake Natron, Tanzania

Weird Places Lake Natron Tanzania
Weird places Lake Natron Tanzania

Weird Places Lake Natron Tanzania | Weird Places, episode 3: Lake Natron in the Arusha region of Tanzania, close to Kenya. That’s actually not too far away from Mt. Kilimanjaro. Lake Natron is a truly strange place because of high levels of natron and trona in the water. As we all know, water should better be around about pH-neutral (7). Otherwise we can’t drink it. A very high alkalinity makes the water of Lake Natron reach a pH greater than 12. That’s just too much. Animals die from this and get mummified. Petrified bats and birds are regularly found washed ashore here.

The average temperature of the water is 55 degrees celsius. High alkali salt content and high temperatures make Lake Natron inhospitable. Amazingly some birds and even fish survives in these conditions. Slightly less salty water at the edge of the lake provide home for flamingoes, other birds, fish and endemic microorganisms. Not a top tourist destination for sure. Beautiful to look at though.

Truly weird Lake Natron, Tanzania

Lake Natron Tanzania
Lake Natron Tanzania: A weird place.

Lake Natron is unique and worth to be protected. Unfortunately it belongs to one of the 10 poorest countries on earth. A real threat to Lake Natron is a proposed development of a soda ash factory on its shores. This plant would pump water from Lake Natron and extract sodium carbonate. It’s a base for washing powder. Possible earnings from tourism will not exceed those ones coming from a washing powder factory.

Lake Natron Tanzania
Lake Natron Tanzania: Animals get mummified from the poisonous water.

The lake has inspired the poetic nature documentary The Crimson Wing: Mystery of the Flamingos by Disneynature, for its close relationship with the lesser flamingoes as their only regular breeding area.

Book a hotel in the Arusha Region of Tanzania
Book a hotel in the Arusha Region of Tanzania

Weird Places Lake Natron Tanzania. By Chili and Chirp | © International Destinations. Header photo by Steve Garvie from Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland – Lesser Flamingo flock uploaded by Snowmanradio. CC BY-SA 2.0 -> Lesser Flamingos. Visit other weird places -> Japan | Salton Sea | Lake Natron | Iceland.