Lake Natron Arusha Tanzania
Breeding site for the prominent bird species called flamingo. Lake Natron in Africa is the Wetlands of International Importance and has been listed as a Ramsar Site due to its importance ecologically. Ramser sites is all the Wetlands of International Importance worldwide. We offer Tanzania safari & Oldoinyo Lengai trekking that includes Lake Natron
Lake Natron in Tanzania.
Lake Natron is a soda lake located in Northern Tanzania at the lowest point of the Great Rift Valley in the Eastern branch. The lake lies at the altitude of 600m above the sea level and bordering Kenya in the East. The lake is fed by mineral-rich hot springs but foremost by the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River. The levels of water changes due to the high level of evaporation but basically, the lake is shallow, less than three meters deep, and differs in width depending on its water level.
The high level of evaporation which always reduce its width and leave behind the mixture of salt and mineral called Natron. The Lake surrounding is dry with sand rivers, rock hills, Maasai steppe, classic flat-topped acacia and the active volcanic mountains Lengai and Gelai. The area receives irregular rain falls and the temperature in the lake can reach up to 60c (140F) depending on rainfall, and the alkalinity can reach a pH of 9 to 10.5. The lake falls within the Lake Natron Basin Wetlands of International Importance called Ramsar Site.
The high temperature in Lake Natron can go up to 60°C, the high and very variable salt content of this Lake does not support wildlife. However, the lake is the only breeding site for the Lesser Flamingos whose statues are of nearly threatened this is a consequence of their dependence on the single breeding location. Lake Natron is the safest breeding location because its caustic environment is a barrier against predators trying to reach their nests on seasonally forming evaporates islands. Greater Flamingo also breeds in this area on the mud flats.
With abundance of white-lipped or alkaline tilapia (Oreochromis alcalicus) which appears to be endemic to saline rift valley lakes, as well as A. ndalalani; A. alcalica presence in the lake ( but not endemic), thrive in the waters at the edges of the hot spring inlets, Spirulina (a blue-green algae with red pigments) and others provide enough food for the flamingos. Lake Natron is an amazing place you can engage yourself in various activities like bird watching, walking safari, Masai visit or a short hike along the gorge in the rift escapement to Engaresero waterfalls.
The oasis which looks like a natural jacuzzi at the base of the falls overshadowed by the rocks and epiphytes hanging above is great and it is the best place to take a dawn stroll out to the edge of Lake Natron and watch the sun come up over the immense landscapes.
Because of its unique biodiversity, Tanzania named the Lake Natron Basin to the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance on July 4, 2001. The lake is also the World Wildlife Fund East African halophytes ecoregion. Please let us know if you wish to include Lake Natron visit during your Tanzania safaris.
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