Tanzania Alkaline Lake, Which Turns Animals Into the Stone

Lake Natron…the mysterious water body of Tanzania…

While visiting Tanzania people usually put the national parks, stunning visualizing volcano peaks in their bucket list to visit. However, the country is great for those who are looking for stunning water spots.

Tanzania Alkaline Lake

The country is rich with picturesque beaches along with some magically stunning lakes and Rivers. Amongst various lakes and Rivers one that captures the senses of many travelers is Tanzania’s Alkaline Lake; Lake Natron.  The lake is not only a great place to be in, but also it is quite mysterious which makes it more unique.

Where to spot Lake Natron?

Lake Natron or well known as Tanzania Red Lake is a lake that resides in the Arusha Region in Tanzania which is in the East African Rift. The main water source of the Lake is the Southern Ewaso Ng’iro River which is originated in Kenya.

The shallow lake is not very deep; it is around less than three meters, however, sometimes depending on the water level it can be 3 meters deep. The lake is 57km long and 22 km wide. The rainfall in the nearer area of the lake is the same as the whole country’s experience. The annual rainfall is around 800milimeter where the temperature of this Tanzania’s Alkaline Lake Natron remains 40 degrees Celsius always.

Lake Natron: The red lake Alkaline in Nature

The red Lake Alkaline In Nature

The small salty pool is a natural stun to witness. The Ol Doinyo Lengai plays an important role in filling this alkaline lake. The volcano mountain produces a molten mixture of sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate salts that moves via the ground and mix up in more than 20 hot springs. These hot springs get emptied into Tanzania Red Lake; Natron.

You usually won’t find many people roaming around the lake especially locals. Mostly you will find some wild or feathered species who are residing near the lake area. The lake is, however, considered as Deadly Lake in Tanzania but the warm, salty, and alkaline water hosts some great amount of bird & animal species.

Is it Harmful to Human?

Lake Natron Effect on human Life


The Lake came into notice worldwide after the great photographer Nick Brandt released some of his captures during his visit to the Lake Natron. Some of the images of the mummified birds that were captured by Nick Brandt just captured the senses of the world.

While visiting Africa, Nick stopped at the alkaline Lake and came across few dead animals on the shorelines of the Deadly Lake in Tanzania including some small mammals to some birds. Without knowing the reason how they died the photographer just captured them in his lenses. The dead birds floating on the lake create an imaginary effect like crashing on into the surface of the lake. The alkaline lake has alkalinity between pH 9 and pH 10.5. The lake is as alkaline as ammonia. The most animals can’t handle the salty water of this alkaline lake and it is believed this Tanzania Lake Turns Animals to stone. It is just because few bird species can’t tolerate the alkaline water and get dead in the shallow lake.

This deadly lake in Tanzania is also considered as deadly for humans too. This is the reason you won’t find many people around it (almost no crowd). The lake that gets deposited with sodium carbonate by the nearest volcano peak has a dangerous PH level between 9 and 10.5.

It is so corrosive that it can burn the skin and eyes of un-adapted animals and humans too. This oversaturated lake is, however, is home to lesser Flamingos. As the flamingos are blessed with leathery skin over their bodies and legs they are the only species who can tolerate the saltwater and live in the saline water. The lake is also home to some selected species of fish.

While planning your Tanzania Safari trip make sure to take a visit to this iconic red Lake. It is not only a scenic lake to explore, but also a great place to spend some peaceful moments without the crowd. Book your trip with us at travelpartners.co.tz to explore some of the exclusive points of Tanzania like the Alkaline Natron Lake.

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