Here the dry, desolate and hauntingly beautiful landscape and flamingoes are the attraction. Home to 2.5 million Lesser Flamingo, Lake Natron is the birds only breeding ground in East Africa. The soda lakes alkaline nature and caustic environment protects the important breeding ground for the birds by preventing predators trying to reach their nests. The beautiful deep reds of the open water of the lake, and pink and orange colors of the shallow parts of the lake are due to the salt loving microorganisms that thrive in the spring water. These microorganisms turn surface of the lake into an alkaline salt encrusted fusion of color.
Ol Doinyo Lengai, the sacred Maasai Mountain of God, provides a striking reminder that the earth’s forces are still very active in this area. The mountain is the only active volcano on planet that erupts carbonatite lava. This lava ash can turn into a calcium rich hardpan as tough as cement after being rained upon. Tree roots cannot penetrate this layer, and the essentially treeless plains of the Serengeti, which lie to the west and down wind of Ol Doinyo Lengai, are the result.
Close by there is a beautiful gorge walk to the Engaresero waterfalls for a cooling swim.
All these attractions combined together and the opportunity to experience Maasai culture in the local villages, all make Natron an enchanting place to break a safari for two or three days.
Best Time to Go
- Best time to go: September through to December for wonderful displays of flamingos: do weather climbing Lengai.
- High Season: September through December.
- Low Season: April and May – peak of the wet season.
- Best Weather: July and August as it is cooler.
- Worst Weather: April and May can be very wet and the road in bad conditions.
- An excellent time for walking tours around the lake, and also for trekking up Ol Doinyo Lengai.
- The coolest months are June through August.
- The flamingos of Natron lay their eggs normally during the end of the dry season in September and October.
- Can be very windy.
- Flamingo hatching starts in the early parts of the wet season, and climaxing by December.
- The short and long wet spring season from November to May with hot humid spells in January and February, though, brings new life to the area around Lake Natron.
- If you plan to visit during the wet season you may also consider that roads and trails to and around Lake Natron may be more difficult to traverse, and this could affect the convenience and availability of activities.
- Can be very windy.