Lake Natron Northern Tanzania

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Lake Natron is a salt lake located in northern Tanzania, close to the Kenyan border, in the eastern branch of Africa's Great Rift Valley. The lake is fed by the Ewaso Ng'iro River but also by mineral-rich hot springs and is quite shallow, less than three meters (10 feet) deep, and varies in width depending on its water level, which changes due to high levels of evaporation, leaving high levels of salt and other minerals.

Natron is located in the southwest of Ngorongoro Conservation Area , as other people call it Maasai land and northern Maasai Steppe (Tarangire).

It is a soda lake with extreme alkalinity since some of its water leaks through the lava flow of the nearby active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai.

Ol Donyo being South of the active volcano while Serengeti National Park in the west above the rift valley escarpment.

At times, there are several hundred thousand flamingos on and near the lake making for a wonderful spectacle.

Natron is one of the most important breeding grounds for flamingos in the world.

The vast area of the northern Maasai Steppe is famous for its great concentrations of Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, Grant's and Thompson's Gazelle, Fringe-eared Oryx, Coke's Hartebeest, White-bearded Wildebeest.

The weather is significantly hotter here then at most other northern Tanzania destinations but the scenery is striking and unlike anywhere else.

Most visits to Lake Natron include a brief visit to Engaruka Ruins: a mysterious complex of stone ruins, consisting of 7 abandoned villages with an astoundingly complex irrigation system of canals and damns that supported 5000 people.

Little is known of Engaruka's original inhabitants and archeologists are still puzzled.

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