Lake Natron is a shallow sliver of hyper-alkaline water best known as the primary nursing ground for East Africa’s 2.5 million lesser flamingos. The southern lakeshore is towered over by the volcanic Ol Doinyo Lengai, the Maasai ‘Mountain of God’. Fringed by salt-encrusted flats and black volcanic protrusions, this remote and brooding 1,040-square-kilometre soda lake lies below the active volcano Ol Doinyo Lengai among the most primal and inhospitable of African landscapes.
Your driver-guide will pick you up at your hotel in Arusha in the morning and drive for about 2 hours before leaving the main road. The ride will take you over bumpy paths, through remote Maasai areas with stunning views of the ‘mountain of God’ Ol Doinyo Lengai and if you’re lucky you might even see some zebra’s, giraffe or other wildlife.
The drive takes around 4-5 hours in total (you’ll stop for lunch) and once you arrive at the entrance gate of Lake Natron area, a local Maasai guide will escort you to your accommodation. Visiting this whole area without a local guide is not allowed, so any excursion you do will be in his presence. You’ll check-in and have time to freshen up, after which you’ll head to the lake.
Accompanied by your local guide, you’ll explore the lake on foot. The ground is quite slippery and muddy, so be prepared to slowly slide over it in order to avoid falling. It’s very shallow for quite some time though, so it’s up to you to see how far you want to go to get close to the flamingos. We’ll stay until sunset, as this is the time when the flamingos are most active, looking for food. After the visit, you’ll return to your accommodation, where dinner will be served.
The days start early today, as we want to hike to a nearby waterfall before it gets to warm and leave enough time to comfortably get back to Arusha before it gets too dark. The hike takes about 1 to 2 hours and takes you through the beautiful landscapes surrounding Lake Natron. Get ready to get wet, as you’ll have to cross the river a few times! Once you finish your hike, you’ll start heading back to Arusha for another 4 hours. Lunch will be provided on the way.