• Flamingos at Lake Natron

Lake Natron Safari Area

Shimmering amid the sun-scorched Kenyan border northeast of Ngorongoro Conservation Area, this 58 km-long but just 50cm-deep alkaline lake should be on every adventurer’s itinerary. The roads pass through untraveled Maasai land, with small bomas and big mountains often in view in a wild, cauterised landscape.


Lake Natron is located in northern Tanzania on the border with Kenya, near the Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and is dominated by the sacred mountain of the Masai, Ol Doinyo Lengai. The lake is a breeding ground for thousands of flamingos, which feed on algae in the lake. The volcanic active area around the lake has numerous waterfalls and gorges.

In total, the lake is about 60 km long and 20 km wide, but since it is mainly fed by rainfall, its extent varies greatly. At the height of the dry season it can shrink to about 1 km width. Sometimes the shallow lake dries up completely and leaves a white salt crust. Accordingly, the area of the soda lake varies between 800 square kilometers at the end of the rainy season and one square kilometer towards the end of the dry season, depending on how much rain has fallen in the region.


Flamingos are the only more highly developed creatures that can settle in the hot, stuffy world of Lake Natron, thanks to the algae growing rapidly in the fresh water with no runoff. Most of the flam population use Lake Natron as a safe breeding ground

When to visit

It’s very hard to predict the arrival of the migratory flamingos. Due to the increasing road quality a visit all year round (even during the big rains) is now possible.

Ol Doinyo Lengai Mountain near Lake Natron
A Maasai woman transporting goods with the help of donkeys, with a traditional Maasai Village in the background

Lake Natron Safari Map

Lake Natron Map

Travel Times Lake Natron

Lake Natron -> Arusha: ~ 5h drive
Lake Natron -> Tarangire: ~5h drive
Lake Natron -> Ngorongoro ~3h drive
Lake Natron -> Lake Manyara: ~4h drive

Lake Natron Facts

Lake Area: 1 up to 800 km²

Travel: 250 km from Arusha

Established: 2009 (as WMA)

Visitors: no statistics available

Animals to see

  • Great number of Flamingos
  • Other bird species
  • Maasai livestock:
  • Goats
  • Sheep
  • Cattle
  • Donkeys

Optional activities

  • Bird watching
  • Walking safari to the waterfalls
  • Ol Doinyo Lengai Hiking
  • Traditional Maasai village visit

Interested to see itineraries that include Lake Natron Safari Area?

See our Safari tours below