Lake Natron is a salt and soda lake in the Arusha region ofnorthern Tanzania. The lake is close to the Kenyan border and is in the Gregoryrift, which is the eastern branch of the East African rift. The lake is withinthe lake Natron basin, a Ramsar site wetland of international significance.

Being a soda lake at the base of the active ol donyo lengai volcano,the area around lake Natron is often described as having a desolate and almostlunar beauty. Nearest towns to lake Natron are Arusha in Tanzania and Magadi inKenya. It is the most important breeding site for lesser flamingos in theworld.

The lake is fed principally by the southern ewaso ng’iro river, whichrises in central Kenya, and by mineral-rich hot springs. It is quite shallow,less than three meters (9.8 ft.) Deep, and varies in width depending on itswater level. The lake is a maximum of 57 kilometers (35 mi) long and 22kilometers (14 mi) wide. It is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it’salso the source of some of the most phantasmagorical photographs ever captured— images that look as though living animals had instantly turned to stone.

the alkaline water in lake Natron has a ph as high as 10.5and is so caustic it can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren’t adaptedto it. The water’s alkalinity comes from the sodium carbonate and otherminerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. And deposits ofsodium carbonate — which was once used in Egyptian mummification — also acts asa fantastic type of preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in thewaters of lake Natron.