Trip to Lake Natron

Between the 2 weeks we were working we took a little trip to Lake Natron, an hour or so from the village we were staying in. Lake Natron is near an active volcano, Lengai Volcano- it is pretty impressive and we saw it smoking as it often does. This trip contained several highlights of which I will describe in chronological order and as I can remember them.

On the drive to the campsite we were staying at, a tire went flat and we stopped to change it. As a mix of 8 Americans and Tanzanians piled out of a land cruiser a family came over to us. By family, I mean 4 wives and their gaggle of kids. First, they kept on trying to sell us jewelry, but after declining multiple times and them realizing that we would not be purchasing anything they put some necklaces on us and we started dancing in a circle. It was really quite an experience and something really special to see!

Sadly, there are no pictures because as soon as someone took out a camera and the ladies freaked out, as most people in villages do.

We are camping at this paradise resort on the water had a pool, which is almost unheard of for Africa and had western style toilets! Anyway, it was over 200 dollars a night to stay in their little rooms, obviously we didn’t and we camped out

After setting up our tents and such we went for a brief hike to a waterfall.  It was over 40 degrees Celsius, which is way over 100F and we were in the middle of the dessert.  We hiked for 30 minutes and came across this beautiful waterfall that ran into a pool of water that we could swim in.

Also, it really makes you amazed at nature- that in the midst of desert where you think there is nothing water comes out of nowhere and brings life and allows for people to have a lively hood.

We ventured over to Lake Natron which is one of only two breeding grounds in the world for flamingos. Flamingos need lakes that are full of elements that only volcanic ash provides, so Lake Natron is perfect for this. As you drive towards the lake you see a ton of pink in the distance and as you get closer you can see that there are just thousands of flamingos- it is incredibly impressive and one of these moments when you think, “ Wow, I’m actually seeing this”!

That evening we ate dinner at a restaurant slash “night club”, that really was just an outdoor shack as most restaurants and stores in village type areas are. But after we ate dinner local music came on. I do in fact love this music, it is a mix of rap, reggae, and like Caribbean beats- it’s really quite good!

Rachel F.

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