Flora & Fauna Lake Natron

We are building up this section now with the help of ecologists to help identify and provide links to sources of info for those interested in the local flora and fauna. Did you know we have endemic fish right in front of us in the natural springs? Our wildebeest are also different from those you find in the Serengeti and right on our doorstep is the largest breeding colony of Lesser flamingoes in Africa!

Overview
Lengai, our intense climb and active volcano, dominate the ecology of this region. Natrocarbonatite lava is found everywhere and sand and ash, laden with sodium and potassium carbonates, finds it way in to everything!
Right in front of camp there is a natural spring. It contains quite a lot of soda (carbonates from Lengai) and so feels quite soapy to the touch. This spring is a real haven of life and is fresh enough to allow lots of different forms of life to thrive – we even filter and drink water from this source! Grasses and sedges (Cyperus Laevigatus) also thrive and in turn provide sustenance to a wide range of invertebrates and larger animals too. With all this life we have larger reptiles such as monitor lizards and pythons and a potentially endemic sub species of the black necked red spitting cobra (Naja pallida). In the evenings we often here our local hyaena whooping and very rarely a lion wanders over from Gelai – it’s been a while long time though.. The bird life is prolific, and once the palearctic migrants comes pouring down the rift it is the place to be. The lake, famous for the flamingo populations, is where blue green algae thrives and provides food for the flamingo as well as other organisms. That amazing red you can see in the lake is the red pigment in the algae. There are wide open plains behind camp too – lots of different grass mice and rodents to keep soaring raptors well fed and we’ve seen wild cat, serval and even a golden cat in the nearby acacia and Salvadora persica woodlands.

More to come and your photos would be gratefully received!