Located on the border between Tanzania and Kenya, Lake Natron is notable for the high concentration of sodium carbonate in its waters. Only a few species of animals can survive the caustic water that reaches pH 10.5 just before the rains arrive. Combined with temperatures that regularly exceed 50°C, the environment is not hospitable but lesser flamingo and alkaline tilapia are two species which thrive in the absence of competition. Every year, half a million flamingo breed on tiny mounds that they make in the middle of this shallow lake. The birds know that predators will not risk walking on the thin salt crust. It is the only known breeding ground of this bird and as such is very important. However, the proposed building of a huge soda ash plant will alter the salinity of the lake and force the birds to find alternative grounds if the project is realised.
The picture looks north from the southern salt flats, with some lesser flamingo in the middle distance.