Published on 16 October 2019
This week, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission takes us over two saline lakes in East Africa: the larger Lake Natron in northern Tanzania and the smaller Lake Magadi, just over the border in Kenya.
Lake Natron is around 60 km long and is fed mainly by the Ewaso Ng'iro River. Despite its dark colour in this image, Lake Natron is often bright red owing to the presence of microorganisms that feed on the salts of the water.
The saline waters make the lake inhospitable for many plants and animals, yet the surrounding salt water marshes are a surprising habitat for flamingos. In fact, the lake is home to the highest concentrations of lesser and greater flamingos in East Africa, where they feed on spirulina – a green algae with red pigments.
The extinct Gelai Volcano, standing at 2942 m tall, is visible southeast of the lake.