Top 13 Facts about the Pink Lake in Senegal
Africa has a lot of strange places in the world, from the hottest desert to the largest waterfall. However, there is one place that doesn’t share the same recognition as the other locations, and that is Senegal’s pink lake!
Lake Retba (Popularly known as the ‘Pink Lake’ or ‘Lac Rose’ is located in Cap-Vert Peninsula Senegal, Northwest Africa. This wondrous lake lies 30 km northeast of the capital, Dakar.
Senegal’s coral lake isn’t blue, or brown, it is an astonishing bring pink! This lake obtains its distinct color from the Dunaliella salina bacteria, which is attracted by the lake’s salt content.
This bacteria produces a red pigment with which it absorbs the sunlight thereby giving Lac Rose its unique pink color.
This vibrant pink tint is mostly displayed during the dry season. This period starts in November and ends in the late days of June.
Lake Retba has been an increasingly popular tourist delight in this West African city over the years.
This astonishing lake has a uniquely high Salt content!
The salt content of Lake Retba exceeds 40% salinity in some parts, that’s one of the highest percentages in the whole world!
Men once used to fish in the lake but by the 1970s, in response to ongoing droughts and economic hardship, locals began to collect and sell salt to supplement their families’ income.
Anglers who enter the lake have to use cocoa butter before entering the lake!
“As a harvester, if you don’t put shea butter on your skin, the salt will damage it and cut you. The longer you stay inside the lake, the larger the salty water makes your wounds. If you do not cover those wounds with shea butter, they will become worse.” Moussa Fame, salt harvester.
With a depth of only three meters, Fame paddles to his chosen area using a long stick to push against the bottom of the lake.
Tourists from all over the world have been visisiting the lake for decades. If you plan to head over to Senegal, then Lake Retba is a stop you must make!
Want to know more? Here are (13) Facts Senegal’s Pink Lake
1. The water is completely safe for drinking and swimming!
2. lake Retba is locally known as Lac Rose, and popularly known as the pink lake.
3. This lake is one of the main sources of Senegal’s salt extraction and distribution.
4. Lake Retba is demarcated from the Atlantic Ocean by just a narrow strip of land.
5. The ‘sand’ present at its shore is salt that was either extracted or push out from the lake.
6. The higher the salt percent present in the lake, the more it appears reddish pink. The highest salt percent recorded is 40%
7. It possesses high buoyancy. So you should have no trouble floating when swimming!
8. A few species of fish can be found in the lake. These fishes have evolved to survive in salt-rich water due to their ability to filter and pump out the extra salt from their gills.
9. People who go into the lake cover their selves with shea butter from the harsh sunlight and high salt content.
10. Around 1,000 people work on Lake Retba daily.
11. Due to the large workforce, over 45,000 tons of salt are harvested from the Lake on a daily basis.
12. Over 60% of the salt extracted is exported to other West African countries.
13. Lake Retba was originally a fresh water lake until the 1980s when severe drought caused the change in the composition of the water which became too salty.