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Pink Lake Retba at Senegal, Africa

Lake Retba


Near the capital city of  Senegal there is an unusual lake that will surely catch the unsuspecting visitor’s eye because of its unusual yet vivid pink colour.

Lake Retba or Lac Rose as it is known by the localities and separated only by some narrow dunes of sand from the Atlantic Ocean and  its salt content is very high. Its salinity content is similar to that of the Dead Sea and during the summer season it exceeds it.

Panormaic View

Its distinct pink colour is caused by the bacteria named Dunaliella salina  which is attracted by the lake’s salt content. These bacteria generates a red pigment in order to absorb the sunlight, thus giving the lake its unique reddish-pink colour. Its colour is especially visible during the dry season ,which lasts from November to June, and less during the rainy season (July-October).

Top View Of Lake Retba

Many living organisms are not able to survive in Lake Retba because of its high salt content, so it serves mainly as a tourist point and for salt production.

Intense Pink Color at Mid of the Day

In fact, if you decide to visit the lake, you will constantly see salt collectors working at the lake and the shores of Lake Retba are full of piles of collected salt. The salts are extracted by the local peoples by their hands from bottom of the lake and then these salts are transported to shores for fish preservation.

The area of the lake is only 3 square kilometers (about 1,1 square miles) and there is no major town developed along its shores.

When visiting the lake, you will be amazed by the contrast of the mountains of salt packed up next to the lake’s shore, the pink color of the lake’s water and the gold sand dunes on the other side of the Lac Rose.

The lake has been the finish point of the well-known Dakar Rally before it moved to South America.
Strawberry Colored 

The Dunaliella salina bacteria which gives the lake its distinct color is completely harmless to humans and swimming in the lake is possible are possible for human beings.

Locals who work on extracting salt from the lake use shea butter obtained from the shea nut tree.
Light Pink at Morning


Lake Retba is not the only pink lake in the world. There are other lakes near Baku, Azerbaijan or in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, but they are either small or not natural.

Lake Retba is not the only pink lake on the earth, Lake Hillier is an isolated one found Australia.

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