Lac Rose Senegal

Lac Rose (Pink Lake) or Lac Retba is supposed to be pink in color but when we went there, the water was blue grey (normal lake water color). What’s up? We wondered. It’s supposed to have a special kind of algae that makes the water pink. Is it the time of day? Will it be pink tomorrow? I wondered.

We noticed there were many dead fish washing up against the shore. Curious! Was there a mass suicide movement? Did someone overfish then toss the excess back into the lake? The dead fish were small, not the size humans would eat. Very odd.

There was a pool full of water and the level of the water in the pool is exactly the same as the level of water in the lake. Was it a hatchery gone wrong? All these things didn’t make much sense until we met someone who spoke a little English. It was just enough to understand what happened…

As it turned out, last year’s rainy season was a bit too extreme. The excessive rain water not only diluted the lake and caused it to lose its distinguished color, but it also flooded all the lakefront restaurants and establishments, including the pool at the campground where we were staying. Normally, Lac Retba has a very high salt content (up to 40%) and salt harvesting is big here. After last year’s flooding, the salinity of the water changed which killed a lot of fish. The lake’s maximum depth changed from 1.5 meters (~5 feet) to almost 3 meters (~10 feet) now. Our guide navigated by pushing the lakebed with a long pole. Despite all the changes, the lake and its ecosystem are still very beautiful and the birds are flourishing. Egret, heron, cormorant, kingfisher and many other birds are thriving. Watching them is super relaxing and joyful. The locals demonstrated the 3 granularities of salt occuring naturally in the lake; from large coarse crystals to fine salt powder. The gifts of Mother Nature never cease to amaze, ground and heal!

#senegal #lacrose #lacretba #pinklake #westafrica #africa #africatravel #salt #flood #birds #egret #heron #cormorant #kingfisher #ecosystem #travel #travelphotography #nature #naturephotography #naturelover #naturehealing #travellife #traveladventure #travelblog #travelstories

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.