Adventures at Matheran Hill Station
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Matheran is a Hill Station located near Mumbai, Karjat.   It is located 800 meters above sea level in the Jambol Forest of Maharashtra.  It was found by Hugh Poynts Malet in May 1850.  It spreads over an area of 8 square kilometers in Sahyadri Mountains.  It is one of the best places to spend a two-day holiday if you are in Mumbai or in the vicinity of Mumbai or its suburbs.  To reach Matheran,  [...]

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Lake Natron’s natural beauty

Posted on September 27, 2010 | Adventure Travel6 Comments


I feel that tingling sensation creeping up my derriere, but I ignore it for now. I cannot move, not a millimeter, since I will lose the element of stealth and cover if I do. I am in a soda lake, and the silent reminders are to make a move on, but I refuse stubbornly and stay put. It is flamingo rush hour, and I have spent the better part of five hours convincing these pink feathery friends of mine that I mean them no harm and that I am not here at all. Gawky, a bit bumbling and beautifully regal, their extensible necks and pink plumage almost make me forget that my bottom is being subjected to soda burns.

Flamingos at Lake Natron

I bet Sir David Attenborough was never subjected to this.

The flamingoes are used to the extreme alkalinity unlike my nether regions and they feed on the algae found in soda lakes spread all across southern Africa, but many make it all the way to Lake Natron in Northern Tanzania where I am at this moment. The Tanzanian government has attempted to build a soda ash plant here and that has terrified naturalists and international organizations. As of now, things are at an impasse, but things could still go wrong. One wrong move could throw the delicate ecological balance of this eco-centric wild area into disarray.

Flamingoes

Our camp nearby has been rendered virtually invisible by a covering of agricultural netting, and there we have the luxury of a tent and some soapy worth, a god-send in a plain where the sun gains added strength and sun block is not much good. The only sound to be heard is the wind snaking through the grass, and nothing mechanical is to be heard for miles. To the west is the Great Rift Valley and to the south, Ol Doinyo Lengai, a volcano that erupted as recently as two years ago and to the north are the flamingoes, a blanket of pink visible through the heat haze. It’s a wondrous sight, and I think that no campsite should ever be setup in something so primitively beautiful.

Great Rift Valley

The drive to Lake Natron is a safari in itself, cutting a swathe through volcanoes and plains, past wildebeest, ostrich, giraffe and gazelle, and I even catch a glimpse of the rare and extraordinary Gerenuk. At night, I find myself awoken by the sound of clomping zebra hooves in the distance and by day, we share the pool with camels, plump beasts with a coat that is velveteen and a demeanor that is disarmingly docile. My spine tingles at the sight of them, but the soda lake frequented by the flamingoes is some distance away.

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6 Comments »

  • Candice Baxter says:

    The great fact of life, the always possible escape from dullness, was the lake..

    The sun rose out of it, the day began there, it was like an open door that nobody could shut…The land and all its dreariness could never close in on you..You only had to look at the lake and you knew you soon would be free..

  • Bob Garvey says:

    I hear lake waters lapping with low sounds by the shore;
    While I stand on the roadway or pavement’s gray,
    I hear it in the deep heart’s core..

  • Castor Sinatra says:

    See how the sacred old flamingoes come;
    Painting with shadow all marble steps,
    Aged and wise they seek their wonted perches
    Over the lake, devious walking made
    To wander by their melancholy minds!

    Awesome post! Thanks :-)

  • Andy says:

    You take the lake .I look and look at it.
    I see its fair pretty sheet of water.
    I stand and make myself repeat out loud
    The advantages it has.

    Thanks fro the post! :-)

  • Andy says:

    Awesome post! Thanks! Keep posting! :-)

  • Abigail Austin says:

    Lake Natron is such a lovely place..Overlooking Lake Natron is “The Mountain Of God” or Oldonio Lengai in Masai language..This mountain is an active volcano..

    Lake Natron is not only home to millions of flamingoes but many other birds also..

    The drive down to the lake is not easy..It’s really hot and the land is black..

    We were staying in a small tented camp where a small river runs through the dry black soil, it leaves a trail of lush green streaks, where zebras and wild camels come to drink water from the lake standing only a few feet away from us!

    It is highly commendable to take a day or two off from the Safari ride and come here fro relaxing!

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