Senegal: Lake Retba (Pink Lake)

Lake Retba (aka Lac Rose in French or Pink Lake in English) has been on my to see list for quite a while. There are only two pink lakes in the world – in Western Australia (saw that one) and in Senegal. The red color is caused by dunaliella salina algae that thrives in the salty water. The water is between 35-40% salt, which is comparable to the Dead Sea in Israel. The level fluctuates depending on the dry or wet season, as does the color concentration. March is dry season so as you can see the lake is borderline burgundy. Salt has been harvested here since ancient times – mostly Mauritanian salt-men butter themselves in shea butter and then spend 7-8 hours per day raising salt from the bottom of the shallow lake. 25kg bag gets you about a $1. The lake is a true wonder of nature and is on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage List.