Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Behold the world's most beautiful lake with naturally coloured pink water

Lake-Retba-Lac-Rose.jpg
Lac Rose1.jpg

Your eyes are not deceiving you. This lake in Senegal really does have pink coloured water. 

Although it looks a little bit like an accident with some food dye, Lake Retba, located in the West of Senegal, has its water dyed pink by a type of algae that live in the lake.

Separated from the Atlantic Ocean by only a narrow bank of land, the lake is also known for its salt reserves with a 40% concentration of salt. This has lead to a huge salt business in the area, with locals harvesting salt all year around. 

Because of the high salt concentration in the water, those harvesting the salt rub their skin with shea butter to protect it from the harsh water as they work for up to 7 hours a day, diving into the lake and sifting out the salt, which is collected into great piles before being distributed around Western Africa.

Salt

Harvesting salt from Lake Retba

The lake's waters are at their pinkest in the dry season between November and June, but during the rainy season (July - October) the light is reflected in a different way making the water appear closer to a 'usual' blue. 

The salt-loving algae that live in the lake produce a red colour to help them absorb light and feed themselves, giving the water a pink apperance. This phenomenon also occurs in Australia, where Lake Hillier, or the Pink Lake, located off the south coast of Western Australia.

Lake Hillier

Lake Hillier in Australia also has pink waters

The lake has produced an industry around itself, with 30,000 workers coming from all over Western Africa to harvest the salt, distributing it throughout the region. 

Due to its striking pink water, Lake Retba also attracts a huge level of tourism. Because the lake has such a high salt content, it is possible to float on the water unaided, just as you can in the Dead Sea in the Middle East, although it's not advised because of the super exfoliating quality of the water which can affect your skin.

Just half an hour from Senegal's capital Dakar, we'd be happy to visit just to look at the amazing pink waters.  Scroll down to see more incredible pictures of the lake.

Boats
Courtsey of flickr.com
Collecting salt
Lac Rose
Pink
Coast

Images courtesy of lakeretba.com, Flickr, Rex Features

Words: Victoria Gray

Related

chef-hero.jpg

Morocco's amazing blue town is next on our travel to do list

rexfeatures_3604139a.jpg

Cheap holidays to New York for those with more Twitter followers

dawsons creek.jpg

50 fictional places you can visit in real life

Comments

More

Fuel for the soul: why holidays boost your creativity

Laminate and hand to your boss...

by Anna Brech
26 May 2017

Clean and beautiful beaches close to London

Golden sands less than two hours from the capital

by Anna Brech
25 May 2017

Amsterdam calling: Eurostar launches direct route from London

Wanderlusters get set for the "Amsterdam route"

by Anna Brech
25 May 2017

This British city has been named fifth best in Europe by Lonely Planet

No passport necessary

by Moya Crockett
24 May 2017

Get over your tapas aversion in Madrid

Stylist heads to Madrid with the hopes of being won over, one plate at a time

by Natasha Tomalin
23 May 2017

Cancer survivor becomes first woman to paddle board the Channel solo

Lizzie Carr navigated 24 miles of unpredictable open sea

by Anna Brech
19 May 2017

Airline passengers "should pay" each other for right to recline

This way nobody "gets punched in the face"

by Joe Ellison
19 May 2017

This Indonesian rainbow village is an Instagram sensation

Behold the kaleidoscope of colours

by Anna Brech
18 May 2017

Come quick: Italy is giving away its castles and towers for free

Fancy living la vita meravigliosa?

by Anna Brech
18 May 2017

The best B&B in the world is in the UK

No need for that passport, summer is sorted...

by Amy Swales
17 May 2017