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

Retreat to a fantasy pad in northern Cornwall

Stylist is one of the first to stay at the UK's coolest self-catering bolthole

by Susan Riley
25 Jul 2017

This magical treehouse is the most popular Airbnb listing ever

Featuring a bed under the stars and swinging bridges bathed in fairy lights

by Anna Brech
20 Jul 2017

Three flying secrets that airlines don't want you to know about

“We don't tell you that we're flying this plane half-awake because we don't want to scare you”

by Anna Brech
19 Jul 2017

Mermaid wannabes, you need to visit this incredible underwater winery

Life is the bubbles under the sea…

by Megan Murray
18 Jul 2017

Explore Europe's unsung wine region in the Douro Valley

Stylist jets to Portugal to experience a tranquil spa hotel in the unspoilt region of the Douro Valley

by Lucy Foster
18 Jul 2017

These fantastic UNESCO heritage sites are right on your doorstep

How many have you visited?

by Jasmine Andersson
13 Jul 2017

TfL drops the term “ladies and gentleman” in gender-neutral move

“This is so awesome and about time.”

by Sarah Biddlecombe
13 Jul 2017

Scared of flying? This trick curbs your take-off and turbulence fears

Try it to dial your anxiety down a notch

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017

Tinder sends near-miss couple on epic date to Hawaii

“It's time you got together IRL”

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017

Embrace Stockholm Syndrome

Stylist discovers Sweden's capital is a city to savour for distinctive culture

by Amelia Trevette
11 Jul 2017