Senegal offers a diverse range of activities including The Pink Lake in Senegal. Aside from its fascinating history, it also has natural features that have continually amazed tourists. One of these beauties, for example, is the Pink Lake, a rare natural wonder that only a few countries in the world can claim.  

This is a remarkable lake less than an hour’s drive from Dakar, Senegal’s capital city that will undoubtedly attract the unwary visitor’s eye due to its strange yet brilliant pink color. 

The Lake 

The Atlantic Ocean is separated from Lake Retba (or Lac Rose as it is known by locals) by only a few short dunes, and its salt content is extremely high. Its salinity is comparable to that of the Dead Sea, and it even exceeds it during the dry season. 

The Dunaliella salina bacteria, which are harmless and make swimming safe, are attracted to the lake’s salt content and are responsible for its distinctive pink color. To absorb sunlight, the bacteria produce a red pigment, which gives the lake its distinct color. Its color is most noticeable during the dry season (November to June) and less so during the wet season (July-October). 

Pink Lake Senegal - continent Tours
The Pink Lake Senegal – Continent Tours


Few biological species survive in Lake Retba due to its high salt content, so it serves mainly as a tourist destination and for salt extraction. Currently, people who collect salt work all the time, and the lake’s banks are covered with piles of salt. Locals use their hands to extract salt from the lake’s bottom, pack it in baskets, and bring it to the shore, where it is mainly used to preserve fish.

Pink lake - Image Credit The Golden Scope
A traveler has a good time at the Pink lake – Image Credit The Golden Scope


The contrast between the mountains of salt piled up along the lake’s coast, the pink tint of the lake’s water, and the gold dunes on the opposite side of Lac Rose is always an amazing sight to behold! Before it moved to South America, the lake served as the finish line for the well-known Dakar-Paris Rally. 


Salt Forming on Canoes - Pink lake Senegal
Salt Forming on Canoes – Pink lake Senegal

One will also see several beautiful trees frolicking along the shore. One common tree you will find is the Shea nut tree from which Shea butter is made and this is used by the locals who collect salt from the lake. 

How about adding a visit to Pink Lake to your travel list? You can tour other famous historical sites such as Goree Island, The Renaissance Monument, The Museum of Black Civilization, and Touba; the motherland awaits! 

Check out this historic lake video from Wode Maya