Lake Retba
About
A true natural phenomenon located only 30 miles from Dakar, the highly saline Pink Lake lives up to its name.
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Top ways to experience Lake Retba and nearby attractions

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.


4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles72 reviews
Excellent
22
Very good
33
Average
12
Poor
5
Terrible
0

ThessaRoads
Austria5 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020 • Friends
Nice lake, we were really lucky to see the pink colour in January, but the women, who try to sell juwelry between the shop area and the salt harvesting are really enoying. When you buy from one you have to buy from all of them and they want 40.000 CFA for ugly plastic necklaces. They will not accept a NO for an answer. Just keep walking and don't even look!
Written January 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vijay66610
Chennai (Madras), India49 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Friends
I visited Lac Rose with friends. It is a good day trip out of Dakar a hours ride.
The lake itself is not always pink, but when it is, its very beautiful with vivid range pink shades. Across the lake, you can have a decent lunch by the water, shop around the markets and rent quad bikes, a boat, a car or a horse to make a small excursion around.
I highly recommend the quad bikes. You have approx a 1 hour excursion around the lakes, across the sand dunes and then on the beach. It is a very beautiful and fun course. The only major downside is that you aren't free to take your own course as such and an hour can feel limited. Either way, you don't need to book in advance.
A must visit in Dakkar.
Good day...
Good luck...
Written February 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bina V
Mauritius10 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2016 • Friends
If you do decide to visit the Pink Lake, you must take a dip into the waters ! That's what makes it all worth it...at least for me !!

Left Dakar at around 9 am and reached there around 10 am. Could have done a better job of negotiating the taxi ride there and back (USD 54/ Fcfa 30,000)... oh well..

Drove through the villages and observing the business of daily life - the goats, the marketplace, the people, the horse carriages, the many new construction sites, the colourful hibiscus -- on the way to the pink lake....

Reached there and saw a grey lake with a very light pink reflection... I had read the TripAdvisor reviews beforehand so I knew more or less what to expect in terms of colour ( though I was hoping it would turn pinker later in the day... and it did do so...a little bit... or was that all my imagination?).

We (1 foreigner and 3 Senegalese friends) negotiated with a guide for a 30 minute canoe ride to the middle of the lake (CFA 7,000 for a group of 4 adults - not a bad deal !) The silence and calmness of our surroundings was deafening...priceless, really. Not a sound...No birds, no creatures in the water, just Salt and Silence.... Drunk it all in...

Watched/filmed/photographed a salt collector digging for salt and taking basketfuls from the bottom of the lake and offloading it into his boat. Felt the water with my hands...it was kinda thick and syrupy-like.Then took a deep breath and gently slid into the "not-so-pink" tepid waters and found myself walking on slithery- slimey -gooey- earthy mix of mud and salt crystals (ugh !! yuck !!)... stayed calm... and then, hey presto !! Wow !!! Haaaaahaaaa !!! I found myself gently bobbing on the waters.... and then on my back floating like a leaf on water... ever so light and weightless !! Honestly, a breeze could have carried me away.... Never experienced such weightlessness before !! Tried swimming forward, head forward and just couldn't !!! My body popped straight back into "on-your-back" position !! Amazing experience !! It was well worth it, just for that "once-in- a-lifetime buoyancy " feeling....well worth it.... reminded me of those astronaut flying tests....loved it !!!

Back to shore and rinsed off with clear waters from a natural spring- what a contrast: clear cool spring waters in a stream on the one side and the saltiest waters on Earth on the other side, barely a few meters away.... how could that be?

Took a tour of the salt dunes and bought some trinkets (nothing I really needed... just helping the the local economy. No bargaining....prices were reasonable).

Then lunch at " Au 212" ... yummy fish Yassa (fresh fish, barbecued/roasted with herbs, onion stew and rice and red crushed chillies on the side). Delicious fresh food, but do watch out for the fish bones ! Shared these bones with the cats and kittens who ate it with relish - unbelievable !!!

And then.... back to Dakar !!

Now I have this wonderfully awesome experience to share with family and friends !!

Thank you Pink Lake !!

Now I know what it feels like to walk on water.
Written May 15, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

zsrepasy
Budapest, Hungary35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2017 • Business
The lake itself is really well worth a visit, as you can't find many pink lakes in the world. However in March, when I was there, the water wasn't that pink. The colour depends on the amount of sunlight. In some areas it was close to orange-red colour, in other places it was pink-ish. Still it is very spectacular, so a great destination. However, due to the tourism, local vendors are abumdant, and it is not easy to persuade them that you don't want to buy another necklace, jewelry or a scarf. Also, please note that if you are planning to take photos, the salt workers especially don't like it. Make sure you ask politely to avoid any problems. Be respectful and smile. It opens doors.
Written April 6, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brooklynite_Abroad
New York City, NY2,905 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2016 • Solo
This unique body of water is located about an hour north of Dakar. If you are arriving into DKR airport in the morning, go see this lake and then go to check into your Dakar hotel, otherwise you will have to double back. A taxi will take you there from the airport, or better yet, organize a guide. You can see the lake and the mounds of excavated salt, piled to dry on the banks of the lake. The pink color of the water, after which the lake is named and for which it is famed, is only truly pink in the spring months; don’t expect it to be so outside of the spring season. However, it’s worth seeing even without the pink coloration caused by the halophilic algae that produces the pink colored protein to better harvest sunlight. The lake has long been cut off from the ocean, and the salt has concentrated within it. The water has a maximum depth of 4 meters, and below it are 4 meters of salt deposits, on top of the lake bed. Men dig this salt up from the bottom of the lake and fill their canoes, while women unload the canoes into mounds on the lakeside. These mounds are of different colors, depending on how wet or dry the salt is. The iodization happens right on the lake side, and so does the bagging of the salt. Unfortunately Senegal lacks facilities to granulate this rock salt, and thus, in an ironic twist, although Senegal is a huge regional rock salt exporter, the country ends up importing processed, granular salt. If you go here with a guide, he will organize a jeep from a nearby hotel, and you can circumnavigate the lake. The bank of the lake proximal to the ocean is mostly sand dunes, and it’s fun to tackle these in a jeep. Don’t waste your time stopping for a visit to a nearby Fulani village as it is a tour trap. The same hotel that offers the jeeps could also serve a nice lunch spot.
Written July 12, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alex F
Dakar, Senegal259 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2016 • Family
Nice lake but is it worth a visit? First of all the road from Dakar is not easy, it goes through the smallest villages with massive traffic due to the very slow moving cars and tracks, wondering people and donkeys. The lake itself is quite beautiful and in some months it does look pinkish which is unusual and interesting. Unfortunately accommodations are very basic around the lake which makes it impossible to stay overnight. Restaurants, or better call places to eat as they don't even have names are horrible and you need to bring your own food. Water in the lake is salty but not as much as at the Dead Sea so it is still possible to take a boat ride. For me it was more of a "been here", "done it" experience. Will not do that twice.
Written August 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

B V
Saint Louis, MO9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2015 • Couples
Our visit to Lac Rose was magical, but it all depends on the time of year you go. According to locals, the lake is most pink between Feb-April as the water table falls. This year the pink color was apparent earlier because of the poor rainy season in 2014. The lake is expansive and quiet. Go visit the locals pulling salt from the bottom of the lake for a true experience and enjoy the peace and quiet on a sunny afternoon.
Written February 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patrick D
Warsaw, Poland5,192 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2016 • Family
Lake Retba, better known as Pink Lake, owes its fame to its tint that turns from pink to mauve depending on the intensity of the sun's rays. The lake is a large shallow lagoon, located a few hundred meters from the ocean and surrounded by dunes and filaos. It owes its color to the presence of micro-organisms and to the high concentration of minerals.
There is an intense activity. Pushed to the waist, the men snatch the crusts of salt deposited on the bottom and fill canoes that women bring back, at regular intervals..It was also the last stage of the Paris-Dakar rally. It seems according to the inhabitants that the best period to see the lake in its pink shades is the month of January .. By car 40 km from Dakar and about 1 hour drive.. Small handicraft shops at the entrance of the site .. ..Worth a visit
Written November 24, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Joyce L
Singapore, Singapore89 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2014 • Friends
The Pink Lake is special as a natural wonder, with the pink-coloured lake separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a strip of desert sand. One place worth mentioning is the Bonaba Cafe in the area, run by a French couple who serve amazingly fresh food. It's a nice resting place, before you carry on by camel/ quad/ foot to the expansive beach overseeing the Atlantic Ocean. If you're adventurous, you can also consider taking a dip in the Pink Lake.
Unfortunately, the lake was not really pink when I visited in October, but it does not take anything away from the tranquil and enchanting experience. Read here for more of my experience at the Pink Lake http://bonjour-senegal.blogspot.sg/2012/11/contemplation.html
Written January 8, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Daria S
Warsaw, Poland120 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2016 • Couples
Swimming in lac rose is soooo relaxing. Water is so dense due to salt presence.
Because of algaes, the lake has pinkish colour. It might be not visible at the very first sight, but just move your head a bit or move a bit - so you will see it soon.
You can buy salt from locals.
I use it for peelings at home, I just have added bit of coconut oil and olive oil.
Written July 4, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Lake Retba - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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