From majestic canyons to futuristic skyscrapers, Kazakhstan is full of Insta-worthy backdrops. But one spot in particular has become an instant hit after pictures of it went viral in 2019. Social media has been flooded with images of Lake Kobeituz, dubbed “Pink Lake” for the rosy hue caused by the presence of a marine microalgae called Dunaliella.
This is not the first time the salt lake, in a city called Ereymentau about two hours’ drive from the capital Nur-Sultan, has changed colours. Under the right weather conditions – hot with light rains – the microorganisms thrive and render the waters a mesmerising pink. So those in pursuit of the best snaps should plan their trip for the summer, as the higher the temperature, the more saturated the rose tint.
Many visitors have since flocked here with professional lensmen in tow for special wedding or personal photo shoots. The ankle-deep water rules out swimming, but salt and mud baths are available for those who believe in their healing properties. Don’t forget to pack an extra pair of shoes and a change of clothes for a splashing good time.
It may be tempting to scoop some of that pink salt as a memento for yourself, but please abide by the look-but-don’t-take rule when visiting the lake! Such actions could have undesirable effects for the environment, and you may be inadvertently causing damage to the lake and the fragile ecosystems that thrive there. Do remember to pick up after yourselves too, and not leave litter and trash lying around when you leave.
The Kazakh authorities are also committed to protecting the lake and its habitat. In fact, it put a ban on visitors to Lake Kobeituz during the Covid-19 outbreak, to prevent mass gatherings and also put a stop to overzealous lake-goers who were seen shovelling up the salt and storing them in bottles!