can you swim in egypt salt lakes


The Mystique of Egypt’s Salt Lakes

As an avid traveler, I have always been drawn to the majestic beauty of Egypt. From the ancient wonders of the pyramids to the vibrant culture of Cairo, this country has always held a special place in my heart. However, it wasn’t until my most recent trip that I discovered the perplexing allure of Egypt’s salt lakes.

Unveiling the Enigma

Nestled amidst the barren landscapes of Egypt are the mesmerizing salt lakes, each with its own unique hue and composition. From the otherworldly pink waters of Lake Retba to the dazzling white expanse of Lake Natron, these salt lakes offer a burst of colors that seem almost surreal against the desert backdrop.

Can You Swim in Egypt’s Salt Lakes?

One question that has often perplexed travelers is whether it is safe to swim in Egypt’s salt lakes. The answer, while not always straightforward, is a resounding yes, with a hint of caution.

The Salty Truth

The Composition of Salt Lakes

Unlike traditional freshwater lakes, Egypt’s salt lakes contain high concentrations of salts and minerals, such as sodium chloride and magnesium sulfate. These substances impart the characteristic coloration and buoyancy to the waters, making them a unique and alluring attraction.

Effects on Human Skin

The high salinity of these lakes can cause skin irritation and a stinging sensation, especially if you have open wounds or scratches. However, the mineral-rich waters are believed to have therapeutic properties and have been used for centuries for their purported healing effects.

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Safety Guidelines for Swimming

While it is possible to swim in Egypt’s salt lakes, it is essential to take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Rinse After Swimming

After swimming in the salt lakes, it is advisable to thoroughly rinse off the saltwater from your skin to prevent irritation and dehydration.

Protective Measures

Wearing protective footwear, such as water shoes or sandals, can help shield your feet from the abrasive salt crystals that line the lakebed.

Stay Hydrated

Due to the dehydrating nature of the saltwater, it is crucial to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before and after swimming.

Unique Experiences

Despite the precautions, swimming in Egypt’s salt lakes offers a one-of-a-kind experience. The buoyancy of the water makes it effortless to float, akin to the sensation of weightlessness, creating a surreal and unforgettable encounter with nature.


In conclusion, the allure of swimming in Egypt’s salt lakes is not without its challenges, but the unique and captivating experience is well worth the precautions. As with any natural wonder, it is crucial to respect the environment and take necessary measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.


1. Are Egypt’s salt lakes safe for swimming?

Yes, it is safe to swim in Egypt’s salt lakes, but precautions should be taken to avoid skin irritation and dehydration.

2. Can you wear sunscreen in salt lakes?

It is advisable to apply waterproof sunscreen before swimming in the salt lakes to protect your skin from the harsh sun rays.

3. Are there any health benefits to swimming in salt lakes?

The mineral-rich waters of salt lakes are believed to have therapeutic properties and are thought to offer health benefits for skin and joint conditions.

4. Can you swim with open wounds in salt lakes?

It is not recommended to swim in salt lakes with open wounds, as the high salinity can cause irritation and discomfort.

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5. What is the best time to visit Egypt’s salt lakes?

The best time to visit Egypt’s salt lakes is during the cooler months, from October to April, to avoid the scorching heat of the desert.