You might have seen images of water lilies and their big green leaves floating on water; leaves on which frogs sit and relax and through which the crimson of the lilies show off. You can see these dreamlike scenes up close in Anzali Lagoon. The luminous leaves of the Lagoon’s lilies are spread like a green carpet in front of visitors. With each row and movement of the boat, another beautiful scenery unveils itself. Further away, a flock of mallards are flying across. The Lagoon’s sky is filled with migrating birds that choose Anzali Lagoon as their temporary resting place on their winter journey. Of the 145 species of migrating birds identified in Iran, 77 species find Anzali Lagoon suitable for their sojourn because this habitat provides them with a feast of rich sources of aquatic plants and animals. If you enjoy birding or birdwatching, we recommend that you spend a few hours in Anzali Lagoon to watch the flight of white or gray pelicans, white-fronted goose, coots, swans and other types of birds. You need a boat to enjoy watching the lagoon’s beautiful landscapes.
The marsh is 10 kilometers wide, stretching from Pirbazar to Anzali and 30 kilometers long from east to west. The entire length of the marsh is attached to mainland border which is the distance between the sea and the marsh which is in return divided by Boghāz (a long strait growing in size through the dissolution of limestone in a calcareous erosion area). Geography books say that when rivers are flooded the water of Anzali Lagoon is sweet and drinkable, but today few people dare drink it. If you like to see the highest number of lilies in the marsh, postpone your trip to late July. In addition to visiting this magnificent lagoon, you may also take a detour to see the Syiāh Darvishān Lagoon.
The Silent Death of the Lagoon
The Anzali Lagoon is one of the 18 international lagoons existing in Iran hosting a variety of species. This is one of the reasons for the Lagoon’s fame. The presence of a living environment such as Anzali Lagoon alongside the Caspian Sea and its connection with the sea has created an amiable environment for spawning of the fish. The fish have always been coming to the lagoon. It has been confirmed that 20 different species of fish live in the lagoon. In this lagoon you can see the Caspian White Fish, esox (pike), common carp, vimba, tench, loach, and goby. It is a pity that Anzali Lagoon, this great national treasure and tableau, is endangered and sick due to inattentiveness and mismanagement. The release of industrial, human and animal waste into the lagoon draw it step by step closer to death.