Lake Assal at 153m below sea level is the lowest point on the African continent and has for centuries been the spot from which the Afar nomads have quarried their salt. Indeed, these mined salt bars were once legal tender until Maria Theresa Dollars took over. Marvel at how the workers skilfully extract the 6.5kg bars from beneath the crust and how they are seemingly unaffected by the stifflyingly hot conditions synonomous with the region.
Visitors on longer trips, usually three nights or more, to the Danakil Depression have the chance to visit one of the region’s most alluring sights, the Erta Ale Volcano. This is one of the most physically demanding walks in Ethiopia and, whilst no actual climbing is involved, getting there does mean walking across old lava flows and scrambling along unstable terrain. Owing to the lack of shade and heat of the region, the walk is usually undertaken at night, arriving in the dark to marvel at the lava bubbling away in the crater against the dark night sky. A walk back in the cool of the morning is followed by a well earned morning rest in camp.…Read more
Many maps mark Dallol as a village, but in reality it is a long abandoned American phosphate mining camp which is now the gateway to arguably the Danakil’s most extraordinary sight, the Dallol Sulphur Springs. The landscape is what one would expect of the moon, with jagged rock formations, shallow depressions and hot springs, all with a characteristic yellow-orange hue given by the sulphur. They can be visited throughout the day, but we recommend enjoying them in the early morning when it is cooler and the incredible light makes for fantastic photographs.…Read more