Blogs from Danakil Depression, Afar Region, Ethiopia, Africa


Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression November 14th 2018

Erta Ale was to be the highlight. I’d previously been to one of the other seven “permanent” lava lakes – Volcan Masaya in Nicaragua – but didn’t see any lava due to excessive smoke, steam and gases. The documentaries I’d seen of Erta Ale made me think this one was more guaranteed as you can get up close and watch the miniaturised and sped up plate tectonics on the surface of the bubbling magma. Well that was the case until Erta Ale erupted in January 2017 and since then the lava level and activity has declined. Again, I didn’t see a thing due to excessive smoke, steam and gases. They saw it last week. I’ve started to take this personally. Two of the remaining lava lakes that haven’t refused me yet are on Vanuatu. Perhaps these ... read more
Transporting salt
Salt flat

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression January 1st 2016

The Danakil, a place of dry sands and even drier gravel beds, rocky lava flows, active volcanoes, burning salt flats, temperatures that often top 120°F, winds that choke you with dust, and suffocating days of no wind at all. Cruellest Place on Earth: Africa's Danakil Desert, National Geographic, October 2005 Near the southern end of the Red Sea an immense depression, known as the Danakil Depression, descends far below sea level. The Danakil Depression is the hottest place on earth in terms of year-round average temperatures. It used to be part of the Red Sea and includes vast areas of thick salt deposits. Below many salt lakes are substantial sources of volcanic heat which causes hot water to rise through layers of salt like in Dallol. Dallol No one travels alone to the hottest place on ... read more
Crossing Lake Karum
Camel train

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression December 29th 2015

Drive first to Abala, small town for join up with other trucks, not too bad if not for some irritating kids. Drivoe until reaching our pick up point for police escort to danakil landscape. Walk down to a camel / salt trading post before driving onto our first camp after some Africa time which means it's dark but beautiful stars ahead, sleep on raised beds with simple mattress & s bag under the stars. 30/12/15 head first to the salt lakes and drive through the shallows to the raised acid lakes of danakil. Incredible landscape nicknamed the hottest place on earth for its record temperature in the hot season. Avoiding the bubbling sulphur fumes makes for a fascinating multicoloured visit. Drive back out across the liquid salt to later reach the current mining site with all ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression February 6th 2014

10 November, 2012 Seven of us have thrown sleeping bags and day packs into the back of a minivan and are heading off to Mekele for the night. Tomorrow after breakfast, we'll be leaving for the Danakil Depression, the northern part of the Afar Triangle near the Eritrea border. The highlight of the four day trip will be to stand on the edge of a lava lake on the active ErtaAle volcano. To say we're excited is an understatement. To heap praise on Toni who wanted to go there and introduced the idea while most of us didn't know it existed/ was possible is necessary. It takes us about six hours to reach Mekele and the company we're using, G.K. Adahu have thankfully organized rooms for our arrival. We gave them a budget per person and ... read more
A camel train!
Once again, I do not want to be a donkey in my next life...

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