Blogs from Afar Region, Ethiopia, Africa

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Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression March 22nd 2019

15-16 mars "Il vaut mieux être le petit d'un chacal vivant que d'un lion mort" Proverbe Éthiopien Je quitte la mystifiante Aksum en matinée pour rejoindre Mékélé plus au sud, capitale de la région du Tigray. Pour faciliter mes déplacements d'aujourd'hui, je partagerai une mini-van privée avec un allemand et un espagnol. Après quelques arrêts à des églises perchées en flanc de montagnes.... on se pose en fin de journée à la grande Mékélé, là où transitent d'énormes camions débordant de roc ramené du bout des routes asphaltées. À partir d'ici, je m'organise une perçée au coeur de l'Afar, territoire hostile dans le nord-est de l'Éthiopie, tout près de la frontière avec l'Érythrée, là où le territoire s'accroche à la Mer Rouge. Pour y accéder, je n'aurai guère le choix de me joindre à un groupe ... read more
En route vers Mékélé
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Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Danakil Depression March 22nd 2019

18 mars "Though i'm past one hundred thousand miles I'm feeling very still And i think my spaceship knows which way to go" Space Oddity, David Bowie Notre convoi de jeeps s'éloigne encore plus loin dans l'Afar... (4... 3... 2... 1... Liftoff) Toujours aussi aride, le décor hostile des environs crie famine. Les rares apparitions d'enfants le long de la route lèvent maintenant le bras pour quémander un peu d'eau. Après avoir passé une dernière hallucination de village, le paysage s'aplanit autour de nous et d'un coup, déroule un tapis granuleux de sel jusqu'à rejoindre le fil de l'horizon. Quelques fois, des bêches s'activent à y découper des blocs qu'ils transporteront à dos de dromadaires jusqu'au bout du désert. Les caravanes de sel au loin s'alignent comme de courts traits de crayo... read more
Caravane de Sel 1
Désert de Sel
Militaire sur Mercure

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
Dallol

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region May 31st 2017

Journal scribblings: 24 Dec 2014. "In a cafe in Dubai waiting for my camera to charge. My flight left Seattle, 14.5 hours later I rolled across the Arabian Sea and into Dubai. The people sitting next to me were great, a guy of East Indian descent who lives in Lynnwood going to India to pick up his surrogate child which a woman in India bore for he and his wife with their sperm and egg when they couldn't conceive. The reason his wife wasn't with him to pick up the baby, amazingly, right after the surrogate child was conceived, his wife in Lynnwood got pregnant naturally. So, they will be brothers, incredible. He was so happy. Also on my flight, an East Indian woman who lives in Vancouver BC, going with her 4 month old baby ... read more
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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
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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
Us!
A camel train!
Once again, I do not want to be a donkey in my next life...

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Asayita May 17th 2012

My friends, its been a long time coming but Africa is proving to be an adventure. I just got done with the first stretch of the Journey to Ethiopia and am glad to say its over. Danakil Depression is a gem in any eye regardless of the beholder. But what good is beauty if the political atmosphere of the tourist area is unstable and worse still no one lets you know of this! My journey started on the 1st of May where Hamedela became my home for the night. The Afar tribesmen were very hospitable quite contrary to their reputation of embellishing themselves with genitalia parts of tourists (I was perturbed to learn of this when I got there!) Well, my travels as well as that of the other 6 in the group began really well. ... read more

Africa » Ethiopia » Afar Region » Asayita January 19th 2010

As I leave the Embassy of Djibouti in Addis a Singaporean guy, R, starts up a conversation. It turns out he has similar plans to me and I persuade him to alter his intended route slightly to join forces. As easily as that, I have a new travel companion. With what befalls us over the course of the next few days I’m sure that he more than once regrets this decision. Unable to visit the famed Danakil Depression due to the extortionate costs of taking a tour ($1600 for three days on the back of a camel!) I have set my sights on exploring the salt lakes at the southern end of the Danakil Desert instead. I am enticed by the lack of information on the region in any guidebook I've read and by the LP ... read more
Our plush accomodation in the Afambo 'Police Station'
The road to Lake Afambo
Local cattle




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