Danakil Desert is located northeast of Ethiopia in the Afar depression, which occupies the northern part of the Great Rift Valley and extends further Djibouti and Eritrea. The most extreme depression point is 100 meters below sea level, the great depression acts as boiler heat-trapping. It is one of the hottest areas of the planet with daytime temperatures exceeding 50 ° C.
It is possible that in the near future the area to be submerged by the waters of neighboring Red Sea or altered due to volcanic eruptions, and which has more than 30 active volcanoes and is part of one of the most tectonically active areas on Earth.
Mount Erta Ale is an active volcano in the crater is the only land volcano under the sea level and the only permanent lava lake in the world. Incredibly, you can visit it. Erta Ale has striking colors landscapes, incredible mineral deposits, sulfur lakes and bubbling sulfur springs that complete the impressive spectacle of its lava lake.
Dallol is a field of phreatic craters in the inhospitable salt northeast of the Erta Ale hill in one of the most desolate and hot areas of the Danakil Depression plain. Dallol craters are the conduits of the world’s lowest subaerial magma. The most recent crater was formed during an eruption in 1926 and formed a landscape of colorful hot sulfur springs of green and yellow extraterrestrial appearance.
The Depression is inhabited forever by the Afar ethnic group, whose main activity is mining of salt. Salt extraction hasn’t changed for centuries, they are still using rudimentary instruments such as cane or machete, with this they cut blocks of salts and at sunset they placed on camels back to transport it for Tigray region. The image of the giant salt caravans that every day cross the desert, is a show that deserves to be seen.
Despite its harsh conditions, Danakil Depression with its spectacular landscapes, is an extraordinary experience for the adventurous traveler.