DANAKIL/DALLOL DEPRESSION

Danakil Depression, which is a formation of the Great Rift Valley and sharing the Eritrean border to the East of the Tigrigna Highlands, was clearly visible to the first astronauts who walked on the moon. It is listed as one of the hottest places on the earth with temperatures soaring up to 34 °C every day of the year and soaring to 55 °C during summer. The Danakil Depression is a practically an unpopulated region lying as low as -116m below the sea level. The depression lies near Lake Asale, the lowest spot in Africa. It is one of the driest and tectonically active areas on the planet. The depression’s temperatures can hit up to 50 °C and be part of the rift valley system, there are countless sulfurous springs and an astonishing part of Africa’s active volcanoes. The Danakil desert is regarded as one of the most extreme environments spotting violent volcanoes, blistering air temperatures, gases and land masses still being torn apart by massive earthly forces, making it an improbable tourism hotspot, though that is what it’s turning out to be.

Dallol is one of the few places where potash deposits are found on the surface by geothermally heated groundwater and form large secondary deposits as the water that transported them evaporates. This geothermal activity or volcanic activity is indeed common in continental extension basins such as the Danakil Depression.

 ‘ERT'ALE’ means the mountain that smokes, in Afar Language, is a basaltic shield volcano known for persistent lava lake activity, the only permanent lava on the earth, since the early 20th century. It is one of the most fascinating and physically demanding natural attractions in Ethiopia. It comprises of two pit craters with the larger one being inactive. The smaller one is 140 meters in diameter, 60 to 90 meters deep and with an active fire lake. The best time to visit the Erta Ale is at dawn and in the evening, this is to avoid excessive heat and also to see the red, unique fascinating larva that looks like a scene of biblical destruction on one of its pits also known as the 'gateway to hell'. An aerial view casts a breathtaking, spectacular sight.

Ahmed Ela is the plane of salt; you will be witness the ancient tradition of salt extraction from the salt fields and the transportation of these salt bars with endless lines of camel caravan for days from the depression to the highland towns.