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Expeditions To The The Danakil Depression

A Travel Guide To The Hottest Place On Earth… But No Longer At The End Of The World!

Crater of the most active volcano in Africa with a permanent lava lake, Erta Ale, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Crater of the most active volcano in Africa with a permanent lava lake, Erta Ale

Still “Terra Incognita” in 2010 when I decided to go there (I had actually never heard about it and could actually only find very little information about the area, both in Travel Guides like the Bradt Guide or the Lonely Planet & Online), the Danakil Depression has turned increasingly popular in the last years, and is now easier to reach than ever… and hence changing at high speed! So let me start with a very practical advice: if you ever want to go there, go NOW! Continue Reading →

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The Djinn Fights Back – Dallol Is Burning!

Sulphure rock formations of various colors, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Sulphure rock formations of various colors, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

The last afternoon, the usual dead silence in Hamed Ale was disrupted by yelling and shouting. A truck full of soldiers stopped, picked up villagers and off they drove towards the sulphur fields of Dallol. Eventually we understood what caused this disruption: an Italian tourist was somehow responsible for starting a smouldering fire in Dallol. It spread below the surface and could not be stopped. Speculation went wild until we met other tourists who were there at the same time: it was not a burning cigarette thrown into one of the millions of cracks, as first speculated, but this idiot had tried to light sulphure to see if it would burn. Continue Reading →

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Black Water

Potassium Lake or Black Water, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Potassium Lake or Black Water, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

The order of our Afar guide and the soldiers who escorted us was very clear when we approached this area, called Black Water. “Move only in single file and don’t walk anywhere but on this path”. With wobbly knees we followed suit. The surface made crunching noises and we wondered how deep we would fall if it broke. All the way down to the center of this planet? Continue Reading →

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Dallol – An Ever Changing Experience

Sulphure formations of various colors and shapes, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Sulphure formations of various colors and shapes, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

We got there at around 07:00 am when the light was perfect and the temperature still pleasant. On the way in, Christos could not resist but racing across the salt plain, driving around 100 km / h. A short walk takes you through an area that reminds of a field of corals of all possible colors. Continue Reading →

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Dallol – Diabolically Beautiful

Sulphure rock formations of various colors, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Sulphure rock formations of various colors, Dallol, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

Surreal, out of this world, incredibly beautiful – none of these adjectives seems appropriate to describe this unique place: a landscape of multi-colored hot springs and bizarre formations. In the midst of a bubbling sulphurous lake floats a small conical island. Its shore is lined with what looks like bright yellow rippled rafts. Somehow it looks like a Coral Reef, just outside of the water. Continue Reading →

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