Danakil Depression

Volcano in Danakil Depression

Travel to Danakil Desert – One of the Hottest Places Year Round

The Danakil Desert lies in north-eastern Ethiopia, southern Eritrea and much of Djibouti. It is the homeland of the Afar people and is best known for its extreme heat and the Afar Depression. Wildlife here includes African Wild Asses. Also many volcanoes can be found in the region including Erta Ale and the Dabbahu Volcano.

The Danakil Depression, also called Afar Depression, is a geological depression in the Horn of Africa, where it overlaps Eritrea, the Afar Region of Ethiopia, and Djibouti. Danakil is well known as one of the cradles of hominids, containing the Middle Awash, site of many fossil hominid discoveries; Gona, site of the world’s oldest stone tools; and Hadar, site of Lucy, the fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarensis.

The Danakil Depression includes the lowest point in Africa, Lake Asal (–155 metres). Dallol is also part of the Depression, one of the hottest places year-round anywhere on Earth. Only the Awash River flows into the depression, where it ends in a chain of lakes that increase in salinity.

Danakil Depression results from the presence of a tectonic triple junction, where the spreading ridges that are forming the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden emerge on land and meet the East African Rift. The central meeting place for these three pieces of Earth’s crust is around Lake Abbe.

Here at one of the remotest, lowest and unique land formations in the world you can see Erta Alle, a unique erupting Lava Lake and Dalol, the lowest part of the Danakil Depression (116 below sea level) where you’ll see amazing rock formations as well as crystal and mineral deposits.

  • See one of the hottest places in the world.
  • Join a guided tour to see the desert.
  • See crystal and mineral deposits as well as amazing rock formations.

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Africa Travel Information