Welcome to Danakil Depression
At the north eastern edge of Africa, literary know as the horn of Africa, one could find a unique land Ethiopian. The origin of mankind and one of the cradles of ancient civilizations. The country with its diverse environment, long history and mosaic culture has its past alive in the form of attractive monuments and ruins built long ago.
The Danakil, also called the Afar depression is part of the Great Rift valley which extends some 7200k.m from Jordan to the coastal region of Mozambique near Beira ,with 5600 k.m laying within Africa (Pritchard 1986).It covers an area of 200,000 k.m2 and is flaked on the west and southeast by the Ethiopian Somalia plateau. and on the east by the Danakil Block or Danakil Alps ( Bosworth . 2500). The Danakil escapment displays some of the most spectacular examples of faulted landscape in the world with an altitude drop from 2500.a.s.l to some 125m.
One of the driest and most tectonically active areas on the planet. The Danakil is an area of singular geological fascination. A strange lunarscape studded with active volcano.Malodorous sulfer– caked hot spring, solidified black lava flows. And vast salt encrusted basins.Mekelle. The capital city of Tigrai region, is an ideal place from which includes to explore the vicinity which includes Dallol. One of the lowest parts of the planet, Reged famous for its salt mines .Arte-ale.A tynical salt with these queer sites, the Environment ranks to quench the roaring desire of adventure seekers.
The Mekelle – Adigrat road branches about east at 35 k.ms off to run over a valley partitioned in to many plots of farmlands and heavenly cultivated plateau. Which 55 k.m after. Twists to forest covered cliff, Dessert. The bumby road. Via the town of Berahile. Forges ahead to come Hamedillas when the marvelous sites basic to sense. The Track upon which the Tigrai peasants (locally called Arehotot) have been traveling along for generation to bring up salt passes through this forest.
Tourists who are to proceed their way to Dallol are advised to pause at around the hem of the escarpment so that to watch birds of different species and enjoy salt loaded animals climbing the mountains and unpacked one dashing down to ragged where salt has been dug for centuries . Shihaigudi. Situated on the fool side of the precipice with become the first Afar settlement to greet ways fares.
The Afar half dressed Are slim and sun – burnt facing people. Men fasten only piece of clothes and drape shawls. Young men tie “Gile” a silver handled long dagger. Also used as a weapon. In addition to long garment like skirts. Ladies cover their heads with stained scarves. Girls who adorn themselves with bead embroidered thongs go out bare – breasted. All wear.
The Afar whose economic main stay is based on traditional cattle breeding feed mainly on milk? Bread and porridge. They bake dough on earth woven planet to have their bread / location called Gamo). They also eat mixture of sheep and red pepper. How ever, the journey to and fro dallol is full of hardships. The enchanting features following their endless stretch of desert involves the sights of volcanic peaks. Sand dunes, bare plains. Clustered nomadic village and out door markets.
The travel allows one to interact with inhabits. There could also be. An opportunity to tie a Gile as the natives do. The voyage. Further shared with hundreds of camels. Mules and donkeys. Offers an experience that never.
The small town of Berhile, the seat of the Berhile district. is 120 k.ms far off Mekelle . It is situated at altitude of around 1.000m. This unexpectedly large and twin peak. is neither of the highlands nor truly of the dessert .Nevertheless with its houses and more austere Afar huts. It is between the two natural realms. The also server as an important stop on the salt caravan trail between Danakil and mekelle.
The town top water. Health center and police station offer better services. Here tourists are requested to pay their entrance fees arrange two local police and local guide.
The 57 k.m Berahile Hamed illa road runs over a river bed strewn with boulders Hamed illa. Like many other Afar settlements, is made up of cone shaped huts there is no formal accommodation in hamed –illa. But you should beable make a plan to camp or to rent in the local family compound. To stay at such a tukul is exciting adventure so few can do it. Few of highlanders have shopes, tearooms and dwellers and dwellers at night are busy and make lots of quick movements. The post also with health center and police station aids as prompt ground to visit the strong tourist sites.
Dallol, which is a step away from the flat salt ground. is by far the most stimulating site ever seen. The marvel. About 200 k.ms (4-5 hrs drive) far off mekelle. is 300 ha wide and 123 m below sea level the area has. Sulfur and other valuable minerals. The color of the ground spinkers and the smoke jointly discharges a vibrant image. A rare incident ever encounters.
Lake Asale Famous salt lake that is joy to drive through and visit salt minner who have been mining salt for many generations by cutting. Shaping and loading them endless camel caravans to transport to mekelle. The marchants. Who have? Already. Then purchase the salt bars and load onto their camels.Mules and donkeys son to being their way back.
Ertaele an often steaming active volcano can approach from Hamedella it us nearly 100 k.m drives and 3 hrs walk. Earth marked by the Afar Region Governments as the center piece of a forthcoming a crater national park: Ertaele ranks as one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attraction anywhere in Ethiopia.
Raising from below sea level to an altitude of 613m Erta- Ele and a 1k.m2 caldera at its summit. Nestled within the caldera Atre two pit craters: the large. More northerly one through currently inactive held a lava lake in 1980 and 1973. While the smaller ellipsoid central pit. Contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. Which measures about 60 m across and is 100m long? All the way to Dallol and father a field, is escorted with various astonishing sceneries. An act of venturing to Dallol and beyond surprise. Which altogether enables one together lots of unlikely experiences, thus arouse a sense of sole hero. The Afar region is part of the Ethiopian Rift valley. Since the late 1960 it has attracted the attention of researchers because of its uniqueness as the world’s only active. Suberial triple junction where the complex tectonics and volcanism of an area between three separating lithosphere plates can be observed on dry land.
Anyone who wants to visit the homeland of Lucy the Great, great, great ground mother of the 7 billion people of the world have to travel to the Afar region. From archeological point of view it was from this region that Lucy, the most important hominid skeleton dated at about 3.5 million years discovered.
Ethiopian is land of natural contrasts, from the tops of the rugged semien mountain to the depths of the Danakil Depression, which, at 120m below sea level. Is one of the lowest dry land points on earth? “Ertaele” is found in the Afar depression at 13.6 0N, 40. 67 0E, 613m. It is shield volcano, which has a base diameter of 30 k.m and is only 500m high. In its vast summit caldera (1600 x 700m) there are two pit craters. The larger one (300 – 400 m diameter) in the northern part contained a lava.