Lac Assal

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In the Danakil desert, just over 112 kilometers west of the capital, lies one of Djibouti’s national treasures, the crater lake Lac Assal.

This geological phenomenon sits 155 meters below sea level, making it the lowest point on the African continent and the third lowest point in the world. The hot environment (with temperatures exceeding 50C degrees in the summer) has evaporated some of the water, leaving a wide white salt bed around the green-blue waters. Above this the black rock of the surrounding dormant volcanos make a stark contrast to the gleaming shores.

The lake was linked to Ethiopia thorough caravan routes created by salt trading Afar nomads. Salt extraction from the shores of the crater lake is still carried out to this day.


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