"The Danakil Depression" Ethiopia Off The Beaten Path Tip by Saagar

Ethiopia Off The Beaten Path: 23 reviews and 20 photos

  Hardy people, rough nature
by Saagar

Very few come here, less people return to the place. Those outsiders who come here write books about it. Those outsiders who do not have permission to enter are ostracised if discovered. Those who are not prepared do not come back. The locals seem unflinching and untouched by the hardship of this place, but statistics tell a different story. This is Danakil, the world's hottest place. And with the most "cool" people...?
Do visit during the "cold" season.
There is road access to some parts of Danakil, but only to the key trade posts and settelements at the outskirts. Jeep tracks (military, some civilian) cross parts of the Danakil, and some more or less permanent tracks penetrate the outskirts. The centre, however, appears like access is strictly by camel... Some of the best photos I have seen from the area come from volcanologists who are following the development of a number of volcanic spots including live volcanoes here.
The recent war with Eritrea worsened access, and today the best bet is to catch a glimpse of Danakil from the fringes of Afar: Dessie, Awash, Kombolocha, Aba'ala, Assaiyta.
Politically, the Danakil depression is part of the Afar province of Ethiopia, roughly reflecting the ethnic homelands of the Afar people. They are related to the Somali people and have similar nomadic lifestyles, in modern language, pastoralist cultures. They follow a yearly pattern of transhumance; shifting grazing lands, water sources and settlements, following the needs of camels, fat-tail sheep and goats.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Jun 10, 2004
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