Tag Archives: Harar

Ten reasons to visit Ethiopia

During our seven month overland journey from Cape Town to Ethiopia in 2015 I discovered that this must be one of the most varied, interesting and unique countries in Africa, with awe-inspiring scenery! There are at least ten reasons why you should put this extraordinary country on your bucket list.

  1. Danakil Depression and Erta Ale Volcano

The Danakil is a geological depression which is situated at the junction of three tectonic plates that are drifting apart at about 10 millimetres a year. The Danakil Depression is known for being the hottest place on the planet year-round, holding the record high monthly average temperature for any inhabited area on earth at nearly 47 degrees Celsius. The temperature often rises to well into the 50’s. It’s also one of the most remote places on earth and the 4th lowest at around -130m below sea level.

In the northern part of the Danakil Depression the Dallol area is extremely interesting and includes salt mines, sulphur springs, a salt pool in which you can float, Lake Asala (a solid salt lake) and a salt mountain. The salt originates from infrequent flooding by the Red Sea, which last occurred about 30 000 years ago. This produced about 1,200 square km of salt deposits which are mined; seismic studies have shown that the salt extends to a depth of around 2000 metres. Continue reading Ten reasons to visit Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s spectacular caves and an ancient city

We awoke at minus two degrees, camped at over 4000m in the quarry on the Sanetti Plateau, freezing, with the wind chill factor making it worse. Mist was coming in as we cooked up coffee and a hasty breakfast, breaking up camp as quickly as possible. Everything was wet and grimy, the steel awning poles draining most of the heat from our hands, the remainder going when we had to wash off the filth. However, with sleet falling, we knew it would have been much worse had it rained. Continue reading Ethiopia’s spectacular caves and an ancient city