On our way back from the beautiful hellscape of Lake Abbe, we grabbed a quick breakfast back at our camp, bid good riddens to bug filled Klendathu, and then made our way for another 3 hour drive for lunch back at the same hotel in Dikhil. We then drove onwards another 3-4 hours to the second lake of Djibouti, and certainly its most famous, Lake Assal.
Along the way we stopped for some sightseeing, namely Lake Ghoubet which feeds directly into the Gulf of Tadjoura and subsequently the much larger Gulf of Aden that separates Somalia and Yemen.
…and Belvedere Sul Canyon, Djibouti’s own “Grand Canyon” that is situated near the Afar Triple Junction/Triangle, a tectonic triple junction where three tectonic plates currently meet – African, Arabian, and Somali – and are actively pulling away.
Despite a tire almost coming off one SUV, our own drive nodding off in the middle of driving, and a few times another land cruiser overheating, all 8 of us somehow still made it to Lake Assal in one piece.
Lake Assal lies 150 metres below sea level, making it Africa’s lowest point and the world’s second lowest point behind Jordan’s Dead Sea.
It is crowned by an almost alien chain of volcanoes spewing black lava, while the border of the lake is surrounded by salt banks of a white so bright that it looks like snow.
Step aside, Dead Sea, this lake is officially the world’s biggest reserve of salt.
After enjoying the lake to our heart’s content in the blistering heat (which took about 10 minutes), we drove back to Djibouti City and returning by 7pm.
After our return to our hotel we took the most glorious feeling showers of our lives. And while the rest somehow had enough spirit to muster on with a seafood kebab dinner, I stayed behind to catch up on life and headed to bed early for a 4:30am wake up call so we could make our 7am onward flight to Somaliland.
- At time of posting in Lake Assal, it was 44 °C - Humidity: 53% | Wind Speed: 11km/hr | Cloud Cover: the extreme heat that you'd expect from the world's largest salt reserve