Lake Assal

Around the bay from Djibouti city lies Lake Assal, the lowest point on the African continent at -509 feet (-155 meters), and the third lowest point on the entire planet. I’m a little shocked to see how close to the ocean it is, and it seems bizarre to me that the ocean water does not flood down to fill the lake, but for whatever reason it doesn’t.

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The islands off the mainland are beautiful

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The end of the mighty Rift Valley where it drops into the ocean

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Djibouti is apparently a series of barren and rocky mountains that drop into the ocean

The surrounds and the lake itself are reminiscent of a moonscape, and again I feel like I’m not on the same planet anymore.

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Lake Assal and mountains

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The lake is a surreal color

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The salty shoreline

The lake is extremely salty – actually ten times more salty than the ocean – and is being commercially mined for that salt, which is scraped off from shallow drying pools. It is possible to take a swim to experience extreme buoyancy, though the prospect of being coated in crusty salt doesn’t appeal to me.

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The lowest point possible in Africa (-528ft)

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The gravel road around the lake

Djibouti continues to dish out surreal landscapes and oddities.

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A baboon on the side of the road


3 Responses

  1. Robert says:

    These pictures are very reminiscent of the tufa around mono lake and the pinacles in death valley, California.

    What an awesome adventure! Thanks for taking the time to share
    – dude from pirate4x4

    • Dan Grec says:

      Thanks for the comment Robert!

      It sounds like I have to checkout Mono Lake and the pinacles. I was in Death Valley with this Jeep before I left for Africa, but I didn’t get to either of those spots!


  2. zidane says:

    beautiful place, thank you for creating this article

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