How to get to Danakil Desert
In order to visit this spectacular destination, you need a permit from the local authorities (which you can get once in the country) as well as hiring a small military escort (a minimum of two soldiers). It’s essential that you hire an all-terrain vehicle including the services of a driver or guide who knows the area well.
The Danakil Desert is located in the same depression. It occupies part of Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa. The surreal nature of the landscape with its vivid colours and unbelievable contrours makes up for the harsh climate. The scenery changes drastically from the virgin white of its salt lakes to the colourful springs of Dallol, the volcanic area. Here, we are at the lowest point of Africa, at 125 metres below sea level. The lakes burn and are a mixture of bubbling oranges, greens, reds and yellows due to the high percentage of sulphide and sulphur, which ifills the air with an intense smell. The roars coming from inside the earth are the only noises that break the surrounding silence.
There are over 30 active volcanoes in Danakil and Erta Ale is the most active volcano in Ethiopia. Its nickname, ‘the gateway to Hell’, is somewhat intimidating, despite being one of the lowest volcanoes in the world, at 613 metres. At sunset, you can climb up to its caldera and see up-close the lava that accumulates in its crater, thereby forming a lake. There are four volcanoes like this in the world and this is the oldest.