Friday Lens Affair 206


Lake Karum, Danakil Depression, Ethiopia

This Friday very special photo of the Lake Karum in the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia taken by Mike from 197 Travel Stamps Blog.

Mike is on a journey to travel to every country on earth while maintaining a full-time job. So far, he has visited 110 of 197 countries and the list keeps growing.

His mission takes him to some of the most remote and adventurous places on the planet. Seriously, follow his Facebook and Instagram for some unusual destinations.

Photo Story: Lake Karum, Ethiopia

During a trip to the remote Erta Ale Volcano in Northern Ethiopia, we passed by this surreal green hole in the ground.

The trip started early in the morning in the city of Mekelle. While the first part of the long drive was still on a paved road, this quickly changed and we moved off-road.

We spent hours in the back of our jeep, driving through the dry desert of the Danakil Depression. At more than 100 meters below sea level, the area is one of the lowest points on the African continent and is considered the hottest inhabited place on earth.

One part of the drive lead over the dried salt surface of Lake Karum.

Here, locals are still harvesting salt in the traditional way. Just like it has been done for centuries. Long caravans of camels move into the Danakil Depression from the closest city.

After they are packed with blocks of salt, they start their two-week march back to civilization. The local workers stay behind under the excruciating heat to hack more salt blocks out of the lake’s surface for the next caravan.

The photograph shows a hole in the salt crust of Lake Karum. The water appears green under the sunlight.

The entire area of the Danakil Depression was one of the most surreal places I’ve ever visited. Just minutes away from this hole in the ground, we encountered a colourful Sulphur field.

There was steam emerging from small pipes in the ground, water boiling and a very intense Sulphur smell in the air. Such an incredible place.

Lake Karum (also known as Lake Assale or Asale) is a salt lake in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. One of two salt lakes in the northern end of the Danakil Depression (the other one being Lake Afrera), it lies at −120 m  relative to sea level. The volcano Erta Ale rises southwest of this lake.

North of Lake Karum is the former mining settlement of Dallol. The lake is extremely salty and is surrounded by a salt pan, which is still mined. The salt is transported by caravan to the rest of the country.

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4 thoughts on “Friday Lens Affair 206

  1. Christine

    What a beautiful lake. Looks unreal. I bet it would be really cool to take a dip in there!

  2. Roman

    Great photo!
    I’ve never seen anything like this before.
    What are the dimensions of the hole and the lake?
    Is it allowed to swim there?

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