Note: This is a repost of content from a previous blog article titled So So Salty Lake Assal, Djibouti in Ten Photos from 10/26/2018, with some additional information.
In this post we will travel outside of the city to Lake Assal. Lake Assal (Lac Assal) is a saltwater lake in Djibouti, located about 115km from Djibouti City. It a great excursion from the city during the cooler winter months. Temperatures can exceed 50C during the summer months. At 150M below sea level, it is the lowest spot in Africa and one of the lowest spots on the globe. It is saltier than the Dead Sea and the Great Salt Lake in Utah. It’s also located in the desert, so the area is incredibly hot.
1: On our way to the lake we encountered this handsome young lad who had all kinds of cool stuff for sale, including bags of salt harvested from the lake. He also sold salt-coated goat skulls, which looked pretty wicked.
2: The lake itself has crystal clear blue water and is ringed by a layer of pure salt. Locals harvest the salt, and there is actually an industrial farming operation located here aided by the Chinese. The lake is actually the largest salt reserve in the world!
3: At first glance the white in the center looks like snow, but it’s actually pure salt.
4 & 5: Here are some more beautiful views of the lake shore. It is quite a unique place to experience.
6: If you are brave enough to enter the lake be warned. Every orifice on your body and any cuts or scrapes will burn. If you get the water in your eyes, it will effectively blind you. You will emerge coated with salt so you should rinse off after taking a dip. On the positive side, you have great buoyancy and will bob up and down like a cork in the water.
7-9: Besides the amazing lake, the geological formations in the dry area of the lake create a vast alien landscape all around for you to explore. I’m surprised sci-fi movies aren’t filmed here.
10: On our way home from Lac Assal, we discovered one of the mythical tree goats of Djibouti. Goats will climb up on to the upper branches of the acacia trees, because that’s where the best morsels are.