Nature Photography Travel

Africa’s Danakil Desert: The Hottest and Cruelest Place On Earth

An extraordinary desert lies in the north of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. This place is unlike anywhere else on Earth. Danakil Desert in Ethiopia has been named The Cradle of Humankind as it was home for our earliest ancestors, it is one of the most geologically active places on the planet.

You can witness how volcanos and earthquakes rip apart the ground, and t’s officially the hottest place on Earth. The temperature raises up to 60 degrees Celsius (145 degrees Fahrenheit), and there is almost no water.

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Looks like nobody is able to survive here, but somehow people live in this place, they are nomadic warrior tribe called the Afar.


For hundreds of years the Afar people have produced salt by cutting blocks from an 800 m thick layer of salt. The salt is cut in blocks of the same size that are loaded on camels and go in a transport of a week to Mekele the nearest city.

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The Afar people have refused to use more modern forms of transport like trucks.

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Camels walk along the road in this shot of the salt mines from above. About 2,000 camels and 1,000 donkeys pass through every day, transporting salt.

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The work is done all year, also when it is extremely hot in summer, as the region is 100 m below sea level.

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All Images © Joel Santos/Barcroft Images


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