Ethiopia

Inhumane living conditions and extraterrestrial landscapes!

(Scroll down for more infos and pics)

Danakil Depression

A trip to the active lava lake of Erta Ale volcano has been a long time dream. I exceptionally was barely interested in Ethiopia, the country it’s located in. As preparation I’ve read the book from Rüdiger Nehberg (German survivalist) who reached Erta Ale in the 60ties by foot and got really im-pressed. But I couldn’t really get into a culture where a human life doesn’t count.

But then everything changed. The life of the Afar people in this extreme area has left with me a very lasting impression as so far no other experience on one of my many trips. I now do understand the felt missing value of a human life. I never will forget the pictures in my head of the poor housings and the daily struggle for survival.

And of course I never will forget the extraterrestrial colours of Dallol volcano and my face to face experience with the center of our Mother Earth.

Hard life of the Afar woman

The ethnic group of Afar people primarily live in the Danakil Depression in NE Ethiopia. They are traditionally cattle breeder. Afar women are rarely seen and when mostly while working hard. Because of that, plus the still practised inhuman female genital mutilation, we’ve never seen them smiling.

Extreme Drought

End of 2015 a rainy season was late which has lead to a extreme drought especially in Danakil area. The Afar people living here – like this young shepherd – had to travel far distances to get to the few left watering places.

Not only people but also the animals looked very thin which often just were able to find some garbage to eat.

Accomodation

Many Afar people do live in very poor and shabby accomodations, made out of garbage.

Salt mining

More about the unimaginable working conditions of the Salt minors in Danakil desert to come soon…

Dallol volcano

This volcano is the lowest known sub-aerial volcanic area in the world. It is a vast area of uplifted thick salt deposits (at least 1.000m) affected by intense fumarolic activity, probably caused by an active volcanic system beneath.

Dallol is famous for its hot brine and multi-coloured salt deposits, hot springs and miniature geysers. These bizarre and coloured structures form in a complex interaction of solution (Dallol means in Afar language: solution) and recrystallization pro-cesses driven by hydrothermal waters and rapid evaporation.

Lava Lake Erta Ale

Erta Ale volcano is a large basaltic shield volcano, which is famed for its persistent lava lake, which has been active during most of the past decades since it was first discovered in the 1960s.

A direct view into the heart of our planet.

But a really dangerous one. I nearly burned my face due to the unbelievable heat of more than 1.200 degree Celsius, often had to wear my gas mask due to poisonous gases with the permanent risk of a break off of the crater edge.

But I was rewarded facing these dangers with fantastic photographs and ever lasting memories. Plus I have spent two nights at the most out-of-the-world campsite ever.