Imagine being at a place that is constantly fuming at 50-degree Celsius and a landscape that changes faster than a chameleon changes colour. That’s the Danakil Desert for you. By Kumar Shree

Acidic pools, sulphur springs, volcanoes and an average temperature ranging between 34-degree Celsius to 50-degree Celsius pretty much define the Danakil Desert. These factors combine together in bringing the Danakil Desert its infamous identity of being one of the most extreme, unwelcoming and inhospitable places on Earth. While the yellow, green and orange deposits are formed out of the interplay of iron and sulphur, these deposits appear supremely pleasing to the eyes. The Danakil Desert in the Afar region of Ethiopia has a climate that can only be described as torturous.

The harsh temperature evaporates all the water from the surface and leaves the land looking baked. It appears as if the entire landscape has been passed through a heat-blasted furnace. The fact that the Danakil Desert sits at one of the lowest places on the planet (410ft/125m below the sea level), and receives an almost non-existent (100 to 200mm) rainfall throughout the year — adds to the distinct character of the region. The brutal landscape and the scorching sun create an inhospitable abode; it is even tough to breathe here as the moisture from your eyes, mouth and ear is sucked away by the dryness lingering in the air.

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…6th May 2017… . . Finally arrived here!!! ついに、キタ━━━━(゚∀゚)━━━━!! . #世界一過酷な場所 と言われる、エチオピアはダナキル砂漠のダロール低地! . どこが世界一過酷かというと…色々ありまして… . ✓海抜マイナス100m以上!海面より低いって信じられますか… ✓真夏は気温50度になることも…暑すぎでしょ… ✓3日間の野宿や青空トイレを耐えての長距離悪路ドライブ ✓国境が近く治安が悪いので実銃を持った軍隊と行動 . 等々、旅慣れた人でも心が折れる人多数というダナキル砂漠なのです。 . そんな過酷と言われたら…行きたくなるじゃないですかー!!!← . そんなことで、GWの休暇を使って9日間でエチオピアを回ってきました。GWということもあり現地ツアーは日本人もたくさん。アジアでの人気が高まってるとのこと。ドMが多いんでしょうか…🙄 . 3日間のキャンプのハイライトは、写真のダロール低地。見てください、この極彩色…!もともとここは海底だった場所で、それが干上がってできた場所。 . カラフルな色は塩の地底から噴き出している硫黄やカリウムが液体化したもので、触るなキケン⚠ . バスクリンみたいな色が自然のチカラで作り出されているなんて、美しさと危うさは表裏一体だなあと思わされます。 . すんごい大変なツアーだったけれど、来てよかった!歳取ったら絶対来れないな(笑) . 📷 @hitomiyokoyama1116 . あとで動画もUPしますのでお楽しみに♡ . . Finally I visited #DanakilDesert ( #DanakilDepression ) in #Ethiopia ! . This place is called one of the hottest place in the world, the hottest day would be 50℃ !!! And located at 116m below sea level !!! . Can you imagine this splendid richly colored ground was made by nature? Isn't it the scenery in the another planet? . This vivid colors are salt,sulfur, potassium and so on. Here used to be a sea ground, and volcano. . I'll post movie later, check it out together!!! . . ©Shiho/詩歩

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Despite all that, there are people who live here and call it home. If you have ever wished of being able to witness the evolution at work, Danakil Desert is where you need to be. As you are always struggling to carry out even the most basic functions of the human body like breathing, the Afar people lead a seemingly effortless life. It seems as if they have developed some sort of an invisible immunity shield that protects them from all the ruthlessness that flows around. Their bodies have adapted, and that is one of the most evident sights of evolution at work.

The Afar people lead a simple, nomadic life as they carry their cattle (camels, donkeys and goats) and mobile wooden huts with them. It is the salt in the region that takes care of the economics for Afar people. Generations here have practised just the one trade — the salt trade. Men around here extract the salt from land (using hand axe), cut slabs out of it and take it for sale on the donkey and camelbacks. The journey takes around a week and these camels and donkeys are the only companions.

A river named Awash also flows through the region, and probably it is the only river on the planet that never meets an ocean. The ruthless sun and heat suck it midway and what remains works as a source of life for the Afar people and their cattle. The river is surrounded by a narrow fertile belt and brings both water and the valuable salts with it.

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Danakil is the second lowest place on earth after the Dead Sea of Israeli. And it has a vast coverage of salt and other terrific minerals around it. To create a suitably diverse 2,3,4 or much more days itinerary, I have concentrated on the best sights accessible like the colorful place dalol that's starts from mekelle. It's a a wonderful. scenic journey that takes you via Hamedila, home of the Cradle of man kind Hadar (home of the 3.5 years old Lucy), to Afdera, Danakil's greatest salt mineral composition, then toward east of the stones of ghosts Ertaale Volcanoes. From here you head south to the ancient city of Axum exploring different rock hewn churches, home to the best surviving Axumite kingdom architecture, and finally, you enter the heart of the great civilization of on the 4th century around Nile river. Most operators do this trip clockwise but I prefer to save the best for last – the place where I first fell in love with the country – admiring its fierce beauty from a private plunge pool. #traveling #tigray #mekelle #naturephotography #mekele #dalol #danakil #danakildesert #danakildepression #danakiltour #balikdanakil #ethiopia #eastafrica #ethiodanakil #ethiopiantravel #ethiodanakiltours #travel #traveler #travelgram #travelblogger #natgeotravel #travelersnotebook #afar #africa #adventure #addisababa #salt #saltlakecity

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In order to reach and explore the low-lying desert, it will require you to take a drive down from the Ethiopian highlands and go through the unfriendly and demanding roads from a town called Mekele. The place makes sure to test you from the word go, and if you don’t quit, there’s a whole lot to explore that will make for a truly unforgettable experience.

Despite all the harshness and extremism that the Danakil Desert is still an emerging tourist destination. Ethio Danakil Tours appear as one of the trusted hands in taking you safe and sound through the desert.

Related: These Resorts In Rajasthan Are The Ideal Desert Getaways