History of the lake
Accessible via a long drive across the arid Danakil depression, Lake Afrera, known as Lake Giulietti after the Italian explorer Giuseppe Maria Guillietti who was murdered on the shores of the lake by a local tribe. The lake has a surface area of over 100km, making it one of the bigger lakes in the Afar region.
One of many lakes in the Danakil Depression, the hyper saline lake was formed after a period of high seismic activity, which caused the larger depression which houses the lake. As the series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions subsided, the indentation slowly filled with water, leaving the lake that we see today.
Over the years the lake has helped fuel the local economy, becoming one of the worlds biggest salt mines in the process. Despite years of constant cultivation, reverse estimates claim there is still over 290 million tons and huge white rocks made up of salt deposits litter the lake's shores.
Unlike many of the other lakes in the Danakil depression, visitors can swim in the hypersaline Lake Afrera. The lakes high salt content means those who enter float weightlessly, and nearby hot water springs bubble, creating natural hot tubs, a welcome respite during the long journey through desolate depression.
Despite its seemingly endless supply of salt, the lake’s lifetime is finite, with various reports claiming over the last one hundred years, the volume of water within the lake has decreased by over 10%, and is due to continue shrinking. One of the regions most striking lakes, Lake Afrera’s slowly shrinking shores should be seen before they are gone forever.
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