Lake Afrera, at a glance

Accessible via a long drive across the Danakil Depression, Lake Afrera is also 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 the two major salt lakes in the Danakil Depression, the hyper saline lake was formed after a period of high seismic activity created a depression. As the series of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions subsided, the indentation slowly filled with water, leaving the lake that we see today.

Lake Afrera

Lake Afrera, the second super saline lake in the Danakil.

Over the years the lake has helped fuel the local economy, becoming one of the world's biggest salt mines in the process. Despite years of constant cultivation, reverse estimates claim there is still over 290 million tons of salt here, and huge white rocks made up of salt deposits build up on the lake's shores.

Unlike many of the other lakes in the Danakil Depression, visitors can swim in Lake Afrera. The lakes high salt content means those who enter float weightlessly. Adjacent to the lake is a freshwater hot spring - a natural jacuzzi - a welcome respite during the long journey through the desert. 

Lake Afrera

Hot spring adjacent to Lake Afrera.

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