The salt lakes Lac Assal and Lac Abbé are very interesting, they have a stark beauty. I did see a few animals.

Pictures of birds in Djibouti and other nature pages are separate:

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All pictures are © Dr. Günther Eichhorn, unless otherwise noted.

Lac Abbé

Lake Abbé is a salt lake on the border between Djibouti and Ethiopia. It is the ultimate destination of the waters of the Awash River. The lake used to be much higher, and had hot mineral springs on the floor. These underwater hot springs built up limestone chimneys on the bottom of the lake. Subsequently, the water level of the lake dropped, leaving the chimneys on dry ground. It is a bizarre looking landscape, which was used as scenery for the film "Planet of the Apes".

View Limestone Chimneys
View of the limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé from a distance. (522k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of the limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé. (771k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé. (943k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé. (534k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé. (599k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of limestone chimneys at Lac Abbé. (636k)
View Limestone Chimneys
View of limestone chimneys with hot spring at Lac Abbé. (703k)
Largest Limestone Chimney
The largest limestone chimney formation, about 50 m (160 ft) high. (737k)
Limestone Chimney
Limestone chimney. (783k)
Limestone Chimney
Limestone chimney. (501k)
Limestone Chimney
Limestone chimney. (771k)
Closeup Limestone Crust
Closeup of the limestone. The crust was formed by bacteria while the chimney was still under water. It stabilized the chimney, without it they crumble immediately. (1190k)
Sunset Over Limestone
Sunset over the limestone chimneys. (489k)
Hot Spring
Hot spring. (693k)
Hot Spring Local
Hot spring. Local people use them for cooking food. (956k)
Demonstration Hot Hot
Demonstration of how hot the hot springs are. (1097k)
Demonstration Hot Hot
Demonstration of how hot the hot springs are. (1090k)
Demonstration Hot Hot
Demonstration of how hot the hot springs are. (1104k)

Lac Assal

Lac Assal is a salt lake in northern Djibouti. It is the lowest point in Africa at 155 m (509 ft) below sea level, making it the third lowest point on earth, after the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. It is the world's largest salt reserve, which is exploited at the southeast end of the lake. Recently, a new concession was awarded to a US company.

View Lac Assal
View of Lac Assal. (602k)
River Flowing Into
River flowing into Lac Assal. It is swollen due to recent heavy rains. (922k)
Lac Assal Different
Lac Assal with different colors, due to different salt deposits. (769k)
Salt Formations Lac
Salt formations on Lac Assal. (672k)
Salt Formations Lac
Salt formations on Lac Assal. (781k)
Close-up Salt Formation
Close-up of salt formation on Lac Assal. (593k)

Djibouti Nature

I saw quite a few birds. The Dorcas Gazelles were a bit of a surprise in the desert.

Interesting features were the limestone chimneys on Lac Abbé, and the salt formations on Lac Assal.

For me the most interesting thing to see was the rift between the African plate and the Asian plate. The two plates move apart at about 2 cm (0.8") pro year. You can see the rift clearly in several places, the most obvious was in a road, that needs to be constantly patched because of the increasing rift.

Landscape Lac Abbé
Landscape near Lac Abbé after recent rains. (710k)
Landscape Lac Abbé
Landscape near Lac Abbé. (947k)
Landscape Lac Assal
Landscape near Lac Assal, with a helicopter flying through the valley. (667k)
Landscape Lac Assal
Landscape near Lac Assal. (971k)
Devil's Island Gulf
Devil's Island in the Gulf of Tadjoura. (520k)
Volcanic Formation Lac
Volcanic formation near Lac Assal. (689k)
Lava Tube Lac
Lava tube near Lac Assal. (1056k)
Lava Tube Lac
Lava tube near Lac Assal. (839k)
Rift Between Asia
The rift between Asia and Africa. (834k)
Part Rift Between
Another part of the rift between Asia and Africa. (992k)
Rift Between Asia
The rift between Asia and Africa is widening by a couple of centimeters per year. You can see the rift on the road. (933k)
Valley Lac Assal
Valley near Lac Assal. It is formed by the rifts between African plate, the Asian plate, and the Arabian plate. (842k)
Acacias Desert
Acacias in the desert. (622k)
Dragon Tree Dracaena
Dragon Tree (Dracaena ombet, german: Drachenbäume). It is over 500 years old, according to my guide. (1200k)
Grasshopper
Grasshopper. (916k)
Gecko
Gecko. (704k)
Tortoise
Tortoise. (842k)
Black-backed Jackal Canis
Black-backed Jackal (Canis mesomelas, german: Schabrackenschakal, french: Chacal à chabraque). (504k)
Black-backed Jackal Family
Black-backed Jackal family. (713k)
Black-backed Jackal Cub
Black-backed Jackal cub enthusiastically greeting the returning parent. (730k)
Dorcas Gazelles Gazella
Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas, german: Dorkasgazelle, french: Gazelle dorcas) and Egyptian Geese. (654k)
Dorcas Gazelles Gazella
Dorcas Gazelles (Gazella dorcas, german: Dorkasgazelle, french: Gazelle dorcas). (648k)
Male Dorcas Gazelle
Male Dorcas Gazelle (Gazella dorcas, german: Dorkasgazelle, french: Gazelle dorcas). (747k)
Dromedaries Camelus Dromedarius
Dromedaries (Camelus dromedarius, german: Dromedar, french: Dromadaire) with baby. (1038k)
Dromedary Lac Abbé
Dromedary near Lac Abbé. (923k)
Dromedary Lac Abbé
Dromedary near Lac Abbé. (753k)

This page contains 50 pictures with 4 species

Djibouti
Main page for Djibouti

Page last updated on Tue Sep 24 18:19:03 2019 (Mountain Standard Time)


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© Dr. Günther Eichhorn
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