When the mesmerizing beauty of Djibouti in Africa is inviting the traveler in you, Lake Assal is the place that deserves to be on top of your checklist. Emerald waters and the beautiful desert landscape are marvels not to be missed at any cost. With Djibouti securing its place in African destinations, Lake Assal has also attracted lots of tourists.
Curious to know more about this awesome place? Lake Assal is a crater lake located in central-western Djibouti at about 120 kms from Djibouti city. A short drive for an hour or two will be enough to reach here from city. Lying at 509 ft below sea level, it is the lowest point of land in Africa and the third lowest in Earth. Isn’t that a reason enough to visit the place?
Honey for salt, stay afloat?
Though the name Lake Assal means ‘honey lake’, don’t expect the water to be sweet. In fact, this is a saline lake with salt content being so high that you almost float. The oval shaped lake has two distinct portions. One part is dry due to evaporation and the other filled with salty water. Sharp contrast between white salty sand and emerald green water is simply amazing. The lake is famed as world’s largest salt reserve. No wonder, tourists who take a dip in the lake often have trouble planting their feet on the lake floor.
Beauty for the beholder
Lake Assal has been marked as the most coveted among Djibouti attractions. As it is close to Gulf of Tadjoura, another prominent landmark, the place is thronged by tourists on holidays. It fills one’s heart with wonder to watch this tiny water body safely preserved against the backdrop of a desert. Water takes on different color hues at different times leaving tourists in perfect amazement. Green algae in the lake is a spectacular sight. Even the rocks here present a myriad of colors from brown to pink. Altogether, a riot of colors welcomes visitors. A sunset with soft sands and calm waters is something to crave for.
The lake, being salt rich, has been the center of salt trade for quite some time. As this was posing a threat to ecological balance of the area, restrictions were imposed on salt extraction. There are measures going on to include Lake Assal in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. No better place than this to receive this honor.
Tips for travel
Small steps taken while travelling will go a big way in enjoying the trip. Watching sunrise and sunset are the best things to look forward to when visiting Lake Assal. So plan the outing accordingly. Besides, if you are hoping to swim in the waters, it is better to carry some water shoes as the salt crystals on lake floor are razor sharp. With a pair of shoes to guard your feet, wade along and enjoy the breath taking beauty. Sun can also play villain at times, so carry some sun cream along, unless you are in the mood to get a good tan.
Africa tours can never be complete without viewing the beaches, lakes and deserts of Djibouti. And in Djibouti, never can it be complete without Lake Assal. So go ahead and pack your bags.
Author: E Jey
Just a passionate traveler who loves scribbling his expeditions @ www.jauntmonkey.com, www.outonroads.com, and www.blogthatall.com