Lake Assal

The honey lake, which is the literal meaning of the Lake Assal is situated in the west of Djibouti. The location can be traced to the Tadjoura Region, touching Dikhil Region, Great Rift Valley and Djibouti city at the west. Lake Assal, which is a volcanic lake, found in the central part of the country, situated at the top of the Great Rift Valley which is in the Danakil Desert.

The lake is featured by two main parts – the dry part which is the dry plain white bed of salt that resulted from the continuous evaporation of the salt water from the lake in the past, and the other is the thickly saline water body. Lake Assal is one of the most saline-natured lakes, which is the sole reason for it being the largest salt reserve in the world that serves as a source of income to the local inhabitants. The lake is considered as a national treasure, a protected zone, though the boundaries of the lake are not well defined for the time being.

One of the characteristic and unique features of the Lake Assal is that it is one of the hottest places on earth with the temperature shooting to more than 50° C at daytime. The nearer you go to the lake, the higher is the temperature. The underground of the lake keeps on evaporating, adding to the density of the solid salt bed which has a thickness of 35-40 cms on which one can easily drive a car, though it is popularly called a lake.

The vegetation in Lake Assal is scarce with a few thorny bushes and shrubs here and there with one lone Palm tree, bypassing the road. As the lake water is rich in salt and minerals, there are no signs of life in it as such, but at the same time, very rich in bacteria population. However, there were rare witnesses of terrestrial animals like camels, lizards, small birds and insects. So, the Lake Assal though hot is still useful!