Erta Ale Volcano, Ethiopia (Africa)

Erta Ale Volcano, Ethiopia (Africa)

The Danakil’s top attraction is Erta Ale, a 613m-high shield volcano whose caldera of crumbling black rock contains world’s oldest permanent lava lake. Bubbling at temperatures of more than 1,000˚C, this ellipsoid cauldron of black-and-red magma is a truly mesmerising phenomenon, as violent red fountains of molten rock spurt tens of metres in the sky, accompanied by nose-searing waves of ammoniac gas. Accessible only on foot or by camelback, Erta Ale is reached along a gradually sloping 10km path through shadeless terrain that can be treacherously hot in full daylight. It is conventional to ascend in the late afternoon to avoid the midday heat, then sleep at the top and return to the base early the next morning.

Leave a Reply