Exploring Tourism in Djibouti
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Lac Abbe

As Eyla District, Djibouti

At Lac Abbé, it’s like being on another planet ! A rumor says that the film « La planète des singes » would have been shot there in 1968…

Lake Abbé is fed by waters from the Rift, the Ethiopian highlands and the Awash River. Today, due to drought and human activities (dam on the Awash) the lake is only 350 km2, against 6000 km2 more than 10,000 years ago. Seismic phenomena also contribute to variations in the level of Lake Abbé.

As soon as you approach the lake, you’ll see its many limestone chimneys, some of which reach 50 meters in height ; their color changes dependind on the time of day when they are observed, but it is naturally at sunset and sunrise that the panorama is most magical !

Some of these chimneys give off fumaroles that smell of sulphur. Shallow and salty, in the Afar language, Lake Abbé means « rotten lake », this lake is fed by the Ethiopian Awash river.

Located on the border between Djibouti and Ethiopia, it takes more than 4 hours to reach Lake Abbé from Djibouti, including nearly 3 hours of wide tracks that are not always clearly marked ; moreover it is surrounded by areas of shifting sand ; that is why it is necessary to go there with a guide.

Also beware of the bubbling springs on its banks. In the morning the nomadic children bring their herds of goats, sheep or donkeys to graze on the pastures bordering the lake.

Lac Abbé is also an important place of life for wild animals : flamingos, ducks, Ibis, and at night hyenas ans jackals, live on the edges of the lake.

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