2 days at Abbé Lake and Assal Lake

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Level: Discovery


2 jours au Lac Abbé et au lac Assal

With our circuit «2 days at Lake Abbé and Lake Assal», you will live an adventure of exceptional intensity with the visit of the 2 jewels of the Republic of Djibouti that are Lake Abbé and Lake Assal.

2 days is short; however everything has been organized to make you discover all the curiosities of these 2 sites unique in the world, without stress and taking the time to appreciate all they have to offer.

At Abbé Lake: you will witness the spectacle of sunset and sunrise in the middle of the chimneys. You will approach the flamingos and observe the many animal species that inhabit the shores of the lake and move on the trail that leads to it.

At Lake Assal: you will make the most of this magical place. Indeed you can even take a bath there, and we will picnic at noon on the spot!

For more information on these 2 essential sites, see the blog article dedicated to them



Centre et sud
  Sea & Lakes
  Itinerant stay
Lac Assal

Day 1 Planet Lake Abbé

Morning: from Djibouti to Dikhil we take an asphalt road for 120 kms; this is the route taken by Ethiopian truckers from the port of Djibouti to Addis Ababa, for the importation of goods necessary for the economy of the country.

We will cross the semi-desert expanses of the Petit Bara and the Grand Bara where we will observe mirages, whirlpools and gazelles with a little luck.

Before lunch at the La Palmeraie restaurant in Dikhil, we will visit the palm grove of this city.

Afternoon: after Dikhil, we leave the road, to cover 80 km of sandy tracks.  We will cross the villages of As Eyla and Koutabouya. We can see gazelles of Pelzen; at the end of the route it is com

Site bordering Ethiopia and Djibouti, the Abbé lake presents a unique panorama. Its limestone fireplaces offer a lunar landscape, very popular with photographers around the world, especially at sunrise and sunset. Despite the fact that, contrary to rumour, the first version of the film “Planet of the Monkeys” was not shot at Abbé Lake, the site is extraordinary.

The sulfur scents that escape from the fumaroles gave the lake its name. Indeed, Abbé Lake means «rotten lake»!

Arrive at the Lac Abbé camp in the evening to watch the sunset.

Dinner and night at the Abbé Lake Camp



Day 2 From Abbé Lake to Assal Lake

Morning: we will get up very early to watch the sunrise in the middle of the chimneys! Then we will approach the flamingos by the lake. We will also observe some so

Then we’ll go to Assal Lake. On the way, we will stop to admire the grandiose landscape of the Dimbiya canyon nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of Djibouti”….

A few kilometres further on, another stop at the stele of B. Borrel, the French magistrate whose partially charred body was found at the bottom of the cliff on the morning of 18 October 1995. The "Borrel affair" soured relations between Djibouti and France for several years.

Then we leave the road to take the «access ramp» to Lake Assal. Located 153 metres below sea level, Lake Assal is one of the saltiest in the world. This fact combined with the very high evaporation due to the intense heat that reigns there, explains that salt has been mined there for hundreds of years. No living organism can survive in the waters of Assal Lake. We will be able to bathe there because we take fresh water for the indispensable shower avoiding being transformed into a statue of salt (lol); plastic shoes are necessary to avoid injuring oneself on the sharp and hard salt crystals of the salt ice pack.

The very high temperatures that prevail in this place do not make it very hospitable, but its legendary beauty, described in particular by the adventurer writer J. Kessel, makes it a site not to be missed.

On a longer tour, we can organize a bivouac on site to enjoy the sunrise the next day, and hike to the Ardoukoba volcano.

Lunch: picnic at Lake Assal.

Afternoon: Return to Djibouti. Depending on the time available for this day, it is possible to visit the lava field between Assal and Goubet.

Transfer to the airport at the end of the evening.

For more information on these 2 essential sites, see the blog article dedicated to them