Lac Assal Salt Flats: Djibouti’s Shimmering Natural Wonder

Lac Assal Salt Flats: Djibouti’s Shimmering Natural Wonder

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Nestled in the heart of Djibouti’s Danakil Desert, the Lac Assal Salt Flats are a shimmering natural wonder that captivates with its otherworldly beauty. As one of the lowest points on Earth, this unique landscape is characterized by vast salt plains and salt formations, creating a surreal and picturesque panorama. With its extreme salinity and striking white surface, Lac Assal Salt Flats offer a one-of-a-kind experience, drawing adventurers and photographers from around the world to witness its breathtaking expanse.

General Overview: 

The Lac Assal Salt Flats, also known as Lake Assal, are situated in the Danakil Desert, about 150 kilometers west of Djibouti City. It is one of the lowest and saltiest bodies of water on the planet.

Key Features:

  1. Extreme Salinity: Lac Assal’s water has an extraordinarily high salt concentration, making it one of the most saline bodies of water globally.
  2. White Salt Flats: The salt flats extend for miles, covering the landscape with a shimmering white surface, resembling an otherworldly moonscape.
  3. Lowest Point in Africa: Lac Assal’s shoreline sits at an elevation of approximately 155 meters below sea level, making it the lowest point in Africa.

Activities and Experiences:

  1. Salt Exploration: Walk on the vast salt flats and marvel at the unique salt formations and crystalline patterns underfoot.
  2. Swimming: Despite the extreme salinity, some visitors enjoy floating in the buoyant waters of Lac Assal.
  3. Photography: Capture the surreal beauty of the salt flats, especially during sunrise and sunset when the landscape transforms with stunning hues.


Accommodations near Lac Assal may be limited due to the remote location. Visitors can consider staying in Djibouti City or nearby towns and make day trips to the salt flats.


There are no dining options directly on the salt flats. Bring your own food and plenty of water for a comfortable visit.

Getting There: 

The journey to Lac Assal typically requires a 4×4 vehicle, as the roads leading to the salt flats can be rough and challenging.

Best Time to Visit: 

The best time to explore Lac Assal Salt Flats is during the cooler months, from November to February, to avoid extreme desert temperatures.

Travel Tips:

  • Sun Protection: Due to the harsh desert environment, pack essential items like sunblock, hats, and sunglasses.
  • Hydration: Carry plenty of water, as the desert heat can be dehydrating.


Lac Assal Salt Flats beckon travelers to witness the mesmerizing allure of Djibouti’s otherworldly landscape. With its vast white salt plains and extreme salinity, this natural wonder offers an unforgettable experience for adventurers and photographers seeking a glimpse of a surreal and enchanting desert vista. Embark on a journey to Lac Assal Salt Flats and let its shimmering beauty and unique charm leave you with cherished memories of an extraordinary exploration in Djibouti’s salt-laden marvel.



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