Lake Abbé, Djibouti, Horn of Africa

The Lake Abbé is a salt water lake located in the Afar country of Djibouti. It takes approximately 7 hours on sand and dusty tracks to reach it from the capital, Djibouti. This lake which receives water of the Awash river is located on the border between Ethiopia and Djibouti.

Landscape of Lac Abbé, Djibouti, Horn of Africa.
Landscape of Lac Abbé, Djibouti, Horn of Africa.

It with the characteristic to be a endorheic lake: i.e. that the water run-off, surface or not, does not reach the sea and the water isn just loast by evaporation. When water evaporates, large salt concretions are formed. The lake Abbé is connected to five other lakes: lake Afambo, lake Bario, lake Gargori, lake Gummare, lake Laitali. But it is also located also near a sleeped volcano: Dama. It is a not very deep lake with a 9 depth meters average (27 feet). The landscape is spotted by chimneys which can reach heights of more than 50 meters (150 feet), from where escape sulfured smokes coming out from the ground rich of calcium. These smokes gave the name to the lake. Indeed, Abbé means “rotted”.

In addition to the Afars shepherds who come to make feed the herds of sheep or donkeys, the only inhabitants of this lake where the air is very dry, are a very large pink Flamingo colony. The incredible spectacle of the Lake Abbé occurs at the end of the day during sunset. The chimneys create very special shapes evoking human or animal forms. It is a very rare show, very lunar, inspiring for the photographers. The lake Abbé was used as scenery for the famous movie “Planet of apes”, first episode.

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