The Afar Region and People
Afar is one of Ethiopia's Federal Democratic Republic regional government, with 1,602,995 inhabitants and covering an area of 72,053 km². The majority of the population living in the Afar region are the native Afar tribe, who were a partof thekingdom called the Afar Sultanate that has played a significant role in the history of Ethiopia.
The Afar region is rich with a variety of attractions to present as a tourism asset for any international and local visitors who are interested in visiting.
The Awash River is the main water flow to the region and the longest river in Ethiopia running 1270 kilometers. The river passes through the Afar depression, where many Archeologists, Anthropologists, and Paleoanthropologists dedicate their time and acquire vast knowledge, looking for the fossils of the ancient hominids. Hadar, is a place located in this depression where the famous fossil of our ancestral hominid Lucy was discovered in 1974.
Danakil desert is located in the north-eastern part of Ethiopia. It is situated in the Afar triangle. It stretches across 100,000 km² of arid terrain, with an extreme temperature surpassing to 50°c. The desert has a number of lakes formed by lava flows and several valleys. It is one of the Earth's lowest and hottest place at an elevation of 120 meters below sea level. The different and mixed colourful natural formation due to the minerals overflow to the outer surface, gave it infamous names such as 'Another Planet on Earth', 'An Unearthly Formation', and others.
Mount Erta Ale (613 meters above sea level), is an active volcano site situated within the Afar depression. The place is a triple junction with its continuous internal tectonic activity, leading into a pull-apart basin or rift. Mount Erta Ale as it is interpreted from the local Afar language is known as 'The Smoking Mountain', also described locally as 'The Gate to Hell'.
The Camels caravan is also an interesting activity to be seen daily in the Danakil depression. It is a human-made daily routine, by the neighbouring people of Tigray, who travel all the way long to the desert to extract salt, packing them and loading on their camels.