“Honey Lake” is a crater lake at the western end of the Gulf of Tadjoura. Its 155 meters below sea level, making it the second-lowest land depression on Earth after the Dead Sea. Lake Assal is the largest salt reserve and the locals consider it to be a national treasure. It’s in the process of becoming a UNESCO World Heritage site and the views around the lake are unbelievable.
Lake Assal is the thirdsaltiest body of water on the planet, saltier even than the Dead Sea. The lake lies at the bottom of a crater at the lowest point in Africa. Surrounding the lake are several dormant volcanoes and lava fields. The location has been used by locals for decades to harvest salt; hauling the goods away on camelback.
While the surrounding desert and volcanoes are beautiful, the turquoise blue lake contrasted against the brilliantly white salt fields is breath-taking. Every bit of ground and rock in and around the lake is coated in a thick layer of salt. Local vendors often sell salt crystals, salt incrusted rocks, skulls, and other trinkets from Lac Assal.
Location of Lake Assal
Lake Assal is a crater lake in central-western Djibouti. It is located at the western end of the Gulf of Tadjoura in the Tadjoura Region, touching Dikhil Region, at the top of the Great Rift Valley, some 120 km west of Djibouti city.
How to get to Lake Assal
Using a 4×4 safari car Lake Assal is located 117 kilometers from the main capital Djibouti and the road trip can take 2-3 hours.
When to visit Lake Assal
Although easily accessible, it is advisable to visit Lake Assal on weekends. The national road 1 that leads there can be extremely busy with trucks loaded with fresh vegetables and fruits traveling from Ethiopia towards Djibouti City. A caution: the traffic can be exhausting under the sun and in some spots, it can be less safe.
Best time to visit Djibouti
The best time to visit Djibouti is between November to January when the weather is comparatively cooler and perfect for outdoor activities. This is also the best time of year if you wish to swim with the whale sharks as part of your Djibouti trip. May to September is pretty hot so best to avoid this low season.