Ethiopia: Danakil – Dallol Volcano & Hot Springs
At the heart of the Danakil Depression lies Dallol volcano (an explosion crater actiually), the only land volcano on earth below sea level. You feel like you are on the set of Avatar: as far as the eye can see there are most incredibly colored salt, sulphur, iron oxide and other mineral formations – geysers, fumaroles, pools (most liquid is highly concentrated acid actually) – all active and fuming, boiling, erupting, belching water and sulphur gases. It’s an insane palette of every hue of red and yellow, and a place beyond most hallucinogenic dreams! This was the primary reason why I came here against all the travel advisories and logistical nightmares. Nobody knows about it and hardly any hardy tourists make it here. UNESCO probably never heard of it. But it is easily the most amazing place on this planet I have seen so far (sorry Kamchatka, you have been bumped down). You can have this all to yourself (and your security entourage). You are accompanied at all times by two Afar militiamen with AK-47 as well as four fully geared Ethiopian military, AK-47 and even one with a long-range sniper rifle! It’s only a few miles from non-demarcated and contested Ethiopia-Eritrea border.