Ethiopia's ancient salt trails

For centuries merchants have travelled to Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression, one of the hottest and harshest environments on earth, to collect salt from the surface of the vast desert basin.

A local guide sits on yellow sulphur and mineral salt formations created by upwelling springs of Dallol volcano in Ethiopia's Danakil depression

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ETHIOPIA: A man walks on sulphur and mineral salt formations near Dallol in the Danakil Depression, northern Ethiopia. The Danakil Depression in Ethiopia is one of the hottest and harshest environments on earth, with an average annual temperature of 94 degrees Fahrenheit (34.4 Celsius). For centuries, merchants have travelled there with caravans of camels to collect salt from the surface of the vast desert basin. The mineral is extracted and shaped into slabs, then loaded onto the animals before being transported back across the desert so that it can be sold around the country.