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Dallol Geothermal Springs

This spectacularly colorful geothermal area found in the Danakil Depression of Ethiopia is one of the most inhospitable—and photogenic—places on Planet Earth. You'll be greeted by a dizzying and bewitching array of colors and textures. It's the kind of place you can photograph for hours and not grow bored!

Where: The closest major cities are Mekele and Semera (both are several hours away from the Danakil). You can do a very long day trip, or plan to spend a night or two camping at the outskirts of the Danakil. Going with an experienced tour operator is definitely recommended.

When: It's always hot in the Danakil, regardless of the time of year, but November through February offer the coolest temperatures. July, August and September are the rainy season, and flooding can make travel in this area difficult.

Photography: You'll find you can use a wide range of focal lengths here, all the way from short telephotos to ultra-wides. It's usually very sunny, so if there are no interesting clouds, consider minimizing the sky in your compositions. You'll have lots of opportunities for a variety of types of photography, including grand sweeping landscapes and intimate pattern compositions. Bring plenty of extra drinking water and protection from the sun. The colors of the geothermal area are best revealed during the day; plan a morning visit before it gets too hot!

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