Something to whet your appetites: Erta Ale

Here are a couple of many videos I took at the famous lava lake in the Danakil, Erta Ale, the only permanent one of its kind in the world:

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11 Responses to Something to whet your appetites: Erta Ale

  1. Wow, you’re in the DanaKILL Desert – that is very brave or it would have been in the past – they had some horrible ways of killing. I read in one explorers journal that the (Afar..?) tribeswomen used to wear necklaces made of a mans penis and scrotum, presumably removed whilst alive.

    • jewamongyou says:

      My impression was that we should be respectful of the Afar, but they certainly don’t go around butchering tourists. I let some of the salt minors/caravan leaders take some photos with my camera. They were tickled; they’d obviously never used a camera before.

    • fedfef1 says:

      I’d be curious to see where you heard of that practice. I’d bet very very few tribes in world history have ever done that.

      • I certainly didn’t make it up – I have read a lot about exploration – but I don’t recall the specific book or explorer now. Sir Richard Burton went to that area so it may have been his recollection but I think it was another British explorer.
        “I’d bet very very few tribes in world history have ever done that.”
        You mean that nobody could be that savage? Hmmm, have you ever read about the gruesome tortures carried out by “native Americans”? The Commanches were apparently the most “ineventive”.

      • fedfef1 says:

        I said “very, very few”, not “nobody.” When you said that, the plains indians and aztecs immediately sprung to mind, but I’m not exactly sure if their women went to the point of wearing necklaces made out of penises. Either way, the afar people are not a group I’d a remotely expect to do that.

  2. Very nice. Thank you for these.

  3. Not much is known about Erta Ale, as the surrounding terrain is some of the most inhospitable on Earth and the native Afar people have a legendary reputation for viciousness towards outsiders; one travel guide recommends hiring “one or maybe two armed guards or police” to visit Erta Ale.[5] However, they welcomed and helped a team from BBC.[6] On January 16, 2012, a group of German, Austrian and Hungarian scientists/tourists was attacked at Erta Ale. Five scientists/tourists were killed, some taken as hostages and others wounded.[7] The Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front (ARDUF) claimed responsibility for the attack[8] and released the two kidnapped tourists in March 2012.[9]
    We can start a donation drive to pay your ransom.
    Hope you arrive safely.

    • Yes, I recall that incident now which is why I am surprised that JAY ventured there and even more surprised he thinks its “safe” to do so. Sometimes I think he’s a closet white liberal who thinks that its totally safe to wander around these benighted places as long as you “respect” the people, whatever that means. From what I have read of the Afars I cannot respect people with such a cruel and savage reputation. And being Muslims just adds to that.

      • jewamongyou says:

        Dozens of people visit Erta Ale EVERY DAY. To say it’s “not safe” because of one incident several years ago is to grossly exaggerate the danger. Yes, stuff can happen – but it’s extremely unlikely. You’re more likely to get victimized by “random” violence in a US city. We did have the required armed guards, and the locals do make money from tourism. Most of them don’t want trouble.

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