Djibouti Travel Blog› entry 7 of 10 › view all entries
November 25th, 2009 – by: sarahsan
The sunrise was amazing, so beautiful. It made this lunar landscape look magical. The shadows of the chimneys made it a bit spooky too. We walked across the plain and down to the lake. On the way we passed boiling, sulphureous smelling springs, while in the distance jackals were looking for food. The lake is the feeding ground for both greater and lesser flamingos. The banks immediately surrounding the lake are covered in strange geometrical pattern created by the drying mud. This muddy ground showed the foot prints of hyenas, jackals, antelopes and flamingos.
Lac Abbé is at least 6000 years old. It used to be 100 meters deep, but is now only 7 meters deep. Many fossils have been found in the vicinity, including elephant, antelope and hippo remains, and shells and fish.
Described as "a slice of moon on the crust of the Earth", the lake is an extraordinary place. Part of the film "Planet of the Apes" was filmed here. The landscape is truly lunar, apocalyptic and other worldly.
Until recently the lake was fed by the Avash River from Ethiopia. Because water from this source seems to be dwindling, it is thought that the vast lake of Lac Abbé may be in the process of dying!
We went back to the camp site for breakfast before setting off back to our boat, which was a 4-hour drive.
After lunch on the boat, it was time to swim with whale sharks again. Once again, it was an extraordinary and amazing experience. They are so big, but still so elegant in the water. A mysterious creature it is know so little about. On the three occasions we went swimming with them, we probably saw 25-30 whale sharks. They all have different markings, a bent fin and some have different types of scars. I really felt I knew some of them.
After swimming with the whale sharks, a few of us went closer to the coast, to some colorful reefs, for the last snorkeling. This was a different place than where we had snorkeled before. It was excellent. Saw some new fish, such as needle fish, clown fish and lion fish. Back on the boat, we also saw three dolphins. Funny to see how the light from the boat attracted the fish at night. The funniest thing was the swimming crabs, which swam back and forth beside the boat. It sounds strange, but they really were swimming.
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