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After a not so great night, we wake up at the crack of dawn. Immediately, our

eyes are wide open, because from our camp beds we can see a long procession

of dromedaries come our way. Grab the cameras, quickly! There are hundreds

of them, maybe thousands, all neatly behind each other in an endless row. Their

riders are keeping the animals in line. Imperturbable and at a steady pace they

float by, these ships of the desert. This magical moment gives us goose bumps.

Yet another highlight presents itself:

Lake Assal

, a crater lake with an impres-

sive salt concentration of 35%. This is truly the lowest point in Africa: 155

metres below sea level. As soon as we step outside the car, our sweat glands hit

overdrive. It's only ten in the morning, and the temperature is already up to 45

degrees. The air is so low in oxygen, that every movement becomes an endea-

vour. But it's worth it. The landscape is poetically beautiful: nothing but shim-

mering heat and a glistening salt rock, and in between, a fragile silver horizon in

the distance. We walk across the vast plain and spread our arms. All alone in no

man's land: what an incredible experience!