The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle or Afar Depression, a geological depression that has resulted from the presence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa. The Danakil Depression is located in the Afar Region near the border with Eritrea and Djibouti. This area is referred to as the cradle of hominids after Donald Johanson and his colleagues in 1974 found the famous Lucy Australopithecus fossil, which has been dated 3.2 million years old.

The Danakil Depression is among the hottest places on earth in terms of year-round average temperatures. It is also one of the lowest places on the planet, and there is no rain for most of the year. Here, the Awash River dries up in a chain of salt lakes never reaching the Indian Ocean.
The majority of the Afar people are pastoralists while some make a living at salt mining and transportation by camel caravan.
Increasingly famous are the sulfur hot springs at an abandoned salt mine, named Dallol, for which the region also is called the Dallol Depression.
Being exposed to some of the greatest geological pressures on earth, the Danakil Depression is extremely active and scattered with a large number of volcanoes, including the Erta Ale Volcano, while the landscape is covered with lava flows almost wherever you go.