Fantastic Service and Great Overnight Trip to Lac Abbe & Assal – Karin

“I used Somaliland Travel Agency for an overnight trip to Lac Abbe and Lac Assal in Djibouti due to their terrific online reviews. I was not disappointed as the service I received was fantastic and the overnight trip a delight despite the basic facilities.

Akram waited for me three hours at the airport despite the length of time to get the Covid test upon arrival and took me to my hotel. The next day he and his driver met me on time at my hotel and took me for Covid testing so that I could leave the country. Akram was at the Bouffard Hospital at 6 AM to get me a good number so that when I went to the hospital at just after 8 AM I wouldn’t have to wait.

We then stopped at a supermarket for supplies and also loaded the fresh fruit and veggies the Lac Abbe camp operator sent down to the camp for my stay (we were the only guests but the camp sometimes hosts about a hundred guests during the busy winter whale shark diving season).

It was then about a three hour drive to the lunch stop at Palmyrie. Lunch was great–fresh veggies, rice and a chocolate crepe for dessert. They also have meat for carnivores and fresh fruit juices (drinks not included in the price of your tour).

While I had lunch, Akram’s driver had the tires checked and 4 WD field with petrol for the 3 hour drive across the dessert, about half on a very bumpy road to the camp.

We arrived just in time to settle in at the camp before a short drive to observe sunset over the signature rock formations from the lake (resulting from Ethiopian gaming activity). Planet of the Apes was filmed here these formations are so eerie.

It was then back to the camp for a shower (they have running water in the showers and real flush toilets) before another nice meal of chicken with salad and fruit.

The camp has two or three bed rooms, the bigger ones with electricity and a powerful fan that stays on 24 hours a day due to a generator.

We left camp at 5:15 AM the next day to see sunrise over the Lac Abbe rock formations, before an early breakfast.

We then had a long drive back in the direction of Djibouti before the turn off to visit Lac Assal–one of the lowest points in Africa and so salty the Chinese are just completing a salt factory there.

Akram was then kind enough to drive me to the two diving centers to book my weekend dives. the local dive center (Aqua Club) is not on Trip Advisor and I wouldn’t have known about it without Akram. I was very grateful to him as the live aboard dive operator o the Lucy had cancelled my trip at the last minute and thanks to Akram I was able to at least able to get some days of diving in Djibouti and see the whale sharks.

I then visited Mogadishu for a day and needed another Covid test certificate t leave Djibouti, which Akram helped me to arrange via his contacts in the airline industry. He even had the certificate delivered to my hotel, even though I was no longer his client at that point.

Akram also has Djibouti Sim Cards (they cost $3 US and another $3 US for 10 GB over three days). Since you won’t need the Sim after you leave you just pay for the $3 data. A really thoughtful service which I wish more guides would provide.

Abdullahi, the owner of Somaliland Travel is based in the Netherlands and is seemingly online 24 hours a day. Responses are that fast and always helpful and courteous.

I can highly recommend this agency and the Lake Abbe/Lake Assal Overnight Trip.”

Karin

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