Dubbed the ‘hottest place on Earth’, Ethiopia’s Danakil Depression lies 100 metres below sea level. With temperatures often soaring to 50C and beyond, this is one for the adventurous traveller only. But those who make the effort to visit its dramatic, bubbling lava lakes, surreal sulphur springs and salt flats, often come away feeling they have visited the most (strangely) beautiful place on our planet. Intrepid travel photographer Michael Runkel – who has been to more than 180 countries – recently captured these other-worldly scenes in this harsh but spectacular environment.
Michael’s visit to Ethiopia is the latest chapter of his extensive travels which have taken him from the Sahara to the remote jungle areas in Irian Jaya and Borneo, and from the glaciers of Patagonia to the savannahs of Mongolia. His picture collection offers more than 1,500,000 images of travel destinations, people, traditional lifestyles, ancient temples and archaeological sites, as well as in-depth coverage of wildlife in its natural habitat, nature close-ups, and landscapes.