Just like ours, if your Instagram feed has been more & more held up by dreamy images of narrow pastel green lakes stocked with crystalline lily pad features lately, and you’re wondering what wild alchemy is at work here, we’ve got you. And if you’re at all curious about where you can get some of that sweet salt lake selfie action yourself, we can help with that too.
View this post on Instagram
So, Where Are These Salt Lakes?
Most of the images you’re beholding revive from what has come to be known as ‘Long Salt Lake’. The name itself sounds so majestically mysterious! Isn’t it? It’s planted in the Al Wathba region of Abu Dhabi, south of the city. There’s a little off-roading involved. So, travelling in an SUV with a four-wheel drive is extremely advisable. If you already know your way to the Fossil Dunes, it’s best to head in that direction. When you pass the dunes, you’ll need to follow the pylons across the sand track. The closest E road is the E65. But the easiest access comes from a turn off of the E30 close to the stunning Al Wathba Wildlife Reserve. It’s currently shut down to shield nesting sites. Though you can always look for the exact location on Google Maps.
Wondering What Are These Salt Lakes Exactly?
Well, there’s yet a bit of a mystery regarding exactly how the gloriously bizarre salt mushrooms were formed. That too in what is most certainly a human-engineered channel. There are actually two lakes. On either side of the access road. These beautiful emerald rivers are enveloped with snow-white salt crust on the banks. Giving the entire place big Nordic Fjord vibes. Pipes feed water into each of the channels which run a reasonable distance into the desert. The high salt content of the ground underfoot is no surprise. The region is scattered with salt flats or ‘sabkha.’ Which themselves are the geographical product of a hot climate and coastal location. Way scientific!
The brain-teaser arises from these huge dense salt pad stepping stone features. Discovered some way down the main channel. It typically takes a significant period of time for these sorts of structures to form naturally. Through erosion and depositing of minerals. Far longer, in fact, that is likely to have been possible in a man-made lake. If you are already planning your calendar now, here’s a friendly suggestion for you. Please do your bit in preserving the integrity and natural beauty of this site. Don’t dump the litter. Do not break off chunks of salt for souvenirs. And refrain from any influencer activity that could damage the salt structures underfoot. Aptly this way, you shall be only supplementing its beauty.
If you’ve held with us and managed to stay awake through all the science, you deserve a pat on your back. Just a few more seconds and we introduce you to this place’s twin beauty and grace.
View this post on Instagram
A short distance away from Al Wathba salt lakes are Abu Dhabi’s truly otherworldly Fossil Dunes. These gnarled nature-forged dune ruins also require an SUV to access. But there is a campsite nearby if you want to take your time gawping in awe. Do thank us for saving the best for the last. Although, and we cannot stress this enough, you must not touch them. The site is a genuine risk of irreparable damage from irresponsible visitors. Now, you know how delicately intricate these are.
Away from the typical schedule, mark your calendars now! And, share some breathtaking captures with us too.