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Afar is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, and is the homeland of the Afar people. The Afar Depression, also known as the Danakil depression, is a part of Great Rift Valley, Ethiopia, and the lowest point in Ethiopia and one of the lowest in Africa and is located in the north of the Region. The southern part consists of the valley of the Awash River, which empties into a string of lakes along the Ethiopian Djibouti border. Other notable landmarks include the Awash and Yangudi Rassa National Parks.

The nomadic people living in the Danakil desert. About 128 kilometers (80 mi) from the Red Sea, the Awash ends in a chain of salt lakes, where its water evaporates as quickly as it is supplied. About 1,200 km (460 sq mi) of the Afar Depression is covered by salt, and salt mining is still a major source of income for many Afar tribes.

Afar is well known as one of the cradles of hominids, containing the Middle Awash, site of many fossil hominid discoveries such as Ardi, (Ardipithecus ramidus) the Gona (Gawis cranium), site of the world's oldest stone tools; and Hadar, site of Lucy, the fossilized specimen of Australopithecus afarensis.