An Israeli engineering student who died in Ethiopia over the weekend had lost her way to the tour group’s vehicle, her friend has told the BBC.
Aya Naamneh, 22, was among six Israeli students and their two Ethiopian friends who had travelled to the Danakil Depression, in Ethiopia’s north-eastern Afar region, to tour around one of the hottest places on the planet.
Tsidena Abadi, one of the Ethiopians in the group, says on completion of the students' one-month engineering course on Wednesday they had set off for Afar to take in the sights such as Ert Ale, an active volcano with a bubbling lava lake at its summit, and the colourful, sulphuric hot spring and geyser fields of Dallol.
On Saturday, the friends had reached Dallol and trekked up a hill for a better view, Ms Tsidena said.
“Exhausted from the extreme heat and smell of sulphur” some opted to return to the car rather than venture further, she said.
Ms Naamneh was first to leave in search of the vehicle, but when her body was found later it showed she had gone in the wrong direction, said Ms Tsidena, who also had become disorientated.
“I was lost as well until I find another friend and followed her to the car. The place is all the same that you can’t identify your direction,” she said.
“The hot vapours from the ground and the extreme heat made me sick and I honestly thought I am going to die.”
A search was launched for Ms Naamneh but her body was not found until Sunday.
“Aya was everyone’s favourite and very humble,” Ms Tsidena said.