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Danakil Depression (3 days)

About this Tour:

3-day adventure expedition into the Danakil Depression. From Mekelle we drive to Erta Ale volcano, which we will climb at night and camp at the rim of the crater. On the next day, we admire the traditional salt mining at lake Afrera before we proceed to Hamed Ela for the second night. On the third day, we explore early in the morning the surreal landscapes of Dallol and meet the huge camel caravans transporting the salt blocks to the Highlands before we leave the desert and return back to Mekele,
This is a round trip staring from and returning to Mekele. We offer daily departures  joining a group. Please note that depending on the local conditions, we might also do this tour in the opposite direction heading first to Dallol and returning via Erta Ale to Mekele.

Highlights of this Tour:

  • Daily group departures into the Danakil depression
  • Ascent Erta Ale volcano and camp overnight at the rim of the crater
  • Visit the salt mining and hot springs at lake Afrera
  • Explore the surreal landscapes of Dallol

Short Info:

  • Tour code: WET- DD-3
  • Overnight: 2 x Camping under the stars
  • All inclusive
  • Comfort level: basic

Day 1: Mekele – Erta Ale Volcano (320 km)

You will be picked up in the morning either at the airport or at your hotel in Mekele. Afterwards we drive on an asphalted road until we reach the vicinity of the Erta Ae volcano. We will have a small snack and then set off on foot. The trekking to the summit takes only about 1 hour. Our equipment and food will be brought to the crater rim by camels. There we spend the night with spectacular views of the dramatic spectacle of the glowing lava. Erta Ale is 613 meters high, its diameter is about 30 km and the caldera at the summit covers an area of about 1 km2. It is the only permanent lava lake in the world.

Overnight: Camping at the caldera of Erta Ale Volcano

Erta Ale Volcano, Ethiopia

Day 2: Erta Ale Volcano – Lake Afrera – Hamed Ela

After a spectacular sunrise over the lava lake we start our descent down to the vehicles from where we will continue to lake Afrera. Here we can not only admire the traditional way of the local salt mining but also freshen up and recover from the trekking in natural hot springs.

We continue to the camp in Hamed Ela, where we will spend the night.

Overnight: Camping under the stars, Hamed Ela

Lake Afrera, Ethiopia

Day 3: Hamed Ela – Dallol – Wukro – Mekele (240 km)

Early in the morning we set off to explore the incredible landscape around Dallol and Lake Assal. Dallol lies 116 meters below the sea level and is therefore one of the deepest and hottest places on earth. The Dallol volcano is buried under salt for several kilometers, but shows its presence through bizarrely arched salt domes and hundreds of hot gas seeps (fumaroles) and acid lakes in all kinds of colors.

It’s time for us to leave the desert. We start our return and reach the highlands near Wukro in the afternoon. After another hour and a half drive we will reach back in Mekele. Depending on your plans we may either drop you at the airport or at your reserved hotel.

End of the tour

Dallol, Ethiopia

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