Starting from $600 per person [1]

4 days touring

Travel by Private Car

Tour Available: August - May

Meals: 3 Breakfasts; 4 Lunches; 3 Dinners; [2]

Fitness level required: Medium

A trip to visit the Danakil Depression will be one of the toughest but most rewarding tours you ever do. This is an extremely hot and harsh place that is still inhabited by the Afari people.

The Danakil Depression is the hottest place on earth in terms of year-round average temperatures. It is also one of the lowest places on the planet, and there is no rain for most of the year.

This 4 day tour will take you around the depression visiting; the salt flats of Lake Karum; to the colorful sulphur springs landscape of Dallol; and to spend an unforgettable night camped at in the crater of the Erta Ale volcano.

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(Prices start at $600 per person.)







The Danakil Depression – 4 Day Tour

Day 1: Mekele / Hamede Ela

Depart Mekele and drive to Hamede Ela campsite via Berhale. Once we reach Berhale, you will notice the landscape change. Most people associate this point as the start of the ‘depression’. Berhale is also a stopping off point for the camel caravans carrying salt from Lake Karum to the highlands of Ethiopian in the northwest. We will have lunch at Berhale before continuing on our journey to Hamede Ela.

That night we will camp out in the open at Hamede Ela. Before sunset we will travel a short distance to Lake Karum to watch the sunset from the salt flats on the lake. The water level on the lake is very shallow so it’s easy to walk out and and around on the lake.

After sunset, travel the short distance by car back to Hamede Ela. Dinner and overnight at the campsite.

Meals Included on this Day

Lunch & Dinner

Private Vechicle

Mekele - Behale - Hamede Ela

4h - 5h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Day 2: Hamede Ela / Dallol / Berhale / Abala

Rise early and travel over the low waters of Lake Assal. Although the distance is not far to get to Dallol, the cars have to drive very slowly on the salt lake so as to not damage the cars.

Once we arrive at the base of a small mountain, we’ll hike up to see the sulphur springs of Dallol. The colors and rock formations that you will see here are hard to believe.

From Dallol, we will drive back across the salt lake stopping off to see how the local Afari people mine and harvest the salt. This is probably one of the toughest jobs in the world.

After lunch in Berhale, continue driving for about 2 hours until we reach the town of Abala. Dinner and overnight stay in shared rooms in a local mans house.

Meals Included on this Day

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Private Vechicle

Hamede Ela - Dallol - Berhale - Abala

8h - 9h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Day 3: Abala - Erta Ale

After breakfast, drive for around 2 – 3 hours on a paved road, after which we will start our off roading! The first section will take us across the desert sands for around 1 hour after which we will stop for lunch in a small desert outpost town.

After lunch comes the slowest park of the offroading. We will navigate our way through a lava field covering around 12km in 1 and a half to 2 hours. Slow going!

The cars, will take us as far as a military outpost after which we will hike 3 hours to the top of the crater. Half of the hike will be done in daylight and half in darkness so bring a good torch.

Once we reach the top of the crater, you will get around 1 hour to relax and take in the amazing sight of the lava lake. This is truly an ‘out of this world’ experience and somewhat hard to fathom.

After taking in the lava lake, walk the short distance back to the camp for dinner and sleep.

 

Meals Included on this Day

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

Private Vechicle

Abala / Erta Ale

5h - 6h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.

Day 4: Erta Ale / Mekele

At 4am, wake up and walk the short distance down to the crater lake. Relax by the lava lake until sunrise. You will notice that the flow of the lake has changed since the night before so that is why we take in two visits to see the lava lake.

After sunrise, hike for 2 – 3 hours back down to the military camp for breakfast.

After breakfast, drive back to Mekele stopping off for lunch along the route.

Meals Included on this Day

Breakfast & Lunch

Private Vechicle

Erta Ale - Mekele

6h - 7h

Stretch out and scan the scenery from the comfort of a private vehicle.


Points to note:

[1] The "price per person" amount is a guide price only. Please submit a quote request for a more definite price.

[2] The price for meals includes a soft drink / water plus tea and coffee with each meal. Alcohol is not included but can be purchased at an extra cost.

[3] Hotels listed on individual days of the tour will be booked where possible but may be changed subject to availability.

Starting from $600 per person

4 days touring

Travel by Private Car

Tour Available: August - May

Meals: 3 Breakfasts; 4 Lunches; 3 Dinners;

Fitness level required: Medium

Mekele

Mekele, Tigray, Ethiopia

Starting and finishing point of the tour.

Berhale

Berhale, Afar, Ethiopia

Lunch stop on two days

Dallol

Dallol, Afar Zone 2, Afar, Ethiopia

Location of the sulphur springs

Abala

Abala, Afar, Ethiopia

Overnight stop on route to Erta Ale

Erta Ale

Erta Ale, Afar Zone 2, Afar, Ethiopia

Location of the volcano and lava lake

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I highly recommend booking Alexander for a tour of Ethiopia! He is a warm, generous and very knowledable guide, taught me a lot about Ethiopia’s history, ancient mysteries and cultural wonders. He made my trip to Addis Ababa a fun and exciting experience!

Laure Konczaty