Tour itinerary can be seen below.
We will meet this evening in the Ethiopian city of Mekele where we stay overnight. For those of you travelling from Addis, we recommend you book the 17:30(approx) flight which our tour leader will be travelling on.
After an early rise we drive to Dodom at the base of Erta Ale Volcano. We drive 80km along one of the worst roads in the world. The journey takes around 6 hrs, passing through landscapes of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oases. We pass through several small villages throughout the desert, before reaching Dodom. After dinner we will make a short trek to the rim of the volcano. Camels will transport our camping equipment, food and water to the rim of the volcano, where we spend an unforgettable night watching inside the spectacular sight of the boiling lava lake.
Wake up at sunrise to walk around the pits and craters of the volcano before departing for the short trek back to Dodom. Arrival back in time for breakfast and to relax, before driving on to the mythical Lake Giulietti; a salt water lake located more than 100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet.
We will then begin our journey to Hamed Ela; a village of 500 people, and further into the Danakil Depression. We descend to points of the desert that go up to 328ft below sea level. En route we pass through the small town of Berhale, where the camel caravans stop, before proceeding to the northern highlands. Along this route we will see the camel caravans travelling to the salt mines whilst others are heading out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. Camp overnight at Hamed Ela.
In the morning we will drive to Ragad, the place where the salts are mined and witness the salt being broken from the ground and cut into rectangular pieces before being loaded onto camels. We then drive onward to Dallol and visit the various landscapes formed by volcanic activity. We visit Dallol which is 380ft below sea level and is one of the lowest places in the world. We also see colourful salts mines, Lake Karum and more camel caravans before going walking with the Afar people. Afterwards we drive back to Mekele via Hamed Ela. We return to Mekele at between 17:00 and 18:00 and transfer directly to the airport ready for the 19:25 departure to Addis (flight not included). Here your tour ends unless you are taking our Ethiopia/Somaliland tour which will continue as per itinerary.
Land tour cost: £499
Addis-Mekele return flights: approx $170* or $360 (to be booked yourself)
*the cheaper flight options are available to those who are flying into Addis with Ethiopian Air as they offer subsidised domestic tickets to international customers. If you are taking our Somaliland tour afterwards, then you can also use your Hargeisa to Addis flight with Ethiopian airlines to secure the cheaper airfare. Please note you will need to book all these flights yourself.