Adventure expedition to the Afar Region

including Denakil Depression and Erta Ale Vulcano,
incl. flight (or by car) with camping

This inhospitable land has been home to the Afar (Denakil) people for at least two thousand years. Afar men were renowned for their ferocity and xenophobia as recently as the 1930s until which time loping off the testicles of male intruders was customary!

Traditionally the Afar are nomadic pastoralists and, together with the Tigrians, are still involved in mining salt bars from the lake in the Dallol depression and carrying them by camel caravan up to Tigray, along age old routes.

The Dallol craters are the Earth's lowest known subaerial volcanic vents. The most recent of these craters, Dallol, was formed during an eruption in 1926. Colorful hot brine springs and fumarolic deposits are found in the Dallol area.

Tour Code: YTE 122
Duration: 7 nights (8 days)
Transportation: Land (4WD)
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1 – Arrival / Addis Ababa

Haikan hotel or similar in Addis


Day 2 – Addis / Kombolcha

Sunyside Hotel – Kombolcha

Early drive from Addis to Kombolcha (376km). On the way, overlook the old tunnels made by Italians during the occupation period (1936-1941). Check-in at your hotel and drive to Bati (41km from Kombolcha) for camel market. In the market, people of Amhara, Oromo & Afar are easily observed.


Day 3 – Kombolcha / Mekelle


Drive from Kombolcha to Mekelle


Day 4 – Mekelle / Hamed Ela

Camping (in Afar House) – Hammed Ela

Drive from Mekelle via Berahile to Hammed/Ahmed Ela. After the small town of Agula; we descend to the Afar Region. At many spots on the way you will see camel caravans, transporting rock salt from Lake Asalé to the town of Mekelle. Entrance tickets will be collected at the small town of Berahile (110km from Mekelle). Then we proceed towards Hammed Ela; accompanying with Afar polices and a local guide from Berahile.


Day 5 - Day excursion to the Danakil Depression

Camping (in Afar House) – Hammed Ela

Early morning (possibly at 6am local time); excursion to the Danakil depression. On this day; surely, you will be overwhelmed with strong feeling of admiration, because of the awesome of Dallol. Proceed to the traditional salt extraction site from where camels are waiting to be loaded rock salts - just nearby the Salt Lake of Asalé. Then drive on white salt land to visit Lake Asalé.


Day 6 – The Eternal fire of Arte Ale, Active Volcano Lake

Camping on the top of Arte Ale

Morning; drive from Hammed Ela towards Arte Ale (78km dirt road) via Kursewat. After arranging camel/s for Arte Ale Mountain, drive to Waydodom and then climb Arta Ale accompanying with camping gears, being loaded by Afar Camel (3-4hrs walk). After siesta, explore the extraordinary lava that babbles from its mouth of Arte Ale volcanic fire. During night time the volcano will be fully seen with its magnificent color of zigzagging fire, produced from huge rocks. Therefore; in the evening, we will descend from camping site to the drama of the volcano.


Day 7 – Arte Ale – Mekelle

Hotel - Mekelle

Morning; descend to your cars and drive via the Junction road to Afdera & then to the – small town of Abala/shiket - Mekelle Airport - Mekelle – (new road being asphalted to connect Mekelle and Afdera ‘salt mining center’).


Day 8 – Mekelle / Addis Ababa

Flight to Addis Ababa, then we drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor Menelik II. Take some images at Mount Entoto and we drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor Menelik II at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa.

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