Duration: 4 Nights / 5 Days
Tour Starts: Mekelle
Tour Ends: Mekelle
5 Days-Danakil Depression Tour Highlights
Visit the camel caravan lines in Dallol salt mining.
Explore the Dallol Depression- the hottest places in the world.
Witness the beauty of Erita Ala.
Discover the cultures of the Afar peoples.
5 Days-Danakil Depression Tour Trip Summary
This 5 Days-Danakil Depression Tour is a real adventure package tour to the Danakil Depression. This trip is unlike the others; it will start in Mekele and will end in Mekele. You will explore the most extraordinary active volcano explosion at a very near distance in Erita Ala and the attractive color combination of sulfurs and potash in Dallol. Experiencing and watching the processes of salt-cutting activities by the locals and the caravans are also among the unforgettable highlights of this trip.
Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate, almost identical to much of California. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November.
DAY 1: MEKELLE TO AHMED ELA
This morning we will drive to Barehale, where we will have two hours of rest under the shade and our guide will facilitate to have the Afar scout, the Afar local guide, and other tour staff. After compelling all our logistics here, we will keep driving to Ahmed Ela along unmarked sandy tracks, passing Afar settlements along the way. Ahmed Ela is the base for exploring the salt mines and seeing the salt workers and camel caravans. Overnight camp at Ahamd Ela.
DAY 2: EXCURSION TO DALLOL
On this day, we will visit the salt workers and the merchant around Lake Asale. Here, we will learn and observe how the locals do the salt cutting, shaping, and then loading to the endless Camel Caravans. Keep driving to Dallol and along the way enjoy views of the small hills and colorful hot springs in several places. These hot springs are composed of different minerals along with sulfurs and potash and create spectacular colors. Dallol is renowned for being the hottest inhabited place on earth; between 1960 and 1966 an average annual temperature of 34°C (94°F) was recorded. Drive back to our campsite in the late afternoon.
DAY 3: DRIVE TO DODOM VILLAGE (BASE OF ERTA ALE)
This morning, we will head to Dodom, continue to the tarmac and head out over the sands towards Erta Ale Volcano. After several hours we reach Kuswarad, an Afar village where we have lunch and pick up our local Afar guides. We then continue through the desert where we reach the basalt rock formed by old lava flows. A slow and bumpy drive brings us to the base of Erta Ale Volcano. After loading up the camels we will start our trek to the rim of the volcano at around sunset, to avoid walking during the heat of the day. The trek will take about 4 – 5 hours, with the latter part of the walk taking part in the dark. The gently climbing hike itself follows interesting lava formations. The path is not that steep, but it is important everyone has a torch and sticks together. We camp on the crater rim, a safe distance away from the lava, and enjoy watching the Erta Ale, which is an active volcano and it has a spectacular sight.
DAY 4: ERTA ALE – AHMED ELA
This morning we leave camp and descend to the bottom of the mountain and then drive to Ahamd Ala. The driving is all off-road, through the desert. In the late afternoon, we will arrive at Ahmed Ala, a small settlement where the salt caravans meet before their long walk to Mekele. In the afternoon and evening, we can watch the endless camel caravans coming and going: arriving empty they are met by the ones leaving packed full of precious salt blocks.
DAY 5: AHMED ELA TO MEKELLE
In the morning, we will watch thousands of camels leaving for the salt-cutting area by forming a long line. Then, we drive to Mekelle. At a small, clear waterfall, we stop for lunch, to bathe and clean the cars from the salt. In the late afternoon, we should already be back on the highland plateau and in the late afternoon arrive in the town of Mekelle. End of Tour services. Here you can define the content that will be placed within the current tab. End of 5 Days-Danakil Depression Tour.