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Dallol Depression Expedition With Tigray Rock-Hewn Churches — 11 Days

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  • Trip Type Adventure, Nature and Culture
  • Tour Code GHET-N03
  • Private Journey
  • 11 Days
  • Discover one of the most hottest, lowest and geologically active areas on the planet and some of the most breathtaking landscapes on earth: the Danakil Depression, Ert Ale Lava Lake, one of the most permanent lava lake on earth, active volcanoes with boiling lava lakes, lava fields, extraordinary landscapes with different colors of minerals, salt fields, sulfur fields, hot springs and more.

On this expedition, you will take a lava trek to visit one of few most permanent lava lakes on the planet, Erta Ale. You will also have the chance to witness an ancient tradition of extracting salt from the salt fields and transporting the salt bars with endless lines of camel caravan for days from the depression to the highland towns. This adventure tour is truly a trip of a lifetime! 

Itinerary

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driven to Jupiter Hotel (4*). If you arrive in the morning, we can arrange an optional city tour.

Overnight: Jupiter Hotel, Addis Ababa

Day 2: Addis Ababa, Awash National Park (B, L, D)

After breakfast, we drive south of Addis Ababa to Awash National Park through the Great Rift Valley. In the afternoon, we will take a game drive around Awash Park and then drive to Blien.

Overnight: Buffet de La Gare, Awash

Day 3: Awash, Semera (B, L, D)

In the morning, we drive to Semera town, the center of the Afar regional state. On the way to Afar from Awash, you will visit different Afar villages.

We will pick up our permission and local guide at Semera.

Overnight: Erta Ale Hotel, Semera

Day 4: Semera, Lake Afdera (103 meters below sea level) (B, L, D)

Today we will drive northeast to Afrdera. The landscape and climate will change dramatically on this drive.

We will set up camp around Lake Afrera and explore the salt extraction area as we enjoy the stunning view of the desert at sunset.

Overnight: Camping at Lake Afdera

Day 5: Afdera, Dodom (Kurseywad), Erta Ale (B, L, D)

After enjoying the lovely sunrise on Lake Afrera while having breakfast, we will drive to Kursuawd then to Erta Ale.

Once we get to the base of the crator, we will rest and pack for the trek to the lava lake on the lava fields. At night, you will experience the amazing view down the creator where the fire comes gushing to the surface. It is simply spectacular!

Overnight: Camping at Erta Ale

Day 6: Erta Ale, Dodom, HamedEla (B, L, D)

Early morning, we will trek back down to the Kursuad campsite before it starts to be too hot. Upon arrival at the camp, we will have breakfast and get ready for the drive downhill and on to the sand and salt fields

In the evening, we will walk for a few minutes following the camel caravan carrying salt bars from the depression to the highlands.

Overnight: Camping at HamedEla

Day 7: HamedEla, Dallol, HamedEla (B, L, D)

Today will be a full-day exploration of the Dallol area, including the salt extraction area, the sulfer field, and other mineral fields. After visiting the springs, we will drive back to the campsite at HamedEla.

Overnight: Camping atHamedEla

Day 8: HamedEla, Berahile, Hawzien (B, L, D)

Today we will leave the Danakil depression and drive 48 km southwest to reach Berahile. While driving from Berhale to Hauzien, we will see the landscape changing gradually from a desert and salt field to rocky mountain chains.

On this route, you will have the chance to visit some of the rock-hewn churches of Tigray.

Overnight: Gheralta Lodge, Hawzien

Day 9: Hawzien, Mekele (B, L, D)

In the morning, we will walk around the lodge to enjoy the stunning views with the morning sun and spot different species of beautiful birds. You can also visit a Tigre village near the lodge.

Later on, we will also visit some more of the rock-hewn churches from the Teka Tesfai cluster in this area.

Overnight: Axum Hotel, Mekele

Day 10: Mekele, Kombolcha (B, L, D)

In the morning, we drive from Mekele to Kombolcha. On the way, you will still see some camel caravans and we will stop at different places for short visits.

Overnight: Sunnyside Hotel, Kombolcha

Day 11: Kombolcha, Addis Ababa, Departure (B)

In the morning, we drive to Addis Ababa, from Kombolcha, through Kemise, Ataye, Shewarobit, and Debresina. At Kemise, we will have the chance to see a multi-tribal local market.

In the evening, there will be Grand Holidays Ethiopia Tours complimentary farewell dinner party (flight schedule permitting) — the perfect end to the trip! At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour.

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