Danakil and Erta Ale

Danakil Depression and Erta Ale volcano tours

The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle or Afar Depression, a geological depression that has resulted from the presence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa. This area is referred to as the cradle of hominids after Donald Johanson and his colleagues in 1974 found the famous Lucy Australopithecus fossil, which has been dated 3.2 million years old.

The Danakil Depression is also the hottest place on earth in terms of year-round average temperatures and also one of the lowest places on the planet, and there is no rain for most of the year.
This area is famous because of the colourful Dallol sulfur springs and active Erta Ale volcano.
Journey here is very tough and hot (average temperature during the day will be 35-40 C, 95-104 F), but the unique and unrepeatable beauty of this area forth every effort!

The hottest place on Earth

Tour program

Day 1

Day 1The group meets in Addis Ababa International Airport and transferred for breakfast.

After that short excursion in Addis Ababa can be organized and after that transfer to domestic terminal for Addis-Ababa-Makele flight.

Lodging: Makele Planet Int Hotel or equivalent
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner



Day 2

Day 2In the morning will start our drive to Erta Ale, one of the most beautiful active volcano in the world. Although this region is totally wild and uncivilized, a big chunk of Ethiopia’s salt harvested here. The tribe of Afar works in the quarries and salt mines, cuts kilometer-wide layers of salt into bricks, loads them on camels and sends to the nearest city with the caravans. This sight is unbelievable and magical. We will see here the strings of caravans and its cameleers and feel like we are in the fairy tale.

After lunch en route we will continue travel to El Dom (the campsite that stands at the bottom of the Erta Ale volcano). Closer to the dinner time we will start our ascent to the mouth of the volcano. We will have to hike few kilometers (3.5 hours) before we reach the top and will see the volcano in all of its might and beauty.

Erta Ale is one of the few places in the world where we can actually walk to the edge of the volcano’s mouth and look down inside, feel its heat and fire. We will spend the night in the campsite near the mouth of Erta Ale (did I forget to mention it will be the most romantic night of your life) and will start the descent early in the morning, before the sunrise.

Lodging: campsite at the volcano’s top
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3

Day 3Early in the morning we will make our way to the Earth’s hottest place and the prettiest part of the Syrian-African Rift, the Dalol lake (Dalol Cobar Sink).

One may wonder what to expect at the planet’s hottest place? Probably dull, gray desert? Nothing like that. In Dalol, we will see so many colors and tones that you have never seen before even if you have traveled all around the world. Even in the coolest seasons the temperature can reach 40-45C, but still you will not want to leave this hell on Earth due to all the oxidized minerals, hot geyser eruptions, huge purple, black, green, yellow salt boulders… At the same time all of this explodes, seethes, lives under our feet. This place is so crazy that it’s definitely worth the long way to get there.
After Dalol, we will swing by the salty Assale Lake, where all the salt mining happens. Everything here is dedicated to the one thing – the salt, African white gold.

Lodging: Hamed Ela campsite
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4

Day 4After the breakfast, we will go back to the town of Makele, the region’s capital and here our Danakil tour will be terminated. You can be transferred back for Addis Ababa flight or continue with us exploring Ethiopia!

Lodging: Makele Planet Hotel or equivalent
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner


For Danakil part we make available camping gears (tents, mattresses, pillows, beds, chairs, tables, cooking utensils, generator and other necessary equipments), professional cook, camels for transporting camping gears + foodstuff while trekking to Erta Ale and one 4WD for transporting camping gears + supporting staffs

Transportation: 4WD Toyota land Cruiser with A/C or Nissan Patrol with A/C

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