6 DAYS - EXPEDITION TO DANAKIL DEPRESSION BY FLIGHT AND SURFACE

Expedition to Danakil Depression 6 Days

Day 1: Arrival addis ababa

Transfer to hotel Depending on arrival time a quick tour of Addis might be possible.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight stay Hotel

Day 2: Fly to Mekel

Early morning fly to Mekel and After breakfast drive into the Afdera (Danakil – Afrera Salt Lake).

We leave the main road and continue on an unpaved 4×4 road northwards into the Danakil. The trip leads through rugged moon-landscapes, characterized by volcanic rifts and faults, young black lava flows and gravel desert. After about four hours driving, we reach the flat, salt-covered Danakil depression at the salty lake Afrera by afternoon. There will be time to visit the interesting salines, where pure salt is being produced.

Meal: full board: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight stay camping.

Day 3: Afdera - Erta Ale

Afdera Drive to Dodom village (base of Erta Ale). If you are interested, you could join a group of salt workers in the early morning and watch the interesting technique to gain salt from the lake. We then pick up Afar policemen and an Afar guide, then drive though the flat salt and lava desert to the Afar village of Dodom and set camp at the base of Erta Ale volcano. We will start the relatively easy ascend (ca. 10 km, 500 m climbing, ca. 3 hrs) along–the flat flank of Erta Ale’s–shield volcano, while the–camel caravan carries our–luggage and the equipment. The gently climbing hike–itself follows interesting–lava formations (pahoehoe–lava fields, lava tubes, hornitos, sand deposits and–rare vegetation) until we–stand on the rim of the–caldera. An easy descend–brings us to the floor of the–caldera and after 10–minutes, we stand on the–active pit crater containing the boiling Lava lake.

Meal: full board: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight stay camping.

Day 4: Ertale —Ahmed Ela —Dallol

Ertale – Ahmed Ela (Transfer to–Lake Assale – salt caravans). The–sometimes difficult 4×4 drive–through the desert northwards to–the large, mostly dry Salt Lake–near Ahmed Ela is our goal of the–day. 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. After nightfall, we can assist the procedure of assigning Walt cutters (the focolo) to the camel owners (the Arho). Ahmed Ela – DALLOL volcano-–Ahmed Ela. Aexplore the–fascinating volcano of DALLOL- a–volcano hidden under kilometer-–thick deposit of salt. The volcano–marks its presence by the up–doming of the salt and hundreds–of fumaroles and hot springs in–all colors. We can visit the–remains of a ghost town, almost–entirely built in salt, at DALLOL, where miners lived in the 1930s to extract potash from the DALLOL area. The town is the hottest inhabited place on earth.

Meal: full board: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight stay camping.

Day 5: Ahmed Ela —Mekele

Ahmed Ela – Mekele. (Salt–caravans – salt cutting and–loading – transfer to the–highlands). In the morning, we watch thousands of camels leaving for the salt cutting area. We then drive to the lake and watch the salt cutters and salt shapers at work, following a century-old established order. By the time we leave in the late morning, the first camels are being loaded and the cycle is repeated. For us, it’s time to leave the desert. Our way out follows along a spectacular canyon into the highlands. At a small, clear waterfall, we stop forlunch, to bath and clean the cars from the salt. In the late afternoon, we should already be back on the highland plateau where we stay the night in a small lively town, and enjoy the first cold beer after more than a week!

Meal: full board: breakfast /lunch /Dinner 

Overnight stay camping.

Day 6: Fly to Addis Ababa- City tour

Fly back to Addis Ababa, on arrival in Addis Ababa you will be met at the airport and transferred to the hotel for overnight. we have a full-day city tour, which departs at 9:00am from the hotel. Addis Ababa is the third highest capital city in the world. Located at 2,400 metres above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain. We take time to explore the city. We will visit the National Museum (home of the remains of the famous hominid fossil, “Lucy”) and the Ethnological Museum at the Addis Ababa University (housed in the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie). We will also witness the bustle of the one of the colourful local markets, which has an array of fascinating goods and curios, providing a great place for exploration and people watching. Those on the group flights will be have access to day use rooms in the hotel in Addis Ababa before being taken to the airport for the overnight flight back to your home. The trip ends in Addis Ababa.

Meal: Breakfast /lunch /Dinner

 Overnight stay Hotel.