Dankil Depression 11 Days Tour

  • Volcano, Culture & Scenery
  • 6 Days & 4 Nights
  • Surface drive, & flight
  • Tour Guide


visit lalibela churches and danakil desert ,the lowest & hottest point on the planet. Experiance Lalibela rock-hewn churches,Afdera,Erta Ale,Ahmed Ela, Dallol and Awash National Park with this all inclusive vacation package

Danakil Depression: the lowest & hottest point on the planet- 11 days

Day 1: Drive to Kombolecha

Driving to Kombolcha via Debre Birhan. On the way you pass the Mezezo Escarpment, with a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons. If the day is a Sunday, you can stop in the town of Senbete to visit the lively market including the interesting camel market.Overnight stay at Sunnyside Hotel

Day 2: Drive to Lalibela

You have a full day driving through stunning countryside, to Lalibela, but there is little traffic and we can stop and take in the epic landscape which we’re passing through.Overnight stay at panoramic view hotel or similar hotel .

Day 3: Lalibela

At over 8,500 feet the small town of Lalibela is situated high in the Lasta Mountains. Even though Lalibela has been a destination for travelers and pilgrims since the 16th century, the town is remarkably undeveloped. The day is spent exploring the ancient city and its many rock-hewn churches. Lalibela is arguably one of the most important religious and historical sites in Africa, and certainly in the entire Christian world. Although it is not widely known in the west, Ethiopia was the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion and, due to Ethiopia’s becoming Christian long before the Catholic church was born or instigated the structure we recognize today, the roots of Ethiopian Orthodox religious practices are as recognizably Jewish as they are Christian. The Lalibela churches are said to have been constructed during King Lalibela’s reign in the 12th and 13th centuries when Lalibela (then known as Roha) was the capital of the Zagwe dynasty. Legend has it that King Lalibela was exiled in Jerusalem and returned to Ethiopia to build a New Jerusalem. There are many theories as to how these architecturally very advanced churches were built, and by whom, including angels and the Knights de Templars. Thanks to UNESCO, the main road to Lalibela has been paved, and in recent years Lalibela finally received electricity. Water shortages are an almost daily occurrence and the hotels ration water.Overnight stay at panoramic view hotel or similar hotel

Day 4: Drive to Mekele

Driving to Mekel via Woldia. On the way you will stop for a rest in Hayk where you can enjoy the views of this stunning lake, visit the local monastery (open for men only). Overnight stay at Atse Yohannes Hotel or similar hotel

Day 5: Mekele —Afdera /Denakil Depression

After breakfast drive 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.Overnight: Camping

Day 6: 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.Overnight: Camping

Day 7: 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 with 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.Overnight: Camping.

Day 8:Ahmed Ela —Semera

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!.Overnight: stay at Erta Ale Motel.

Day 9: Drive to Awash

Will spend–most of the rest of the day driving slowly to the Awash National–Park. As you cross flat, dry farmlands there–is little of scenic interest, but the roadside birds are in plenty:–Augur Buzzards, Long-crested Eagles, Northern Carmine Bee-–eaters, Abyssinian and Rufous-crowned.Overnight: Stay at Awash falls Lodge

Day 10:Awash National Park

Spend the day exploring Awash National Park. The beauty of Awash is that visitors can explore it on foot, for it is free from typical east African park restrictions, and most dangerous mammals. Spanning 350 square miles, Awash became the first of Ethiopia’s national parks in 1966. It is situated on the Awash River, with its spectacular gorges, and is made up of acacia and scrub-bound plains, with hills and the volcano, Mount Fantalle, in its northern quarter. Ethiopia’s troubles over the last few decades, including population displacement and wars, have taken their toll on the country’s wildlife and large mammal populations have declined markedly. Even so, during our time in Awash we still hope to find Beisa Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Defassa Waterbuck, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Warthog, Salts Dik-dik and Olive Baboons. Predators are rare though and very unlikely to be seen.

The birdlife is exceptional, however, and includes Buff-crested, White-bellied, Kori, and even Arabian Bustards, Lichtenstein’s and Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse, Rosy- patched and other shrikes, plus many species of hornbills, weavers, woodpeckers, vultures, doves, pigeons, guineafowl, glossy starlings, parrots, bee-eaters, barbets, mousebirds and finches, to name but a few!Overnight: Stay at Awash falls Lodge

Day 11:Drive back to Addis Ababa

Drive back to Addis Ababa from Awash National Park is 215km. Driving on towards Meta Hara, you will cross Lake Beseka on a road that seems to hover just above the water. Look for great white pelicans, marabou storks and yellow-billed storks on its shores. On the way you can stop in Sodere to take a shower in the therapeutic hot springs waters.

In the evening before departure, you will be invited a farewell dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis where you taste variety of Ethiopian meals, and watch the folkloric dancers of the Ethiopian people.
End of Service and Departure

• Please note: This tour may precede or follow any other Ethiopian tours offered by Worqamba Ethiopia Tour.

• This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirement.

What's include

  • 4WD transportation including fuel expense and drivers allowance
  • All Entrance fees and licenses as per the programr
  • Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages and plenty bottles of water for the trip.
  • Minimum of 2 cars per trip with local security
  • Camel and camel tires
  • Local Guides – it makes more sense to include different guides for each place, to take advantage of their specific knowledge of the destination. ( service of local guides during site visits)
  • Cooking, camping equipment
  • Scout and police service in Afar Region as per the program
  • Experienced cook
  • City transfer
  • Airport Transfers

What's exclude

  • Tips
  • International and domestic airfare
  • Any alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • Any expense which is not stated in the Included List above
  • Visa expenses.
  • Video or photographing fees or tips at different sites.
  • And any personal item expenses