City              (Departure)









Early morning, your divers will pick you up in Mekele and you will proceed driving into the Danakil Depression.  Today’s journey will be mostly by asphalt road to Afdera via Abala town, where the local Afar regional police will accompany the trip.  Continue to Afdera. 


Overnight camping/sleeping under the stars in Afdera village (very basic accommodations).





In the morning, visit Lake Afdera, a salt lake nearly 100 km2. Here you can see the modern way of salt mining, as this place provides most of the salt for Ethiopia.  You can swim in the lake as well as the nearby hot spring. After the visit, depart from Afdera to Erta Ale via Kursuwad. The Erta Ale volcano has been in a constant state of eruption for over 40 years.  As the sun goes down you will start the 3-hour hike up to the crater rim of the Erta Ale volcano. The hike may be done by camel or on foot.  At the top you will descend into the caldera and proceed to the crater’s edge.  Here you will see the permanent lava lake inside the volcano (the only permanent lava lake in the world).


Overnight in Ertale





Today is an early morning start to witness the sun rise over the horizon.  You will have your last look at the volcano’s lake of lava before descending from the volcano.  After breakfast, return driving to Hamed Ila through the arid desert land of the Afar people. In Hamed Ila you will see the life of the local Afar people.  You will also see the camel caravans on their way in and out from the salt lakes.


Overnight camping/sleeping under the stars in Hamed Ila village (very basic accommodations).



Hamed Ila


After breakfast, depart for Dallol, which at 116m below sea level is the lowest point on the African continent.  Admire the stunning landscape, the ground many shades of red, yellow and orange from the hot water, acids and minerals spurting up from the ground.  Continue to Lake Asale, which is the salt lake from which the Afar nomads extract salt.  You will witness (and even try) their laborious task of removing salt from the ground as hundreds of camels relax before the long trek back to Mekele.  After the visit, proceed back to Mekele, with your last views of this desert and the camel caravans dotting the horizon.



Overnight in Mekele at

a)     Axum Hotel

b)    Hilltop Hotel.