Fly from Addis Ababa to Mekele. Overnight in Mekele
3-4 hours of driving
Mekele to Hamedela
Drive to Hamedela via Berhale. The Danakil Depression can be said to “begin” here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular. The sulphur springs provide eye-catching colors.
Several points in the desert are more than 100 meters (328 feet) below sea level. Camel caravans pass through the small town of Berhale where they stop before going on to the northern highlands. Enroute, we will see long camel caravans coming to and going from the salt mines. Camp at Hamedela.
6 hours of driving
Hamedela to Dodom
We leave after an early breakfast (around 6:30). We will be driving on perhaps one of the worst roads in the world. Solidified lava, rock, sand, an occasional palm-lined oasis and several hamlets will be on our route for the next 80 km.
Early dinner (around 17:00). At approximately 20:00, we will begin the 15 km (3-hour trek) up to Irta’Ale Volcano. Camels will transport all the camping materials and some food to the rim of the volcano. We will spend the night there watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava.
Irta’Ale ranks as one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and has a 1 km square caldera at its summit. It contains one of the world’s only permanent lava lakes.
Dodom to Hamedela
After an early breakfast (7:00) on Irta’Ale, we trek back to Dodo. We then drive back to Hamedela. Camp at Hamedela.
Hamedela to Mekele
We take a morning drive to Ragad (Asebo) to watch salt mining. After the salt is broken from the ground, it is cut into rectangular pieces and loaded onto the camels.
Next, we drive to Dallol to visit the different landscapes formed by the volcanic activity. At 116 meters below sea level, it is one of the lowest places in the world. We will then visit Lake Assal, follow the camel caravans and walk with the Afar people.
After returning again to Hamedela, we will proceed onto Mekele. Overnight in Mekele.
Fly back to Addis Ababa. Optional city tours to such places as the National Museum, Entoto, Trinity Cathedral, the Red Terror Museum, the mercato and other places can be arranged.