Durations – 3 days and 3 nights
Transportations – Flight, Trekking and Drive
Accommodations – Camping and 3* hotel in Mekelle
Tour Code: ATT-ADH-0026
It’s located in North East Ethiopia, in the Afar department. Danakil Depression is known for the ‘hottest place on earth’ but that title does the place so much injustice. The Danakil region is so much more than how high the temperature gets – its unique geological features are the ones that draw visitors to visit despite the cost, the many hours of off road driving, and barebone accommodation.
A trip to the Danakil Depression is without a doubt, the absolute highlight of Ethiopia. Also, it is a place where the prehistoric sites are located. And have a city tour of Mekelle, known for its Atse Yohannes Palace and Martyred Monument(Hawelti). This tour passes through the volcanic landscapes of Afar and Tigrai.
DAY 1 – DRIVE TO DODOM
After a moning, we start drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). This is may be one of the worst road in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing landscape of solidified lava,rock, sand and occasional palm lined oasis. After you pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, Dodom is about 17km from Erta Ale and it takes about 3 hrs trekking. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to Ertale at 20:00 hours. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and mat and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. Overnight on the top of the mountain. Erta Ale is 613 meters, with a lava lake, one of only five in the world, at the summit. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century. over night at the rim of the Volacano.
DAY 2 – DODOM – MEKELLE
Early Morning sun rise at the northern one corresponds to the main pit crater and walk 5 minutes for the southern and central pits could either corresponds to an ancient pit, or to a simple collapse structure. The main pit-crater, 200 m deep and 350 m across, is sub circular and three storied. The smaller southern pit is 65 m wide and about 100 m deep. Descend from Erta Ale around 9 am Dodom – Leave back to Dodom after an early breakfast, if possible at 07:00.
You will reach latest at 10:30 am at the camp, time to relax. After drive to reach Eript, better village with a total population about 500 people. Drive to Erbiti and proceed to Mekelle, and finally check in to Desta International Hotel for your overnight.
DAY 3 – MEKELLE CITY TOUR
After a relaxed morning breakfast, take a city tour of Mekelle, founded by Emperor Yohannes IV as his capital, after he relocated his power base from Debra Berhane, to Mekele in 1881. Mekele is also the capital city of the Tigray National Regional State. Late this afternoon we will take a Mekelle City Tour. We will view to the impressive Dejatch Abraha Castle built in the heart of the city around 1906. Today the castle is a hotel. We will also stop to visit the Hawelti (Monument of the Martyrs) erected to dignify the valiant fighters who sacrificed themselves to emancipate their people from the dictatorial military regime (1974-1991). The artistic tower, spiraling more than 100 feet above the ground and mounted by a large ball, is visible through much of Mekele. This is the centerpiece of the large war memorial. The memorial is modern and engrossing. As you enter, on each side, there are larger than life figures representing the victims and victors of the war. Appropriately black and stick like, the figures include mothers and children trekking out from the famine, several of them not making it. With them are the hardy Tigrayan fighters, machine guns over their backs and trusty donkeys in tow. These peasant fighters overcame the Soviet backed might of the Derg military regime.
Later after a lunch break, we will visit historical Atse Yohannes IV Palace, which is named after the famous King who ruled Ethiopia from 1872 to 1889. Emperor Yohannes chose Mekele as the seat of his government and built his graceful palace, still intact, in the 1870s. The palace now serves as a museum and is highlighted by the Emperor’s throne, the royal bed, his ceremonial dress, rifles, and many other valuable historical collections. The fantastic throne of Atse Yohannnes IV was made by the Italian engineer Giacomo Nareri in 1874 and it is the eye catching centerpiece of the museum.
Danakil security is a safe area. Mobile coverage is now available in the camping site of Hamed Ela village, Dallol area and on the road between Hamed Ela to Ert’ale volcano. Tours travel in convoy and it is prerequisite to have security when visiting the Danakil.