Erta Ale volcano, the Afar region and Awash National Park

Duration 10 JOURS
Difficulty DIFFICULTÉ 1
Quote request DEMANDE DE DEVIS
  • 1 night in the caldera to see the beauty of the Erta Ale volcano and its lava flow
  • 5 days in Afar region, the harshness of the environment versus the hospitality of its tribe
  • The Dallol and Danakil depression, with its colorful landscapes
  • A safari in Awash National Park

Day 1

Visit Addis Ababa: enjoy a beautiful view over the capital city from Entoto mountain, explore the national and the ethnographic museums, learn more about orthodox religion at Kiddist Maryam, Kidane Mirhet and Kiddest Selassie, get lost in the “mercato”: the African largest outside market. In the afternoon, flight to Mekele. Overnight in Mekele.

Day 2

After breakfast, proceed driving to Hamed Ila via Berehale, where you will pick up police scouts, road guides and permits for the Afar region. From Berehale, proceed driving to Hamed Ila. We will see the camel caravans along the way, carrying salt from the salt lake to Mekele for sale. Overnight camping in Hamed Ila.

Day 3

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. At the end of the day, return to Hamed Ila for overnight camping.

Day 4

From Hamed Ila, continue 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). You will camp overnight on the rim of the volcano caldera.

Day 5

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 lave before descending from the volcano. After breakfast, continue driving to Lake Afdera for overnight (camping).

Day 6

Lake Afdera is a wonderfully bright green lake situated with black basalt mountains behind. It’s a stunning location. Here you can see more salt extraction from the lake, where the Afar nomads continue the same activities they have for centuries. The salt extraction here is the main supply of salt to Addis Ababa. There is a hot spring nearby where you may take a bath. Overnight in Afdera.

Day 7

Drive to Mille. Enjoy the different, more deserted landscapes of this region and stop at some breathtaking viewpoints. Overnight in Mille.

Day 8

Depart south from Mille, through the Yangudi-Rassa National Park, and then to Awash National Park for overnight.

Day 9

After breakfast, you will drive to the Awash Hot Springs to visit (and take a swim in) the therapeutic springs. This area also has wonderful views of the surrounding area. After returning back for lunch, you will then go for a game drive late afternoon to enjoy wonderful birdlife and many mammals, such as gazelles, kudus, warthogs and baboons in the park. Overnight in Awash NP.

Day 10

Today, you will go for one last game drive early in the morning to witness as the Awash National Park wakes up. Then, continue driving back to Addis Ababa. On the way, we will stop in Debrezeit for lunch and lake-side entertainment.