Seven days in Danakil through the great east escarpment; discovering on the way interesting markets and the ancient city of Aussa Sultanate where the Awash river end in Afambo lake, sleeping in the hot spring of Alobet, exploring the North part: Erta Ale Volcano, the Salt Plain and Dallol hill.
The salt crust in the Salt Plain is 3 km deep. It is so white that blinds. The eastern borders are the Danakil Alps, located in Eritrea, up to 2000 m height, that block the entrance of the water from the Red Sea. The peculiar volcano of Dallol looks like an open space natural laboratory, with shapes and colors that are the results of the mix between physics and chemistry, water, volcanism and mineral salts. At the end Erta Ale is a double balcony, it’s a sort of outlook platform on the wonder of the volcano: the magma roars, explodes, sucks up rocks, a moving sea of dark liquid stone.
Day 1. Addis Abeba- Kombolcha (360 km 7/8 hours). Departure in the morning to Kombolcha, north east of Addis Ababa, through the countryside of Wollo region; market of Sembete, melting pot for oromo and amhara people; arrive in the evening and overnight at Yegofe hotel
Day 2: Kombolcha – Bati – Alalo Bet (290km, 6 hours). Market of Bati, important melting-pot for Afar and Oromo, and then drive up to the south of Dutti, where at the border between Afar and Issa territories there are Alalo Bed lakes, with clean and hot water. Overnight: camp
Day 3. Alalo Bet – Lake Afambo – Asayta market – Afdera. In the morning visit of Asayta (60 km), the old capital of the Aussa sultanate; continue up to Afambo: nice walk and birdwatching. Continue to the north up to the Lake Afrera, a salty lake. Camping on the shore of the lake, closed to the hot springs, where it is also possible to bath.
Day 4. Afdera – Vaideddo – Dallol Volcano – Assabole. We reach the village of Vaideddo in about 3 hours; continue to Dallol, where there are secondary volcanic phenomena in the whole area, such as geyser and multicolor pools; visit of the “Columns of Dallol” and then of the salt mine and the small magnesium salts hill called Assa Ale, “the red hill” and lake Karoum. It is here the lowest depression of the Ethiopian Danakil: 116 m below the sea level. Night at our camp at Assabole, a small village along the Saba river.
Day 5. Assabole – Erta Ale Volcano. Erta Ale is the last of a volcanic chain that occupies the central area of the Danakil depression, with an open air caldera. The basecamp is only 1 hour walk to the top: after dinner walk to the top to see the caldera and rest of the night at the basecamp
Day 6. Erta Ale Volcano – Samera. In the morning have another walk around the crater with the sunrise light. Return back to the basecamp and drive to Samera. Afternoon relax. Overnight: Kuriftu Hotel
Day 7. Samera – Addis Abeba