Complete itinerary that, after several interesting stops along the road to visit colorful markets, will lead you to the Danakil depression in all of its most attractive corners: from the capital of the ancient kingdom of Aussa to the salt plains in Afrera, the volcano and the caravans in the canyon of the river Saba…it is the ideal trip for those experienced travelers that are passionate to enjoy emotions at the slow rythm that this exceptional land demands.
This is an expedition to a remote area, where there are not accommodations available; therefore Medir Tour organizes mobile camps with igloo tents and high quality camp kitchen. It is possible to travel just from mid October to March (included). The intensity and spectacular nature of the visit will widely pay back the uncomfortable side of the trip.
Markets: the itinerary coincides with 3 interesting and various markets, that enrich a mostly naturalistic trip with cultural content.
Asayta: previous capital of Aussa sultanate, it’s a small and picturesque Muslim town that faces the Awash river valley.
Afrera: salty lake that is already over 100 m below the sea level, it will offer the possibility of a refreshing bath in its thermal basins and also interesting landscapes with volcanic cones at sunset.
Erta Ale: the great show of the lava lake will be the reward for the not long but demanding ascent. Sleeping for two nights on the top will give the possibility to explore in detail the entire morphology of the volcano.
Dallol: The hill of salt of Dallol is actually a volcano; the closeness to magma and the high mineral quantity in the underground create unreal landscapes.
The “salt plain” : in the lowest Danakil depression it lays a crust of salt that is extracted with hand-crafted procedure where the Afar from the lowland collaborate with the Tigrians from the highland. It’s an evocative show out of time.
Caravans: long queues of camels loaded with salt blocks go back and forward on the ancient road along the river Saba, up to the market of Beraile.
Afar: nomadic shepherds, the ancient inhabitants of Danakil desert are proud and fascinating people, in the simplicity of a life lived without comforts.
1- Addis Ababa- Dessie. Panoramic transfer, market. Hotel
2- Dessie- Asayta. Panoramic transfer, market. Low range Hotel
3- Asayta- Afrera. Market and visit to salt pans. Camping
4- Afrera- Erta Ale. Ascent to volcano. Bivouac in huts
5- Erta Ale. Visit to the caldera. Bivouac in huts
6- Erta Ale- Ahmed Ela. Caravans. Bivouac in huts
7- Ahmed Ela. Dallol and salt pans. Bivouac in huts
8- Ahmed Ela- Afar village. Karoum Lake, Afar. Camping
9- Saba Canyon. Trekking and caravans. Camping
10- Afar – Mekelle. Transfer and flight to Addis Ababa. Connection to international flight.
PERSONALIZATIONS AND EXTENSIONS
It is possible to personalize this itinerary by visiting the geyser around Semera; by adding one day in Asayta to visit the area around Afambo lake, rich in fauna; by adding one day to visit Caterina volcano (demanding trekking); by extending 2 or 3 days in Tigray to visit rock-hewn churches to relax in one of the best lodges in Ethiopia or by combining an itinerary in the North up to Lalibela.
We also suggest the following extensions: