Tour code: IETT-023
Program: Simien Mountains trekking
Transport: Air and Land
Take the flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle. Overnight in Mekelle.
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, full of eye-catching colors, as in the sulphur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328 ft) below sea level; You pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravan stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long camel caravans coming to the salt mine and others going out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels.(3-4 hrs drive) Camp Hamedela.
Hamd Ela - Dodom. We start early drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). Leave after an early breakfast, possible at 06:30. 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 camping 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.
Dodom - Hamd Ela. Derive from Erta Ale around 9 am Dodom - Hamd Ela. 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 Hamad Ela, better village with a total population about 500 people. Overnight camping at Hamed Ela.
Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of breaking the salt from the ground, cutting in to rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal + camel caravans. Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow u camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele. Overnight Hotel.
Fly back to Addis Ababa, optional city tour City tour and sightseeing tour of Addis Ababa that includes the National Museum, Entoto, Trinity Cathedral and Merkato.
You will visit the National Museum.
The National Museum of Ethiopia: This is one of the best museums in quality and diversity of the exhibits. Archeological exhibits include the 3.5 million-year-old fossil of Lucy (or Dinkinesh – ‘thou art wonderful’- in the native language), a hominoid woman of the specious of Australopithecus Afarensis. The discovery of Lucy’s fossil in 1974 forced a complete rethink of human genealogy, providing that our ancestors were walking 2.5 million years earlier than had been supposed. The National Museum also contains many wonderful artifacts dating back to pre-Axumite civilization.
Drive to Entoto to visit Entoto Mariam church and the commanding panoramic view point mount Entoto which offers the stupendous view of the city, afterwards visit Trinity Cathedral known for its interior paintings and handcraft center that offers the rich legacy of handcrafts tradition that serve as a perfect souvenir. Visit includes Merkato, the largest open-air market in the continent. END OF TOUR.