The Danakil Depression, in the northeastern corner of Ethiopia, has the distinction of being the hottest place on earth, with recorded temperatures of 51 degrees celsius. It’s sometimes called “the gateway to Hell.” The area is a geological depression, near the Horn of Africa and is also a part of the Great Rift Valley. During this trek you will visit the lava lake in the Erta Ale volcano, and you will spend the night on the crater rim. On the last day you will visit salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake and you will have the opportunity to interact with the locals. Convinced? Let’s Go!
We start our day by driving to Erta Ale (which means smoky mountain in Afar language). 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 1 km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. It 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.
We start early 9:00 AM, drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). This is may be one of the roughest roads 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 passing several small hamlets scattered here and there in this deserted land, you will arrive to Dodom camping site, located about 17km from Erta Ale.
Dinner will be served around 17:00 o’clock. After a short break, trek up to Ertale at 20:00 hours. Camels will be transporting 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. You will spend the night on top of the mountain, at the rim of the Volcano.
Early Morning sun rise at the northern pit, which corresponds to the main pit crater. Then walk 5 minutes for the southern and central pits, could either correspond to an ancient pit, or to a simple collapsed structure. The main pit-crater is 200 m deep and 350 m across. It 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.
You will reach latest at 10:30 o’clock at the camp, where you will be relaxing. As soon as possible, drive to reach the mythical Lake Giulietti (or Lake Afrera)(optional may not be available during summer time), a salt water lake located more than 100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet. Because of the pictureqsue landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake., continue to Erbiti and proceed Abaala/ Hamed ela.
All necessary transfers (bus, taxi, private transport, etc.) as described in the itinerary are included.
During your trek, you will stay in tents. The crew will take care of setting up all camping equipment.
This trek includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
During your trek, you will at all times be accompanied by an English speaking guide.
The cost of permits to enter the national park during your trek is included in the price.
Enough drinking water will be provided during the trip.
Camels and a camel handler will also be joining you on this trek. They will carry the food, camping equipment, and your backpack if you need them to.
This trip does not include costs for transportation (flights, bus travel, etc.) to your destination.
Gratuities for the guide are not covered by the trek's price. The amount to tip is at your discretion, yet if you've received excellent service from your guide, considering a generous tip is appreciated.
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. It is important that your travel insurance also covers adventures at a high altitude. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.
Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks at the bar and other similar expenses are your own responsibility.