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Trekking in the Danakil Depression

Simien Mountain Trekking and Tours - 3 days

  • Trekking in the Danakil Depression
  • 3 days / 2 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Easy
What's included
Packing List
Simien Mountain trekking and tou
How To Book


> Visit the world’s only permanent lava lake
> Camp on the crater rim, above the active lava lake
> Visit a salt mining area

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!


What’s the plan?

Day 1:

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 1km 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.

Day 2:

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

Day 3: Danakil to Mekele

Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the locals are mining salt. Look the activity of workers breaking salts 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 up camel caravans (No camel caravan on July, August and early September) and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele. End of Danakil tour

What's included


√ Transport
Your trip starts in Mekele. All transportation during the trek is included. We will drive you in 4WD land cruisers. All fuel expenses and drivers allowances are covered.

√ Accommodation
During this trek you will spend 2 nights camping. On the first night of this trip you will have one of the must unique camping experiences: you will camp in the Erta Ale Volcanic hills, nearby the eruption, on the crater rim above the active lava lake.

√ Guide
You will be accompanied by a professional and experienced guide and a scout. Also, we include a local guide service for the Afar region.

√ Meals
There will be plenty of food, you can be sure about that. We will take care of all the cooking materials and a professional cook will take care of prepearing the meals.

√ Camels
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.

√ Entrance Fees
All park entrance fees, licenses and government taxes are included in the total price.

√ Water
We will provide you with plenty of bottles of mineral water during this trek.

√ Camping equipment
We will provide you with sleeping bags and all other equipment necessary.


× Airfare
The plane tickets are not included.

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Tipping
The tip is not included in the price of the trek. Tipping guides, drivers and camel handlers is a usual practice in Ethiopia. Try to be generous, they will appreciate it.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before you travel.

× Personal Expenses
All personal expenses such as alcoholic drinks, and other similar expenses are for your own account.


Frequently Asked Questions


A very important thing to know about this region is that it is hot, very hot. The Danakil Depression, in the northeastern corner of Ethiopia, has the distinction of being the hottest place on earth, with recorded temperatures of 51 C°. It’s sometimes called “the gateway to Hell”, so make sure you wear light clothes and that you keep your body hydrated.

Best Season

It is always hot in the Danakil Depression, there isn’t much you can do about it. However, the ‘coolest’ time to visit the area is from November to early January. Any other time of year you are very likely to experience temperatures over 46 C°.


Tipping is more common in Ethiopia than in other East African countries. However, opinions on how much are divided. We advise to tip the guide around 7 or 8 USD per day of trek. Try to be generous, it will be appreciated.



During this trek you will spend 2 nights camping. On the first night of this trip you will have one of the must unique camping experiences: you will camp in the Erta Ale Volcanic hills, nearby the eruption, on the crater rim above the active lava lake.

Packing List

Packing List

Everything is arranged for your trek in Ethiopia, the only thing left is to pack your bags and get going. Now, what do you need? Here we have some recommendations for you:

Bear in mind that the facilities in the Danakil Depression are very basic: there is no electricity, there are no showers. Here are the essentials:

– light clothing
– a headlamp
– a small backpack for the volcano trek
– sunglasses and a hat
– a mask or a scarf to cover your face at the volcano
– toilet paper and baby wipes
– sun cream
– first aid kit (bandages, pills, band-aids, disinfectants)
– power bank and extra bateries

Simien Mountain trekking and tou

Simien Mountain trekking and tours

We have been operating in the field since 2009 and have provided the best services to happy customers from all over the world thus far. Our Team is always driven towards providing the best experiences for our valued clients. Our passion and professionalism has made us the leading trekking agency in Ethiopia .Our team is always working towards making dream vacations of our customers into a pleasurable reality. In addition, our highly professional and well-trained guides and staff will always make sure that you have a problem-free holiday.

Likewise, our services range from the planning and preparation of tours to immaculate trip arrangements. You are guaranteed to get the best accommodations, transportation, food and guiding services. No matter if you are planning for trekking and historical, a cultural tour or peak climbing, we are the best to plan your trip in affordable price.

We aim to give our clients the most memorable experience through whatever facilities are available to us. We always try to provide accommodation that is both interesting and characterful, and transport – another important part of any tour – that is as varied and comfortable as possible. All our trips are led by our experienced tour leaders who are both knowledgeable and fun to travel with.

Our clients are our greatest asset. Travelling to remote regions is not for everyone, and as such we tend to attract open-minded travellers looking for genuine experiences, and a desire to reach those hard to get to places.



Safety is of the utmost importance to us. That is why this is an area in which we simply do not compromise when it comes to keeping the cost of our trekkings low. Our guides have been selected on the basis of their technical competence, proven safety performance, impeccable judgment, friendly attitude and ability to provide useful and expert instructions. They are also very professional and well trained in first aid and personal protection equipment. First aid kits are available on all treks. Furthermore, a park ranger or a scout will also be joining us during the trek.

How To Book

How does it work?

On you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking adventure your match? In that case you can proceed to booking. At you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. You pay the remaining amount on location prior to the trek directly to the trekking company. uses only the safest payment methods. Once your booking has been received, your place is reserved, your place is safe and you can look forward to your chosen trekking.

After you have made your booking, you will receive an e-mail confirmation with all necessary information and the contact details of the trekking company. If you have any questions or if you want to clarify something, you can obtain information directly from the right person. Of course, you can also always ask us your question. Send us an e-mail on

The trekking company will also receive your details and can therefore always contact you and provide you with extra information.

Cancellation Policy

You wish you didn’t have to, but there is no other way: You find yourself having to cancel your plans. In this case, you lose your deposit, but since you haven’t paid the large sum yet, you at least save that. Please do let us know if you cannot make it. A no-show can be a small disaster for your trekking provider, who did its best to block your dates. View our complete cancellation policy here.

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