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I had to go there myself. I mean, why intentionally travel to the hottest place on the planet? On the way, you get the idea. Dreamy landscapes that stretch forever, a hot nighttime wind that doesn’t ever let up. I had been told to drink a lot of water, more than you think you need. By the end of the first day, I was way behind. Only after liter number four did I feel the need to go.
This is the Danakil Depression, with its nomadic tribes and salts mine workers and endless camel caravans. The land that time forgot. A friend called it nature’s chemistry experiment, bubbling up to the surface in hot springs in all glorious sulphuric colors. And then the opportunity to peer into the earth’s crust – climbing onto camels to ascend the dome of an active volcano and glimpse its lava lake below.Surreal.
Day 01: Arrive Addis Ababa
Arrive Addis Ababa Bole international airport meet our staff at exit gate and assist to transfer to hotel. Overnight at hotel of your choice.
Day 02: Addis Ababa
AM We exploring Addis Ababa beginning with a visit to the National Museum, one of the most important sub- Saharan museums in all of Africa? The museum is home to the fossilized humanoid Lucy, as well as an amazing collection of artifacts, royal items and art. We then visit the Ethnological Museum, which was the former palace of Haile Selassie.
PM we take time in St. George Cathedral, built in 1896 by Emperor Menelik and then continue on to Holy Trinity Cathedral. Holy Trinity Cathedral is the largest Orthodox Church in Ethiopia and has survived through many historical periods, as its interesting architecture can attest to. The Cathedral contains the thrones and the tombs of the emperor and some of the royal family. Visit Merkato, the largest open air market in Africa. Overnight at hotel of your choice.
Day 03: Addis Ababa- Mekelle (flight)
Early in the morning transfer to Bole international airport fly to Mekelle. Mekelle Town is a capital city for Tigrian Region which expanding from time to time. Here where we meet our ground transportation and be introduced with drives by escorting guide. The town is pleasant to walk and also we explore the castle of Emperor Yohannes and visit the museum built for commemoration of those sacrificed their life during the struggle against the Revolutionary government. Overnight Axum/Abraha Castle at Mekelle.
Day 04: Mekele – Hammed Ela Drive
Drive to HamedEla via Berhale. At Berhale pay entrance have permission from Berhale Administrational bureau and also two police men and road guide and then proceed to Hammed Ela. The Danakil Depression can be said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions on the face of Earth, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colors, as in the Salphur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 116 meters below sea level and temperatures can rise above 50C. Visit the Asale Salt Lake, where salt is still extracted using ancestral techniques. Camping at Hammed Ela.
Day 05: Dallol Sulfur spring, Lake Assale Salt Bar and camel caravans.
Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assale, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar and people from highland. The traditional way of extracting Salt bar, which once used as local currency, packing on the Camel. Youfll see how they prepare their traditional bread, how they travel, communicate & more. It is another unique experience. Back to HamedEla. Camping.
Day 06: Had Ela, Kusrewad and Erta Ale.
Drive to kusrewad here where we arrange the camel to ascend our logistics and for those who wish to ride, Local militia and rock guide apart from those who already with us. Late afternoon start walking to Erta eale. Around 5 pm 3 hours trek climb to Erta Ale volcano and overnight on the top of the mountain. Erta Ale is 613 meters tall, 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. Overnight on the Summit.
Day 07: Descend from Erta Ale and drive to Hammed Ela
Around 9 am we will be at foot base of the volcanic mountain where our cook and cars camp have our breakfast and drive to Hammed Ela via Kusrewad. So again we trace to the same way we came from on the sand to Hammed Ela overnight Berhale camping
Day 08: Hammed Ela – Mekele.
Drive to Mekele through the town of Berhale. Ascend to the Tigrian highland with the camel caravan and stop for photo over the depression. Overnight Mekelle.
Day 09: Mekelle – Addis Ababa
This morning our drivers gave we transfer to Mekelle airport for our flight to Addis. We say to them goodbye at the gate of airport. Arrival Addis afternoon at leisure and depending up on your departure time transfer to Bole international airport and fly back home.