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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: drive to Awash
Morning start drive 230km South of Addis Ababa in the rift valley pass the Town DebreZeith creator Lake and Nazareth town to visit Awash Park with its volcano landscapes and savannah grassland habitat for a variety of bird species. Arrive and check in Late afternoon we explore the Awash National park which is home to mammals such as Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Hammadryas Baboon and Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Saltfs Dick-dick and more.
Overnight Genet Hotel/Awash Falls Lodge at Awash Town.
Day 04: drive to Afdera
Morning after breakfast start drive after passing the town and cross the Awash River bridge outside the town we get to the junction where the road forks, straight ahead for Dire Dawa and Harar, and left for Djibouti and the Red Sea. This day we wonder the Rift valley scenery and Afar people and their village. Have lunch at Samara, process our entrance permission and also from here we will have two Police men and one road guide accompany us for the Afar depression continue to Afdera. Overnight camping at side of Lake Afdera or Local hotel.
Day 05: Drive to 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 Ertaeale. 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 06: 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. This day drive will be the most challenging drive of all day which may be happen to stuck in the Sand and inhospitable weather, we should keep rehydrate to you manage the driving. Arrive Hammed Ela overnight camping at Hammed Ela.
Day 07: DallolSalphur spring, LakeAssale 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 camelfs 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 08: Hammed Ela – Mekele.
Drive to Mekele via the town of Berhale in the River bed Ascend all way to the Tigrian highland with the camel caravans and stop for photo over the depression. Overnight Mekelle.
Day 09: Dive to Kombolcha
Drive to Kombolcha through beautiful mountain scenery via Alamata-Kobbo on the way visit the Agaw and Amhara people at their village. Stop at Hayk to Island Monastery and then proceed to Kombolcha overnight Tekle/Sunny Land at Kombolcha.
Day 10: Drive to Addis Ababa
Returning to Addis through Kemise and Senbete the local towns where Amhara, Oromo and Afar people get together on market days.
We will also explore the underground tunnels of the Debresina Mountains and stop at Tarmaber view point to locate the endemic AnkoberSerin, Brown-rumped Seedeater, Stripe-breasted Seedeater and Yellow-crowned Canary and the Endemic Gelada Baboon .Overnight at hotel of your choice.
N.B The above route can be reverse without affecting the No. of days or we can combine with north historic route, Omo valley tribal Safari, with historic Harar. Tell us you wish our team will offer the best the best combination.