13 Day Itinerary Danakil Desert and Volcanoes


Day 1 - Arrival.

Day 2 - Addis-Awash.

Day 3 - Awash -Semera.

Day 4 - Semera-Afdera.

Day 5 - Afdera-Dodom-Erta Ale Volcano.

Day 6 - Dodom-Hamedela.

Day 7 - Excursion to Dallol and Asa’Ale.

Day 8 - Hamedela-Makale.

Day 9 - Mekele-Lalibela.

Day 10 - Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela.

Day 11 - Continue visiting the attractions in and around Lalibela.

Day 12 - Lalibela-Dessie/Kombolcha.

Day 13 - Dessie/Kombolcha-Addis.

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Day 1 - Arrival at Bole international airport, meet with ATOE representative at exit, transfer to hotel for check in.
Visit 3000m Entoto mountain with panoramic views over the capital the National & Ethnographic museum, St George, Trinity cathedral and Merkato which is the biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight, stay in the hotel

Day 2 - Addis-Awash. Depart Addis and travel via Debre Zeit and Nazret city to the Rift valley and the Awash National Park. Here you will graceful Beisa Oryx grazing on the savanna plains. Also Sommering’s Gazelle, Dik-Dik, greater and lesser Kudu and Waterbuck can be observed. The park is well known for its 460 bird species from which 6 are endemic. Overnight, stay in Awash Falls Lodge

Day 3 - Awash-Semera. The journey to Semera capital of the Afar region
needs an early start to arrive in time to obtain permission for a visit to Erta Ale volcano and Dallol. The drive descends into the Danakil desert becomnig increasingly hot and arid. Overnight, stay in hotel.

Day 4 - Semera-Afdera. Departing early the route traverses a desolate landscape with coned shaped volcanos ane numerous lava flows to Afdera salt lake which is 100m below sea level. The turquoise water of the lake and blinding white salt surrounded by volcanoes is an impressive sight. Late in the afternoon there will be an excursion to the saltworks and hot spring at the lakeside. Overnight camping.

Day 5 - Afdera- Dodom-Erta Ale Volcano. From Afdera township the road crosses numerous black lava flows - a moon like landscape to Dodom where we a base camp is set up. From the end of the road it is a 10 km hike up to the crater of this active volcano. Descending into the huge crater it is possible to get close to the active lava pits where in the night sky the fire fountains can be watched spurting out of surface of the lava lake.causing a firework of burning molten rock. O/n camping outside the crater wall.

Day 6 - Dodom-Hamedela. An early start is needed to return back down the mountain on foot before it gets too hot. After re joining the vehicles in Dodom the route continues 100 km north to Dodom the small village of Hamedela. This village serves the ancient saltworks 8 km further down in the great salt lake. Overnight camping.

Day 7 - Excursion to Dallol and Asa’Ale. From Hamedela drive down to the saltworks and cross the saltlake to Dallol volcano. Here in the heart of the Danakil depression we are at the lowest point in Africa. The Arhowho work together in teams to load the huge blocks of salt onto camels work in extreme heat in one of the toughest environments imaginable. On the Dallol dome there are extraordinary sulphur fumaroles and multicolored salt formations. Dallo is like nowhere else on earth. O/n camping in Hamedela.

Day 8 - Hamedela-Makale Leaving Hamedala on the desert floor the route climbs back up to the Ethiopian plateau to Makale through a wild and spectacular arid mountain landscape. Makale is the capital of Tigray. Here we Makale visit the 17th century palace-museum of Emperor Yohannes IV. Overnight, stay in Hotel.

Day 9 - Mekele-Lalibela The drive south from Makale to Lalibela traverses beautiful mountain scenery and traverses the dramatic dry mountains of Tigray and North Wolo.
Lalibela and its rock-hewn churches date back to the 12th and 13th centuries during the reign of King Lalibela. Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 10 - Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela. It takes two days to get the best out of visiting the Lalibela rock churches in the town and surrounding areas. The first day is spent visit ing the rock-hewn churches which are clustered in three different places separated by River Jordan. This first day will be spent visiting the first and the third group of churches. Overnight stay in Lalibela hotel.

Day 11 - Continue visiting the attractions in and around Lalibela. On the second day in Lalibela in the morning an excursion to is made to Ashetan Mariam monastery by mule or driving. An hour north of Lalibela by road & few minutes walk brings you to the cave church of Yemrehane Christos. After lunch in Lalibela, spend the afternoon visting the second groups of rock churches. Overnight, stay in Hotel.

Day 12 - Lalibela-Dessie/Kombolcha. Leaving Lalibela the route to Dessie passes through yet more magnificent mountain scenery. It also provides the opportunity to see the villages and lifestyle of the Amhara people who live on the high plateau.

30 km before reaching Dessie, there is the option of visiting the large Haik Crater Lake and its 13th Century Istephanos monastery. Here it is possible to see local fisherman using small reed boats. Overnight stay in hotel in Dessie or nearby Kombolcha.

Day 13 - Dessie/Kombolcha-Addis. It is 400 km full dayback to Addis Ababa passing through a varied and always beautiful landscape. The route traverses lowlands with Oromo camel culture, climbs the great escarpment at Debre Sina and passes across the high plateau through interesting Oromo and Amhara villages. Back in Addis, spend your last evening enjoying a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing. Either spend the night in Addis or the evening transfer to the airport for return flight.

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