Visit Ethiopia, Danakil Depression and Djibouti
Visit Ethiopia and Djibouti
Itineraries on this page enable you to explore Ethiopia and Djibouti in combination. These two eastern Africa countries are rich in tourism destinations. Ethiopia is mainly known worldwide in Historical attractions, majestic maintains and scenic landscapes and untouched culture, especially in the southern regions of the country. Djibouti is largely famous in desert safari with its desert lakes.
Visit Ethiopia, Danakil Depression and Djibouti
Program: Ethiopia – Djibouti
Tour Code: Djibouti 01
Duration: 25nights (26days)
Transportation: Air and Land (4WD)
Tour Starts: Addis Ababa
Tour Ends: Addis Ababa
Day1: Arrival: Morning. Arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International Air Port. Meet there with us and transfer to your hotel for check in and after breakfast; drive to the Entoto Mountain for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum and the old palace of MenelikII (at Entoto Mountain), the National Museum where you can discover different archaeological findings (including 3.18million years old skeleton of Lucy), Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Addis Ababa
Day2: City Tour of Gondar: Morning. Fly from Addis to Gondar and visit the 17th Century Emperor Fassiladas castles, the Swimming pool of the emperor, and Debre Birhan Selassie (Light of trinity) Church. After lunch, drive to the Simien National Park (Chennek). At the head Quarter of the park; at the town of Debark (101km from Gondar); you will collect entrance tickets and get a scout. After having the permission to the park, drive to the base site of Chennek (4000m above sea level). On the way, you will definitely discover the endemic animal of the Gelada Baboon and the Simien chain mountains. Gelada Baboon is a large baboon with brown hair and a bare red patch on its chest. Around Chennek; you will have an excellent chance to see the endemic Walia Ibex. The Walia Ibex is a wild mountain goat with long (male) and unique backward – curving horns. Overnight – tented Camp – Chennek or lodge -Sankaber
Day3: Half day trek of the nearby Chennek sites: Early Morning. Trek to the areas where you can find the Walia Ibexes. Often, Walia Ibexes and Gelada Baboons are being seen together, heating the morning sun at north – east of Chennek. Come back to the campsite and drive back to Gondar. On the way near the town of Gondar; visit the Felash (Jews) village. Jews have a long year history with Ethiopians. During Gonderine Civilization, many Jews were dwelling in Gondar (17-19century). Overnight – at chosen – Gondar
Day4: Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela: Morning. Fly from Gondar to Lalibela. After lunch; visit the first group of the Hewn Churches. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Lalibela
Day5: Asheten Maryam: Early Morning, climb a mountain for Asheten Maryam church. On this day, you will experience a morning sport (trek) which helps you to trek from Hamed Ela to Dallol Depression and from the camping site (13kms far from Waydodom) to the Lava Mountain of Arte Ale Active Volcano. Mountain Asheten is also worthy for a panoramic view of Lalibela and a mountain church of Asheten Maryam. Descend down to Lalibela. After lunch; visit the second group of the Rock Hewn Churches and the Cave church of Nakuto Làabe. Overnight – at chosen hotel– Lalibela
Day6: Yimrahine Kristos & Mekele: Morning, Drive to the cave church called Yimrahine Kristos (42km from Lalibela), meaning: let Christ lead us. This Church has been constructed by King Yimrahine Kristos during the13th Century. In the church, there are more than 5000(five thousand) dead human skeletons (Bones) laying without any coverage for the past 700 years. They are supposed to be pilgrimages from Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia. The murals on the dark walls of the church, the year round spring water descending from the top of the church and the forest around are very impressive and worthy to be visited. Proceed driving to Mekelle via Korem. Take Lunch at the Town of Korem. It is at Korem where the Asphalt road begins to Mekelle. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Mekele
Danakil/Dallol Depression: is the remotest, lowest and hottest place in the Great Rift Valley system, probably in the world. This trip takes you to explore Danakil Depression where you will definitely feel: a place where it looks out of our earth. Asalé, salt Lake, the traditional salt extraction site since long years ago, Erta Ale active volcano mountain (613m high above sea level), The Salt Lake of Afdera, basalt rocks, Camel Caravans, unique landmass of Danakil Depression, Afar people and etc will make your mind surprise and think differently.
Day7: Hamed Ela: Morning. Drive from Mekelle to Hamed Ela (roughly 180km dirty road). From the small town of Agula, you will start descending deep down to the Afar Region. At many spots on the road, you will see many camels transporting rock salt from Lake Asalé to the town of Mekele. The temperature becomes hotter and hotter as you penetrate deep down to the region. You will take some rest at the small town of Berahile (110km from Mekelle) where entrance tickets will be collected. Proceed towards Ahmed Ela. Overnight – tented camp (under Afar House) – Ahmed Ela
Day8: Dallol Depression: Early morning. Excursion to the Danakil depression. On this day; surely, you will be overwhelmed with a strong feeling of admiration, because of babbling sulfur and potash in Danakil Depression. Proceed to the traditional salt extraction site from where too many camels are waiting to load them rock salts. It’s just nearby the Salt Lake of Asalé. Afternoon, Explore the Afar village of Hamed Ela. Overnight – tented camp (under Afar House) – Ahmed Ela
Day9: Nearby Arte Ale Volcano: Morning. Drive from Ahmed Ela towards Arte Ale (78km totally dirty road) via Kursewat. Take some rest (lunch) at Kursewat & drive to Dodom and then towards Erta Ale. Overnight –Camp –open air – nearby Arte Ale
Day10: the Eternal fire of Arte Ale, Active Volcano Lake: Morning. Trek to Arte Ale with your camping and cooking gears being carried by Afar Camels (3-4hrs walk). After lunch, explore the extraordinary lava that bounce from its mouth of Arte Ale volcanic fire. During night time the volcano will be fully seen with its magnificent color of zigzagging fire, produced from huge rocks in it. Again; in the evening, descend from your Camping site to the volcano. Overnight- camping on the rim of the volcano
Day11: Afdera: Morning, discover all sites around the Arte Ale area and descend down towards where your cars are camped. There; take your lunch and drive to Lake Afdera. In the Afternoon; visit the Salt Lake of Afdera. It is here where you can see people extracting edible salt in large quantity and transport it on trucks to Addis Ababa. Overnight – at chosen local hotel – Afdera
Day12: Assaita: After breakfast; drive from Afdera to Assaita and visit the oldest Ethiopian Afar people’s town of Assaita (visit the market if this day coincides with every Tuesday Market). Overnight – at chosen local hotel – Assaita
Despite its small size; Djibouti comprises extraordinary geological sites, unique landscapes, astonishing nature, crater lakes and Afar – Somali Culture as well as Indian Ocean.
Day13: Assaita – Galafi – Agna: After breakfast; drive from Assaita to the Ethiopia – Djibouti border town of Galafi. At Galafi; stake refreshment drinks then drive towards Agna to admire a beautiful palm grove, meet with the nomadic Afar people of Djibouti. Lunch under beautiful palm grove of Agna. In the afternoon; drive towards the city of Dikhil. Overnight – at chosen local hotel – Dikhil
Day14: Dikhil & Lake Abbe: Dikhil is a pleasant city, on the road to Ethiopia. Make a guided city tour of Dikhil and its old palm grove in the morning. Lunch at a hotel in Dikhil. In the afternoon; drive towards Lake Abbe and attend the sunset there. Overnight – tented camp – Lake Abbe.
Day 15: Lake Abbe & Lake Assal: Very early morning visit the Lake Abbe and its hundreds limestone chimneys from which steam vents, appreciate the sunrise, the beautiful flocks of flamingos – the Andean and the James’s Flamingo & nomadic Afar people. Afternoon; drive to Dikhil, lunch and continue to Lake Asal to admire the sunset on the floe of salt. Lake Assal is hottest. The closer you get to the Lake the higher gets the temperature. The brightness is so intense during day time so that you need to have your sunglasses. Overnight – Tented camp – Lake Goubet
Day16: Around Goubet: The Goubet region is known for a spectacle black lava results. Visit all sites nearby Goubet. After Goubet; drive towards the forest of the primaire du Day. Lunch at Day camping site. Afternoon; visit around the primaire du Day, the primaire forest, and francolin of the Day. Overnight – tented camp – at Dai
Day17: Tadjuirah- White Sand: Early morning; depart for Tadjoura. Visit the white city of Tadjoura and the seat of the Sultanate Afar then turn towards the beach of the White Sand that is the beach to the thinnest sand. Lunch in Tadjoura. In the afternoon; turn towards Bankoualé. Overnight – Tented camp – Bankoualé.
Day18: Bankoualé – Ardo: Visit Bankoualé: the rare and unique palm tree and, meet with craftsmen of Ardo. Afternoon; drive to the city of Djibouti. Overnight at chosen hotel – Djibouti
Day19: Djibouti city Tour of Djibouti: Visit Djibouti city and markets for full day. Overnight at chosen hotel – Djibouti
Day20: Djibouti – Logia: Morning; drive back from Djibouti to Ethiopia via Galafi and to Serdo- Semera – Logia. Overnight – at chosen local hotel – Logia
Day21: Awash National Park: Awash National Park is located at 212km, east of Addis Ababa with an area of 756 Sq. km. It is the oldest and most developed wildlife reserve in Ethiopia. The park is entirely established on the plain of the Rift Valley. The park is predominantly covered with acacia trees and savannah grassland. The main tourist attractions of the park include lesser and greater kudu, Beisa Oryx, dik-dik, cheetah, lion, Somme ring’s gazelle and others. Bird species: secretary birds, Abyssinian ground hornbill, turaco birds and etc. Another interesting feature is the 150m – deep Awash River Gorge that makes up the park’s southern boundary and with impressive waterfall at its head.
Morning. Drive from Logia to Awash national Park. After lunch and siesta at Awash Sebat – near the park, Game view after having entrance tickets at the head office of the Awash National Park. Overnight – at chosen hotel or lodge – Awash Park
Day22: Hot Springs and Fentale Crater Lake: Full day visit. Take an early morning game drive and then return to the lodge/hotel for breakfast. Then drive with picnic lunch into the park to visit the Filwoha Hot Springs, where guests can take a hot bath. Then proceed to the Fentale crater, which still shows signs of activity with smocking steam vents. Overnight – at chosen hotel or lodge – Awash Park
Day23: the Hyena Man show: Harar:- The ancient city of Harar, which was established between 7th and 9th centuries, had been remained a center of Islamic religion from the early days of the Islamic expansion until 1887, when the authority of the central government was restored by Emperor Menelik II. It is located at about 526 km east of the capital or 55 km east of Dire Dawa. Harar with its 99 mosques and shrines, is considered the forth most sacred center of the Islamic world. The town of Harar is surrounded by a great defensive wall made of stones and mud. This wall was believed to have been built in 1550’s by Amir Nur, the nephew of the great Imam Ahmad Ibn Ibrahim Alghazi of Ethiopia. The city of Harar has five large gates. Part of the city, which is encircled by the wall, is known as ‘Jegol’. Places of interest to be visited in Harar are the “Rimbaud House” which is named after the famous French poet who chose Harar as his city of exile from French.
Harar market places, the house of Ras Mekonnen and the Harari houses with unique architectural features deserve to be seen. The Harari and Oromo women in Harar have been known for their unique custom and basket works. They still wave intricate creation from colored fibers and grasses. Harar is also known for its “Hyena Man” who feeds his wild friends, the hyenas, with meat and bones every evening in the open air.
Morning; drive from Awash Sebat to Harar (300km from Awash Sebat) and after lunch; visit the walled city of Harar. In the evening, attend the most astonishing and bizarre Hyena Man show. That Man feeds as many as 30 hyenas with his bare hands and mouth. You can try it with no any harm. Hyenas in Harar are considered as domestic dogs that anybody has no intension to fear them. Overnight – at chosen hotel -Harar
Day24: Babile and the Valley of Marvels: Morning; drive from Harar to Babile on the Jijiga Road. There are General Market on every Saturday, Camel Market on every Monday & Thursday at Babile. Visit the market if your schedule coincides with the market day otherwise proceed to the Valley of Marvels. The most visited one is the rock formation of Dakatta Rock sited at 7km from Babile. Drive back to Harar for lunch and drive about 51km for Dire Dawa. The main attraction of Dire Dawa known also as Queen City of the Rift Valley is: Taiwan Market, the stimulant leaf knows as “Chat” Market and the big market place which is frequented by Oromo, Somali Issa and Afar people. Overnight – at chosen hotel –Dire Dawa
Day25: Dire Dawa – Addis: After Breakfast; drive back to Addis Ababa (515km best asphalt road).On the way between Dire Dawa and Dengego, visit the oldest Rock Paintings in Lega odfa. Stopover at Lake Beseka after Awash national Park for birds and continue to Addis appreciating the Rift Valley Landscapes. Lunch on the way and arrive to Addis in late afternoon. Overnight – at chosen hotel – Addis Ababa
Notice: This itinerary can be amended upon request