Travel Ethiopia, Danakil Depression, Tour to Danakil Depression, visit Danakil Depression, Arta Ale, Erta Ale, Afar People, Experience Unique & Desert region – Ethiopia
Program: Danakil Depression
Tour Code: Afar 02
Duration: 13nights (14days)
Transportation: Air and Land (4WD)
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa
Day 1: Arrival/ Addis Ababa
Arrive in the evening transfer to your Hotel. Overnight – at 4* hotel – Addis (note that you can be provided from 3* up to luxury hotels in Addis Ababa)
Day 2: City Tour
Addis Ababa is centered at the heart of the country. Addis Ababa in Amharic language means “New Flower”. It was founded by Emperor Menelik in 1886. An estimated population of 4 million people is dwelling in the city. Addis is graced as Africa’s diplomatic capital with the presence of the head quarter for the African Unity, a seat for numerous embassies and is the port of entry for most travelers.
After Breakfast, we drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and we drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s replica Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa. Overnight – at 4* hotel – Addis (note that you can be provided from 3* up to luxury hotels in Addis Ababa)
Day 3: Gondar and Simien Mountains
After breakfast; fly from Addis to Gondar and visit all sites in the town of Gondar. After lunch; drive to the Simien Mountains national Park- Overnight –tented camp – Simien Mountains National Park
Day 4: Simien Mountains & Jews Village
After breakfast; explore the park and drive back to Gondar in the afternoon. On the way; visit the Felasha/Jewish village. Overnight – at current best hotel – Gondar
Day 5: Rock Hewn churches of Lalibela
After breakfast; fly from Gondar Lalibela. Afternoon; visit the first group of the Rock Hewn Churches. Overnight – at current best hotel – Lalibela
Day 6: full day in Lalibela
Early morning; Hike to Asheten Mariam Mountain Church (optional) .After lunch and a short siesta, visit Second groups, and Nakuto Leab. Overnight – at former hotel – Lalibela
Day 7: Yimrahine Kristos -Mekelle
After breakfast; we drive to the cave church called Yimrahine Kristos (42 km from Lalibela). This Church has been constructed by King Yimrahane Kristos during the13th Century. In the church, there are more than 5000 thousand dead human skeletons lying 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. Then we drive to Mekelle. Overnight – at current best hotel – Mekelle
Day 8: Mekelle – Hammed Ela
We drive from Mekelle to Hammed Ela. After the small town of Agula; we descend to the Afar Region. You will see too many camel caravans, transporting rock salt from Lake Asalé to the town of Mekelle at many spots on the road. As we penetrate deep down to the region, the temperature becomes hotter and hotter. Lunch and siesta at the small town of Berahile (110km from Mekelle) where entrance tickets will be collected too. Then we Proceed towards Hammed Ela with the accompany of polices and a local guide from Berahile. Overnight – camping (at Afar House) – Ahmed Ela
Day 9 Dallol Depression and Lake Asalé
Early morning (possibly at 6am local time); excursion to the Danakil depression. On this day; surely, you will be overwhelmed with strong feeling of admiration, because of the awesome of Dallol. Proceed to the traditional salt extraction site from where camels are waiting to be loaded rock salts – just nearby the Salt Lake of Asalé. Then drive on white salt land to visit Lake Asalé. Then, after having visited all sights in Danakil Depression, drive to Shiketi (also called Alaba) on new asphalt Road (in 2014). Overnight – camping– Shiketi
Day 10: the Eternal fire of Arte Ale, Active Volcano Lake
Morning; drive from Shiketi towards Arte Ale (78km dirt road) via Afdera – Mekelle Road then to Kursewat. After arranging camel/s for Arte Ale Mountain, drive to Waydodom and then climb Arta Ale accompanying with camping gears, being loaded by Afar Camel (3-4hrs walk). After siesta, explore the extraordinary lava that babbles 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. Therefore; in the evening, we will descend from Camping site to the drama of the volcano. Overnight- camping on the top of Arte Ale.
Day 11 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 a very basic hotel (Horahor hotel) – Afdera.
Day 12: Awash Sebat
Morning; Drive from Afdera to Awash Sebat. Lunch at Logia and proceed to the town of Awash Sebat overlooking the Yangu di Rassa national Park and Awash River; the only river that waters the desert area of the Afar Region. Overnight – at best local hotel – Awash Sebat.
Day 13 Awash National Park
Morning; on the way to Addis; discover The Awash national Park. The park is known mainly for Beisa Oryx. Lesser and Greater Kudu, Dik – Dik, tortoise, and many varied birds can be seen here. The Awash River fall is an additional value to the park. After the park; drive back to Addis. Lunch at Debre Zeit then continue to Addis. Late afternoon; check –in at Bole International airport for your departure.
Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on request