Unveiling the Danakil: A Thrilling 4-Day Expedition

Lucy Ethiopia Tours

Embark on a full-length tour of the renowned Danakil Depression, one of the most extraordinary geological sites on Earth. Witness salt mining and camel caravans, walk on a sea of salt 116 meters below sea level, marvel at colorful sulphuric salt fields, and peer into an active volcano. This tour offers a truly varied and remarkable experience.

What to Bring

  • Torches (for night walks)
  • Small backpack for the trek to the volcano
  • Closed, comfortable shoes (trekking shoes)
  • Sun protection (sun cream, hat)
  • Jacket for the night on the volcano
  • Sleeping bag

Day 1: Mek’ele to Hamed Ela

Morning: Drive to Hamed Ela via Berhale Depart from Mek’ele and drive to Hamed Ela via Berhale, a journey of 3-4 hours. The Danakil Depression begins here. Pass through the small town of Berhale, where camel caravans stop before heading to the Northern Highlands. On route, witness long camel caravans heading to and from the salt mines.

Evening: Camp at Hamed Ela Set up camp at Hamed Ela and enjoy the unique desert environment.

Day 2: Hamed Ela to Erta Ale

Early Morning: Drive to Dodom After a 6:30 am breakfast, drive to Dodom at the base of Erta Ale, the “Smoking Mountain.” The 80 km drive takes about 6 hours, passing through landscapes of solidified lava, rock, sand, and palm-lined oases.

Afternoon: Arrive in Dodom Reach Dodom, passing through small desert hamlets. Have an early dinner before beginning the night trek to Erta Ale. Camels will carry camping materials and supplies.

Night: Trek to Erta Ale Trek to the summit of Erta Ale and spend the night watching the dramatic lava lake. Erta Ale, a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and a 1 km caldera, contains the world’s only permanent lava lake.

Overnight Camp at Erta Ale Camp at the summit under the red glow of the volcano.

Day 3: Erta Ale to Hamed Ela

Morning: Explore Erta Ale Rise with the sun to explore the pits and craters of Erta Ale, including the main pit-crater, which is about 200 meters deep and 350 meters across.

Late Morning: Trek back to Dodom Return to Dodom for breakfast and relaxation.

Afternoon: Drive to Hamed Ela Drive to Hamed Ela, a village with a population of about 500 people, and sleep out under the stars.

Overnight Camp at Hamed Ela Camp at Hamed Ela.

Day 4: Hamed Ela to Mek’ele

Morning: Visit Salt Mines After breakfast, take a morning tour to Ragad (Asebo), the salt mining area. Observe the breaking, cutting, and loading of salt onto camels.

Mid-Morning: Visit Dallol and Lake Assal Drive to Dallol and Lake Assal to explore the striking, otherworldly landscape formed by volcanic activity. Stand 116 meters below sea level, visit the colorful sulphuric salt fields, and walk with the Afar people.

Afternoon: Return to Mek’ele Drive back to Hamed Ela and proceed to Mek’ele, concluding the tour.

Contact Us

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Explore the awe-inspiring Danakil Depression and create unforgettable memories on this extraordinary journey.

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