• Through the Afar Desert into the Heart of the Danakil

Through the Afar Desert into the Heart of the Danakil

Like the other destinations in Ethiopia these places compel you to think in a different planet. Dallol is the lowest and hottest place on earth, discover one of the few active volcanos in the world and the most colourful land of the dallol depression.

This place is one of Africa's most striking geographical features, a giant tear across the earth's surface visible even from space. The country with some spectacular sights range Active volcanos with beautiful landscapes from hot, dry, and barren places to a string of beautiful lakes.

Tour code: CU33

Operator: SimienEcoTours



Day 1

Addis Ababa arrival, city sightseeing

Arrival in the morning. Transfer to the hotel (if the rooms are ready for occupancy). Sightseeing tour through the capital, which is located at an altitude of up to 2,450 masl. A city of contrasts with modern skyscrapers next to corrugated iron huts, donkey and horse carts next to modern means of transport, colourful traditional markets next to supermarkets. Besides the most important historical monuments you visit the National Museum, where the famous skeleton Lucy is kept.

Meal: B/L/D

Accommodation:  Heyday Hotel or similar, Addis Ababa

Day 2

Drive from Addis Ababa to the Awash National Park

This day's drive continues for another 180 km north east  to get to Awash national park, one of the earliest and rich in fauna’s and flora’s national parks of Ethiopia.Upon arrival to the National Park we visit the majestic Awash River Falls to spot different types of birds, and driving through the bush land of the park provides you the opportunity to see antelopes like Greater Kudu, Gazelles, Orix and other wildlife in the interior parts of the park. Then we move on to the Doho Lodge located directly at the hot springs where we can take a relaxing bath.

Meals: B/L/D

 Accommodation: Doho Lodge or similar, Awash NP

Day 3

Driving from Awash National park - Semera

In the morning we will continue our journey by car to the north-east, until we reach the small town of Semera, the last inhabited centre before entering the desert regions of the Danakil (Afar). In the evening we will have a typical dinner and then accommodation in the hotel in Semera.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Ruftana Hotel or similar, Semera

Day 4

Drive from Semera to Alalobed and then Lake Afdera.

Today in the morning we are driving to Alolobed, which is incredibly colorful place and filled with hot, steaming water. Alolobed Spouter, a nearly constant geyser in one pool. The surface of the water in this pool is 97 °C. Then we drive to Lake Afdera in the afternoon. The landscape is getting drier, but it remains hilly until Salt Lake City. We occasionally pass small oases where they bring their animals for water. On the way, we will visit a village of the Afar people. Already from a distance, you can see Lake Aftera and its basins used for the production of salt. We spent the night in a tent under the palm trees by the lake. There are hot springs with mineral water. The lake as well as the springs themselves invite you to take a bath.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Tented or open campsite

Day 5

Drive from Afdera to Hammed Ela, visit the salt Lake Assale

Today we drive through the desert to Hammed Ela and Lake Assale, where salt extraction is done with ancient techniques. Salt bars were once used as a coin national. We see the Afar in their hard work of salt extraction. From Hammed Ela we are accompanied by military escort.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Tented or open campsite

Day 6

Drive to Dallol and then Erta Ale to see the active volcano lava lake

Excursion to Dallol, which is located 116 metres below sea level, one of the lowest places on the planet. We visit fields, lakes and colourful springs, and a lake of oil. After visit Dallol in the early morning, we approach the active volcano Erta Ale which is 613 metres high and on its summit has a lava lake. This is one of the few permanently active lava lakes in the world. After having seen the night activity of the lava lake, we will spend the night at a certain distance from the crater in simple shelters or outdoors on mattresses and sleeping bags. It is noted that the volcano is constantly evolving and that for safety reasons it is not always possible to visit the main crater.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Tented or open campsite 

Day 7

Last visit of Erta Ale and return to Semera

If possible, in the morning we approach the crater lake again to observe its morning activity and then have breakfast, after which we descend from the summit. We continue southwards until we reach the capital of the Afar Region Semera. After 3 nights of camping overnight in the hotel.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Ruftana Hotel or similar, Semera


Day 8

Flight Semera - Addis Ababa, shopping, dinner and departure

You will be transferred to the airport and with a short domestic flight to Addis Ababa. Here’s the last opportunity to buy souvenirs. After this we move to the restaurant for a farewell dinner with traditional music and folk dance groups. In the late evening, or depending on your flight schedule, you will return home.

Meals: B/L/D 

Accommodation: --------


Our services include:
  • All domestic flights in Ethiopia with Ethiopian Airlines in tourist class (extra of $90 if the international flight is not booked with Ethiopian Airlines)
  • All accommodations in double rooms with private toilet/shower in hotels or lodges; exception during the trekking and in places where no hotel or lodge is available: nights in tents for 2 persons; supplement for single room $130
  • All transfers and travels in Ethiopia with private car (all in 4WD)
  • Full board (1 drink per meal included, alcoholic drinks excluded)
  • All entrance fees and permissions at tourist attractions, churches, museums and national parks
  • For the Danakil: entrance and camping fees, guide, scouts and rangers, dromedaries, cook, cooking assistant, cooking and camping equipment (it's recommended to bring your own sleeping bag)
  • All persons for safety and security (when prescribed)
  • all (mandatory) local guides in the single destinations
  • Experienced SimienEcoTours tour guide (fluently English & Amharic speaking); extra for a guide speaking another language, to divide among all participants: $180


Our services do not include:
  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • visa for Ethiopia (currently US$ 82);
  • Sleeping bag
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tipping
  • Photo and video fees (if any)
  • All extras and personal expenditures