Danakil Depression - Dangerous as Hell and Beautiful Like Heaven

Danakil Depression - Dangerous as Hell and Beautiful Like Heaven
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Danakil (Dallol) Depression in Ethiopia is one of these places on earth where your common sense says “don’t go”, but your adventurous human nature urges you to pack your back and make your way as soon as possible!
There is ghost town of Dallol is built fromsalt blocks and situated near the southern end of the Red Sea and at the northern-most extension of the Great Rift valley. The place is far, far below the sea level - at some points it goes nearly 120m below the sea level. Dallol is known as the “gateway to hell” and there is a reason why. The average temperature there is about 35 degrees Celsius.
But from the outside this alien place looks like heaven! It offers almost surreal landscape of colours, dominated by luminescent yellows and green. Yet soon visitors realize this breathtaking view is just an illusion. It comes together with a boiling hot water bubbles, poisonous chlorine and sulphur gases which choke the air. And heat isn’t the only problem in Danakil. Alarming earth tremors are frequently felt. There are also several active volcanoes and Erta Ale is the most popular. It is an impressive natural phenomenon - 613m tall, with a lava lake at its summit - one of only five of the kind in the world.
But this strange place and the region around, known as The Afar Depression and Triple Junction, even with its almost impossible living conditions, is full of life. In June 2010, the oldest direct evidence of stone tool manufacture was found exactly here. It is supposed to dates back to more than three million years ago!


Day 1: Mekele.
Arrive Mekkele. Transfer and hotel overnight.

Day 2: Mekele - Erta Ale
We start at 09:00am from Mekele, after driving 3-4 hours we will reach at Erebti the place where we stop for lunch and then to drive to Askoma to the base camp.This may be one of the worst road in the world.The 80km distance may take about 6hrs passing through challenging land scape of the solidfadelava, rock, sand and the occasional palmlined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in his desert land, before reaching Askoma .we will arrive at the base camp 05:30-06:00 pm after having a break like an hour dinner will be ready at around 07:00 after a little break again we will start to trek to Ertale an average of 3 hours or and half. Camels transport all the camping material and same food, sleeping material, mattresses and water, to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night wathing the dramatic action of the boling lava (volcano). Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attraction any where in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with abase diameter of 30 km and 1 km square cadera as it is summit. Erta Ale contains the worlds only permanent lava and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain.

Day 3: Erta Ale - Abaala
We will start trekking back to the base camp morning at 5:00 before the sun rise to the base campaskoma as soon ashaving breakfast we will depart to Afdera, which we will drive an average of 4 hour to reach the mythical lake guliitti( or lake Afrea), a salt water lake located more than 100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depression on the planet. Because of the picturesque landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake. Then proceed to Abaala where we stay tonight.

Day 4: Abaala - HamedeEla
We start driving at 10:30 from Abaala to Hamedela via Berhale. Berhale is a place where we stop for lunch. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328ft) below sea level. You pass through a small town of Behale where the camel caravans stop before they proceed to the northen highlands. En route you see many long caravans going to the salt mines and other coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels.(2-3hrs drive) camp at Hamedela. After having some break we will go to the salt lake to see the sun set and camel caravans loaded of salt exisiting the salt mine.

Day 5: HamedEla - Mekele
Morning after breakfast we will start our tour at around 07:00am. We start from the beautiful and colorful land scape which has been created by different complex geological forces then excursion to Dallol (116 meters below sea level, one of the lowest place in the world)that is where we start our visit. Then proceed to the salt mountain which has been created by erosions and wind factors then after to proceed to the bubbling lake and to the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of workers breaking salts from the ground, cutting in to rectangular pieces and loading on camels. Then proceed to Berhale where we stop for lunch and drive to Mekele to our hotel.

Day 6: Departure 

Price Includes:
All transport in 4x4 vehicle
English speaking guide
entrance fees and licenses
2 nights hotel in Mekele incl. breakfast
3 nights camping incl. cook and all meals
local guide service and police service in Afar
government taxes

Not Included:
International and domestic flight tickets
meals in Mekele


Danakil Depression - Dangerous as Hell and Beautiful Like Heaven (Rated 4.73 / 5 Based on 243 Reviews.)
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