Trip to the camel caravan and Erta Ale Volcano

Trip to the camel caravan and Erta Ale Volcano(10 days)

Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa, transfer to Hotel. City tour of Addis Ababa which includes the Ethnological museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, the view point at Mount Entoto, and different part of the town.

Day 2: Addis Ababa - Bilen (village of Afar people). Visit the near by village of Afar pastoralists. Bilen village is a village of the Afar nomadic pastoralists who are completely dependent on their cattle and camels. The village is very traditional with portable grass made houses the nomads use when they move with their cattle in search of grass and water. We spend the day visiting life of the village. We do this walking in the village looking the house style, visiting in to some houses, looking the Afar women milking animals, preparing their traditional food, and many other activities. More over, in the early evening the Afar boys and girls do their cultural song and dace on the field near to the village. Our camp site is near to the local village under acacia trees and this gives greater chance to see all the life of the localities. Over night camping.

Day 3: Bilen - Logia drive (lunch in Mile).

Day 4: Logia - Afdera (arrangement of permission paper and police to go for the trip with us). Afdera is one of the famous salt mines in the country. After cheek in to Hora Hor Hotel we walk to the salt mine to see local people do their daily business. Lake Afdera is about 100km square highly saline body of water fed by the abundant thermal springs. Afdera is 103 meters below sea level and registered as one of the fife lowest place in the world.

Day 5: Leave early in the morning and reach Kursawad for lunch to arrange the camels to carry our materials for the trekking to Mount Erta Ale. This is done though the local chef of the Afar nomadic tribe. After lunch and some rest, we stat the drive in the early afternoon to El Dom (at the base of Erta Ale). El Dom is about 17 km from Erta Ale and it takes about 3 hours trekking. Early dinner around 1730 or 1800 and trek up to Ertale at 2000 hours. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and math and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1 km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake.

Day 6: Return from Ertale to the base camp, leave after an early breakfast, if possible at 06:30. You will reach latest at 10:30am the camp, time to relax, have lunch, then drive to Kusrowad for overnight camping.

Day 7: Kursowad - Hamed Ela drive. Start early in the morning after breakfast. This is may be one of the worst road in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 5 hours passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and occasional palm lined oasis. After you pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, you reach Hmad Ela, better village with a total population about 500 people. Over night camping.

Day 8: Full day around Hamad Ela. Hamed Ela is a spring board for the visit of Dalol depression and the salt mine. It is located on the caravan track. After breakfast, drive to Ragad (Asebo), the

place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of breaking the salt from the ground, cutting in to rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dalol and visit the different landscape formed by volcanic activity, back to Hamad Ela for overnight stay.

Day 9: Hamad Ela - Barahale - Makale. The is a drive to get out of the Danakil depression. You pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravan stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long camel caravans coming to the salt mine and others going out the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. Arrive Makale which was once the capital city of Ethiopia. It is now one of the big towns in the country. Depending on the time, we can visit the Museum in Makale, which was originally the palace of Emperor Yohanes of 18th century. Over night in Axum Hotel.

Day 10: Makale - Addis Ababa and fly.


Rating: *****

Service details

  • $2200 per Trip
  • Available Anytime
  • Duration: 10 Day(s)
  • From 2 to 20 people
  • Starts at Ethiopia, Addis Ababa

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  • Licensed Guide



I have travelled with this company before and can highly recommend them. They are professional, organised and informative. You'll have the best time travelling with them!
Julie Paterson