Tour to Danakil Depression with Rock Churches

Tour Overview

The journey into Ethiopia’s northeast and east winds its way along with one of the country’s major rivers, the Awash through a landscape that reveals much about millennia of volcanic activity. Rolling hills are interspread with gorges, craters and hot springs. The route passes through two of Ethiopia’s nine national parks: Awash and Yangudi Rassa, although each is bordered on one side by the Awash River and these are mainly dry country parks, and the wildlife here reflects that. Beisa Oryx, Greater and Lesser Kudu, Gerenuk, Gravy’s Zebra, and two species of Baboon can be seen in this area, alongside the rare predecessor of the domestic donkey the Wild Ass.

At Hadar, on the boulder strewn volcanic floor of the Great Rift Valley, a breathtaking archeological discovery was made in 1974: an almost complete hominid skeleton at least 3.5 million years old humankind’s oldest know ancestor. The northern portion of the route leads us to still drier country, the fascinating Erta Ale absolutely unique Lava Lake erupting 24 hours the lowest part of Danakil Depression (116 below sea level) extremely hottest and inhospitable place but enjoyable and extraordinary colorful landscape, and also famous for its fascinating fumaroles amazing rock formations, crystal and mineral deposits. A few scattered, highly saline lakes nearby complete the geological picture of ties region lakes that are the only reminders of the time when the inrushing water of the Red Sea flooded the area following the subsidence of the rift..

In addition to the above sights the southeast journey will take us to the town of Dire Dawa the second largest city in Ethiopia and the old romantic walled city of Harar stands amid green mountains on the eastern wall of the Great Rift Valley near the Somalian border. Harar, the historical city dating back to medieval time is the holy Muslim city with its 99 mosques, regarded as the fourth holiest city after Jerusalem, Mecca and Medina, has been one of the major centers of trade and Islamic learning in the horn of Africa and also famous for its ancient buildings, great city walls, the 19th century French Poet Rimbaud’s house; who lived and treaded in the city and the hyena man performance every evening outside the gates, while he feed the Hyenas by using his mouth. Through centuries of its existence, the city has developed high quality craft industry like basketry, colorful woven cloths, silver wear and ancient books binding . . . and others.

Tour Itinerary

Tour code: OLET 704

Duration: 14 Days and 13 nights

Means of Transport: All the way Surface

Day 1: Arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport. Overnight Hotel

Day 2: Trip to Kombolcha via western edge of the rift Valley. Overnight Hotel

Day 3: Head to Mekelle; visiting Hayk Estiphanos monastery. Overnight Hotel

Day 4: Discover the greatest famous rock churches of Tigrai. Overnight Hotel

Day 5: Journey to Hamed Ela through Agula and Berhaile. Overnight camping

Day 6: Trip to visit Dallol, Lake Asale and camel caravan. Overnight Camping

Day 7: Depart to Kursewad then trek to Erta Ale volcano. Overnight Camping

Day 8: Walk back to the base; then drive to Lake Afdera. Overnight Camping

Day 9: Drop the trip crew in Afdera; then drive to Logiya. Overnight Camping

Day 10: Depart to Awash admiring the Great Rift Valley zone. Overnight Hotel

Day 11: Explore the Awash National Park then drive to Harer. Overnight Hotel

Day 12: Discover the romantic and old walled urban of Harar. Overnight Hotel

Day 13: Trip to Nazareth admiring coffee and Chat plantation. Overnight Hotel

Day 14: Back to Addis Ababa and then in the evening departure back to home.

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