3 Days in the Danakil

Experience a remote region of the world unlike you've every seen as you drive deep into the Danakil Depression and peer into the bubbling lava lake of Erta Ale. This 3 day experience is a perfect addition to any tour of the north, provided you can handle the heat!

3 Days


3 Days in the Danakil - 3 - $480

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Scale Erta Ale and camp under the stars at the summit of the volcano. 
  • Experience the alien landscape of Dallol. 
  • Visit the salt mines and camel trains. 

Start from Mekele and end at Mekele

Landmarks visited on 3 Days in the Danakil


Day 1 Mekele - Erta Ale, 250 km/ ~5.5 hrs.

We join a group of other travelers and are entering the Danakil Depression, an area with extraordinary natural beauty. A new road takes us much closer to Erta Ale than previous possible, eliminating a long hike in extreme heat. A short, about one hour, hike takes us to the rim of the caldera of Erta Ale, a typical shield volcano with gentle slopes. Make sure you take water, good shoes, a (head) torch and a scarf or cloth to cover your face for fumes coming from the volcano. Once at the top you should be rewarded with the extraordinary sight, looking into the lava lake of a live volcano at very short distance. Unfortunately recent activity makes the view on the lava lake unpredictable and it might be covered by smoke. Overnight in basic local shelter.

Day 2 Erta Ale - Ahmed Ela, 340 km/ ~7 hrs.

We return to the volcano and observe sunrise over hopefully a spectacular and fire spitting lava lake. After breakfast in our camp we board our 4WD and drive via Abala and Berhale to the settlement of Ahmed Ela where we arrive late afternoon. This is one of the resting places for the camel caravans transporting the precious salt from the nearby Lake Asale to Berhale. There is a lot of activity connected to the arrival and departure of the endless caravans. Overnight in basic local shelter.

Day 3 Ahmed Ela - Mekele, 165 km/ ~3.5 hrs.

Early morning we follow the camel caravans to Lake Asale to observe the harvesting of the salt. It is a centuries old handcraft of cutting and shaping the salt blocks. Sometimes thousands of camels are present to take the load and transport it to Berhale. We continue to the place recorded as the hottest inhabited place on our planet, you better be prepared. The ghost town of Dallol is an abandoned miners town and mostly constructed out of salt. Some old machinery used for the mining activities is still found here. Nearby lays the fantastic and extraordinary beautiful hydrothermal field of the Dallol volcano. Some say it is the most colorful place on the planet. Please be careful and stay on well-trodden paths. The area is very fragile and the crust might break if you're trying to get to close to the pools. Contact with the boiling acid water will cause serious injuries. In the afternoon we leave the heat and dust behind and are returning into the highlands of Tigray.

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices are per person.


  • All internal travel except domestic flights.
  • Full board accommodation in the Danakil depression with camping facilities and bed and breakfast in Addis Ababa.
  • 4WD car for Cook and cooking gears, tents and camping equipment the in Danakil Depression.
  • Tents and mattresses.
  • Local guide, scout and Militia (security) fees.
  • All entrance fees.
  • VAT and local taxes.


  • International flights and visa fees.
  • Domestic flights.
  • Activities not mentioned or stated as optional in the itinerary.
  • Fees for photos and video.
  • Other personal expenses, souvenirs, tips and gratuities, etc.

Questions about this Trip?