Classic Danakil Tour

The classic 4-day Danakil adventure works great as a standalone expedition or as part of a wider itinerary. You'll want to visit between October-March, when the temperatures are cooler.

4 Days


Classic Danakil Tour - 4 - $625

Trip Summary and Itinerary Map

  • Spend your first night enjoying the sunset at Lake Asale
  • Discover the colourful landscape of Dallol
  • Hike Erta Ale, home to one of just six active lava lakes in the world. 
  • End your trip with a relaxing swim the hot springs and lake at Afrera

Start from Mekele and end at Mekele

Landmarks visited on Classic Danakil Tour


Day 1 - The adventure begins

Typical adventures into the Danakil Depression begin in the Tigrayan capital of Mekele. From here, you’ll drive to Hamed Ela, where the Danakil Depression ‘begins’. By the evening, you'll reach Lake Asale to enjoy the sunset and witness the camel caravans crossing the lake.  

Day 2 - Dallol

In the morning, visit Ragad (Asebo) where locals mine salt. Continue on to Dallol, a highlight of the Danakil expedition. Bubbling up amid miniature geysers and steaming conical vents, the Dallol sulphur springs add a kaleidoscope of colour to an otherwise Martian desert landscape. The acid springs are known to host extremophile microbes, attracting scientists the world over to study how life is able to survive in such extreme conditions. 

Head back to Hamed Ela for lunch before proceeding to the small hamlet of Abala.  

Day 3 - Erta Ale

In the morning, drive from Abala to Dodom (~4 hours), the base camp for the trek up Erta Ale. Have an early dinner around 5PM before starting the ascent at 8PM. Camels will transport all the camping materials and food to the top of the volcano. Once at the top, you're rewarded with the magnificent views of the caldera. Erta Ale is one of just six active lava lakes in the world. Spend the night atop the volcano.

Day 4 - Lake Afdera to Mekele 

Enjoy the morning sunrise from atop Erta Ale and visit the north crater. Descend around 7AM to reach the base at Dodom for ~9AM. Have breakfast and relax at Dodom before heading on towards Lake Afdera. Have lunch and swim in the lake and hot springs before heading back to Mekele to continue your onward journey. 

Prices, Departures and Inclusions

Prices are per person for groups of 4 or more. Solo travellers can join existing groups. Price is guideline only. Price will depend on your final itinerary, group size, accommodation choices, and time of year. 


  • All entrance fees and licenses as per the program.
  • Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.
  • Bottles of water for the trip.
  • 4WD land cruiser including fuel expense and driver’s allowances.
  • English-speaking guide.
  • Cooking and camping equipment.
  • Scout and police service in Afar Region.
  • Camel and camel tires in Afar Region.


  • 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?