Danakil Depression - 3 Day Tour » Venture Ethiopia - Tours and Travel

Danakil Depression - 3 Day Tour

  • Trek to the summit of Erte Ale
  • Camp out on the rim of an active volcano
  • Experience sunrise over the spectacular lava lake
  • Witness traditional camel caravans
  • Capture a magical sunset over Lake Assal
  • See traditional salt mining in action
  • Be amazed by out-of-this-world sulphur formations

The Danakil (or Dallol) Depression has an average temperature of 34-35 degrees C and drops to 116m below sea sea level at its lowest point near Lake Asale.  This vast and practically unpopulated region is tectonically active and has strange lunar landscapes, active volcanoes, pungent sulphur hot-springs, solidified black lava flows and huge salt-encrusted basins.

Day 1: Mekelle to Erte Ale

Leaving Mekelle at around 10am, you'll then make an excursion to Dodom via Abala, The Gate of Danakil Depression. This journey takes around 3 hours by 4x4. Along the way, you'll stop to admire the eye-catching views and out-of-this world sceneryIn the afternoon/early evening, you'll make the trek from Dodom to Erta Ale Volcano. The trek is about 10 miles and takes 3-4 hours, depending on your fitness.  Erta Ale is one of the most active volcanoes in Africa and has a spectacular permanent lava lake.  We'll set up camp near the rim of the volcano (camping equipment and food is carried up by camels) and you can enjoy spectacular views over the lava lake. 

Day 2: Erte Ale to Lake Assal

Wake up early to experience sunrise in this stunning location.  You'll then make the trek back from Erte Ale to Dodom. After breakfast, you'll then drive from Dodom to Hamd Ela and witness the traditional camel caravans making the long journey to transport salt from the mines to markets in town. In the evening, we'll set up camp near Lake Assal and there'll be chance to capture a magical sunset over the lake. 

Day 3: Lake Assal to Mekelle

From Lake Assal, you'll drive to Ragad, where you'll see salt mining in action.  Here, workers from the local Afar tribe carve salt from the ground and shape it into slabs, before loading it onto camels for transportation to market. You'll then continue your journey on to Dallol, where the multi-coloured vibrant landscape again looks as though it belongs to another planet. From Dallol, you'll drive back to Mekelle, via Hamd Ela.

 Services Included

  • An experienced professional English-speaking guide

  • All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch on day 3

  • All land transport involved in the itinerary

  • 2 nights accommodation in campsites

  • Entrance fees and local guides for all excursions described

Services Not Included

  • International or internal flights
  • Travel Insurance

  • Ethiopian Visa

  • Tips for staff

  • Miscellaneous expenses – alcoholic drinks, souvenirs etc.

Upcoming group tour dates:

If you are interested in this tour, we can arrange dates to suit you so please contact us.



The cost of this tour is 12,652 ETB (450 USD / 393 EUR / 353 GBP) to 16,867 ETB (600 USD / 524 EUR / 470 GBP) per person, depending on group size

Please see the further details tab for information about services included.

A deposit is required upon booking.  For more details, please see our FAQ page, or read our full terms and conditions.

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