Two days tour to the Danakil depression

Dallol in the Afar Danakil depression.
The colorful dallol in the Afar depression.

Are you ready for an adventure of a lifetime? Join us on this 2-days tour to the Danakil depression, one of the most spectacular and extreme places on Earth. You will witness the amazing natural wonders of this region, such as the active volcano of Erta Ale, the colorful springs of Dallol, and the Salt Lake of Asale. You will also learn about the culture and history of the Afar people, who have lived in this harsh environment for thousands of years. Note however, this tour is not for the faint-hearted, but for those who seek a unique and unforgettable experience.

The Danakil depression is one of the most remote and inhospitable places on Earth, but it is also one of the most visually stunning. The vast desert basin is known for its bubbling lava lakes, salt flats, and geothermal fields, and is in general home to some of the most otherworldly landscapes on the planet.

For trekking enthusiast experiencing Danakil depression offers an otherworldly experience that looks straight out of a sci-fi movie. The alien-like landscapes, in shades of pink, orange and green, are the result of volcanic eruptions and geothermal activity. A trip to this place is an absolute must for any adventurer seeking a unique experience. So, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, head to Ethiopia, and get ready to discover a fascinating and rewarding place to visit.

Day 01: Mekelle – Abaala – Dodom

After breakfast we will pick you up from your hotel and start driving to – the Danakil depression volcano, Arta Ale. The 247 km drive is one of the roughest roads in the world and takes about 5 hours passing through changing landscape of solidified lava rock and sand. On the way, we will stop at some Afar villages and see their traditional lifestyle. After passing across several small hamlets scattered here and there in the deserted, you will arrive to Erta Ale camping site.

Then, after a short break and just before the sunset we will trek for about 20 minutes to Erta Ale, where we spend few hours watching the astonishing action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake out of five in the world. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake present since the early years of the twentieth century. And you will trek back to basic camp basement to spend the night, have a dinner and sleep under stars.

Day 02: Lake Afdera – Mekelle

We will wake up early morning and start our hike back to the main pit crater for second chance to watch boiling lava with sun rise. Erta Ale is, 65 square km wide and about 100m deep. Around 7:30 descend from the crater down to the camp site. After arrival, we will have breakfast and as soon as possible drive about 6-7 hours to Mekelle via Lake Afdera. On our stop in lake Afdera we will have picnic lunch at the Salt Lake and enjoy swimming at the Salt Lake but also there is fresh water of hot spring. Finally drive to Mekelle. End of the tour!

We hope you enjoyed reading our two days tour program to the Danakil depression volcano, called Erta Ale. However, we understand that you may have different preferences and needs, and that you may want to explore other options. That’s why we have prepared another alternative tour program for you, which offers a different and exciting experience.

Our alternative tour program will take you to Dallol, one of the most colorful and geologically fascinating places on earth, with bright green, red and yellow springs, geysers, and salt formations. These are created by the hydrothermal activity below the volcano, which dissolves and oxidizes minerals from the salt and sediments. Dallol is also a potential site for studying extremophile microbes that may survive in such harsh conditions. Without due lets dive to our two days Dallol Itinerary.

Day 01: Mekelle – Berahle – Hamed Ela   

After breakfast, we will pick you from your hotel (airport if on flight) and we will drive to the Danakil Depression. Danakil depression, is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colors, as in the Sulphur springs. The desert is considered as one of the hottest (average 34.4 C), driest and lowest regions on earth (125 meter below sea level).

Dallol in the Afar Danakil depression.
The colorful dallol in the Afar depression.

On our drive we will pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravan stops before they proceed to the northern highlands. On route we will see many long camel caravans coming to the salt mine and others going out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. After 3-4 hours’ drive, we will reach in Hamad Ela, a village with a total population about 500 people. Then, visit Dallol with sun set. Overnight camping at Hamed Ela.

Day 02: Hamed Ela – Mekelle

Morning tour 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 Dallol and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal + camel caravans. Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamed Ela and proceed to Mekelle. End of the tour!

What’s Included

– Transportation by 4×4 vehicles

– Accommodation in basic camps or local guesthouses

– Meals and bottled water

– Entrance fees and permits

– Armed escorts and local guides

– Camping equipment and mattresses

– Sleeping bags and pillows

What’s not Included

– Tips and personal expenses

– Travel insurance and visa fees

What to Bring for your tour to the Danakil depression

– Light, breathable, and comfortable clothing that covers your arms and legs

– Hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and scarf or bandana

– Warm jacket or sweater for the nights

– Sturdy, closed-toe shoes or boots, sandals or flip-flops

– Sleeping bag and pillow

– Headlamp or flashlight

– Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, towel, etc.)

– Wet wipes, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, and plastic bags

– Medication (painkillers, anti-diarrhea pills, antihistamines, etc.)

– First aid kit (bandages, antiseptic cream, etc.)

– Cash in Ethiopian birr (ETB)

– Camera and enough memory cards and batteries

– Waterproof case or bag for your camera

– Other items that can make your trip more enjoyable

Are you Looking a tour package that includes Danakil depression, Tigray churches and Simien Mountains? Here goes our 7 days tour package for North Ethiopia including Danakil depression. Or if you are in search of tours to Omo Valley don’t worry with Worldsun Ethiopia Tours all options are there.

Five days Omo Valley Tour Program

How to book your Danakil depression tour

If you are interested in this tour, please write us your enquiries at We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and confirm your booking. We look forward to hearing from you and taking you on this amazing adventure.

What to expect on the Danakil depression tour

The only way to visit the Danakil Depression is by joining an organized tour with a licensed operator. This is because:

– Danakil depression is very remote and inaccessible by public transportation

– It’s alshe area is very dangerous and requires armed escorts and permits

– The area is very challenging and requires experienced guides and drivers

– The area has very limited facilities and resources