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Dallol Desert and Ertale Lava Lake Expedition

  • Tour Type: Adventure and Nature Tour
  • Limited To: 12 Guests only
  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Price: From USD: 2.400,-


OverviewItneraryDates & RatesImage

Ethiopia is home to one of the hottest, lowest, and least livable places on Earth, as well as one of the eeriest.

The Danakil Depression, straddling Ethiopia and Eritrea, is a place where three tectonic plates converge in a land of volcanoes, salt lakes, and otherworldly rock formations.
The few inhabitants who live in the region rely on salt mining to get by. (If you’re interested in visiting, don’t travel here alone; escorts or tour groups familiar with the territory are highly recommended.)
The unwelcoming landscape is one of the most captivating you’ll ever see.

You can book this tour on any date as an individual journey!

Trip highlights:

  • Be amazed by a visit to the rock-hewn churches and monasteries of Tigray 
  • Meet your ancestor LUCY at the National Museum
  • Visit different less visited sites and meet with the local people 
  • Test varied Ethiopian food and attend Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
  • Visit one of the few permanent lava lakes in the world Erta Ale
  • Enjou the colourful mineral fields in the Dallol area
  • see the ancient form of salt mining in the Danakil Depression
  • watch the camel caravans


1 night in a 4-star Hotel in Addis, 1 night in a 4-star lodge in Gheralta and 3 nighs camping in the Dallol-Danakil Area. Bring a light sleeping bag!

Tour guide

This tour will be lead by our experienced A rated friendly cultural and nature tour guides who have lead many tours of Ethiopia and who know well about the history, culture, as well as with very good knowledge of nature & wildlife.

Our Drivers

Our drivers are well trained and well travelled to the area. They know all the terrains and the valleys you will be traveling to. They always make sure you are comfortable and safe. They have been rated excellent by many…many travelers who have been on the road with them for long.


On this adventure tour o one of the most arid areas of the world traveling by modern 4 x 4 vehicles with AC in an excellent condition. Due to security reasons a extra support vehicle for cook and scouts will accompany the tour

*Note: On this trip there will be a domestic flight from Addis Ababa to Mekelle and return. The domestic flight has to be arranged separately.

Day 01: Addis Ababa Arrival

Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Upon arrival, you will be welcomed by your tour guide and you will be transferred to your hotel.

The rest of the day is at leisure and to make preparation for the unique adventure which will begin the next day.

Late in the afternoon, you will meet with your tour guide at the hotel lobby for pre-tour briefing and also meet with the rest of the group members who will be with you for the next couple of days.

Overnight: Jupiter Bole

Day 02: Addis Ababa-Mekele-Hamedella (B-L-D)

Early in the morning, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight to Mekele. Upon arrival at Mekele Airport, you will be picked up by your drivers and the Grand Holidays team for the drive to Berhale. After picking up, permission at Berhale, we will continue driving North East to Hamedella where you will be staying two nights t.

The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle or Afar Depression, a geological depression that has resulted from the presence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa. This is photographic adventure is to one of the lowest, hottest and less inhospitable place on earth, nonetheless this is a place like otherworldly colorful mineral fields, and amazingly eye-catching landscapes.

Late in the afternoon, we will drive to the Depression where you can see and photograph with the late afternoon light the swirling Sulphur and mineral salt formations in the Danakil Depression, one of the hottest and harshest environments on earth

Here you will also witness and will be prevailed to photograph centuries old tradition of salt extraction in the big slat flats by the highlands load the salt bars on hundreds of camel caravan which will soon start their journey from the depression all the way to the highlands in more than two days long journey.

Overnight: Camping at Hamedella.

Day 03: Explore Dallol (B-L-D)

Early in the morning, we will drive to Dallol Depression crossing the Denakil Dessert from North to South. Lying at 130 meters below seas level, on the Ass-Ale Salt Lake, Dallol Depression is one of the hottest and lowest point on earth. This morning, we will also discover one of the most exciting places in Dallol, the water springs in the desert with multi-colored minerals coming gushing to the surface from the inner part of the Earth.

Late in the afternoon, we will have another photo shooting opportunity around Dallol Depression with late afternoon light with the salt flats and camel caravans.

Overnight: Camping at Hamedella

Day 04: Hamedella-Dodom-Ertale (B-L-D)

Early in the morning, cross the salt flat and the Denakil sand desert by 4x4 en-route stopping at different sites for morning shots of this amazing place as we cross the desert south north.

As we get off at Dodom, the base of the Ertale Crater, we take rest under the shade of our tents and we make preparation for Ertale Lava Trek we will start to trek as it starts to cool down by loading our equipment on camels. We will have a Lava trek on dead Lava for up to 15 K.M to the top of the Ertale Crater.

As we get on top of the crater we will take rest in our camp and have dinner here. After some rest, we will walk downhill to the Lava Lake for night shot. This is one of the most permanent and most active lava lake in the world.

After taking some night shots, we will walk back to our base camp for rest.

Overnight: Camping at Ertale.

Day 05: Ertale-Eribiti-Mekele (B-L-D)

Early in the morning, we will walk back to the Lava lake to take some morning shots with morning light and we will trek back to base camp at Dodom where we will meet our vehicles. After having breakfast, drive back to Gheralta en-route visiting the Tigray Rock-Hewn Churches

Overnight: Gheralta Lodge-Gheralta

Day 06: Gheralta-Mekele-Addis Ababa-Departure (B-L)

In the morning, visit around the Tigray Rock-Hewn Churches around gerhlta and drive to Mekele for the flight back to Addis Ababa.

B = breakfast. L = lunch, D = Dinner



Rates are per person in USD

Confirmed - This tour is guaranteed to operate
Available - This date is available and open for bookings. Go for it!
Rate per person: 2.400,-
Single suppl.: 122,-

Group size: 2-12

Extra night in Addis
Double: 110,-
single: 65,-

Travel DatesStatusSpace availibilityBook Now
13.-18.Feb 2017 Confirmed Available Book Now
13.-18.Mar 2017 Confirmed Available Book Now
16.-22.Oct 2017 Confirmed Available Book Now
06.-11.Nov 2017 Confirmed Available Book Now
17.-21.Dec 2017 Confirmed Available Book Now
08.-13.Jan 2018 Confirmed Available Book Now
29.Jan - 03.Feb 2018 Confirmed Available Book Now
12.-17.Feb 2018 Confirmed Available Book Now
12.-17.Mar 2018 Confirmed Available Book Now

Rate includes:

  • roundtrip as per program
  • transport in 4 x 4 with AC
  • all necessary transfers
  • 1 night 5-star hotel and 1 night 4-star lodge in double rooms
  • 3 nights camping 
  • all meals as stated in the program
  • 5 l of water daily during camping
  • all entrance fees, permits and scoutfees
  • English speaking, qualified national tour guide
  • farewell-dinner (flight schedule permitting)
  • taxes

Not included:

  • visa fees
  • tips
  • meals not stated in the program
  • all expenses of personal nature (drinks, laundry, phone calls etc.)
  • domestic flights

Tour duration:

The tour duration shown above is in the idea of the tour beginning and ending in Addis Ababa. Please be aware that the flight inclusive duration of the holiday may be longer.

please call: +0251-116-183163 or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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