Danakil & Tigray Rock hewn Churches

    • Ethiopia

Expedition to Danakil and Tigray Rock-hewn Churches
Duration: 10 days/ 9 nights
Route: Danakil Depression and Tigray Rock Hewn Churches
Transportation: 4×4 vehicles
Minimum group size: 2 pax


Danakil Depression is one of the remotest spots in the world and the lowest part in the unique land formation of the world Great Rift Valley system, still this part of the earth unstable and pulls each other to the opposite side.

Erta Ale is one of the few volcanoes in the world that have an almost persistent lava lake; it is an isolated basaltic shield volcano, 50 km wide, rising more than 600 meters from below sea level. Absolutely unique Lava lake erupting all the time in the world, it is around crater because it is inside the rift valley system the earth still is not stable, not only for an adventure trip or to see it is also the best place for study for Volcano. Still, science is not reached why and when the volcano is happening and how to save the lives of many people who die because of the Volcano and Earth movement.

Erta Ale means Smoking Mountain by Afar Language. At night when you walk to the volcanic hill Erta Ale 613 high you will see light from farther the at the skywalk over amazing extensive dry lava unusual topography.

Dallol is 100 km from North West of Erta ale the lowest part of the Danakil Depression 116 below sea level an extremely hottest and inhospitable place but an enjoyable and extraordinary colorful landscape; nearby travelers can visit Lake Asale, which is a famous salt mining lake. This precious stone salt or Amole was once used as a currency in Ethiopia. Today, hundreds of camel caravans can be found on the road daily (with the exception of Fridays and during the hottest months from March- September) transporting this salt to the northwestern highlands of Ethiopia.

This itinerary is for those who love nature and adventure. In this region, the climate varies from around 250 C (770 F) during the rainy season to 480 C (1180 C) during the dry season (March-August). Amazingly, it is one of the hottest places year-round anywhere on Earth. Only the Awash River flows into the depression, where it ends in a chain of lakes that increase in salinity.

Day 1 – Arrival + Addis
Be welcomed by your guide on arrival at the airport, and transfer to your hotel. O/N – Jupiter International or other similar 4* Hotel.

Day 2 – Addis – Axum
Fly to Axum and have a sightseeing tour of Axum which includes visiting the Archeological Museum of Axum, the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to be the last resting place of the Original Ark of the Covenant, and in the afternoon visit the famous ‘Stele field’ (4th Century AD and UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ruin palace and tomb of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel (5th and 6th Century AD) and the residence of the legendary Queen of Sheba (9th century BC). O/N – Sabean Hotel or similar 3* Hotel

Day 3 – Axum – Hauzien
Visiting the ancient Temple of Yeha (5th Century BC), and the rock-hewn church of Tigray, Michael Milhazhengi on the way, drive to Hausien. On your way, enjoy the scenic and historic range of the Adowa Mountains. From your lodge, you can enjoy the sunset behind the picturesque Geraltha Mountains. O/N – Gehralta Lodge

Day 4 – Hausien – Mekelle
Visiting the rock-hewn churches of Mariam Korkor, Abune Yemata, and Wukro Cherkos, drive 150 km to Mekelle – the regional capital of Tigray. O/N – Axum or other similar Hotel

Day 5 – Mekelle – Ahmed Ela
With an early start drive to Ahmed Ela visiting the people of Tigre and the nomadic people of Afar. At Ahmed Ela, visit the deep-water wells used by the nomadic people of Afar, and the interesting Camel Caravans, which transport bars of salt to the Tigray Highlands. O/N – Camping

Day 6 – Ahmed Ela – Dallol (in the Denakil Depression) – Ahmed Ela
In the morning, drive to one of the lowest points on earth, Dallol (116 meters below sea level) to see the wonderful and colorful formation of sulfur and phosphorus. And after lunch, you will visit the salt lake of Asale and discover how people get salt in traditional ways. O/N – Camping

Day 7 – Ahmed Ela – Dodom – Erta’ale
Drive to Dodom, and after arranging mules to transport luggage and camping gear, and around the sunset start hiking to the active volcanic eruption of Erta’ale, which takes about 5 – 6 hours. Spend, the rest of the night at the rim. O/N – Camping

Day 8 – Erta’ale – Afdera
Trek back to the place where you left your cars, and drive to the salt lake of Afdera. O/N – Camping

Day 9 – Afdera – Awash
Visiting Lake Afdera in the morning, drive across the desert landscape to Semera. On your way, stop to visit hot springs. O/N – Genet Hotel or Similar Hotel.

Day 10 – Awash – Addis + departure
Drive back to Addis. Have a farewell dinner at one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis where you can taste the variety of Ethiopian meals, and see the folkloric dances of the Ethiopians.

Then, be transferred to the airport for your departure.

Included Services: –
 1: Accommodation on a twin room-sharing basis
2: Three meals a day out of Addis, and only breakfast in Addis
All entrance fees
3: Transfers
4: Two Air-conditioned, and comfortable 4 X 4 Toyota Land Cruisers with fuel, insurance, and drivers’ allowance
Professional English speaking guide with all his expenses
5: Camel Hire at Erta’ale
6: Portage fees
7: Professional Cook for the camping days
8: First-class camping gears
9: Domestic airfare
10: Airfare for the guide
11: All local guides
12: Armed scouts
13: Government tax

Excluded Services: –
1: Lunch and dinner in Addis
2: Any alcoholic drinks
3: A personal expense like souvenirs, laundry, etc
4: Tips
5: Any expense which is not stated in the ‘Included List’ above