Day 0129th November 2019
- Arrival Addis Ababa (L,D)
Suggested flight: Ethiopian airline, morning flight at 8am
Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa airport, meet & greet with Rahhalah representative and transfer to your hotel in city.
Depending on your arrival time, explore the capital city tour with following attractions:
The National Museum: visit the National museum of Ethiopia which exposes the historical, cultural and archeological heritage of the country. This museum is well known for the fossilized remains of early hominids. It is here where one can see the oldest most complete human ancestry remain, Lucy (3.18 myo) and many other earlier Hominid skeletons.
Entoto Mountain (3000m) where you can have a panoramic view towards Addis Ababa (the 3rd highest capital of the world). This Mountain is known to be the ideal daily training place for the famous Long Distance World Champion Athletes of Ethiopia.
Afterwards, proceed to and visit Shiro Meda, one of the fantastic local markets where you can find a much-diversified locally made products. Ethiopia has a traditional way of producing fabrics and those fabrics are made into different styles and design. Shiro Meda is a neighborhood in Addis Ababa, where well-known market for local fabrics serves customers every day. In Shiro Meda, there are shops, which have different locally made clothes and fabrics of different style for casual wear or for special occasions. The fabrics are made from cotton though small amount of other material could be used to make patterns on clothes.
Take Lunch Break in Lucy Gazebo Traditional Restaurant serving wide range of local and Western food choices. Please note that there are Vegan Opinions.
After lunch, the tour will proceed to visit the famous Holy Trinity Cathedral Church also the burial place of Emperor Hailesilasie with his family and most of the great people of the country.
Explore Merkato / Local Market, the largest open air market in Africa, where you experience spice, incense, used material markets and many more. Here you experience spice, incense and foodstuff markets. The walk through the Basket, Cottage cheese and Saddle...etc, will definitely give you unforgettable experiences. The used material markets that ranges from household utensils , plastic containers, keys, scrub metals and brand shoes are the best practical examples of how materials be reused.
Experience the Real Life of Local Families Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. Take a tour to visit a typical family, experience their real life activities and Intermingle with the local culture. It is here that you will have a chance to take part, experience the Ethiopian Food Cooking style of the locals, and Taste their Cuisine.
On the way to all this attractions, stop by different squares to look at and take picture of historical monuments, buildings, and Peoples Activities.
Overnight stay in Addis Ababa
Accommodation : Ambassador Hotel or similar.
Day 0230th November 2019
- Fly Addis Ababa to Mekele - Explore Gheralta Region of Tigray and Rock Hewn Churches - Drive to Mekele. (B, L, D)
Early in the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for your domestic flight to Mekele.
Afterwards, drive to Gheralta Region of Tigray, where one can see plenty of Rock Hewn Churches cut out of the living rocks.
This drive will give you an opportunity to visit villages and stop at the stunning view points.
Gheralta is known for its tall sand made vertical cliff on the face of it many churches chiseled out starting from a thousand or more years ago.
First, stop to visit the fascinating ancient churches of Abreha and Atsbeha, cut out of the living sand stone in the 4th c.
We continue the drive further to north and stop at a small village which serves as a base for a three hour round trek to climb to the very top of the cliff to visit Maryam Kurkur (one of the most inaccessible churches of the world built in 4th century). This is one of the fantastic activities of the Tour.
Then, drive back to Mekele for Overnight stay and to meet up with the other group members.
The rest of the day, relax and be prepared for your next adventure of Denakill Tour.
Overnight stay in Mekele
Accommodation : Planet Hotel or similar
Day 031st December 2019
- Mekele to Ertale – Volcano site (B, L, D)
After breakfast, depart from Mekele and drive down from the edges of Rift Valley escarpment to its floor. After few hours drive, the landscape starts to become more and more drier and less and less inhabited. Also, you will star to see the small local Afar people, who are said to be the warriors and survivors in one of the lowest and hottest places on earth!
Today's drive will eventually take you to Dodom, a camping village at the base of Erta Ale.
Once you get to Dodom, you will have ample time to take a good rest and enjoy a hot meal cooked by our crew. Then, get yourself prepared for the evening walk, while the crew arranges all the necessary equipment, luggage, water, food and other supplies to be delivered for the group on the next camping site by the rim of the volcano.
When the sun sets, you will trek through 9 kms long sand and lava rocks for about 4 hours till you reach Erta Ale, where you spend the night watching the dramatic actions of the boiling lava.
Erta Ale is a caldera found at the top of the mountain that measures 613 m a.s.l. As one of the few most active volcano lava lakes in the world, Erta Ale is the most fascinating and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a place to be seen once in life time.
We also descent into the caldera, and undertake an observation-tour of the bubbling lava lake from the crater rim. We remain at a safe distance, but can capture spectacular views of the lava. We set up camp away from the crater edge at a safe distance.
Overnight Stay at Volcano site.
Day 042nd December 2019
- Erta Ale - Dodom - Abala/Hamedela (B, L, D)
Rise up at dawn and walk around the rim of the active and dormant volcanos found at the top of Erta Ale. This will give you a chance to have a daylight visit on the attraction and to keep amazing pictures in your camera. Afterwards, walk back to the camping site. After breakfast, Set off to Hamedela through a 70km most challenging and adventure full road. This drive will take you through a changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oasis.
Late in the afternoon, you will see very long caravans with hundreds of camels one tied with the other and loaded with salt to be taken to the highlanders. The sunset behind the caravans is one of the most fascinating moments in the Denakil.
Spend the night by comping at Hamedela.
Overnight Stay in Abala/Hamedela
Day 053rd December 2019
- Dallol - Mekele – Addis Ababa - Departure (B, L, D)
Dallol ( 116 m b.s.l) is the deepest place in Africa and is the hottest place in the world. This place once was a sea bead of saline water and today it is a salt plain from which local people extract salt bars called Amolle, that has been used as currency for 1600 years in Ethiopia. After attending the salt excavation process, you will visit Assale saline lake, the sulphur lakes and photogenic caravans consisting of numerous camels. Since the place has a strange nature, this day will be one of your fascinating and adventurous day ever. Finally, return to Hamedela and continue the drive to Mekele. The drive is 240km.
Eventually, you will be transferred to the Mekele airport for your domestic flight back to Addis Ababa, from where you can depart for your international flight back to home!
Suggested flight: Ethiopian airline, departure flight to be after 9pm