Day 1: Fly to Mekelle – Drive to Dodom – Volcano
This day we will drop you at the airport for your flight to Mekelle then We drive from Mekele to – Dodom. We start early drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). Leave after an early breakfast, possible at 07:30. This is maybe one of the worst roads in the world. The 70 km distance may take about 5 hrs passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and occasional palm lined oasis. After you pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, Dodom is about 9.5km from Erta Ale and it takes about 3 hrs trekking. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to Erta Ale at 20:00 hours. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and mat and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. Overnight on the top of the mountain. Erta Ale is 613 meters, with a lava lake, one of only five in the world, at the summit. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century.
O/n camping on the mountain
Day 2: Dodem – Afdera Lake – Hammedele
Descend from Erta Ale around 9 am Dodom – Hamd Ela. Leave back to Dodom after an early breakfast, if possible at 07:00 then you will be driving to Lake Afdera then later You will reach the latest at 13:30 am at the camp, time to relax. After drive to reach Hamad Ela, a better village with a total population of about 500 people.
O/n Hamedela (camping)
Day 3: Hamedela – Mekele – Hawzen
Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look at 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 meters 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 Hamedela and proceed to Hawzen.
Overnight Hawzen Vision Hotel
Day 4: Excursion to Abune Yemata – Addis Ababa
After having your breakfast you will drive to the foot of Geraltha to visit the monastery of Abune Yemata and Debre Mariam Korkor, which dated back the 6th century. After a few minutes’ walk from Mariam korkor you can visit the small rock church known as Abba Daniel’s Prayer room. Then drive back to Mekele for your flight to Addis Ababa.