9 Days Danakil, Lalibela, and Simien Mountain Itinerary
Day 1: Mekelle – Volcano
We drive from Mekelle to – Dodom. We start an early drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). Leave after an early breakfast, possible at 09; 00 am. 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 ErtaAle and it takes about 3 hrs trekking. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to ErtaAle 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. ErtaAle 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. ErtaAle contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. ErtaAle 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. Overnight camping on the mountain.
Day 2 ErtaAle-HamadEla
Waking up early in the morning leave back to Dodom and you will reach the latest at 8.00 am at the camp, after breakfast time to relax. Then drive to HamadEla 100km, picnic lunch on the way on a shed of a palm tree, reach HamadEla 04:30, better village with a total population of about 500 people. You will see lots of camel caravans and you will have the sunset look from the very shallow salt Lake Assale. Overnight camping at HamadEla.
Day 3: HamadEla- Dallol- Mekelle
Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. 1,200 km2 (460 sq mi) the Afar Depression is covered by salt, and you will Look at the activity of breaking the salt from the ground, local people are cutting it to rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the different landscapes formed by volcanic activity; Dallol + Lake Assale + salt canon, camel caravans, follow up camel caravans, and Drive back to HamadEla for lunch and proceed to Mekelle.
Drive Mekelle to Lalibela
Early in the morning, embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. Here you will pass through several small villages, with typical sandstone homes of the Tigray people. Proceed through this rural area for the stunning approach to the home of Ethiopia’s most prized destination – Lalibela. Overnight in Lalibela
In the morning, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). After lunch, continue with the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight in Lalibela
Day 6: Simien Mountains – Three-day trek
The morning flies Lalibela to Gonder to visit the amazing Simien mountains for 3 days. Drive from Gondar or directly from the airport (depending on your arrival time) to Sankaber about 136km away. We will go via the park head office in Debark to register and pick up trek staff such as scout, guide, and cook if required. After trekking for 3 or 4 hours we return to the Sankabar camp (3250m) and stay overnight.
The hike from Sankaber to Geech camp (3600m) takes about 5 to 6 hours passing through ever more spectacular scenery and varying flowers and trees. There the possibility to see a klipspringer and minlikbushbuk as well as a leopard (if we are very lucky!). The entertaining gelada baboons are always around. Along the way, we pass the 500m high Jinbar waterfall and stop for lunch on the banks of the Jinbar river. We pass through Geech village where we can have coffee with a local family in their traditional tukul hut which they share with their animals. This is a great way to glimpse the day-to-day life of the mountain people. Overnight at Geech camp
Hike from Geech to Ambaras, about 5 to 6 hours. On the way, we visit Imet Gogo, the single most spectacular spot in the whole of the Simien mountains. Imet Gogo, at 3926m, has 360-degree views of canyons, cliffs, and valleys that look as if they go on forever. From Ambaras we drive back to Gondar." alt="Ethiopia-Gelada-Baboons-Simien-Mountains-NP1.jpg" data-src="" />
– Morning city tour in Gonder visit the family Castel) and the felash village gimb