Welcome to the Dallol Depression, home of Erta Ale! Here you will embark on a Ethiopia Volcano tour like no other. Located in the Afar Region of Northern Ethiopia, the Dallol Depression extends into both Eritrea and Djibouti. You would assume no one could live here, but the people of the Afar have made it their home. They remain remarkably cool in the hot sun . While others sweat in the desert heat. Their bodies require far less food and water than most other people, their bodies have adapted to the dryness and heat. Also residing in the desert plains are ostriches, camels, antelopes, and other species of animals. Average annual temperatures hover around 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit).
Mekelle is where the journey begins…before proceeding eastward towards the Dallol region. In 2002, Erta Ale was only accessible via helicopter. Thanks to adventure tourism, it is now possible to drive within 6.9 kilometers of the volcano (4.3 miles). Take a drive on the bumpy road to the volcano while receiving a very good “African Massage.” All tours utilize well maintained 4×4 Land Cruiser vehicles. The Dallol Depression is among the safest areas to travel in the country. All tourist groups are accompanied by an armed guard and an armed policeman. Ascend the volcano on foot with the ultimate reward awaiting you….one of only six lava lakes in the world.
You will return home dreaming of the amazing views. The Dallol Depression provides adventure opportunities found only here in Ethopia. Touring the desert around Erta Ale will introduce visitors to Ethiopia of both past and present.
Be sure to view our alternate option. The 2 day tour featuring the Sulphur springs of Dallol. The colorful volcanic rocks are world famous. They create a vibrant scenery only found here. Our 3 day tour offers the volcano tour and Dallol Sulphur springs on the same itinerary.
Depart Mekelle. Journey along on what is said to be the worlds most difficult road to drive on. Drive through solidified lava rock en route to view the natural lava lake within the Erta Ale Volcano. Arrive at base camp. After sunset and dinner, trek 3 hrs to the summit of the volcano. Once at the top you will observe the lava lake within. Sleep atop the volcano underneath the stars.
After an early morning trek down the volcano, enjoy a warm breakfast. Enjoy beautiful views of the northern Ethiopian landscape while journeying to Lake Afrera (Lake Guiletti) for a relaxing swim. Take in picturesque landscape on the drive back to Mekelle for departure.
Depart Mekelle. Enjoy beautiful views of the Northern Ethiopian landscape. Lake Assale appears against the horizon as though it were a mirage. The cool shallow waters of the salt flats extend on land and underground until they reach the Red Sea. Observe camel caravans passing against the backdrop of a picturesque sunset. Dinner and camp in Hamed Ela under a sky full of stars.
Early morning departure to view the stunning volcanic scenery at Dallol. The desert in this region of the Dallol Depression includes a wide assortment of beautiful colors in and around the Sulphur springs. Observe local Ethiopian salt miners preparing their camels for the weeks long journey. The final destination being the markets in Mekelle. We will then depart for the return drive to Mekelle.
I felt totally comfortable and safe as a solo female traveler because Arada Tours took care of everything. No other place or tour company quite compares.