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Dalol & Ert' Ale

Nothing in this planet is quite as spectacular as the Danakil Depression. Very few have made it to this large triangular desert in north-eastern Ethiopia, close to the Red Sea which is renowned for being the place with the hottest average temperature on Earth (Yes, the Death Valley comes second!!). Danakil is renowned for being the place with the highest average temperature on Earth. It tops 34 °C every day of the year and soars to 55 °C in the summer. Temperatures can reach as high as 63 °C in the sun. Heat isn't the only thing people feel. Alarming earth tremors are frequently felt. There are also several active volcanoes. It comprises Lake Asale, the lowest point in Africa and one of the lowest points on Earth not covered with water.

Two of the landmarks that will take your breath away are impossible to describe with words. The first one is “Mount” Dallol dotted with bright yellow hot sulphur fields among sparkling white salt beds, green crystal pools and sparkling salt beds resembling coral reefs. It is the lowest volcano on land in one of the lowest elevations on Earth about 116 metres below sea level. The other one is Erta Ale volcano with its two pit craters. The larger one is now inactive. The smaller one is 140 meter diameter and 60 to 90m deep and has an active lava lake 60m wide and 100m long. It is the only active fire lake with permanent lava on Earth.

The Dalol is also renowned by its camel salt caravans transporting salt from Lake Asale where it has been mined for hundreds of years. Traders still trek to it with their camels every year from the Ethiopian highlands. At the heart of the salt harvest, lifters use rough wooden poles to lever up slabs of salt which are then cut into blocks. Like the camel men, the lifters travel up to 150 miles from the Ethiopian Highlands to work in the salt fields.

ERT'ALE means “the mountain that smokes” in Afar Language. Visiting Ertale is one of the breathtaking events in the middle of the desert; the best time to visit the Erate is at dawn, just to avoid excessive heat, the walking from the nearby village to the volcano may take 3 hours is not particularly challenging as the terrain and elevation gain. But upon arrival the edge of the crater opens an exciting spectacle. Several craters emit fumes sign of a massive volcanic activity. From the crater edge exploring the crater where there are formations of lava and ash multicolored. Especially in the evening it will be very impressive on its caldera of Ertale show where the lava red (which can be seen only at night) that bubbles in the caldera is unique and fascinating, taking also aware that this is one of the 3 volcanoes in the world constantly active.


Ahmed Ela is a plan of a salt; during winter a dedicated people of Afar will do some mining of salt, But in summer then the village is almost abandoned because of the inhospitable nature of the temperature. A short trail reaches the white desert, boundless and dazzling. In the middle of the plain, an outcrop of reddish rock, a concretion formed sulfate salt of magnesium, a small island that rises from sea salt that surrounds it. Around here, once extracted, the salt is cut into blocks. Also there are hundreds of camel caravans which serve as a means

Those who made to the Afar Depression will be quite quick to classify it as hell on earth but will as quickly describe how they were surrendered by the immense beauty of the harsh barren landscape. The even fewer who've made it here will tell you it is an adventure never to be forgotten! Only to be attempted by the brave hearted. the ride is made difficult not only because of the different types of road ridden, but also due to the different altitudes and different temperatures which one goes through: depending on the itinerary chosen and time of the year you come, temperatures can go from below zero in the Semen Mountains to sizzling hot in Danakil and you can ride from over 3,000 meters above sea level in the Simiens to minus 80m below sea level in Danakil.

Definitely not for the faint of heart, this tour is the ultimate adventure! If you want to test your stamina, there is no better destination than Danakil! Drive through stunning scenery, extreme temperatures and challenging road surfaces whilst discovering the magnificent landscape of Ethiopia. Be one of the few to ride in the hottest place on Earth. We cannot promise you an easy ride - but we can promise you the ride of a lifetime

Visiting active volcanoes can be physically demanding; getting to some of the most interesting locations can involve strenuous exertion and some physical discomfort. However, the unforgettable experience of visiting these wonderful sites is well worth the effort. The physical demands vary from tour to tour, but our programs are flexible enough to allow modifications to accommodate not only the group's interests and physical capabilities, but also weather changes, volcanic activity, and other external factors.





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