Start: Addis Ababa
Finish: Addis Ababa
Duration: 12 Days Danakil and Lalibela
Code: RET 114
Age group: Min14, 90
Group size: Min 1, Max 15
What is Included in this price?
Domestic Flight, meals, Accommodation, (some nights are comping), Local Guide, overland transport, Entrance fee,
Explore Ethiopia, the ‘cradle of humanity’ Travel to Ethiopia and discover a beautiful country, barely touched by modern society. It’s an incredible combination of history, tradition, culture and nature. From 3 million-year-old fossilised hominid remains in Addis Ababa to the more through to amazing rock-hewn churches, hidden crypts and grottoes in Lalibela – this trip take you through the Afar People and the Awash national park.
Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa airport, welcome by our representative and transfer to a hotel.
Day 2: Addis - Awash
The Awash National Park is one of the most beautiful in Ethiopia. The water of the Awash River passes through a spectacular gorge; the park shelters 392 bird species and various other mammals: Oryx, gazelle and antelopes. Awash is the longest river in Ethiopia; it doesn’t end in a sea but joins the Danakil Depression near Assaita and makes sources of a series of lakes. In the afternoon, we visit the park and its vicinity.
Accommodation: Awash Falls Lodge or similar.
Day 3: Awash - Assaita
Before continuing our travel towards Assaita, we visit hotsprings. In perfect contrast with the dry climate which affects other parts of the zone, the hotsprings of Filwoha look like an oasis of paradise. If perhaps it doesn’t refresh one, this blue water of natural pool curbs the thirst of the Afar herds.
Accommodation: Camping near an Afar village
Day 4: Assaita - Afdera
The Afar beauty appears from the smaller huts; veiled faces, bare chest. Divine appearance at daybreak. In this lowland however, circumcision and female genital mutilation remain as common practice.
In continuing our way in the arid Afar Triangle, we go to find Lake Assale where there is huge salt deposit: some reaching up to two kilometre thickness and some very salty lakes. These natural phenomena create one of the most hostile environments of the planet though fascinating and sumptuous.
Day 5: Afdera – Erta’ale
Located at the very centre of the African rift, the Erta’ale volcano-shield is an exceptional volcanic site although the access is very difficult. Indeed, it majestically lies at the middle of one of the most inhospitable deserts of the planet: the Danakil. It was not researched until 1967 particularly due to its isolated location. The peak of the volcano is occupied by a great oval caldera of 1.8 km length filled with numerous recent basaltic magma leak, some having overflown from the caldera. The later one equally shelters two circular crater-wells regularly filled with one or two lava lakes. This exceptional activity persists at least since 1967, and perhaps even since 1906. This phenomenon owes its rareness to the necessity of permanent balance the gain and loss of heat and the feeding and removal of magma. The extensive local tectonic allows the formation of dykes or sils which can lead into the formation of lava lake.
Day 6: Erta’ale - Ahmedila
Departure to the Dallol volcano gives one the chance to visit the latest coloured and crystallized sites of the Dallol volcano, a ghost village ruined and abandoned since 1943, time before which potash mine was being exploited. This can be winded until midday allowing an adequate time for picnic.
In the afternoon, there is a possibility to explore numerous and staggering canons which cut the western extreme of Dallol.
Day 7: Ahmedila – Dallol - Ahmedila
The Dallol site is also found in the Danakil Depression not very far from the Eritrean border. Situated 100 km undersea-level in the middle of desert of salt, it makes one of the hottest regions on the Earth. The temperature, more than 50⁰C, under tree shade is become draught; however, shadow is rare unfortunately. This important volcanic zone is characterized by emissions of fumeroles. The gas contains an important coat of salt and potash before coming in contact with the free air. The deposit has formed huge yellow and orange concretes of which some make a height of many metres. As a least visited place, the site is still intact.
Day 8: Ahmedila - Hawzen
Departing from Ahmedila towards Hawzen would take to the discovery of various churches in Tigray. A brief stop at Degoum village takes us to a group of ancient rocks consisting three monuments. The Abreha & Atsebeha Church, no doubt the most impressing monument of the region, is also in its vicinity. The church of the monastery was partially dug out of the cliff and partially cleared.
Accommodation: Gheralta Lodge or similar
Day 9: Hawzen - Mekelle
After breakfast we will proceed driving to Mekelle, en route visiting the ancient rock churches of wokro Mariam, Wukro Cherkos, the oldest Muslim shrine of Negash Built by the first Muslim migrants to Ethiopia from the family of prophet Mohammed around 6th c., monastery of Aba pantelion and the pre-Christian temple of the 5th-6thc.
Dinner and overnight at Axum hotel.
Day 10: Mekelle - Lalibela
From Mekelle, we take the road to Roha, the former name of the town of Lalibela. Before arriving in Lalibela, we will visit the built-up church within a large cavern, Yemrehanna Kristos ('' God shows us the Way'').
Dinner and overnight at Lal hotel.
Day 11: Lalibela
King Lalibela, in the early 13th century, ordered the construction of eleven churches to be carved into the tuff mass. They are said to represent a reproduction of Jerusalem. Visit the churches of Lalibela, divided into two groups, where architectural elegance and overall sophisticated engineering meet in one spot.
Dinner and overnight at Lal hotel.
Day 12: Lalibela - Addis (domestic flight)
Morning flight to Addis Ababa. Discover the city of Addis Ababa.
Farewell dinner with live traditional music and dances, then transfer to the airport.
Transfer to/from a hotel as indicated in the program;
From The Danakil Desert to the Hewn Rock Churches of Lalibela
12 Days Danakil depression and Lalibela