Expedition to volcanoes, salt lakes of Danakil depression and Orthodox churches of Lalibela

ETHIOPIA

April 29 to May 8, 2018. Northern Ethiopia

tour to Ethiopia expedition Ertale Dallol Danakil Lalibela

Getting to the wildest area of the Great Rift Valley and feeling as a space tourist landed somewhere on Venus.
In the middle of red hot desert, under low south stars, staying on the edge of the crater on the top of volcano and watching an exclusive fire show, created by nature!

Getting to the wildest area of the Great Rift Valley and feeling as a space tourist landed somewhere on Venus.
In the middle of red hot desert, under low south stars, staying on the edge of the crater on the top of volcano and watching an exclusive fire show, created by nature!

SHEDULE AND COST:

I. Volcanoes and salt lakes of Danakil desert

Dates: April 29 to May 6, 2018

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Cost per person: 1500-1600 USD subject to 8-10 persons.
Everything is included except for:
- international and local flights
(Estimated cost cost of all flights is not over 1000 USD. Usually bought on your own)
- international medical insurance,
- Ethiopian visas (obtained upon arrival at the airport for 50 USD)

(Only Segment (I) can be taken)


II. Lalibela Orthodox rock-hewn churches

Dates: May 6 to 8, 2018

Duration: 3 days / 2 nights

Cost per person: 380-450 USD subject to 8-10 persons.
Everything is included except for international medical insurance.

Additional payment for single accommodation: 60 USD




TRAVEL PROGRAM:


I. Volcanoes and salt lakes of Danakil desert


Day 0. April 29. Flight to Ethiopia

Flight to Addis Ababa with arrival on April 30.


Day 1. April 30. Addis Ababa - Mekele

Arrival to Addis
Ababa airport. Transfer to the hotel. After some rest an excursion in Addis Ababa with visiting an Orthodox Church, local market, museum with Lucy skeleton, local cafe and observation desk.
Evening transfer to the airport and flight to Mekele. Dinner and night in a hotel in Mekele.


Day 2. May 1. Ascension to Erta Ale volcano

After breakfast we set for on 4WD cars to Danakil depression, a travel through desert to Erta Ale volcano area (613 meters above sea level). 9 km distance, 450m ascension. Time 3-4 hours.
Dismount to caldera and watching the lava lake at night, standing on the edge of a 150-meter crater.
Dinner and night on the edge of caldera: in a shack or in the open.


Day 3. May 2. Erta Ale volcano observation

Before dawn descent to the crater to watch the sunrise. After breakfast hiking to the second crater of the volcano. Watching lava fields, lunch, having the rest.
After dinner sunset at the lava lake. Night watch of a unique natural fire show. Night in a lodgement on the edge of caldera: in a shack or in the open air.


Day 4. May 3. Erta Ale volcano - Afdera lake

Dawn at the lava lake. After breakfast descent from the volcano (about 3 hours). Transfer to the lake Afdera on 4wd cars through slag fields of Erta Ale volcano. Swimming in the extremely salt lake (water compared to the Dead Sea) visiting salt mine. Overnight at the lake shore in open air.


Day 5. May 4. Afdera lake - Assale salt lake

After breakfast transfer to the lake Assale, on the dried bottom of which Afar people get dark salt in a traditional way, than cut it into square blocks and deliver it on camels along medieval route to Sudan. At sunset watching the caravans of camels carrying salt. Dinner and night in open air.


Day 6. May 5. Dallol volcano

Short transfer to unique Dallol volcano, which is a volcano of various acid colors with fumaroles, small spitting acid springs and lakes. Dallol is considered the hottest place on Earth and what is more here due to incredible colors you feel like on Venus. Visiting the salt mines not far from Dallol, where we are again on another planet. Visit the oil lake. The road to Mekele through desert. Overnight in the hotel.



II. Lalibela Orthodox rock-hewn churches


Day 7. May 6. Mekele - Lalibela

After breakfast driving to Lalibela - one of the most sacred places of the country, pilgrimage center. On the way stop in Weldiya to see the real life of the Amhara and Raya peoples. Overnight in the hotel in Lalibela.


Day 8. May 7. Orthodox Lalibela churches

After breakfast transfer to the famous rock-hewn Christian churches of 12-13 centuries, construction of which was inspired by Jerusalem buildings. It was called up to be a New Jerusalem in reply to Jerusalem occupation by Muslims. Visit the most interesting of 13 churches of north-western group: Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Maryam, Bete Golgotha (women are not allowed to enter), Beta Gabriel Raphael, Beta Mercorios, Bete Amanuel, Bete Abba Libanos. And the most famous church of Bete Giyorgis, which is considered the most elegant church. Overnight in the hotel in Lalibela.


Day 9. May 8. Flight to Addis Ababa and returning home

Breakfast. Transfer to the airport for flight to Addis Ababa and for further international flight.
Cost includes:

• Accommodation in hotels in Addis Ababa, Mekele and Lalibela (in double rooms)
• Accommodation in campings along the route, under open-air in Danakil, thatched huts on the top of Erta Ale volcano
• Three times a day meals in restaurants/cafes in all cities (Mekele, Addis Ababa and Lalibela)
• Cook and three meals a day during the expedition route
• Drinking water throughout the whole trip
• All transfers according to the itinerary by 4WD cars with air-conditioning, driven by local experienced drivers
• All permits for visiting protected areas
• English-speaking local guides and Russian translation (if needed)
• Armed security


To be addidionally (personally) paid:

• international flight to Addis Ababa
• local flights from Addis Ababa to Mekele and from Lalibela to Addis Ababa
• international medical insurance,
• Ethiopian visa
• single accommodation


To take with:

• Wear sets fitting weather conditions, one warm set
• long sleeve wear set, repellents, mosquito net
• comfortable high tracking shoes,
• forehead torch,
• small backpack for ascent to volcano
• slipping bag for warm weather, sleeping mat
• sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap)
• personal hygiene items
• personal medical kit
• photo and video camera
KEY FEATURES:


Northern Ethiopia


Best season: October May


Exciting and extreme travel on SUV vehicles to the lowest, hottest and lifeless part of the Great Rift Valley, along deep sands of Danaki desert and ash fields of Erta Ale volcano.

Assale salt lake and lifeless Danakil in the same name depression, the lowest place in Africa (155 m below sea level), which is the home of severe Afar people, whose women are considered to be ones of the most beautiful in the world.

9-kilometer ascension to Erta Ale volcano, one of five volcanos in the word with permanent lava lake. Uniqueness of this volcano is that it has two lava lakes. Infernal boiler of 150 meter crater is 1000C hot!

The hottest place on Earth - Dallol volcano, where you ask yourself: "where am I, on Mars or on Venus?" It is only the blue sky which tells you that you are still on Earth. Dallol is situated in Danakil depression at the level of 48 meters below sea level and is the lowest situated volcano on Earth.

Primitive salt mining from the bottom of the lake and camelcades carrying salt blocks along the ancient trade road to Sudan.

Swimming in sky-blue Afdera salt lake, analogue of the Dead Sea, and overnights in the open air.

The eighth Wonder of the World - rock cut orthodox Lalibela churches.
Why with MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS?
1
UNIQUENESS
We find the most astonishing places on Earth and speed up to reach them. Our motto is to go ahead of road roller, touch the unique and unknown, before it disappears.
2
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3
SAFETY
In our trips we pay special attention to safety. All our travels are based on personal experience, equipped with the best gear, involving proved providers and experienced local guides who perfectly know local features.
4
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We have a unique experience of the most offbeat expeditions and ascents, deep knowledge of countries and peoples, and are ready to share it with you. All the expeditions and climbings are guided by Mzungu himself, guaranteeing exciting traveling and your comfort.
5
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All our trips are reach in adventures, with high quality accommodation, transportation and meals included. We do not save on it. Thanks to solid contacts with reliable providers we offer really good prices and high quality.

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