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


November 19 to 25, 2021
Tour Northern Ethiopia

tour to Ethiopia expedition Danakil depression volcano Ertale Dallol Tigray churches Assale lake Afdera Afar people

Dassanech Karo tribe Bulls jumping ceremony Assale Afar
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!


Dates: November 19 to 25, 2021

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Number of participants: 6 – 12

Cost per person:
• USD 1490 subject to 10 participants,
• USD 1690 subject to 8 participants,
• USD 1850 subject to 6 participants.

10% early booking discount (in case you book before June 19, 2021)

Everything is included except for:
- international flight to Addis Ababa roundtrip
- domestic flight from Addis Ababa – Mekele – Addis Ababa roundtrip
- international medical insurance,
- Ethiopian visa (on arrival at the airport for 50 USD)

Estimated cost of all flights – from Moscow to Addis Ababa roundtrip and from Addis Ababa to Mekele roundtrip: USD 650 – 800 (Usually bought on your own)

Single supplement: upon request


Day 0. November 18, 2021. Flight to Ethiopia
Departure to Addis Ababa with the arrival of November 19.
* Recommended flight from Moscow to Addis Ababa:
- with Ethiopian Airlines, direct flight ET-761, departure from Moscow at 21:50, arrival in Addis Ababa the next day at 7:15 in the morning,
- or with Turkish Airlines Airlines, with a stopover in Istanbul, flight from Moscow TK-414 with a departure at 13:35 and an arrival in Addis Ababa on the next day (November 19) at 00:55 am.
Meals: no
Accommodation: no

Day 1. November 19, 2021. Addis Ababa – Mekele
Early morning arrival to Addis Ababa airport. Transfer to the hotel. After rest Addis Ababa city tour with visiting the 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.
* Recommended flight from Addis Ababa to Mekele: with Ethiopian Airlines direct flight ET 260, departure at 19:00, arrival in Mekele at 20:25.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel Aksum in Mekele

Day 2. November 20, 2021. Ascent 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 100-meter crater.
Dinner and night on the edge of caldera: in a shack or in the open air.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: in a shack or in the open air.

Day 3. November 21, 2021. 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 on the edge of caldera: in a shack or in the open air.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: in a shack or in the open air.

* For the last years, the activity of Erta Ale volcano is unstable. During our travel dates, the lava lake can be barely active or too smoky in order to see lava. In this case, we will offer an alternative program, according to which we stay on Erta Ale volcano 1 night, and additionally, before returning to Mekele, we will visit the famous Tigray rock-hewn churches, hewn in the cliffs and dating back more than a thousand years. In one day we will visit 3 Tigray churches: AbunaYemata Guh, Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. All of which are very different in style but stunningly beautiful in their own way. To visit AbunaYemataGuh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turn into a climb using foot holds and hand holds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left hand side. At the entrance there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock. Overnight at Gheralta lodge in Hawzien.
Meals: breakfast
Gheralta lodge in Hawzien

Day 4. November 22, 2021. 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.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: at the lake shore in open air

Day 5. November 23, 2021. 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. Swim in the natural pool in Assale lake. Dinner and night in open air.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: in the open air

Day 6. November 24, 2021. 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. Visit Afar traditional hat in Hamedela or in the area, photography. The road to Mekele through desert. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: hotel Aksum in Mekele

Day 7. November 25, 2021. Flight to Addis Ababa and return flight home
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and flight to Addis Ababa and for further return international flight.
* Recommended flight from Mekele to Addis Ababa: with Ethiopian Airlines direct flight ET 181, departure at 16:25, arrival in Addis Ababa at 17:50.
* Recommended flight from Addis Ababa to Moscow:
- with Turkish Airlines with a stopover in Istanbul, flight from Addis Ababa TK-677 with departure at 1:50 a.m. on November 26 and arrival in Moscow at 14:40,
- or Ethiopian Airlines with a transfer in Muscat, flight from Addis Ababa WY-5002, departure at 22:10, arrival in Moscow at 19:40 the next day, or another suitable flight.
Meals: breakfast
Accommodation: no


Сергей Мердишов
отзыв опубликован на сайте
У меня был неудачный опыт поездки в одном из путешествий.
Ради чего поехал, так и не увидел. Хотя по программе все было включено.
И поэтому я стал искать с кем можно поехать в очередную поездку. В интернете наткнулся на MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS. Тогда меня интересовало племя Короваи, как раз у них намечалась такая поездка. Написал Алексею. Стали с ним общаться.
Переписывались по почте очень долго, из-за боязни, что и в этот раз пойдет, что-то не так, как по программе. Алексей терпеливо, доходчиво отвечал на все мои вопросы, даже когда был в какой-то очередной поездке. А таких вопросов было не мало.
Группа к Короваям не набралась, но у меня уже был запасной вариант к племенам долины реки Омо в Эфиопию. И опять у меня появились вопросы к Алексею, понимая, что и без меня у него проблем хватает. Но на все вопросы я получал ответ.
И я Алексею поверил и не ошибся.
Спасибо Алексею за его терпение при переписке и в поездке.
Как для меня…, то мне было интересно с Лёшей путешествовать по Эфиопии.
На протяжении все поездки немало было проблем из-за дождей, но Алексей с гидом Аби старались, чтобы у нас всё получилось. И получилось! И все было здорово!!!
Да и вся группа была в восторге от всего увиденного. А увидели даже больше, чем планировали. Впечатлений море, воспоминания на долгие годы.
Конечно, в экспедиции всякое может произойти, тем более, когда такая сложная логистика, какая была в Эфиопии. Но если Вы хотите увидеть то, что Вам предлагают в MZUNGU EXPEDITIONS - не раздумывайте, будет интересно !!!
отзыв опубликован на сайте
С Лёшей была в Эфиопии в ноябре 2019. Интересная программа, отличная организация на протяжении всей поездки, не отказал в посещении интересного события, не входящего в программу. Профессиональное оперативное решение непредвиденной нештатной ситуации. Надеюсь, еще не раз попаду в команду Mzungu!
Cost includes:

• Accommodation in hotels and tents based on twin/double accommodation
• Accommodation in hotels in Addis Ababa, Mekele (in double rooms)
• Accommodation in camping 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)
• 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, team leader and Russian translation (if needed)
• Armed security

Cost excludes (to be additionally paid) :

• International air tickets to Addis Ababa (roundtrip),
• local flights from Addis Ababa to Mekele and back
• international medical insurance,
• Ethiopian visa
• single accommodation

To take with:

• long sleeve wear set,
• repellents,
• comfortable high tracking shoes,
• swimwear
• head torch,
• small backpack for ascent to volcano
• sleeping bag for warm weather
• sunblock set (cream, sunglasses, cap)
• personal hygiene items (towel, wet tissues)
• personal medical kit (analgesics, antiseptic, antibiotic, antiviral, intestinal, multivitamins, rehydron, court plaster, your personal medications)
• photo and video camera, tripod
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.

Famous Tigray rock-hewn churches dating back more than a thousand years, including the Eighth Wonder of the World – Abuna Yemata Guh Orthodox Church high up on the cliff.
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