North Expeditions can organise expeditions to the Danakil Depression from Addis Ababa or from any other city in Northern Ethiopia. The sample expedition below begins and ends in Mekelle, the capital of Tigray region and the closest major city to the Danakil. North Expeditions specialises in tailor-made expeditions, and we would be happy to discuss variations to the routes and alternative schedules to meet the interests of our guests.
Day 1: Mekelle to Hamedelle (180km, approx. 3 1/2 hours driving)
The expedition begins in a convoy of two 4x4 vehicles, each vehicle driven by an experienced driver with whom North Expeditions have a long and reliable working relationship. During the drive, we have the opportunity to visit the nomadic way of life of the people of afar, and to encounter the salt caravans that traverse the highlands of Tigray. We overnight at Hamedelle campsite.
Day 2: Round-trip, Hamedelle to Dallol, round trip (80km, appox 3 hours driving in total)
After an early breakfast, we drive to Dallol to visit the colourful sulphuric formations and salt deposits. We return to Hamedelle, the hottest inhabited settlement on the planet, before midday (to avoid driving in the very strong sun), and enjoy a freshly prepared lunch in Hamedelle. Overnight at Hamedelle campsite.
Day 3: Hamedelle to Siroat (100km, approx 8 hours driving), and trek with camels to volcano
We start early to drive to Siroat, where we meet our expert local guides. From there we travel by 4x4 to a base camp within reach of the volcano, where we eat dinner. At nightfall, when the hot daytime temperatures have fallen, we begin the camel trek (3-4 hours) to the top of the volcano, where we camp and enjoy a picnic dinner in the moonlight.
Day 4: Return from volcano to fresh-spring camping site near Hamedelle (100km, approx 8 hours driving)
Before sunrise (to avoid the hot daytime sun), we descend the volcano, returning the vehicle in the early morning. Drive to Hamedelle, from where we recommend a beautiful camping site next to a fresh spring beyond Hamedelle. (Accommodation at the campsite in Hamedelle is an alternative if requested.)
Day 5: Hamedelle to Mekelle (180km, approx. 3 1/2 hours driving)
Return from Hamedelle to Mekelle, arriving in Mekelle around mid-day to enjoy a final freshly prepared lunch.