Day 1 Danakil Depression and Erta Ale
Drive to Kombolcha. After passing Debre Birhan, you will come to the Mezezo escarpment, with very beautiful scenes over the Amhara land. With luck, you will catch a glimpse of the endemic gelada baboons. En route meet the Kemissie Oromo people with their colorful cultural attires. Overnight in Kombolcha (hotel).
Day 2 Mekele
After breakfast continue driving to Mekele, via Woldia. You will pass through the spectacular landscape of the Wollo and Tigray people, with their sandstone houses. Overnight in Mekele (hotel).
Day 3 Hamedela
After breakfast, proceed driving to Hamedela via Berehale, where you will pick up police scouts, road guides and permits for the Afar region. From Berehale, proceed driving to Hamedela. You will see the camel caravans along the way carrying salt from the salt lake/Afdera to the highlands of Tigray for sale. Overnight camping in Hamedela.
Day 4 Hamedela
After breakfast, depart for Dallol Depression which is at 116m below sea level, the lowest point on the earth. Admire the stunning landscape, the ground many shades of red, yellow and orange from the hot water, acids and minerals spurting up from the ground. Continue to Lake Asale, which is the salt lake from which the Afar nomads extract salt. You will witness (and even try) their laborious task of removing salt from the ground as hundreds of camels relax before the long trek back to highlands of Tigray. At the end of the day, return to Hamedela for overnight camping.
Day 5 Erta Ale
After breakfast, continue to Erta Ale via Kursuwad. The Erta Ale volcano has been in a constant state of eruption for over 40 years. As the sun goes down you will start the 3-hour hike up to the crater rim of the Erta Ale volcano. The hike may be done by camel or on foot. At the top you will descend into the caldera and proceed to the crater’s edge. Here you will see the permanent lava lake inside the volcano (the only permanent lava lake in the world). You will camp overnight on the rim of the volcano caldera.
Day 6 Afrera
Today is an early morning start to witness the sun rise over the horizon. You will have your last look at the volcano’s lake of lave before descending from the volcano. After breakfast, continue driving to Lake Afrera for overnight (camping).
Day 7 Semera
Lake Afrera is a wonderfully bright green lake situated with black basalt mountains behind. It’s a stunning location. Here you can see more salt extraction from the lake, where the Afar nomads continue the same activities they have for centuries. The salt extraction here is the main supply of salt to Addis Ababa. There is a hot spring nearby where you may take a bath. From Afdera, proceed driving to Semera via Logia. Overnight in Semera (basic hotel).
Day 8 Awash
Early in the morning, drive south from Semera, through the Yangudi-Rassa National Park (home to the endangered African wild ass), and then to Awash National Park for overnight (lodge).
Day 9 Awash then drive to Addis
In the morning, go for a game drive in Awash National Park, which is one of Ethiopia’s most popular national parks. Here you will enjoy wonderful birdlife and many mammals, such as gazelles, kudus, waterbuck, warthogs, baboons, and colobus monkeys. It might also be possible to see lions, leopards and other cats, if you’re lucky. After the drive, continue driving to Addis Ababa where end of Tour.