After breakfast in the lodge, we begin our excursion into the incredible Danakil Depression. A geological depression caused by the continental drift of three tectonic plates, the Danakil Depression is one of Earth’s most unusual environments. Renowned as the ‘hottest place on the planet’ and home to salt lakes, lava lakes, volcanoes, and colourful acidic springs – it’s a wonderful, alien environment.
We meet the rest of the group and jump into the reliable Toyota Landcruisers that will be our safe haven as we journey into one of the most inhospitable places on the planet. Stop for lunch at Kusrawat, before pressing on to Dodom, the basecamp at the base of the Erta Ale volcano.
Have dinner with your group around 6PM and prepare to being the hike up the volcano at around 7PM when the sun dips towards the horizon. The hike up Erta Ale takes about 3 hours across a gentle inclination of rocky terrain. The terrain itself is not challenging, but the heat of the region combined with the duration of the trek (3 hours) can make it challenging for some travellers.
We’ll arrive at the crater rim around midnight. The lava lake at Erta Ale is among the most stunning natural phenomena anywhere in the world. The bubbling magma cuts through the crusted charcoal surface like laser beams as smoke bellows from this ‘gateway to hell’.
Spend the night at nearby campsite on the volcano. Stones and rocks demarcate ‘rooms’ that fit up to 3 people, and camels transport mattresses and blankets to the top of the volcano.
Activities: Drive to Danakil Depression, Hike Erta Ale
Accommodation:Camping on the volcano
Enjoy a relaxed morning around the lodge before beginning the drive to Negele, a great birding spot within the Rift Valley.