In this page, you will find informations and advices we can give, based on our experience
This trip was organized by Aventure et Volcans, specialists in volcanoes, for a privatized group with our friends on the theme "Ethiopia - Erta Ale, Dallol : another planet". We will be accompanied by a guide, drivers, cook and armed policemen. The goal of this one week stay is to see the Erta Ale volcano and its lava lake as well as Dallol. Unfortunately, during our stay, we were unlucky : the activity of the lava lake of Erta Ale was very low, so we didn't see anything and we had rain in Dallol (where it only rains 2 days a year !).
Dallol is a volcanic site located in the Danakil desert not far from the border with Eritrea, in the Great Rift Valley. It is located at -426 feet below sea level and temperatures can reach 113°F. This area is full of curious formations: acid pools, hot springs, salt "corals"... and incredible colors (yellow, red, turquoise...).
This site is surrounded by the sea of salt, still exploited by the Afars.
The city of Lalibela, located in northern Ethiopia, is famous for its rock-hewn churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. This site is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The most famous church is St. George (Bete Giyorgis).
3 miles one way
951 feet of denivelation
The Erta Ale volcano is located in northeastern Ethiopia, in the Great Rift Valley, close to the border with Eritrea. It is a lava lake whose level can vary and is therefore more or less active. Unfortunately, during our stay, we did not have the chance to see this activity.
Concerning the expedition to the volcano, you first arrive at a first base camp where you leave some of your belongings. Then, you have to walk for 2,8 miles to the 2nd camp where you will sleep in stone and wood huts. Dromedaries will bring up some of your belongings, mattresses and the evening meal. Finally, to reach the lava lake, you will have to walk 0,3 mile to a viewpoint. Afar guides and gas masks are mandatory.
It seems that it is difficult to get to Erta Ale by your own means. On the one hand, because the road is long and the Afar office to pay the entrance is difficult to find in the bush and on the other hand, access is only after a negotiation which can only succeed if the wad of bills is thick enough!
Portraits of Ethiopia
On the road...
We have tested :
Copyright Magali and David BELLEC