Danakil Depression & Historic Circuit Tours – 19 Days


This tour includes an expedition into the Danakil Depression, one of the most bizarre landscapes in the world, and an adventure of its own kind. We start by visiting the fascinating city of Harar, where, among other things, you can experience the legendary nocturnal hyena feeding. We then drive to Awash National Park and Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve with some of the finest game viewing in Ethiopia before crossing the endless savannas and semi-desert of the Afar region until finally reaching the Danakil Depression. The highlights of this true adventure tour are undoubtedly the incredible landscapes of Dallol and the climb of Erta Ale volcano where we will stay overnight at the rim of the crater overlooking one of the only permanent lava lakes in the world. Afterwards continue to  the incredible historic and cultural sites of the north  part of Ethiopia, from the amazing island monasteriesof Lake Tana. where you will Meet monks straight out of the medieval ages, explore the castles of Gondar and hike in the Simien Mountains, some of the best scenery in Africa and home to unique wildlife found nowhere else.

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arrival in Addis Ababa

A welcoming reception and transfer to your central hotel for overnight.


Explore Addis Ababa

Today you  visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where wewill view the 3.2 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletalremains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the HolyTrinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitudeof 3,200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight: Addis Ababa Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge

Addis Ababa – Dire Dawa (Flight) – Harar

After breakfast, you fly to Dire Dawa where you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to Harar. We start exploring the fascinating city of Harar and in the evening you will witness the legendary “Hyena Man” feeding the hyenas that gather outside the city at night. With a little courage, you may of course also feed the hyenas yourself! An unforgettable experience! Overnight: Harar. Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Full day explore the old city of Harar

Today we discover the 16th-century walled city of Harar, the fourth most important city in the Islamic world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It seems as if time has stood still here. We visit the house of Arthur Rimbaud, the famous French poet who lived in Harar, the National and Harari Museums, the house of Ras Mekonnen (Haile Selassie’s father), traditional Harari houses, the market and many other places of interest. Overnight: Harar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Harar – Doho Lodge (300 km)

After breakfast, we start our drive to Awash (about 8 hours). On the way we stop at Avadai, the largest khat market in Ethiopia. We arrive at Doho Lodge in the late afternoon. Here you can relax from the long drive and enjoy the great natural hot springs at the lodge with usually a great sunset over the savannah. Overnight: Awash 
Accommodation: Doho Lodge, Awash National Park

Doho Lodge – Semera (350 km)

Early in the morning we embark on a game drive through the plains of the Aledeghi Wildlife Reserve. The plains are home to a variety of wildlife including Grevy’s zebra and the wild donkey. Both the Grevy’s zebra and the wild donkey are threatened with extinction. Other larger mammals include gerenuk, salt’s dikdik, and warthog. Notable bird species include ostrich, Arabian bustard, Hartula bustard, Kori bustard, Mantis buzzard and Carmine bee-eater. After our safari, we continue our journey through the vast savanna and semi-desert of the Afar region to Semera, where we will spend the night. Overnight: Semera
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge

Semera – Lake Afdera – Erta Ale Volcano (200 km)

Today we head into the Danakil Depression and reach the hot and dusty town of Afdera for lunch on a well-paved road. Soon after Afdera this turns into a bumpy gravel road until we reach the base of  Erta Ale volcano. After some rest we start the short ascent to the crater rim (approx. 30 min on foot). Erta Ale is 613 meters high and is considered one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating natural attractions. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and a 1 km² caldera at the top, which contains one of the few permanent lava lakes in the world. During the night you may admire the glowing lava. An incredible place to spend the night! Overnight: Erta Ale
Accommodation: Camping at Erta Ale volcano

Erta Ale Volcano – Hamed Ela – Lake Assal

MAfter breakfast in the camp, it takes about 4 hours on a bumpy road through the lava desert to Hamed Ela. Hamed Ela is a collection of a few simple huts at the end of the world. And it gets pretty hot here! In the late afternoon we will drive from Hamed Ela out to Lake Assal. Here we can not only admire the traditional way of local salt mining, but hopefully also meet one of the camel caravans that transport the salt blocks to the Ethiopian highlands. The sunset over the Salt Lake is unforgettable! Overnight: Hamed Ela
Accommodation: Camping, Afar Hut, Hamed Ela

Hamed Ela – Dallol – Semera (250 km)

We start early in the morning to explore the incredible landscapes around Dallol. Dallol is 116 meters below sea level, making it one of the lowest and also one of the hottest places on earth. The Dallol Volcano is covered by a thick layer of salt, but still shows up on the surface with bizarre salt formations, hundreds of fumaroles (gas vents) and acidic lakes in all colours. We will explore more natural wonders in the area before driving from Dallol back to Afdera and on to Semera (about 5 hours). Overnight: Semera
Accommodation: Hotel, or Lodge 

morning fly from Semera – Addis Ababa and Then heading to Debre Libanos.

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport to board your flight to Addis Ababa. you will meet your guide and then we will leave straight away and head to a Geleda baboon colony at Debre Libanos Gorge. We will spend the majority of the day with these baboons.
overnight: Debre Libanos
Accommodation: Ethio- German Lodge. 

Full Day Exploring Debre Libanos!

Today you will have a morning with the gelada baboon colonies around the Debre Libanos gorge. Watching their different behaviours and gaining a brand new insight into the world of this highly social, high altitude grazing baboon species. 
Overnight Debre Libanos 
Accommodation: Lodge 


After an early breakfast Continuing our adventure, we come across the breath taking view of Blue Nile Gorge. Situated at 210 km north of Addis Ababa, the gorge is formed by the Blue Nile river, the longest river in world. This gorge has a depth reaching 1,500 metres (4,900 ft) and is often compared with the American Grand Canyon.
Overnight: Bahir Dar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Full Day Exploring Blue Nile falls

After breakfast head out on a day excursion to see the famous Blue Nile Falls.  The Blue Nile Falls have a height of 150 feet and a width estimated to be half a mile. The view is the incredible, especially if you are visiting after the end of the rainy season. We will also walk through the footpath built in the 16th century by Portuguese explorers. In the evening, you might wish to visit one of the local Azmari houses, where you’ll discover traditional songs and dances specific to the region.
Overnight: Bahir Dar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 


Boat Trip Bahir Dar To Gorgora

Full day boat trip from Bahir Dar to Gorgora, en route visit Ura Kidane Mihret and Narga Selassie churches. Alternatively, you can visit Ura Kidane Mihret from Bahir Dar and drive (4 hrs) from Bahir Dar to Gorgora. In the morning, we will have breakfast and embark on a boat trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the monasteries hidden on its shores and islands. The lake also have interesting fauna, inlcuding hippos and various bird species.  The lake have 37 islands and 20 of them are a home for churches and monasteries mainly founded in the 14th century. This trip will take us to Ura Kidane Mihret and Narga Selassie. As the monasteries are not easily accessible, they were used to store art treasures and religious relics from all over the country. After we’ve explored the lake and its island treasures, continue the boat trip to Gorgora. If you prefer to go by car from Bahir Dar to Gorgora, that can also be arranged and the trip takes about 4 hours.
Overnight: Gorgora
Accommodation: Tim & Kim Village 

Full Day Leisure at the lodge

Visit local village, hiking and canoeing. Overnight:Gorgora
Accommodation: Tim & Kim Village

Gorgora to Gondar

Today we will head to Gondar from Gorgora. The journey takes around an hour by car. Gondar is a beautiful city and served as a capital of Ethiopia until 1855. Visit the Royal Enclosure, which has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site and the bath of Emperor Fasiledes who was emperor of Ethiopia from 1632-1667. The bath has huge religious significance to date for thousands of Orthodox Christian followers during the yearly Timket festival .  In the afternoon, we will also visit the famous Church of Debre Birhan Selassie which was built by Emperor Eyasu II in the 17th Century. Debre Birhan Selassie is one of Ethiopia’s most famous churches thanks to its interior wall paintings which depict biblical scenes and saints. The ceiling is also decorated with the faces of hundreds of angels.
Overnight: Gondar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Full Day Relaxing in Gondar

Today you’ll have free time to explore the quiet streets of Gondar for yourself. Take a stroll to the markets, or otherwise perch up at the hotel by the pool. You’ll be heading into the mountains tomorrow so there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a little bit of luxury while you have it. In the afternoon enjoy a Ethiopian cooking demonstration. Head to the market to gain fresh ingredients, then learn how to make traditional Ethiopian cuisine, such a wot, the national dish, and injera, the staple bread of Ethiopians.
Overnight: Gondar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Day Walking in the Simien Mountains National Park

Depart Gondar early in the morning and head towards Debark and the Simien Mountain National Park (approximately 3 hours). The remainder of the day will be to explore the spectacular mountain scenery including viewing Ethiopia’s highest point – Ras Dejen (4550 metres). Once you pass the entrance to the park you’ll hike and drive along the escarpment up to Chennek Camp.This area is home to much of Ethiopia’s wildlife, including the Gelada baboon, which are only found in Ethiopia and have a shaggy coat with a red patch on their chest, hence being known as the ‘bleeding heart baboon’. Return to Gondar  for the evening.
Overnight: Gondar
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge 

Today You fly back to Addis or stay in Gondar

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