dalol danakilHere is the Danakil depression, an expansive view stretched to the Eritrean boarder.

Dalol is officially listed as the hottest and active place on the earth surface with an average temperature of 40 – 50 degrees Celsius.

Most of this vast and un-populated region lies below sea level at 125 Meters. The whole thing is picturesque and stunning landscape, the bubbling sulfur and phosphates among other minerals; Lake Asale, the salt workers, and merchants.

As one goes to the region, on the way will admire local Tigrean and Afar tribes and camel caravan carrying the salt bars to transport it to the nearest local town.

Karum is a salty lake which is believed to be about 30mts deep, a very stunning view one enjoys walking on it and take pictures.

This place used to be part of the red sea and has kilometers of salt deposits. In some places the salt deposits are about 5km thick. Below the salt lake is a substantial source of volcanic heat which causes hot water to rise through layers of salt and anhydrite deposits. Minerals get dissolved and are deposited near the springs and form vertical shapes in yellow color.

The area is extremely dry with annual rainfall average about 4 to 7 inches, temperatures range from 25celcius to in monsoons to 48celcius in the dry season.

Dalol depression is situated from 431km north of Semera. An alternative 205km route from Mekele via Berhale can also lead to the scenic view at Dalol. It is necessary for visitors to get a tour operator’s vehicle and be equipped with food and drinks. Accommodation is available at Hamed Ela 25km from Dalol. You need to use your own wheels.

Erta Ale
Erta Ale means ‘smocking mountain’ in the local Afar language and its southern most pit is known locally as ‘the gateway to hell’.

Erta-Ale is 613meters high, with one or sometimes two active lava lakes at the summit which occasionally overflow on the south side of the volcano. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake present since the early twentieth century (1906). Volcano with lava lakes are very rare which are only four in the world.

Erta-Ale is a very remote and rarely visited shield volcano. It’s Ethiopia’s most active volcano and it has been in a state of continuous eruption since 1967. Daytime temperatures are usually above 40 degrees Celsius and the base of the volcano actually lies below sea level and its summit rises up 613 meters.

Two different routes can lead visitors to the spectacular volcanic mountain Erta-Ale. One is 311km drive from Semera to Asbari on a 305km drive of which 85km is over a gravel highway. Just walk for some 7.5km afterwards and yay! You are there.

If your excursion commences from Mekelle, a 325km drive through towns like agula. Berhale, Hamed-Ela, Kurswad and Askomi Bahri followed by a 7.5 km walk will take you to the crater full of molten rock.

Public transportation is unavailable so visitors should use a tour operator’s vehicle to get to Erta-Ale. Banking and telecom services are available at Semera and Berhale. Visitors should carry sufficient food and water which they can freight with their other baggage on camels from Kirswad on-wards.

Hot springs
Alalo-bad hot spring found 15km away from the region’s capital. Its wonderful colors, the availability of other hot springs around, the boiling mud and the presence of different wild animals makes the hot spring unique and most attractive for the tourists, especially for medicine tourism.

Lake Afdera
The biggest in the region with 11,300ha surface area lays 226km north of Semera. One of the biggest salt mining sites in Ethiopia along adorned with a stunning beauty. Lake Afdera, is always in the minds and dishes of millions.

Lake Abbe
At 110km distance from Semera, the 8087km square wide Lake Abbe marks the boundary between Ethiopia and Djibouti. The long roving river awash also halts its cross country torrent finally falling to the beauty of lake abbe.

Lake asale
Caravans usually transport bars of salt produced in lake Asale. The 3600ha wide lake lays 85km from Berhale.
After men toil excruciatingly in this extremely hot place the final product of salt is usually transported on camel back along the ancient caravan routes.

Explore this fantastic place on earth where I will happily be your host!

Eskinder Hailu - Manager, Highway Tours

Eskinder Hailu
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