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Monday, 07 July 2014 09:22

Nature & Culture (Danakil depression & Tigray Rock- hewn Churches)

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The Danakil Depression is located in the northern part of the great rife valley in Ethiopia. It is here where the widest part of the rift in Ethiopia is located. This region is a lowland region with semi-desert and desert climate. Geologically the Danakil area is the unstable one in the country having many places of active volcano.

Day 1: Drive from Addis Ababa to Awash and an overnight at Bilen Lodge. After arrival visit the Afar village and the Hot spring. O/N Bilen Lodge.

Day 2: Drive to Assayita, which was the capital city of Afar Regional state before it is moved out to Semera. O/N Hotel/camping.

Day 3: Visit the place where Awash River is sinking and after that visit the weekly (Saturday) market of Assayita. O/N Hotel / camping.

Day 4: After breakfast drive to lake Afdera about 80km. southeast of Erta-Ale at an average altitude of 103m below the sea level. The lake extends about 100km2.It is a saline water body and is a main salt extraction site. O/n camping in the village near the lake area.

Day 5: Drive to the area head quarter village called Kuserewad to deliver our permit for our visit and to organize a camel for those of you who cannot walk and for carriages of the goods to the top of the volcano. After organizing everything, drive to the village of Dodom for an overnight camping.

Day 6: After breakfast drive to the base of Erta-Ale Lava Lake, 15km to reach the base of Erta-Ale, the remaining distance will be walked on foot or on camel’s back. It is a volcano with 30km.base diameter and 1km2 calderas at its summit. It contains the world’s only permanent lava lake that measures 100m x 60m.Scientiste think that the lake has a continuous link with a shallow magma chamber that supplies it with magma. O/N Camping by the rim of Erta-ale volcano.

Day 7: Trek back to the base after the morning scenery of the volcano and after arrival and lunch drive back to the village of Dodom for an overnight camping.

Day 8: After breakfast drive to Hamed-Ela through rocky terrain. O/n camping.

Day 9: After early breakfast drive to Dalol about 20km. in the north to visit the x-phosphate-mining escarpment. The main attractions in this area are the multi- color sulphurous hot springs, the strange wavy rock formations covered with orange deposits that look rather like deliberately dyed. On the way back to the base camp, visit lake Asale, the salt extraction site. O/N camp.

Day 10: Drive to Hawzien. This route leads to the place where the ancient and the medieval Ethiopian civilization were borne. To mention only few Damat state in B.Cs which had relation with the outside world, Aksumite Empire from 2nd B.C. to the 7th A.D, centered at Aksum, the Zagwe dynasty centered at Lalibela, Gonder starting from the 17th century etc are some of the many historical places that bear traces of the then civilization in the areas. O/N Hawzien Lodge.

Day 11: Visit the rock-hewn churches of Gheraelta. O/N Gheraelta lodge.

Day 12: Visit the rock-hewn churches of Gheraelta. O/N Gheraelta Lodge.

Day 13: Drive to Mekelle the Capital of Tigray National Regional State. This place was important center of caravan trade where merchants who came from the hot salt extraction sites in Afar to take breath, to carve their salt bar in to manageable size and as temporary store. Then, Visit the palace of Emperor Yohanes IV, the patriots’ memorial monument and other parts of the city. O/N Axum Hotel.

Day 14: Drive to Dessie/Kombolcha. O/N Hotel.

Day 15: Drive back to Addis Ababa.

Read 1021 times Last modified on Tuesday, 08 July 2014 09:03

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