24 OTTOBRE – 3 NOVEMBRE 2020
1st DAY • SATURDAY 24 OCTOBER 2020
Self transfer of every participant Roma Fiumicino airport. Meeting is at Ehiopian Airlines desk at 7:00pm for the departure at 11:50pm.
2ND DAY • SUNDAY 25 OCTOBER 2020
Addis Abeba city tour – Macallè
Arrival expected at 6.40am to Addis Abeba (2400 m a.s.l.). City tour of the Capital city including the visit of the city market.
In the afternoon transfer by internal flight to Macallè (Mekele in Ethiopian language at 2060 m. a.s.l.), at the airport exit we will find our 4WD vehicles to move to the hotel, after check in procedures we will do an informative briefing about all the most important information to know concerning the area we will explore. Dinner and eovernight.
3RD DAY • MONDAY 26 OCTOBER 2020
Macallè – Ahmed Ela
Breakfast and ready to start the adventure. From Macallè we will move by our 4WD vehicles to Danakil Lowland, along the way we will find very fascinating small nomad villages and we will stop for a break in Berhale. After lunch we will move again to Ahmed Ela (-89 b.s.l.), main departure point for our excursions.
Our first excursion in the Salt Plain will be to Assale crater. This Phreatic crater is the only one of its kind, originated from the explosion of the groundwaters overheated from the magma below, it is completely composed of solidified salt and it stands out from the Plain with a circular shape, interrupted in some spots that are accessible only by off-road vehicles.
Overnight under the stars on the typical wooden beds of Ahmed Ela village.
4th day • Tuesday 27 october 2020
Ahmed Ela – Dallol
Departure early in the morning from Ahmed Ela for the excursion to Dallol (with geochemical sampling if organized and expected), to admire an extraordinary spectacle of nature. The present geothermal phenomena make this place one of a kind. In this incredible location two different geological systems meet to give origin to an amazing sight: above, a sedimentary system composed of sea salt sediments, proving a long-lasting presence of the Red Sea water in that area; below, a molten magma from the uppermost Earth’s mantle releasing magmatic fluids. These fluids are reach in different minerals and passing through the salt layers get mixed with them and sediment in the surface with an incredible variety of colours ranging from yellow, to red, to green, painting the whole area with amazing shades.
Lunch break and in the early afternoon it is time to start the other excursion to visit the yellow lake, the black lake and the majestic columns of Dallol. In the evening return to Ahmed Ela village for dinner and overnight.
5th day • wednesday 28 october 2020
Ahmed Ela – Piana del Sale
In the morning, excursion to Karoum, to try to see the ancient salt mining that is almost disappearing because it has been replaced from the modern work instruments, in the surreal area of salt cutting, masterfully executed from the expert Afar and Tigrini miners.
The most strenuous job is operated by Tigrinya workers who break and lift heavy salt slabs while Afar men have the softer task to give the blocks the shape of tiles and load them on the animals. The salt will be later transported via endless camel and donkey caravans up to Ethiopian uplands where it will be sold to the locals for cooking and food preservation.
Here it feels like time has stopped. You will be the observers of such fascinating gestures and operations that follow very ancient traditions. In the evening return to Ahmed Ela village for dinner and overnight.
6th day • thursday 29 october 2020
Ahmed Ela – Erta Ale
Departure in the early morning. Flanking the Erta Ale Range we will reach Kosrawad village for a short stop and for the negotiation concerning the guides and dromedary transportation. In the afternoon transfer to the base camp where we leave our 4WD vehicles. In the late afternoon we will take advantage of “lower temperatures” to start our trekking up to Erta Ale volcano. Arrival in the evening and night-time visit of the lava lake.
Dinner and overnight on the volcano rim inside stone shelters.
7th day • friday 30 october 2020
Full day of excursions inside Erta Ale caldera. In the morning schedule we have two visits to the lava lake crater to have the chance to take photos both at dawn light and later with a stronger light. In the afternoon, after a rest during hotter time, we will do other excursions inside the caldera to admire another wider crater with its lava lake, less visible.
Dinner and overnight on the volcano rim inside stone shelters.
8th day • saturday 31 october 2020
Erta Ale – Asayta
Transfer day from Erta Ale volcano to the area of Afrera lake (Afdera), with a stop to visit the lake that in the past had the name of Giulietti Lake (Italian explorer who died in the area in 1881), key way point for the Italian exploration of the region and crossed during the main expeditions. On the lake shore we will have the chance to observe also the industrial activity of saltworks. Starting our way from the lake and passing through Semera, modern administrative capital of the Afar (Danakil) region, in the evening we will reach Asayta, located on the shore of Auasc river, in the past historical capital city of Aussa reign. Visit of the small town and overnight at a local hotel.
9th day • sunday 1 november 2020
Asayta – Awash
In the early morning departure from Asayta to Awash, day transfer with a lunch stop along the way and possible visits to Afar villages. Arrival to the park in the evening and overnight stay at Awash Falls Lodge.
10th day • monday 2/Tuesday 3 november 2020
Auasc (Awash) – Addis
In the morning visit and safari in Awash National Park where it is possible to observe many African herbivores (oryxes, gazelles, kudus, zebras, etc.), monkeys (hamadryas baboons and mantled guerezas) and with a bit of luck also the shy carnivores present in the area (leopards, cheetahs, servals and caracals).
Return to Addis Abeba by off-road vehicles, visit of the National Museum and of the St. George’s Cathedral. Transfer to the Ambassador hotel (or similar) with available day use service (daily use of rooms with bathroom and shower). In the evening, quick dinner and transfer to the airport. In the night of the 2nd November, just after midnight (at 0.05am) flight to Italy with arrival in Rome airport at 4:30am.