15 Days Grand Trekking in Simien Mountains & Danakil Depression
Duration: 14 Nights/ 15 days
Transportation: Surface using two excellent conditions Toyota Land Cruiser 4WDs that are fitted with seat belt and functioning Ac system
Air: Scheduled ET domestic flight (ADD-GDQ-ADD-MQX-ADD)
Accommodation: best available three star hotels in Addis, Gondar & Mekele and Camping on a well-equipped camping gear in Simien Mountains and Danakil Depression.
|Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa- full days sightseeing in Addis Ababa.|
|Full day sightseeing in Addis Ababa
morning about 10am for sightseeing of Addis Ababa that includes; the National Museum, famous for hosting the Humanoid fossil “LUCY”, Ethnographic Museums, Trinity cathedral and Mercato, the largest open air market in Africa and Entoto museum. Hotel
|Day 2: Fly Addis to Gondar then proceed to Sankaber (3,200M) 4-5hrs driving, 7km 2/3 hours walking
Þ You will be picked up from Gondar airport on for the 2 ½ hr drives to Debark in a 4×4. The road is rough and very dusty, but if you have not left the built up areas in Ethiopia yet, it is a real revelation into the life of the rural majority. At Debark you will sign in at the park headquarters, pick up your guide and scout and head up into the mountains (by 4×4). The road continues all the way to the first camp at Sankaber, but you will be dropped off on the way for a leisurely three-hour acclimatization hike. The stunning views hit you as soon as you get out of the vehicle as you walk along the ridge. There will be time to stop for a picnic lunch and after a short but demanding climb (at this altitude) to Sankaber you’ll be met as every day on this trek with a tray of fresh coffee, tea and snacks. Camping
|DAY 3: Trek Sankaber to Geech (3600 m)
Þ Today we arrange all the trekking staff with a mules and Muleteers for packing and transport of camping gears and all foodstuffs for the trek. It is this day that we start trekking in the national park. We walk from Sankaber to Geech, which will take between 5 – 6 hours. After about 1 and half hours walk we see the Jinbar River and falls, we will cross the river later in the day. After crossing the river, we ascend for about two hour to Geech, which is full of Giant Lobelias. Camping
|Day 4: Trek Gich to Chenek (3620 m)
Þ This is probably the most spectacular stage of the whole trekking, offering stunning views all the way. Today we walk for almost 8 hours to cover 12 km, including a short detour to Imet Gogo (3925 m). This summit offers the most exciting views. The majestically lammergeyer might soar the skies in front of us and the endemic thick billed raven will be present. On our way to Chennek we pass some other major peaks (Inataye reaching 4070 meter) and a deep valley. Chennek is abundant with the giant lobelia and the best place to spot the endemic and endangered walia ibex. Not seldom they walk into the camp
|Day 5: Trek Chennek to Ambiko (3200 m)
Þ Today is for sure the most challenging day. First we hike up the Bwahit ras (4200 m) and later we will reach the bottom of the valley of the Mesheha River (2800 m) before we reach Ambiko. The 14 km we cover today will take at least 7 hours walking. Weather permitting we will be rewarded with at least the first glimpse of Ras Dashen (4533 m). Around Bwahit is an excellent area to find the Ethiopian wolf. Our chef will prepare another great meal with very limited means and like the other evenings we lit a campfire to keep us warm. But we will sleep early as we start tomorrow well before sunrise.
|Day 6: Trek to Ambiko
Þ The roof of Ethiopia is the goal for the day. Ras Dashen (4533 m) is roughly a mere 5 hours/ 8 km away, its all the way up to the top. The view from to top might not be as stunning as at other places in Simien (Imet Gogo) but you made it! Yes! Walking back to Ambiko takes about 3-5 hours.
|Day 7: Trek back Ambiko to Chenek
With the reward, you bagged the summit we are heading back into known area. There are several ways to do it. The easiest way is to walk about 4 hours to the village of Chiro Leba where a 4WD vehicle can pick you and drive you out to Debark (or even Gondar the same day). Nevertheless, you came to enjoy the Simien Mountains, right. Then this day we continue to Chennek and pitch our tents again in between the giant lobelias.
|Day 8: Chenek – Gondar
Drive from Chenek to Gonder as soon as you get ready to leave, it takes about five hours driving via Debark until Gondar. Overnight in Hotel
|Day 9: Morning sightseeing in Gondar then fly Addis Ababa
Þ Morning before a flight back to Addis you will visit the 17th century Royal enclosure of Gondar. Then transferred to the airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa. On arrival check in to the hotel and get some rest.
Þ The rest of the day is free leisure time. Hotel
|Day 10: Morning fly Addis to Mekele – excursion tour to visit the famous rock hewn churches of Tigray
On your arrival at Mekele airport you will be mate, breakfast time and then
Þ This day you will visit at least two rock churches (Abreha We Atsebeha and Weqro Cherkos
Back to Mekele early evening and have a free time for a city walks. Hotel
|Day 11: Drive from Mekele to Hamed Ella via Berhale ( Danakil tour starts here)
Morning you will be mate at your hotel to start the 4days Danakil trip.
Þ The Danakil Depression can be said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colors, as in the sulfur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328 ft) below sea level. You pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravans stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long caravans going to the salt mines and others coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. (3-4 hrs drive). (BB, LL, DD)
|Day 12: Walk Hamd Ella – Dodom
We start early, shortly after a 06:30 breakfast, and drive to Dodom at the base of Erta Ale. This may be one of the worst roads in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, before reaching Dodom. You will trek from Dodom to Erta Ale that takes about 3 hrs. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to Erta Ale at 20:00. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food, sleeping materials, mattresses and water, to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain. (BB, LL, DD)
|Day 13: Early Morning walk to the crater then back to Dodom – Hamed Ella
Early morning you will rise with the sun with time to walk around pits and craters. The main pit-crater, 200 m deep and 350 m across, is sub-circular and three storied. The smaller southern pit is 65 m wide and about 100 m deep. You will leave around 7:00 to head back to Dodom for breakfast. You will reach latest at 10:30 am at the camp and after some time to relax you will drive on to Hamad Ella, a village with a total population about 500 people. (BB, LL, DD)
|Day 14: Morning tour of Dallol then back to Mekele- Fly back to Addis Ababa
Morning driving tour to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol, Lake Assal with photographing long chained camel caravans. Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamed Ella and proceed to Mekele. (BB, LL, DD)
Transferred to Mekele airport for your evening flight back to Addis ABABA.
Overnight in Addis Ababa.
|Day 15: PM free shopping in Addis Ababa – departure flight
Moreover, in the evening around 06:30 PM you will be our guest for a farewell dinner in one of Ethiopian traditional restaurants with folkloric dance.
Get transferred to the airport for your departure flight.
|…….. End of the Grand Trekking in Simien Mountains & Danakil Depression arrangement……|
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