The Siemen Mountains and the Dallol Desert - Ethiopia

This trek will introduce you to the beauty and diversity of Ethiopian landscapes and wildlife while giving you a glimpse of its rich culture.

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa and departure to Siemen

Transfer to the hotel and visit of the city (depending on the time of arrival). Flight and arrive at 2 pm in Gondar. Departure for Siemen where you arrive at the end of the day.

D2: Siemen

The Simien is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its protection of nature. It is a reserve rich in fauna, flora and endemic species. The impressive relief is composed of peaks, narrow valleys and plateaus overlooking deep gorges sometimes 1500 m. We reach the Simien National Park (2h transfer), then we start a hike to reach Sankaber camp. Meet the first baboons geladas or lion monkeys. Walk: 2h

D3: Sankaber Camp (3236m) - Geech Camp (3617m)

Departure for our first day of trek. The path is easy and allows to get used to the altitude. Pretty hike starting with a ridge line trail to admire the stunning scenery of the Simien. We cross the flocks of sheep with their shepherdesses. You can see the klipspringer (Ethiopian chamois) and bushbuck (mountain antelope) from Sankaber. Walk: between 6h and 6h30

D4: Geech Camp (3617m) - Imet Gogo (3888m) - Inatyé (4052m) - Chenek camp (3615m)

Departure from Geech early for Imet Gogo and its fantastic view. Fields of lobelia, meadow and baboons are waiting for you. After a picnic on a promontory, Inatyé, a descent along the escarpment will allow us to surprise the walia ibex (the Ethiopian ibex horns excessive). Splendid views before joining Chenek camp. NB: easy trails but with some passages where you have to help hands. Walk: between 7.30 and 8am

D5: Axum

Flight to Axum in the morning. Installation at the hotel. The visit of the city includes: stelae or obelisks, the largest piece of stone erected by human beings anywhere in the world, the castles of ancient kings, the church Mariam Tsion which is built on the site of the first Church of Ethiopia, Queen Sheba's Palace, the inscriptions of King Ezana and the tombs of kings Kaleb and Gabre Meskel.

D6: On the way to the trays of Tigré

Road through the highlands of Tigray to Yeha, a Sabean site that has preserved a magnificent temple of the 5th century BC converted into a church dedicated to Abba Afse, one of the nine mythical founders of Ethiopian Christianity. Then, drive to the mountain massif of Gheralta where is concentrated the largest number of these strange monuments that are the rock churches of Tigray. Overnight at Gueralta Lodge or similar

D7: Departure for Amed Ela

Descent into the Afar depression. Stop at the village of Bera Ile then departure along the wadi through which pass the salt caravans, with local guides and police escort to Ahmed Ela. Installation in the village.

D8: Discovery of Danakil and return to Mekele

Departure for the salt floe, at -120 m, following camel caravans and salt workers. Visit of the salt extraction site. Visit the Dallol and other sites nearby. Back on the site to see the loading of the caravans. Return in 4x4 to Amedila. We accompany the caravan loaded with salt (2 hours walk). The Dallol, a unique volcanic crater, is known for its curious geological formations: acidic hot springs, mountains of sulfur, columns of solidified salt, ..., on a colored background, due to the strong presence of sulfur, iron oxide , salt and other minerals. In the crater, a ghost town, site of potassium extraction abandoned by the Italians around 1930 remains. Transfer to Mekele in the afternoon.

D9: Flight to Addis Ababa.

Flight in the morning. Transfer to the hotel
Depending on the time of arrival, several options of visits:
- Mont Entoto with the best views of the capital.
- Institute of Ethiopian Studies, containing a variety of artifacts from different regions of the country.
- National museum that, among other things, exposes the bones of Lucy, 3.5 million years old.
- Cathedral George, where are exhibited paintings of the famous Ethiopian artist Afework Tekele and other ecclesiastical wealth and cultural heritage of the past.
- Cathedral of the Trinity: place of burial of the members of the imperial family and remarkable patriots; the cathedral is the most magnificent in the country.
- The Mercato, the largest outdoor market in Africa.
The price includes:
- meal
- accommodation: tent (during treks) and hotel
The price does not include:
- international flight
- travel insurance
- tips

Duration (in days): 9
Period:
january
february
march
april
may
june
july
august
september
october
november
december
Minimum number of persons: 4
Physical level: dynamic
Main activity: Walk