Historic And Danakil 13 Days

Senait Ethiopia Tours

TOUR CODE: SET012

TOUR TYPE: HISTORIC, NATURE AND ADVENTURE

DURATION: 13 DAYS/ 12 NIGHTS

MEANS OF TRANSPORT: DRIVE, TREKKING & FLIGHT

PROGRAM

TRIP OVERVIEW

Travel in Ethiopia is very fascinating; however, traveling by bicycle has plenty of additional rewards, it is about every town and village is your destination, enjoying the scenery and life in every spot, Colorful markets in every village town and cities feel the colorful events and meet interesting people.

By bike rather than by car has again benefits just like no car rental fees, no worries about high costs of fuel, no parking fees ,no fears of your car being stolen, damaged or Leave when and where you want, stop at any spot like small lakes narrow roads , restaurant ,restroom, café ,church, mosque, market ,landscape ,people and many other spots when you please. You will enrich with memories for a lifetime.

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    Day 1: Flight to Bahirdar
    Morning flight to Bahirdar and boat excursion over Lake Tana to the Zeghie peninsula to visit the beautifully painted churches that are found hidden in the small forest: Ura Kidane Miheret, on the way you will have the chance to over view Kibran Gebriel and Entos Monastery and the outlet of the Blue Nile river. Back to Bahirdar and fix the bikes ready for the next day biking.

    Day 2: Cycling to Blue Nile Falls and drive to Gonder
    Today begins the real bike adventure. After the delicious breakfast on the terrace, we test the bikes in the hotel garden and make adjustments where necessary. We depart by bike and reach the first 6 km from the village on a busier road to turn down then a wide dirt road.
    The dusty road goes mainly downhill (cycling a total of 1800 meters to 1600 meters above sea level) through a beautiful agricultural area. We regularly drive through small villages, waving to the enthusiastic schoolchildren. After 35 km we reach via a small dirt road to the entrance of the Blue Nile Valley waterfalls. We are planning a picnic lunch sitting on small benches in a local coffee hut. Afterwards it is a kilometers over a dried grass path to a tributary of the Nile. We put the bikes on a small ferry and continue after a 10 minute boat ride to the bike trail on the opposite side to the viewpoint of the impressive waterfalls. Fans can refresh in the water below the falls. After a pleasant stop cycle and sail back to the hotel.
    In the afternoon we drive to Gonder. 37 km cycling / there is a possibilities t bike 70Km depending on your interest.

    Day 3: Gonder to Semien mountain
    After an early breakfast we take the trailer for 50 km from the city. The first 30 km is quite climb to a beautiful lookout point. 50 km from Debark we step on the bike. We cycle up and down over a nice asphalt road through villages and small towns. The less time we get to the Simien mountains come the more eucalyptus trees we see on the side of the road. Upon arrival in Debark we pay the entrance to the park and plan lunch in a local restaurant. The bike ride in the afternoon by the Simien mountains along a paved gravel is heavy, partly because of the altitude. We pass some messy villages where the locals welcome us warmly. During the first km there are still some serious runs, then it is mostly uphill, some long and steep climbs. However, there is always the assistance of the trailer to pick up weary cyclists. Depending on the time of arrival in the 3,300 meters located lodge, we can go see the baboons (monkey species typical for this area) which are getting ready on a nearby lawn to stay in one of the many caves in the neighborhood.
    In the evening you can sit back with a drink in the cozy fire.
    Max. 73 km cycling

    Day 4: Semien Mountain Cycling
    Biking until Chenek 50 km, Semien Mountain and the best place for mountain scenery. Chenek at 3,600m, the best place for scenery viewing. It is also a good place to see many baboons together, Walia Ibex and klipsprings and another drive to Bhuait 15 km see the Ras Dashen Mountain which is the highest place in Ethiopia 4,533 meter. Touch Chenek all are off the tracks and late evening drive back to Sankaber camp site Overnight camping.
    Max. 50 km cycling

    Day 5: Semien Mountain – Axum
    After breakfast we drive to Axum. The road winds through the beautiful mountains Tekeze, here the views are unique. After we drove through the Tekeze gap we cross the Tekeze river and admire some baobab trees, with their capricious form. At the height of a beautiful open area we get on our bicycles and ride further on a good asphalt road through a vast agricultural area. The road goes slightly up and down, but despite the sometimes strong wind, the route is not really sporty. In Shire we load the bikes on the trailer and drive the last 60 km to Axum. Up on arrival we try to include some of the visit of Axum.

    Day 6: Axum to Adigrat Via Debre damo Monastery
    Today we leave the Axum for a transfer by the jagged peaks of Adwa. In these mountains lost 40,000 Ethiopians in their life in 1896 after a courageous battle (by the battle won!) against the Italians. After an hour we turn off on a gravel road to the pre-Axumite Temple. We visit the ruins of the temple and adjoining church in the company of a local guide. Drive until the junction to Debredamo and bike 11 km rough road until Debredamo Monastery. Have picnic lunch Debredamo and Bike another 38Kms until Adigrat overnight hotel .
    42 km cycling

    Day 7: Adigrat – Gheralta /Hawzen
    Today, we are planning a day trip by bike through the beautiful scenery of the mountains Gheralta. We begin with a long downhill road to the village and then cycling through the beautiful countryside and enjoy the many spectacular views of the red-brown mountains. The stretch of the route is tough, a combination of climbing and descending plus the bad condition of the road, but the unique landscape, the physical effort largely forgotten. Today you are more and more the assistance of the trailer. We regularly drive along a river where the environment is considerably greener. Given tomorrow a longer bike ride guard we propose after an extensive visit to the churches, to load the bikes on the trailer and drive back to the lodge. However, those who prefer it can return to the lodge bicycles Max. 66 km cycling.

    DAY 8 : Abune Yematah
    This is what a spectacular way to finish it with a short ride to the wild trail/climb Abune Yemata. Gheralta's most well known church. This church and entrance lay on a ledge 2,000ft off the ground and yes the hike up is at times not for the faint of heart. Our local guides will get you there safe but your heart maybe up a few notches. The final few feet are across a flat ledge that dead ends and this is where they carved this incredible cave like church almost 900 years ago. Stunning paintings and pillars inside all while you look out over the drop. We have arranged a priest drum ceremony here and we can think of no better place and experience to end this wild adventure. Back to the lodge for a great meal and sunset drinks.

    DAY 9: Hamed Ella-Camp
    A long epic, and I truly mean epic, downhill waits. We may start seeing camels and some Afar people walking the road. At the bottom is a flat road into Berhale but passing by some small Afar villages and huts. Berhale is where the caravans arrive to drop off the salt and is like a Wild West town but with camels and Afar homes. As the day goes on camels arrive by the hundreds with their loads and camp beside us. Go wander and enjoy this spectacle.
    This is a magical and tough day down the road we enter a canyon with rock so old you feel it. A small stream runs all the way through it so as we gradually keep going lower we ride through the stream and rocky trails that years of camels have grooved out. I cannot describe this experience but we were all in awe and for the mountain bikers is like being a kid in a candy store. Winding through this ancient canyon, twisting between narrows in the canyon, passing loads of camels coming and going from the Danakil. And yes it is getting hotter and hotter now. As the canyon ends we hit a gravel/lava road that takes us to Hamed Ella. You are officially on the moon now, enjoy. Things turn surreal immediately as you enter the world’s most inhospitable terrain. This road is rough, it there are no trees and Afar huts occasionally dot this alien surface. It is officially really hot now.
    A tough 15kms or so brings us to Hamed Ella. We have huts for shade. This is our base camp for the next 2 days. Later in the day your guides will take you to a desert reef. This was the Red Sea at one time. And as you stand on ancient sea fans and nothing but lava and desert surrounding you, the camel caravans come rolling past. Surreal and wonderful. Enjoy as this was well earned.


    NOTE -Hydration now is incredibly important. Our 4x4's are loaded with water. There is a military camp here with a generator where you can find a cold beer and cokes. The generator cannot keep up with the blazing heat but at least the drinks are not +40 C. Your definition of a cold drink is about to change. Your first desert sunset as the camels and workers roll right past camp as they come in from the salt mine. Overnight Camping.

    DAY 10- Dallol/ Danakil Depression
    Desert riding from base camp to Dallol sulfur volcano Sunrise and the Afar chief handing out salt orders to the awaiting caravans starts the day before breakfast. Wander and enjoy this scenario. We then hit a brutal rocky road for about 10kms to a sulfur/salt/potash road that is a way smoother and leads us through endless salt/potash desert to Dallol about another 8kms away. We have tribal elders and local military guards with us as this is mandatory rules when traveling here as so remote. We get to the base of the volcano and climb for maybe 15 minutes to its top. There awaits a Dali painting for you to enter. Nothing like this on the planet. Mushroom sulfur and twisted, tortured rock surround you as you walk until you hit the sulfur lake. It will stun you visually and physically.
    And you get a chance to tip toe over it on sulfur that has crusted over. Remember it is 50C out, sulfur wafting around you and the heat from the sulfur lake. It takes its toll on you but will be one of most memorable days of your lives, guaranteed! We get down and find the only shade for milesin a nearby small desert canyon. Lunch and recover before biking salt flats back to camp. Sunset and camels ends the day. Overnight Camping.

    DAY 11: To Erta Ale, the world’s largest lava lake.
    These are the two days of some of the toughest riding in the world. A combination of sand, salt and lava takes us to a small Afar village in the middle of the desert where we camp and negotiate with the tribal chief to go through his land. These 2 days are bike and hike days as when the sand gets to thick you have to carry or walk it. But this is why we are here. To do what nobody has done, ride the heart of the Danakil. On the second day much the same but less bike/hiking but the last 10kms is a lava road up to the base of the volcano where we camp. You wanted tough, here it is. You can see about 6-7 other ancient and dead volcanoes. The miles of lava stretching to the sand came from all of these. Its truly wild and raw. Up on arrival at Dodom we takes three hours but what you are about to see is the true, raw power of earth. We camp on the edge of the walls created from the explosion and can see the ancient dried lava flow work its way to the desert floor. We have huts to stay out of sun, camels bring our food and water and bags. Day trip to the crater. A path takes us down the walls and hike on the lava flow to Ertale crater. Only 4 in the world and none of them can you stand on its edge and look into hell. A night hike to its edge is even wilder. Enjoy as this part of the world has no rules, feels incredible and freeing. Overnight Camping.

    DAY 12: Drive to Mekele
    Early in the morning visit Ear’tale the second time look at the volcano’s lake of lava before descending from the volcano. Then walk down to get our vehicles at Dodom and then drive back to Mekel.

    DAY 13: Flight to Addis and night departure
    Morning after breakfast transfer to airport for the flight back to Addis ,have Addis Ababa city tour including Mount Entoto, Merkato, National Museum and attend farewell dinner in the traditional restaurant with live music and dish. Transfer to airport for the night flight and it will be end of the trip.

  • DAY 1: Flight to Bahirdar

    Morning flight to Bahirdar and  boat excursion over Lake Tana to the Zeghie peninsula to visit the beautifully painted churches that are found hidden in the small forest: Ura Kidane Miheret, on the way you will have the chance to over view Kibran Gebriel and Entos Monastery and the outlet of the Blue Nile river.  Back to Bahirdar and fix the bikes ready for the next day biking.

  • DAY 2: Cycling to Blue Nile Falls and drive to Gonder

    Today begins the real bike adventure. After the delicious breakfast on the terrace, we test the bikes in the hotel garden and make adjustments where necessary. We depart by bike and reach the first 6 km from the village on a busier road to turn down then a wide dirt road.

    The dusty road goes mainly downhill (cycling a total of 1800 meters to 1600 meters above sea level) through a beautiful agricultural area. We regularly drive through small villages, waving to the enthusiastic schoolchildren. After 35 km we reach via a small dirt road to the entrance of the Blue Nile Valley waterfalls. We are planning a picnic lunch sitting on small benches in a local coffee hut. Afterwards it is a kilometers over a dried grass path to a tributary of the Nile. We put the bikes on a small ferry and continue after a 10 minute boat ride to the bike trail on the opposite side to the viewpoint of the impressive waterfalls. Fans can refresh in the water below the falls.

    After a pleasant stop cycle and sail back to the hotel.

    In the afternoon we drive to Gonder.

    37 km cycling / there is a possibilities t bike 70Km depending on your interest.

  • DAY 3: Gonder to Semien mountain

    After an early breakfast we take the trailer for 50 km from the city. The first 30 km is quite climb to a beautiful lookout point. 50 km from Debark we step on the bike. We cycle up and down over a nice asphalt road through villages and small towns. The less time we get to the Simien mountains come the more eucalyptus trees we see on the side of the road. Upon arrival in Debark we pay the entrance to the park and plan lunch in a local restaurant. The bike ride in the afternoon by the Simien mountains along a paved gravel is heavy, partly because of the altitude. We pass some messy villages where the locals welcome us warmly. During the first km there are still some serious runs, then it is mostly uphill, some long and steep climbs. However, there is always the assistance of the trailer to pick up weary cyclists. Depending on the time of arrival in the 3,300 meters located lodge, we can go see the baboons (monkey species typical for this area) which are getting ready on a nearby lawn to stay in one of the many caves in the neighborhood.

    In the evening you can sit back with a drink in the cozy fire.

    Max. 73 km cycling

  • DAY 4: Semien Mountain Cycling

    Biking until Chenek 50 km, Semien Mountain and the best place for mountain scenery. Chenek at 3,600m, the best place for scenery viewing. It is also a good place to see many baboons together, Walia  Ibex  and klipsprings and another drive to Bhuait 15 km see the Ras Dashen Mountain  which is the highest place in  Ethiopia 4,533 meter. Touch Chenek all are off the tracks and late evening drive back to Sankaber camp site Overnight camping.

    Max. 50 km cycling

  • DAY 5: Semien Mountain – Axum

    After breakfast we drive to Axum. The road winds through the beautiful mountains Tekeze, here the views are unique. After we drove through the Tekeze gap we cross the Tekeze river and admire some baobab trees, with their capricious form. At the height of a beautiful open area we get on our bicycles and ride further on a good asphalt road through a vast agricultural area. The road goes slightly up and down, but despite the sometimes strong wind, the route is not really sporty. In Shire we load the bikes on the trailer and drive the last 60 km to Axum.  Up on arrival we try to include some of the visit of Axum.

  • DAY 6: Axum to Adigrat Via Debre damo Monastery

    Today we leave the Axum for a transfer by the jagged peaks of Adwa. In these mountains lost 40,000 Ethiopians in their life in 1896 after a courageous battle (by the battle won!) against the Italians. After an hour we turn off on a gravel road to the pre-Axumite Temple. We visit the ruins of the temple and adjoining church in the company of a local guide. Drive until the junction to Debredamo and bike 11 km rough road until Debredamo Monastery. Have picnic lunch Debredamo and Bike another 38Kms until Adigrat overnight hotel.

    42 km cycling

  • DAY 7: Adigrat – Gheralta /Hawzen

    Today, we are planning a day trip by bike through the beautiful scenery of the mountains Gheralta. We begin with a long downhill road to the village and then cycling through the beautiful countryside and enjoy the many spectacular views of the red-brown mountains. The stretch of the route is tough, a combination of climbing and descending plus the bad condition of the road, but the unique landscape, the physical effort largely forgotten. Today you are more and more the assistance of the trailer. We regularly drive along a river where the environment is considerably greener. Given tomorrow a longer bike ride guard we propose after an extensive visit to the churches, to load the bikes on the trailer and drive back to the lodge. However, those who prefer it can return to the lodge bicycles Max. 66 km cycling  

  • DAY 8: Abune Yematah

    This is what a spectacular way to finish it with a short ride to the wild trail/climb Abune Yemata. Gheralta's most well known church. This church and entrance lay on a ledge 2,000ft off the ground and yes the hike up is at times not for the faint of heart. Our local guides will get you there safe but your heart maybe up a few notches. The final few feet are across a flat ledge that dead ends and this is where they carved this incredible cave like church almost 900 years ago. Stunning paintings and pillars inside all while you look out over the drop. We have arranged a priest drum ceremony here and we can think of no better place and experience to end this wild adventure. Back to the lodge for a great meal and sunset drinks. Overnight Lodge.

  • DAY 9: Hamed Ella-Camping

    A long epic, and I truly mean epic, downhill waits. We may start seeing camels and some Afar people walking the road. At the bottom is a flat road into Berhale but passing by some small Afar villages and huts. Berhale is where the caravans arrive to drop off the salt and is like a Wild West town but with camels and Afar homes. As the day goes on camels arrive by the hundreds with their loads and camp beside us. Go wander and enjoy this spectacle. 

    This is a magical and tough day down the road we enter a canyon with rock so old you feel it. A small stream runs all the way through it so as we gradually keep going lower we ride through the stream and rocky trails that years of camels have grooved out. I cannot describe this experience but we were all in awe and for the mountain bikers is like being a kid in a candy store. Winding through this ancient canyon, twisting between narrows in the canyon, passing loads of camels coming and going from the Danakil. And yes it is getting hotter and hotter now. As the canyon ends we hit a gravel/lava road that takes us to Hamed Ella. You are officially on the moon now, enjoy. Things turn surreal immediately as you enter the world’s most inhospitable terrain. This road is rough, it there are no trees and Afar huts occasionally dot this alien surface. It is officially really hot now.

     A tough 15kms or so brings us to Hamed Ella. We have huts for shade. This is our base camp for the next 2 days.  Later in the day your guides will take you to a desert reef. This was the Red Sea at one time. And as you stand on ancient sea fans and nothing but lava and desert surrounding you, the camel caravans come rolling past. Surreal and wonderful. Enjoy as this was well earned.

    NOTE- Hydration now is incredibly important. Our 4x4's are loaded with water.

    There is a military camp here with a generator where you can find a cold beer and cokes. The generator cannot keep up with the blazing heat but at least the drinks are not +40 C. Your definition of a cold drink is about to change. Your first desert sunset as the camels and workers roll right past camp as they come in from the salt mine. Overnight Camping.

  • DAY 10: Dallol/ Danakil Depression

    Desert riding from base camp to Dallol sulfur volcano Sunrise and the Afar chief handing out salt orders to the awaiting caravans starts the day before breakfast. Wander and enjoy this scenario. We then hit a brutal rocky road for about 10kms to a sulfur/salt/potash road that is a way smoother and leads us through endless salt/potash desert to Dallol about another 8kms away. We have tribal elders and  local military guards with us as this is mandatory rules when traveling here as so remote.  We get to the base of the volcano and climb for maybe 15 minutes to its top. There awaits a Dali painting for you to enter. Nothing like this on the planet. Mushroom sulfur and twisted, tortured rock surround you as you walk until you hit the sulfur lake. It will stun you visually and physically. 

    And you get a chance to tip toe over it on sulfur that has crusted over. Remember it is 50C out, sulfur wafting around you and the heat from the sulfur lake. It takes its toll on you but will be one of most memorable days of your lives, guaranteed! We get down and find the only shade for milesin a nearby small desert canyon. Lunch and recover before biking salt flats back to camp. Sunset and camels ends the day. Overnight Camping.

  • DAY 11: To Erta Ale, the world’s largest lava lake.

    These are the two days of some of the toughest riding in the world. A combination of sand, salt and lava takes us to a small Afar village in the middle of the desert where we camp and negotiate with the tribal chief to go through his land. These 2 days are bike and hike days as when the sand gets to thick you have to carry or walk it. But this is why we are here. To do what nobody has done, ride the heart of the Danakil. On the second day much the same but less bike/hiking but the last 10kms is  a lava road up to the base of the volcano where we camp. You wanted tough, here it is. You can see about 6-7 other ancient and dead volcanoes. The miles of lava stretching to the sand came from all of these. Its truly wild and raw. Up on arrival at Dodom we takes three hours but what you are about to see is the true, raw power of earth. We camp on the edge of the walls created from the explosion and can see the ancient dried lava flow work its   way to the desert floor. We have huts to stay out of sun, camels bring our food and water and bags. Day trip to the crater. A path takes us down the walls and hike on the lava flow to Ertale crater. Only 4 in the world and none of them can you stand on its edge and look into hell. A night hike to its edge is even wilder. Enjoy as this part of the world has no rules, feels incredible and freeing. Overnight Camping.

  • DAY 12: Drive to Mekele

    Early in the morning visit Ear’tale the second time look at the volcano’s lake of lava before descending from the volcano. Then walk down to get our vehicles at Dodom and then drive back to Mekel overnight hotel.

  • DAY 13: Flight to Addis and night departure

    Morning after breakfast transfer to  airport for the flight back to Addis ,have Addis Ababa city tour including Mount Entoto, Merkato, National Museum and attend farewell dinner in the traditional restaurant with live music and dish. Transfer to airport  for the night flight and it will be end of the trip.

simply send us an email and we’ll plan it for you !

CONTACT WITH US

+251 116 294039

info@senaitethiopia.com