Explore the horn of Africa in the wilder parts of Ethiopia plus Somaliland, where you will visit the hottest inhabited place on earth, climb up to remote rock churches, and feed the wild hyenas of Harar.
Ethiopia is home to a truly diverse landscape and peoples. In the long and disturbed history of the African continent Ethiopia remains the only country that has never been colonised. A journey through Ethiopia offers a unique and distinct experience. The otherworldly volcanic landscape of the inhospitable Danakil Depression, the lush peaks of the Simean Mountains and the bleak deserts bordering Somalia are populated by a range of ethnic groups. Christian, Muslim and Pagan rituals and practices blur providing Ethiopia with unique cuisines and cultures.
Explore the horn of Africa on this 10-day adventure in the wilder parts of Ethiopia plus Somaliland. Begin in Ethiopia on a road trip through the otherworldly Danakil Depression. Passing through the hottest inhabited place on earth, visiting the lava lake at Erta Ale and witnessing the life of the salt mining Afar nomads that live in this otherwise inhospitable climate. Whilst in Tigray in the north of Ethiopia you’ll visit some of the most spectacularly located rock churches you’ll ever see.
Then you’ll fly to the east of Ethiopia to the ancient walled city of Harar, exploring the narrow alleyways where wild Hyenas still wander. Finally, you will cross into the de-facto independent state of Somaliland to see the stunning cave paintings at Las Geel and enjoy the atmosphere in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa. Whether it is visiting a Jazz club in Addis Ababa, feeding wild hyenas outside the walls of Harar or watching the salt caravans of the Afar people, Ethiopia will stimulate even the most jaded African adventurer.
Then, for the truly intrepid, add on an extra 48 hours in Mogadishu with an experienced guide and security team. Somalia is a link between the Arab world and the African yet with a flavour all of its own. Isolated for two decades due to the instability in the region we can now take small groups to many parts of Somaliland and to the capital of Somalia, Mogadishu.
- Experience the Danakil Depression – the hottest inhabited place on earth
- Feed wild Hyenas at dusk in ancient Harar
- Explore one of the world’s least visited countries – Somaliland
Why you'll love this adventure
- Explore the unique countries in the horn of Africa.
- Perfect for solo travellers.
- Experience the hottest inhabited place on earth - the Danakil Depression
1 April 2021
10 April 2021
11 November 2021
20 November 2021
17 March 2022
26 March 2022
This trip can be tailor made for your perfect travel dates. Please make a booking enquiry for more information.
You'll begin in Ethiopia on a road trip through the otherworldly Danakil Depression. Passing through the hottest inhabited place on earth, visiting the lava lake at Irta Ale and witnessing the life of the salt mining Afar nomads that live in this otherwise inhospitable climate. Whilst in Tigray in the north of Ethiopia we’ll visit some of the most spectacularly located rock churches you’ll ever see.
Then you'll fly to the ancient walled city of Harar, exploring the narrow alleyways where wild Hyenas still wander. Finally we will cross into the de-facto independent state of Somaliland to see the stunning cave paintings at Las Geel and enjoy the atmosphere in the Somaliland capital Hargeisa.
- Ground transport
- Three internal flights (Addis Ababa to Mekele / Mekele to Addis Ababa / Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa)
- International flight from Hargeisa to Addis Ababa (or Hargeisa to Mogadishu if the guest is joining the Mogadishu add-on)
- All meals and camping equipment when in the Danakil Depression
- Ethiopia visas ($50 each. You will need to get two if you return to Addis Ababa at the end of the trip)
- Somaliland Visa ($50 in Addis Ababa)
- Hargeisa airport departure tax ($41)
- Other Meals
- Entrance fees
We do not and cannot offer a uniform accommodation standard on our itineraries. We consider comfort, location, design, character, historical interest and whether the money we spend will go into the pockets of the local community when we make our choices of where to stay.
The accommodation will be based on you sharing a twin room. There will be camping in the Danakil Depression.
Breakfast is included on this trip. Other meals will be paid for by yourself. Whilst out on the Danakil Depression you will be provided with all meals.
Who is this trip for?
- Solo travellers
- Fit individuals looking for a culture filled adventure
Ethiopian visas are available on arrival at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa. They cost US$50 or equivalent in euros. You will not be able to use pounds sterling or other currencies. Note that you will need to get an Ethiopian visa on your entry back to Addis from Hargeisa. There are very few countries in the world where you can obtain a Somaliland visa. Contact us for details. Cost is US$50.
If you obtain your Somaliland visa in Addis Ababa or via the UK’s Somaliland Mission you will only be required to pay US$10 at the airport. If you choose to get a Somaliland visa on arrival it will cost US$60. Neither option has any departure tax.
On this trip you will be accompanied by experienced English speaking Ethiopian guides for the length of the trip in Ethiopia and a Somali guide for the time in Somaliland. We will also work with local guides in each region to help ensure you get the most out of each trip.
Security and Risks
The Danakil Depression is an area that comes with a measure of risk. The region has seen occasional violence in the past. Guests will be accompanied by Ethiopian security for their entire length of stay in the Danakil Depression. We feel we have the contacts and experience to guide in this region safely. We do monitor the situation closely and we listen very carefully to advice from the foreign office and from our friends in the areas we visit. Our client’s safety is our primary concern. We must state that the tour leader has the final word with regards to changes in the itinerary for safety reasons. Whilst the route we have chosen passes through areas that we consider stable things can change and we may have to alter the route or cancel sections of the trip at short notice.
Somaliland is not an internationally recognised country. Currently Somaliland is secure and has, by and large, escaped the trouble that has blighted Somalia to the south. However, the government takes security there seriously and you will have a soldier with you when outside of any town.
Also, please be aware that the Danakil Depression is one of the hottest places on earth. Heat stroke is a real risk and those with heart conditions are advised not to travel.
Specialists in trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, former Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus, this operator aims to add positive benefit to the areas visited by ensuring that whenever possible, the money goose directly to the people of the region. In their words “”small scale tourism might not change the world but every path starts with a single step’.
The founders met as travel guides in the mountains of Afghanistan and bonded over a shared passion to enable other people to experience the beauty of Pakistan and Afghanistan, lands that are often described as dangerous and inhospitable.
Working with small groups of a maximum of 12 people and using specialist local guides throughout, their aim is to provide authentic and original experiences for all guests. This small number allows for greater security, flexibility and access to local people and places. Each set itinerary trip is individually designed to coincide with local events or to visit the area at the best time of year.
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