This trip has been designed for those who, over a short period of time, wish to make an incursion into Ethiopia during their stay in Djibouti. Thus you will appreciate some of the jewels of the Republic of Djibouti, such as the Assal Lake whose beauty is a source of inspiration for poets, the Goubet and its Devil's Island, the Abe Lake famous for its lunar landscapes and its sunset and sunrise; You will stay in 2 famous camps of the country, one by the sea near Tadjourah where you will be amazed by the underwater fauna and flora, the other one in the Goda Mountains well placed in a green setting, which will give you the opportunity to visit gardens and surrounding villages.
You will spend the second part of the trip in the 2 major cities of South-East Ethiopia: the peaceful Diré Dawa with its markets, and Harar where you will stay one night in the heart of the old walled city; you will have the opportunity to visit the elephant sanctuary of Babillé, a site of rock carvings, ... without forgetting the spectacle of the meal of the hyenas at nightfall.
DAY 1 : arrival - visit of the DECAN refuge
Transfer to Africorne Travel accommodation
Africorne Travel offers you a comfortable air-conditioned apartment to stay overnight, where you can have a breakfast prepared according to your wishes. Of course, if you prefer, hotel accommodation can be booked.
Lunch at the restaurant on the port of Djibouti
Afternoon : visit to the DECAN shelter which is a wildlife park near Djibouti, where animals from the country and also from other parts of Africa live.
Evening meal in Djibouti
Night in the apartment of Africorne Travel
DAY 2 From Djibouti to Tadjourah via Lake Assal - 230 kms
Morning: departure from Djibouti. About 40 km before reaching the Assal lake, we will stop to admire the imposing landscape of the Dimbio canyon nicknamed the "Grand Canyon of Djibouti" ....
A few kilometres further on, another stop at the stele of J. Borrel, a French magistrate whose partially burnt body was found at the bottom of the cliff on the morning of 18 October 1995. The "Borrel affair" has poisoned the relations between the Djiboutian and French states for several years.
Then we leave the road to take the "access ramp" to Lake Assal. Located 153 meters below sea level, Lake Assal is one of the saltiest lakes in the world (over 300 grams of salt per liter of water). This fact, combined with the high evaporation rate due to the intense heat, explains why salt has been mined here for hundreds of years. No living organism can survive in the waters of Lake Assal. If the weather is good, we will be able to swim there; plastic shoes are necessary to avoid hurting ourselves on the sharp salt crystals.
The very high temperatures that prevail in this place do not make it very hospitable, but its legendary beauty, described in particular by the adventurer writer J. Kessel, makes it a site not to be missed.
Lunch: picnic on the beach at Le Goubet in the shade of a hard stand, facing Devil's Island
Afternoon We will visit the lava field located between Assal and Goubet, where we will observe the rift fault on a few meters; at this place it is only a few centimeters wide. Then we will take the road to Tadjourah.
Arrival in the evening at Ras Ali camp just after crossing Tadjourah.
The Ras Ali camp is located at the very edge of the sea, at the end of a track of about ten kilometres. The sanitary facilities are rudimentary for a European, but very adequate and clean. The food is excellent and the site is a paradise for snorkeling. You can also practice kayaking.
Evening meal and night at Ras Ali camp
DAY 3 From Ras Ali beach to Bankoualé camp - 50 kms
Morning: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking on Ras Ali beach
Lunch at Ras Ali camp
Afternoon Departure for the Bankoualé camp
The Bankoualé camp is located in a green setting on the hillside. It is a charming place, where a pleasant coolness reigns; it is famous for its terraced gardens. The village is in front of the camp on the other side of the wadi that must be crossed to reach the camp. Shortly before Bankoualé, there is the village of Ardo with its craft cooperative and its school.
On the way we will make a detour to the town of Randa to admire its imposing strangler fig tree
Evening meal and night at the Bankoualé camp
DAY 4 Visit of the surroundings of Bankoualé and return to Djibouti
Morning : excursion to the gardens of Bankoualé
Lunch in Bankoualé
Afternoon: Visit of Ardo village and return to Djibouti
Evening meal at the restaurant in Djibouti
Night in the apartment of Africorne Travel
DAY 5 Visit to the "planet" Lake Abe - 200 kms
MorningDeparture from Djibouti. Up to Dikhil we take an asphalt road for 120 kms; it is the main road taken by Ethiopian truckers from the port of Djibouti to Addis Abeba, for the import of goods necessary to the country's economy.
We will cross the semi-desert expanses of the Petit Bara and the Grand Bara where we will observe mirages, whirlpools and gazelles with a little luck.
Lunch at La Palmeraie restaurant in Dikhil
Afternoon After Dikhil, we leave the road to travel 80 km of sometimes sandy tracks. We will cross the villages of As Eyla and Toubacouta. At the end of the journey we will be able to see warthogs.
Abe Lake is a border site between Ethiopia and Djibouti, with a unique panorama. Its limestone chimneys offer a lunar landscape, very popular with photographers from all over the world, especially at sunrise and sunset. The first version of the movie "Planet of the Apes" was shot at Lake Abe
The sulphurous scents escaping from the numerous fumaroles have given the lake its name. Indeed, Abe means "rotten"!
The unique landscapes of the chimneys, which can reach 50 metres in height, would almost make us forget the presence of the lake, on whose shores pink flamingos can be observed!
Arrival at the Abé lake camp in the evening, to watch the sunset
Evening meal and night at the Lake Abe camp
DAY 6 Lake Abe - Arta- Djibouti - 220 kms
MorningWe will have to get up very early to see the sunrise in the middle of the chimneys! Then we will try to approach the pink flamingos at the edge of the lake, which from year to year withdraws more and more far. We will also observe some boiling water sources.
Then we take the way back to Djibouti.
Lunch in Arta at Sunny Hill or at the Maison des Randonneurs run by an ex-French legionnaire, who fell in love with the country and is a real celebrity in Djibouti.
Arta is a charming locality, "perched" at 600 meters above sea level, where the notables of Djibouti have a second home to enjoy its mild temperature, 4 or 5 degrees lower than Djibouti.
AfternoonWe will take the track leading down to the pebble beach for a snorkeling session: a guaranteed wonder!
Evening meal: Restaurant in Djibouti
Night: Africorne Travel apartment
DAY 7 Djibouti to Harar via Dire Dawa - 360 kms
Morning : journey by 4×4 vehicle -
Lunch on the way
Afternoon Stroll in the "new" town of Harar - visit of its brewery
Evening: Hyenas meal show
Evening meal at Fresh Touch in the old town
Night in an amazing traditional inn in the old town
DAY 8 Harar to Dire Dawa via Awaday "world capital" of khat- 45 kms
Morning Visit of the old town of Harar with its colourful houses and alleys, the Arthur Rimbaud centre, a coffee factory and shop - Visit of one of the markets
Lunch at Fresh Touch in Harar
Afternoon Babillé Elephant Sanctuary (32 kms from Harar, Jijiga road)
Drive to Dire Dawa in the late afternoon
Evening meal at African Village
Night Selam Blue Hotel in Dire Dawa
DAY 9 Visit to Dire Dawa and surrounding sites
Morning Visit of the big market of Kafira - visit of the old Ethiopian Railway Company
Lunch at Selam Blue Hotel
Afternoon Visit to the Lega Oda cave with its cave paintings
Evening meal in Dire Dawa at Paradiso restaurant
Night Selam Blue Hotel in Dire Dawa
DAY 10 Return to Djibouti
Morning: Return trip to Djibouti by 4×4 vehicle
Afternoon Visit of the city of Djibouti: notably the animated sectors such as the Mahamoud Harbi square, the starting point of the city's public transport, the Menelik square, the Ethiopia street, the shopping street of the Caisses...
Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti
Night at Africorne Travel
DAY 11 Day at the beach of Korambado near Djibouti
Relaxation day before departure. Snorkeling on the program for this day
Lunch in a straw hut on the beach
A good 4×4 vehicle is needed to go down to Korambado. Not far from Djibouti, the site is interesting for snorkeling (east side). Some "local color" straw huts, installed on the seafront, provide the shade and the meal necessary to spend a very pleasant day.
Evening meal in a restaurant in Djibouti. On the menu Yemeni fish; the fish you choose yourself, is cut into two slices and placed in a circular oven....
In the evening transfer to Djibouti airport
Note: unpredictable events can lead us to modify the program (ex: flooded wadi on the way).