Erta Ale

Erta Ale, Afar Region: Hours, Address, Erta Ale Reviews: 4.5/5

from ZAR 2,620.37
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
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Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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4.5
231 reviews
Excellent
164
Very good
25
Average
10
Poor
17
Terrible
15

Manning W
Barcelona, Spain192 contributions
Smoke and Fire
Mar 2020
My two sons and I descended into this live volcano twice during our stay! We camped by the rim, under the stars. It was a magical experience. No guardrails, so you have to watch your step!
Written 5 January 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Andrew H
London, UK106 contributions
There is no lava lake, but still worth a visit
Jan 2020
I would say that there are three important things to know about a night time visit to Erta Ale. 1. The photos of a bubbling lava lake are no longer accurate. 2. The rumoured closer car park is not an option. 3. Riding a camel up the volcano is a deeply uncomfortable experience. People will tell you that the lava lake fluctuates and on any given day it can be just like the photos, or just a smoking hole. I do not think that is true. The lake drained some time in August 2019 and hadn't refilled when I visited. Treat any reports that "the lake was full a few days ago" with deep scepticism. It's done with good intentions though; the locals need tourist visits. Obviously, local people rely on the tourist industry to maintain their community. (As you go around Ethiopia you will be impressed at how the tourist bounty is shared around). That is why I would still say that this is worth a visit. The second point is that you might hear rumours of a new road built by the Chinese, and a car park a mere 20 minutes from the summit. From what I could gather, this route is not used, because it was harming the employment of locals as porters, camel handlers and guides. It seems that it suits everyone better to have a two hour plus walk up and an overnight stay in the stone huts. At least, that was what I was told...... One of our party had mobility issues, but our tour guide offered an elegant solution; ride-up on a camel! Having done the ride up in the dark (Dear reader, I walked back down) it is not something any of us could recommend. You may wonder why I have still rated this 4 stars? It is fascinating to walk about on the crumbling lava flows in the crater rim. I think these are from January 2017, so are in quite good condition. Despite the smoke, one can see small pockets of glowing lava, giving the whole crater an ethereal glow. The de-gassing lava is a constant noisy backdrop and hints at the power below. And of course, if the sky is clear, this is a stunning place to stargaze. Make sure that your expectations are set correctly, and go. As with most of Ethiopia, the amount of litter is depressing. I made a point of collecting some on every trip I made. The guides at the sleeping spot on Erta Ale were quite good about collecting our litter though.
Written 14 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

shula m
israel124 contributions
could have been better
Jan 2020
not anyone's fault, only the lava was 60 m below the rim, so we had to bend very carefully in order to get a glimpse of some fire. we were told it happens, and you can't know in advance.
Written 12 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gari K
47 contributions
Not what it used to be
Jan 2020
I focus on Erta Ale itself, not on tour organizers, whom I reviewed in a dedicated rubric for organizers. On the night and morning we went to Erta Ale, it was a smoky black hole and nothing more. Of course, this is a risk we run with nature, as it cannot be made to perform for tourists. However, it was quite disappointing, given all the effort and money invested in the tour. There are a few things that future tourists to this place may wish to know before they decide whether to go. First is, of course, that Erta Ale has changed in the past two years, and is no longer a dependable spectacle of simmering lava, but a deep crater where you might glimpse some fire if it is not too smoky. We could not because it was steaming like a chimney. The next thing is a huge problem for me, and I find it odd how few tourists mention it here. It is the fact that tourism has made a garbage dump out of this, once intact, place. It is good that the first encounter everyone has with it is at night, because once you've slept close to the volcano and begin descending, you realize that you cannot even get lost - just follow the trash trail! The place is so full of trash that whatever stone I peeked under had a resident plastic bottle or a wet wipe. This also meant that in the morning we realized we were sleeping surrounded by a spacious African toilet - wet wipes and other human traces are everywhere. Most tourists pretend not to see it because they themselves wish not to be inconvenienced, and usually leave their trash on the volcano. The guides helplessly agree to this, saying that the locals will clean it - they will not, and they do not. This is why the whole place is scandalously dirty. If the tour companies wish to continue running tours before this place becomes even worse, it is essential that they organize a clean up, and a construction of stone toilets, one in the lower camp and another one on top of the volcano, where some Afar houses already exist.
Written 31 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Caio S
16 contributions
Not that big lava
Dec 2019
a bit disapointed cause i was expeting more lava. However, view is nice and the experience to sleep therre is amazing
Written 12 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cvillalobosm88
San Ramon, Costa Rica17 contributions
Interesting experience, however the lava is not as visible anymore
Jun 2019
The trip through the desert is pretty exciting and the amazing night full of stars was the most majestous thing I have ever seen. In regards the specific experience about the Volcano, it is not as visible as the pictures shown, the lava level has decrease about 80mtrs so you cannot see the lava bubbling but it can be hear from the top, it is quite awesome to hear that and being at the very edge of the crater (quite dangerous also). Lava can be hardly seen if you lay down in the floor and try to see down into the crater. In summary, it is a very different experience but I was expecting to see the lava bubbling in front of me, it cannot be seen now, and I bet it might take a few years fro the level to come-up again.
Written 6 January 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Travis
Los Angeles, CA3 contributions
Perfectly organized tour
Dec 2019 • Solo
An amazing experience, well organized tour. The place is a must see since it's one of the inhospitable places on earth. I recommend using Hafi to organize tours in Ethiopia. Hafi is genuine, knowledgable and well experienced tour organizer. You can reach Hafi via, Haftomgebreham@gmail.com Whatsapp: +251918518807
Written 17 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Iacopo S
Florence, Italy6 contributions
AMAZING EXPERIENCE........WITHOUT LAVA -:(
Nov 2019
I went to Erta Ale last month with others 5 friends. The tour was planned by Great Ethiopian Tours&Travel, i can highly recommend them, the crew and the staff were perfect. Unfortunatly the Volcano is almost dead after a big collapsed but you can experience a great feeling on the edge of the volcano.
Written 16 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Efow19
4 contributions
Great Trip, Unreal landscapes
Dec 2019 • Friends
We booked our trip from Gondar with Adis (adisgondar@gmail.com Whatsapp+251962520160) Included private cars to Axum and a couple nights there, churches in Tigrae, transport to Makele and 3 days 2 nights in the Affar region. The highlight was Erte Ale volcano, but the entire trip was perfect. EET was very organised and took care of everything. The salt flats are unbelievable. So much of the scenery on this trip was otherworldly, its hard to really put into words. Please go here if you get a chance. Its really amazing. Good value for money as well.
Written 13 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Alex C
Lilburn, GA9 contributions
Really amazing to see lava and volcano that close.
Dec 2019
I booked this tour with "Great Ethiopian Tours And Travel" company - and it was just amazing! The tour guides, drivers, chiefs and cars were great. We've got a lot of service for the money and unforgettable experience.
Written 6 December 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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