The Ethiopia Erta Ale volcano

Erta Ale volcano is a large basaltic shield volcano in the Erta Ale volcanic range in the central northern Danakil depression (NE Ethiopia).

Erta Ale is one of the few volcanoes on the world that have an almost persistent lava lake. It is an isolated basaltic shield volcano, 50 km wide, rising more than 600 m from below sea level in the barren Danakil depression. The volcano contains a 0.7 x 1.6 km elliptical summit crater with several steep-sided pit craters, one of them containing a lava lake. Another larger 1.8 x 3.1 km wide depression, elongated parallel to the trend of the Erta Ale range is located to the SE of the summit and is bounded by curvilinear fault scarps on the SE side. Fresh-looking basaltic lava flows from these fissures have poured into the caldera and locally overflowed its rim. The summit caldera is renowned for one, or sometimes two long-term lava lakes that have been active since at least 1967, or possibly since 1906. Recent fissure eruptions have occurred on the northern flank of Erta Ale. Erta Ale has undergone seven eruption events in the past 125 years. Three of the early eruption dates, 1873, 1903, and 1904 are uncertain. However, 1906, 1940, 1960, and 1967 are well established events. Erta Ale has been erupting continuously since 1967. Generally the place is amazing

Visiting Ethiopia Erta Ale volcano


Although visitor numbers increased significantly over the past years, the active lava lake of Erta Ale volcano and unique colourful scenery of Dallol's hydrothermal fields remained more risky travel destinations due to their proximity to Ethiopia's border with Eritrea. people takes advantage of the camels available to make the 10km trek to the top. You start up at sundown and people hike by flashlight and headlamps seeing nothing but the ground in front of them. On a camel you can give full attention to the magnificent skies above with absolutely no light pollution to obscure the stars.

hot red burning volcano is beautiful in the night filled with powerful gas. We can feel the sounds and the smell in the morning with clear sunrise. There's no road for the last 1 to 2 hrs journey which is difficult though they are building a cement road till the volcano. The price we are paying is very high considering the Ethiopian standards and there's more hype from the European tourists. There's no safety measures for the tourists viewing the volcano in the night.

Can You Wear Shorts in Ethiopia?

Shorts are only considered acceptable for children, as they are thought to be undignified for grown men and inappropriate for women.

It is advisable to avoid wearing shorts while visiting the country and instead opt for lightweight trousers or a long skirt or dress.

Packing for the Weather in Ethiopia

The conditions in Ethiopia can be very different depending on the region and the season.

Summers are quite wet in much of the country, with June, July, and August experiencing bouts of heavy rainfall. People visiting Ethiopia in summer are advised to bring an umbrella and waterproof clothing.

The altitude of the region is a big factor in what clothes to wear. Parts of the country are almost tropical at around 30°C, while higher elevations can be a little chilly at 10-16°C.

The mountains are particularly cold at night, so visitors staying in these regions should dress to keep warm.

What Should I Pack for Ethiopia?

When traveling to Ethiopia, it is advisable to pack cool, comfortable clothes, since temperatures are high in lowland areas most of the time.

On the other hand, visitors who plan to go up into the Ethiopian highlands, for example to the Simien Mountains National Park, should be prepared for cooler weather and bring extra layers.

When considering what to pack for Ethiopia, the following items of clothing are essential:

  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Lightweight walking shoes or sneakers
  • Long trousers and long-sleeved tops (made from light fabrics)
  • Travel jacket with plenty of pockets
  • Sweaters or a fleece
Ethiopia Packing Lists for Women and Men

The following items are essential on any woman’s Ethiopia packing list:

  • Long skirt
  • Long dresses
  • Loose-fitting trousers
  • Sarong or Pashina

Women are advised to keep their shoulders and knees covered, particularly in Muslim areas. Sleeveless tops and shorts are not considered acceptable in Ethiopia.

Men should wear the following items while in Ethiopia: Shirts, Long trousers

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