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Erta Ale, Afar Region

#8 of 40 in Parks in Ethiopia
Volcano · Nature / Park
Get close to one of the world's most active volcanoes at Erta Ale, a mysterious basaltic shield volcano with two active caldera lakes. Centered over the East African Rift in the Afar Depression, this 613 m (2,011 ft) tall "smoking mountain" as locals refer to it features the longest-existing lava lake--known to exist since 1906. See forested highlands, salt lake deposits, a boiling lava lake, and surreal landscapes of colors, geysers, and fumaroles. One of the main attractions in the Danakil Desert, the volcano has an elliptical 1.6 km (1 mi) long summit crater--access it only with an experienced professional guide. Use our Afar Region trip itinerary planner to add Erta Ale and other attractions to your Afar Region vacation plans.
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Erta Ale reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
230 reviews
  • 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...  more »
  • 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.  more »
  • Nice wilderness experience but the Afar people's greed will inhibit tourism and eventually no one will go there
  • Absolutely mesmerising spectacle. We trekked to the summit on Jan 3rd 2019 and were greeted with spectacular views of the molten lava flows. It pays to walk around the summit and be prepared to wait a couple of hours for the smoke to clear in order to get the best sights. The sounds can be terrifying and the smell is sickening, however well worth the wait.

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