BERAHALE / BERAHILE, SALT MARKET & GATEWAY TO THE DANAKIL. Get a permit to travel from +2000m Tigray to -115m Afar



Berahile is a small town with mostly stone houses at a distance of ± 110km from Mekele and half way the Danakil Depression. It not only is the salt market for the Afar people, but also the place to get permits for tourism into the Dallol or Danakil Depression.  an interesting place as this is the transition town from the Tigray province to the Afar province with all the changes that one can imagine: From Tigray capital Mekele, 2,100masl, one passes from the cool Ethiopian highlands of more than 2000m to the 8th lowest point on Earth, the Danakil Depression at -115m below sea level. The highland population being Tigray Christians, while the the Afar people in the lowlands are Muslims, many of which are pastoral semi-nomads, living in wind-shielded huts built from woven mats to protect the Afar from the harshest of the climates of Ethiopia.


At an elevation of about 675 masl, Berahale is the gateway to the Afar lowlands. In this little town, every tourist has to get a permit to visit Lake Assale and the Erta Ale Volcano. From Berehile to Hammad Ale the base for visiting Lake Asale is ±70km.


A picture is worth a thousand words. Most of our hundreds of pictures are favored in Google! Why? Because no other website has so many beautiful high resolution pictures, taken by ourselves. Our pictures not only show you the beauty of Ethiopia, but they also show that we go everywhere, photographing wildlife, plants, people and culture. They show our professionalism, our keen eye for detail and our passion for the culture and nature of Ethiopia. So why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because we don't mislead you like many tour operators do. When the Blue Nile falls are dry.... we tell you. When fog clouds the lava lake of Erte Ale? We let you know. Just drop us a mail and we will check it out for you.

Our tours take you to ALL famous cultural places of Ethiopia, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 large nature reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market.

As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eastern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa. BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes may be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip and book your local flights for an incredibly low price after you booked your international flight with Ethiopian Airlines!




Day 1 Mek'ele - Hamed Ale ±180km

  1. Berahile, visit the salt market and pay the entrance fee into the Danakil Desert;

  2. Hamed Ale base camp.


Day 2 Hamed Ale - Erta Ale ± 80km;

  1. Sulfur geysers at Dalol;

  2. Sulfur pool;

  3. Salt winning site of the Afar People in Lake Assale;

  4. hike up the Erta Ale after 4 o clock to benefit from the lower temperature;

  5. Make camp at the top of Erta Ale;

  6. Admire the glow of the Erta Ale Ale at night.


Day 3 Erta Ale - Mek'ele ±260km

  1. Walk down from Erta Ale;

  2. Depart from the Danakil Depression to return to Mekele.

Costs $595

. Included: meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals. Minimum number of  passengers is 2.

Ask for a group discount.


BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Salt caravan arrived at the BERAHALE / BERAHILE market

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Camels waiting for unloading at Berahile Market

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Berahile is the end destination for the salt caravans coming from Lake Asale

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: In Berahile, Camels and donkey get unloaded and the salt is put on trucks for further transportation in the highlands.


Berahile is the end destination for the salt caravans coming from Lake Asale in the Danakil depression. Camels and donkey get unloaded and the salt is put on trucks for further transportation in the highlands.


BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Street in  Berahile with Tigray style stone houses

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Stone houses in Berahile in Tigray style walls.

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Tigray style stone houses in Berahile

BERAHALE / BERAHILE:  Stone houses in Berahile are Tigray type houses


The houses in Berahale son predominantly stone houses which reminds one of the stone houses in the Tigray highlands, but the population is predominantly Afar.


BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Steep road from Berahile down to the Danakil desert

BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Road from Berahile down to the Danakil Depression


As one descents on the steep road from Berahale down to the desert, the scenery changes from semi-arid savannahs to almost totally bare mountains with no more than an occasional tree along dry river beds, and soon after, the mountains go over into hills and the totally bare lowland plains of the desert.


BERAHALE / BERAHILE: Being one of the driest deserts in the world, large parts of the Danakil Depression totally without vegetation.

BERAHILE: Danakil: Scattered vegetation of very draught hardy vegetation can be found, like these dwarf palms.

Being one of the driest deserts in the world, large parts of the Danakil Depression totally without vegetation.


Scattered vegetation of very draught hardy vegetation can be found, like these dwarf palms.



After visiting Lake Assale and the Erta Ale Volcano, it is possible to continue to Lake Afrera and from there to the Lucy site at Hadar, but most people return to Tigray capital Mekele to continue from there to Lalibela.


Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 1 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and then continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $40 - $70 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!


What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.


National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.


Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740


Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

(++251) (0) 911 440 915




Skype: ecotravelworldwide


Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature., He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador in the 1970s and he initiated the Cuyabeno Lodge in Ecuador's Amazon in 1985, making him one of the world's eco tourism pioneers. A speaker of 8 languages and having traveled to 80+ countries, Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil has is one of the world's greatest connoisseurs of nature and national parks in the world.