What an amazing spot this must be. Must be like being on another world! If I were considering a trip like this I'd be doing a lot of research and talk to people who know about desert survival. I'd also probably undertake the trip with a group who know the area intimately (try these people; http://vivaethiopiatour.com/volcano-adventure/142-expedition-to-erta-ale-volcano-and-the-danakil-depression.html ).
As to insurability this is possible through travel insurance providers like World Nomads but because it's such a specialized type of trip it would be prudent to make sure that they accept the risk and provide them with the details of your plans before you go - and get clear confirmation that they agree coverage.
However even if coverage is confirmed that doesn't mean that you're safe. In this kind of environment transport links are difficult to arrange if things go wrong and there aren't big modern hospitals round every corner like in the developed world (that's part of why you want to go though isn't it?)
These facts make it even more important to plan properly before you go - for example some medical and survival training - find good people who know the region to travel with and make sure that you cover off as many contingencies as possible before you go.
If you do get there, please, please post some photos onto a blog here to share the experience. over 6 years agoAnswered by insuranceguy via WorldNomads.com
Phil at the safety hub here. I'm in the process of putting some safety tips together for Ethiopia, but here's some "raw data" I have (It'll be turned into prose and posted on worldnomads.com in coming weeks). I agree with what insuranceguy says - you need to do this trip with people who know what they're doing, this is not a place for independent travel, you need good logistical support and operators who are familiar with the security situation. Pick the right people and it'll be an incredible experience. Take care and good luck.
• The Danakil desert: Travel is not advised to the Danakil desert bounded by the Dessie-Adigrat road, the Dessie-Djibouti road and the Ethiopian-Eritrean border. Police in the Afar Regional State confirmed that on Sunday, 08 May 2011 a truck belonging to the Regional government hit a landmine at Kurri (aka: Korri) district, Zone 1 of the Afar Region. No causalities reported except damage on the truck. A number of landmines exploded in the Danakil in April 2009, including on the road between Afdera and Logia. A tourist vehicle travelling to Erta Ale (the active volcano) hit a landmine on 15 April 2009, killing two Ethiopians and injuring a foreign tourist.
• Health facilities in Addis Ababa are very limited and are generally inadequate outside the capital. Even the best hospitals in Addis Ababa suffer from inadequate facilities, antiquated equipment, and shortages of supplies (particularly medicines).
• There is a shortage of physicians.
• Emergency assistance is limited.
And one other interesting piece of information:
The Ethiopian Highlands are predominantly Orthodox Christian with ‘fasting’ each Wednesday, Friday and during Lent when only vegetarian dishes are available (except in larger hotels). The Julian calendar is used and the current year is 2002. Christmas is celebrated on 7 January and New Year on 11 September. Some Ethiopians set their clocks from dawn to dusk and there is a six-hour difference between Ethiopian time and Western time i.e. 6 o’clock can mean 12 o’clock. So take care when making appointments. over 6 years ago