If you are looking for an extended break in Ethiopia then this tour provides an excellent opportunity to undertake a unique range of experiences, right across the country. If you are interested in people then you will be fascinated by the visits to multiple tribes across the region including the Hamer People and the Dorze Village. It is intriguing to get an insight into their daily lives, beliefs and traditions. For architecture fans nothing beats the amazing Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela. The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches are a UNESCO World Heritage site and each church is individual in its style. You can easily lose a day exploring these great buildings. Great nature experiences are also included on this trip with a Boat Tour on Lake Tana, an opportunity to see the Gelada baboons, a visit to Mago National Park and a chance to stroll around the beautiful Simien Mountains NP.
Prices from £3975pp based on 2 sharing mid-range accommodation
You will be met at Addis Ababa Bole Airport and transferred to your chosen hotel for 1 nights. On arrival you will be presented with a full detailed and timed itinerary of your tour and you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions you have prior to the start of the tour. For morning flights you have the option of touring the Ethnographic Museum and/or the Mecuto one of Ethiopia's largest markets. You will be given time to settle in and rest for the afternoon, before being picked up early evening for an exciting Ethiopian dinner experience at the excellent Yod Abyssinia Restaurant!
Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines. Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and tour ancient island monasteries.
Drive through the countryside to Gondar. Tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring ﬁve castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century. Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty African Empire. Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.
Drive to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take in the spectacular scenery and view wildlife such as the Gelada baboon. Light hiking in the afternoon in the park.
Take a scenic drive to Axum, capital of the ancient Axumite Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frequent stops at viewpoints along the way. Arrive in Axum late afternoon.
Tour the ancient stelae ﬁelds, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. See St. Mary Tsion Church, which houses the Ark of the Covenant according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (no one is allowed to see the Ark.) Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.
An early morning flight to Lalibela with Ethiopian Airlines. Following this you will tour the ancient stelae ﬁelds, standing for 2000 years. You will also visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum and see St. Mary Tsion Church, which houses the Ark of the Covenant according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (no one is allowed to see the Ark.) You will have the opportunity to visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.
In the early morning, observe the Baptism . Following this you will return to the hotel for breakfast and some rest. Later that day there may be the opportunity to visit the Timket festival, nd in late afternoon, you will continue with your tour of Lalibela’s stunning churches.
During the morning take a hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the town. In the afternoon you will drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands
Fly to Dire Dawa via Addis Ababa and continue by vehicle to Harar for an over night there. In the evening see the "Hyena Man" feeding the hyenas that gather nightly outside the town.
Today you will stroll through the 16th century walled city of Harar, the fourth most important city in the Islamic World. See the home of Arthur Rimbuad, renowned French poet who worked and lived in Harar as a "gun-runner" during the 19th century. Visit the National and Harari museums; the house of Ras Mekonnen (father of Haile Selassie); and a traditional Harari home.
Drive to the Rift Valley Lake of Langano for an over night at the relaxing Sabana lodge. This is where Addis Ababan`s take break from the city and there is the Lake of Ethiopia that is okay to swim.
Today there is a long drive to Arba Minch, one of the main towns in Southern Ethiopia. On the way, visit a Dorze Village in the Guge Mountains. The Dorze are known for their tall, beehive-shaped bamboo houses. If the base becomes infested with termites, the entire house can be lifted and moved to another location.
Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo and view some of the largest crocodiles in the world sunning on the banks of the lake. Hippopotami and birdlife are also abundant. Drive to Jinka visiting various peoples such as the Gamo and Derashe. Stop at Key Afar's weekly market (if on a Thursday) and wander among the various tribes such as the Benna and Ari that have gathered to barter their goods.
Early morning drive to the Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people. The Mursi women are known for the clay plates they insert into their lower lips. Time permitting, visit the Omo Valley Museum in Jinka.
Today you will drive to Turmi, home of the Hamer people, stopping to see the various tribes such as the Ari, and the Benna. The Benna are known for decorating their bodies with clay. The Hamer are known for their body decorations and the clay and ochre that they put in their hair.
Drive to Konso, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. A highland people, the Konso are known for the ancient and intricate terraces that encircle their well-planned villages.
Drive to the lakeside town of Hawassa. Relax and recover from your journey and hectic couple of weeks at one of Hawassa's ﬁne resorts.
Leisure day in Hawassa town. Optional walk around edge of the Lake or a boat cruise to see hippos.
Morning visit the ﬁsh market. Make a short drive, to Bishangari that is very famous for its Nature and Birding. Arrive and take an optional horse ride around the lake and to other sites. Swimming and other activities is possible. The lodge is located in the forest and on the lake.
Drive back to Addis Ababa with stops on the way at Rift Valley Lakes. Enjoy a Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure or an additional hotel night can be booked upon request.