9 nights in Ethiopia
Tucked in between the Middle East and Africa, Ethiopia sits in the middle of these distinctive regions and yet takes on a cultural mosaic and aesthetic that’s tangibly distinct. On this 10-day tour you’ll see just what we mean with Christian churches hewn from solid rock; national park’s vivid, green peaks; and fascinating cities where luxury sports cars and assorted livestock hang out together in perfect harmony.
|Hotels (9 nts).|
|Flights not included|
|Travel insurance is mandatory and not included|
|For assistance with travel insurance, contact our partner World Nomads.|
Addis Ababa - City Tour of Addis Ababa (110USD per person) Lalībela - Asheton Maryam Hike
For this tour we use a combination of flights, minivans, minibus and boats. We use a 12-seater minivan when the group is 7 passengers or less. For larger groups, we will upgrade to a 23-seater coaster bus with cushioned seats, and sliding windows. This style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region. No matter the size of the group there will be extra space to benefit the group. Many of the roads in Ethiopia are under construction. Though at times the quality can be quite good, much of the time we will need to slow our traveling speed, and accept the bumps and dust along the way.
Arriving early? Pre-book the City Tour of Addis Ababa on Day 1, and be back in time for your evening welcome meeting. We strongly advise arriving one night earlier to facilitate the activity's early start. Addis Ababa, founded more than a century ago, means “new flower” in Amharic. At an elevation of 2,400m (7,874 ft), it's the third highest capital in the world and the climate is pleasantly cool. The city mixes past and present, the streets a mishmash of expensive cars, old Russian (Lada model) taxis, along with donkeys, sheep, and goats. Traditional mud houses stand not far from austere fascist architecture and private-sector banks.
Axum is Ethiopia's oldest and holiest city, and was once the home of the Queen of Sheba. Included Activities: Axum Historical Site Visit Transport: Plane (1.50 hour(s)) Private Vehicle
Travel, via the Lima Limo Valley, to Debark, our base for visiting Simien Mountains National Park. Relax at the scenic lodge with views of the stunning mountain ranges.
Additional Notes: It is cold in the morning, during the day, in the evening, and at night when there is cloud cover or sleet. Ice often forms on water in the early mornings during the cold period of December through February, and afternoon spurts of hail frequent the beginning of the rains (April through May).
Transport: Private Vehicle (9.00-10.00 hours, 280km)
The scenic Simien Mountains are a good break from the busy cities. Rising high above an eroded landscape of deep gorges and valleys, they rank as one of the continent’s most beautiful (and unusual) mountain ranges. A number of peaks reach well over 4,000m (13,123.4 ft), and Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia, is one of Africa’s highest mountains. Here, you can see some of Ethiopia's remarkable flora and fauna, including Gelada baboon, Walia ibex, and, if you're lucky, the Ethiopian wolf. The huge lammergeyer is also found soaring over the valleys here.
Additional Notes: Today is a full day of hiking. Those not interested in hiking can spend the day relaxing at the lodge.
Included Activities: Simien Mountains Trek Transport: Hiking Private Vehicle (4.00-5.00 hours, 170km)
Enjoy a cultural and nature excursion in a rural Amhara community, then return to Gondar in time for lunch. In the afternoon visit the Debre Birhan Silassie Church.
Included Activities: Amhara Culture & Nature Excursion Debre Berhan Selassie Church Tour
Transport: Private Vehicle (0.50 hour(s), 20km)
Continue exploring Gondar in the morning, then head to Bahir Dar.
Included Activities: Fasiladas Castle and Bath Visit
Transport: Private Vehicle (3.00-4.00 hours, 185km)
The scenic Blue Nile Falls are known as Tis Issat, which means “smoking water.”
Included Activities: Blue Nile Falls Hiking Excursion Lake Tana Boat Trip (Monastery Visit)
Lalibela is a good place to taste the local beverage, tej (honey wine) accompanied by local traditional song and dance.
Transport: Private Vehicle (6.00-7.00 hours, 315km)
In the morning, opt for a hike to Asheton Maryam, for panoramic views of the town and countryside.
Included Activities: Lalibela Churches Tour
Transport: Private Vehicle
Book onward travel after 5pm.
Included Activities: Departure Day
Transport: Plane (1.00-2.00 hours)
Accommodation in Ethiopia is not to the standard of the west or other parts of Africa where tourism is more developed. Hotels don't always have much character, as they are made more functional than decorative and the choice is limited due to both lack of local and foreign demand. As such customer service standards are lower, due to lack of a large tourism industry and lack of exposure to western service standards. Plumbing can be simple and not always reliable and water pressure is weak, especially in dry season. Safety, location, and cleanliness are our top criteria when choosing hotels. We choose the best one that meets our criteria, and constantly evaluate the options that are out there. Please ensure that you bring enough toiletries as most hotels do not supply them.
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