Ethiopia is a land of contrasts and extremes and a land of remote and wild places. It is like nowhere else on the planet, a beautiful country blessed with a peerless history, fabulous wildlife and some of Africa's most soulful peoples. Our tour will explore the deep history and its attractions in the north before we discover the culture and tribes of the south.
- Experience a truly ancient land
- Visit some of the most unusual and unique tribes in the world
- Learn about and shop for acclaimed Ethiopian textiles
- Be in awe of breathtaking landscape
Arrive at Bole international airport and meet our representative and transfer to your hotel. Addis Ababa is the bustling capital of this developing nation. Founded in 1887, it is the third highest capital city in the world at 2,355 meters above sea level (7,726 feet). Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of Jacarandas, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as Merkato.
If you arrive in the morning, you will have half day city tour of Addis Ababa that includes:
Trinity Cathedral:-a beautiful church with a baroque style of European architecture which is unique to both Ethiopia and Africa and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Here you will find scripts of the imperial families, statues done by a Greek sculpture, Stained glass window paintings from the Old and New Testament in the Bible and coffins of Emperor Haile Silassie-I; the founder of the church, and his wife.
National Museum:-It comprises of many archaeological and historical findings including the famous complete hominid fossil remain of ‘Lucy’ locally known as ‘Dinknesh’ meaning wonderful. Visiting this museum is having a good summary for your visit to the historic Ethiopia.
Accommodations: Golden Tulip Hotel
After early breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to the lake side city of Bahir Dar. On arrival, we head out on Lake Tana to the Zege Peninsula and its famous monasteries. While on board our private boat, keep an eye out for a variety of bird species and the traditional tankwa crossing the lake.
After a short hike through local villages and coffee farms, we reach the monastery of Ura Kidane Meret, is home to an important collections of crosses and crowns dating back to the 16th century. The painted maqdas, colourful and well-preserved, tell stories of the Ethiopian saints. The second monastery we visit, Azwa Maryam, is a small and pleasant site with gardens and a humorous young priest.
In the afternoon, make excursion to the Blue Nile Falls. The Blue Nile Falls is considered by many as one of the most spectacular falls in Africa. When in full flood the falls are quite impressive at 400 m wide and 45 m high. The fall is seasonal but still an interesting site with some nice bird watching on the easy 30-min walk to the viewpoint. Hippos and crocodiles are occasionally spotted on the banks of the river, especially in the early morning and late afternoon hours. The road to and from the falls is packed gravel and can be rough and dusty.
Accommodations: Kuriftu Resort and Spa
Early in the morning we will drive to Gondar. It is the 17th and 18th century capital of Ethiopia. In Gondar, visit the ‘Royal Compound’ with many majestic castles constructed in the European middle age architectural style, the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasilades’, residence of Mintwab and church Quskwame.
In the afternoon we will head to Debre Birhan Sillassie church (‘Trinity at the mount of light’ ) which is the finest of the Gonderine churches. It was built during the reign of Emperor Iyasu (1682 - 1706). The inside walls of the front room are covered with paintings on cloth, glued to the surface. The ceiling is built with thick beams and it is decorated with winged angel heads looking down. The wall paintings depict scenes from the life of Christ, and Mary.
Accommodations: Gondar Hills Hotel
Today you will have excursion to Simien Mountain. After breakfast drive from Gondar to Simien Mountains National park which is 139 km and it have 40 km grave road. Simien Mountain is one of the world heritage sites in the country out of nine because of its stunning scenery.
The Simien Mountains not only offer amazing scenery, but the area is also home to several of Ethiopia’s endemic species—the walia ibex, the very common gelada baboon, and the rare Ethiopian wolf. Other mammals include rock hyraxes, jackals, bushbuck and klipspringers.
Spend the rest of the day exploring the pinnacles, valleys, vistas, and wildlife of this stunning region. The beauty of the ranges can be discovered by following century old footpaths, and don't forget to look out for the Gelada Baboons that reside here amidst the local pasture lands. Then drive back to Gondar for overnight.
Accommodations: Gondar Hills Hotel
After breakfast, transfer back to the airport and fly to Lalibela. On arrival, transfer to the town and check-in to your hotel. There are no less than 200 churches in the Lasta Region of Lalibela, some hidden in enormous caves, but it's exceptional to find 11 churches of such master craftsmanship in one locale. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the "Eighth wonder of the world".
The churches are said to have been constructed during King Lalibela’s reign during the 12th and 13th centuries when Lalibela (then known as Roha) was the capital of the Zagwe dynasty.
In the afternoon you will visit first group of first group of church also called Early Jerusalem. It includes Bete Medhanealem, Bete Mariam, Bete Denagel, Bete Meskel and Debre Sina and Bete Giorgis.Bete means house.
Accommodations: Maribela Hotel
In the morning, we will make an excursion trip to Yimrehane Christos church located 42km from the town of Lalibela on the foothill of the highest mountain in Lasta Massif. Here you will see the magnificent church of Yimrehane Christos who is credited for the construction of a stone church built in the Axumite style, which bears his name.
The church's interior decorations make Yimrehane Krestos the most elaborate of all known ancient Ethiopian churches. Mural paintings high on the nave walls are considered the oldest surviving mural paintings in Ethiopia. Drive back to the town of Lalibela, then eat your lunch.
In the afternoon, visit the Second group of the churches representing the heavenly Jerusalem. In this group are the Bete Gabriel & Raphael, Bete Merquorios, Bete Emmanuel, and Bete Abba Libanos. Finally, visit the most interesting cross-shaped church of Bete Giorgis (St. George), which is said to be the symbolization of Noah’s arc. The cruciform-shaped Bete Giorgis is the most perfect and beautiful church here; its interior is dominated by depictions of Saint George killing the dragon.
Accommodations: Maribela Hotel
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa and connect to your Jinka flight. On arrival in Jinka, meet your driver and transfer to hotel for checkin then visit the Ari village in Jinka.
Accommodations: Eco Omo Lodge
After breakfast, leave Jinka and drive to Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular disks inserted. The larger the clay plate, the more the woman is worth before she gets married. It is said that the clay plates were originally used to prevent capture by slave traders.
Although very unique and part of their tradition, the Mursi women only wear the plates for a short time because they are so heavy and uncomfortable. Men of the Mursi also use white paint for their bodies and faces. Just like any other ethnic tribe in the lower valley, the men must pass a test before they can get married. A Mursi man is given a stick called a Donga and must face one opponent. The men then battle it out, beating each other with the sticks.
We will drive deeper and visit the bodi tribe in their village. The life of Bodi tribe is completely dependent on their livestock. They practically don’t grow maize and sorghum but buy it on the market and all tribal traditions are based on cattle. Slim might be in elsewhere but for Ethiopia's Bodi or Me'en people, bigger is always better. The tribe, which lives in a remote corner of Ethiopia's Omo Valley, is home to an unusual ritual which sees young men gorge on cow's blood and milk in a bid to be crowned the fattest man.
Accommodations: Eco Omo Lodge
After breakfast you drive to Turmi which is 132 km – the village of the Hamer people whose women are noted for their typical hairdressing, and leather skirts. On the way if the day is Thursday you will visit the colorful Key Afer market.
Spend balance of the day visiting the Hamer people whose women are famous for their typical skirts and hairdressings. The Hamer people are also noted for their ‘Bull Jumping’ Ceremony where boys jump lines of bulls to show the community that they are old and matured enough to carry the responsibility of marriage. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-coloured locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.
Accommodations: Buska Lodge
In the morning, you will make an excursion trip to Murulle - the village of Karo people, who are the tribe with the least in number of members, and known for their body paintings they indulge before important ceremonies. The most striking thing about Karo people's symbolic and ornamental expressions is the painted body and face decorations.
This is an elaborate process, which ranges from fine and elaborate details to rough, but striking paintings traced with the palms or fingers. The most beautiful expression is in the facial and chest paintings that combine white (chalk), black (charcoal), yellow, ochre, and red earth. They often imitate the spotted plumage of a guinea fowl. Karo woman scarify their chests to beautify themselves .The complete scarification of a man's chest indicates that he has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal. The scars are cut with a knife or razor blade and ash is rubbed in to produce a raised effect. The wearing of a grey and ochre clay hair bun also indicates the killing of an enemy or a dangerous animal. We also visit Dus, a typical settlement with open public meeting grounds and dancing place. The people living here have shelters called shuppa, where they pass the hottest hours of the day playing a Karo board game called Warre.
Accommodations: Buska Lodge
In the morning you will drive to Jinka which is 132 KM then you will transfer to the airport to fly back to Addis Ababa. After your arrival if there is time you can go shopping in Mercato, the biggest open air market in Africa. Merkato is the largest open-air market in Africa.
Here you will be presented with confusing, but fascinating, glimpse of the vast range of goods and artifacts available from all parts of the country and you will enjoy the Ethiopian trade exchange tradition in the open air, you can purchase anything you desire here.
In the evening, you will be invited to a fare well dinner party in one of the traditional restaurants in Addis Ababa to taste the varieties of the Ethiopian cuisine and enjoy the folkloric dances of different ethnic groups.
Accommodations: Golden Tulip Hotel
**Prices are subject to change and availability. Space is limited and activities and specific hotels are subject to change. Travel insurance is strongly recommended.
Pre-book now to hold your spot. As soon as we have full details and pricing we will let you know. At that time you can decide if you would like to confirm this tour. If you do book you will save $100 off the tour as a thank you for showing us your interest.
Double Occupancy - TBA
Single Occupancy - TBA
If you would like the double occupancy rate but don't have a roommate we will match you with a suitable roommate. The single occupancy rate will give you your own room. Single occupancy may be limited. CAD = Canadian dollars. USD = United States of America dollars. Conversion to USD is approximated by current exchange rates and subject to change. You will be charged in CAD and your bank may charge a slightly different rate or fees.
Deposit of TBA
Final Payment due - TBA
*All payments are non-refundable Please see full terms and conditions. Prices are subject to change and availability.
Please note that if travel restrictions related to Covid-19 affect our tour travel plans, do not worry. We will reschedule our trip, free of any additional costs, for as many times as needed on future dates until travel can safely take place. It is also important to note that all our tours comply with the utmost standards of safety and hygiene protocols to ensure your well being during your visit.
Some walking while visiting areas and a few shorter walking tours.
Minimum - 6 ladies
Maximum - 10 ladies
Kirsten is a veterinarian and owns a small animal practice. When she isn't busy looking after adored family pets she loves to explore the world. Kirsten is a fun and very knowledgeable tour leader.
Once your flights are booked please forward a copy of your itinerary to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please do not book any flights until tour is confirmed.
Arrive to Addis Abada
Depart from Addis Abada
Out of country medical insurance is required. We strongly recommend that you obtain cancellation and interruption insurance to protect your investment.
Use this link to request an insurance quote.
Golden Tulip Addis Ababa Hotel is a 5 star upscale establishment. It has 90 unique and comfortable rooms alongside dining, meeting and leisure facilities. It is conveniently located in Addis Ababa: one kilometer away from Bole International Airport and only minutes away from many international organizations and embassies.
Kuriftu Resorts are Ethiopia's premier destinations for health, beauty, and relaxation. Immerse yourself in the rich history of Ethiopia with landscapes of Bahir Dar's native architecture and monolithic churches.
Eco Omo Safari Lodge. This unique lodge is located in Jinka, in the heart of the Omo Valley, just outside the town and bordering the Neri River on the way to Mago National Park.
Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska Lodge is an unpretentious eco-lodge offering travelers the best accommodation and meal service in this region. Buska Lodge overlooks the plains of Buska Mountain and has been constructed to blend beautifully in to the natural surroundings. Buska Lodge offers the rare opportunity to learn about and experience the culture and traditions of the local Hammer community offering a rare glimpse into the cultures of the Omo Valley.
Gondar Hills Resorts offers Royal Luxury vacations where you can do as much or as little as you want. Located in mountainous out-skirt of Gondar town, Ethiopia, their Resort is equipped with luxurious accommodation suites, dining facilities and enchanting family-friendly activities.
Hotel Maribela is located in the heart of the Lalibela mountains. Spacious and modern rooms, all with breathtaking views of the Ethiopian highlands. Hotel Maribela was built with a very appealing design, inspired by the famous rock churches of Lalibela. The tasteful interior decoration gives every guest the very best in Lalibela hospitality.
Often ladies will book a night at the first hotel prior to the tour. This gives them a chance to relax after a long flight and settle in before the tour starts. Let us know if you would like pricing and information on the hotel.
Follow this link to request pre or post tour hotel nights.