Departure Day: Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum
Ethiopia has old, fascinating history, and is home to many diverse colorful cultures. In the northern part of this tour you will experience ancient monasteries, Castles, rock-hewn churches, Steles and Ethiopia’s magnificent natural beauty. The second part of the program is a cultural tour for visiting the people in the Southern Omo Valley. This adventure takes you on a cultural high, exploring some of the most remote areas of Ethiopia where some of the most colorful and beautiful tribes of the world live. The Mursi, with their decorative lip plates, the Hamer in their amazing hair decorations, the Ari, the Bena and several other tribes are covered on this trip.
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis Ababa our representative will meet you at Bole International Airport. After transfer to your hotel an overview of the program will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where the 3,6 million year old skeletal remains of “Lucy” rest, which were discovered in 1974. Proceed to the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, the Holy Trinity Cathedral and Mount Entoto, which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight Jupiter International hotel
Day 2: Fly Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls
After breakfast fly to Bahir Dar, a small town on the southern shore of Lake Tana. The lake is the source of the Blue Nile and the largest lake in Ethiopia. Thirty of its thirty-seven islands host churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. After refreshment, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two of the most accessible and representative monasteries, Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam, which still serve their original function. In the afternoon, visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tiss Isat or 'Smoke of Fire’. The Fall is in the small town of Tiss Abay, 30 Kms from Bahir Dar and then walk about 20-30 minutes to reach the best viewpoint of the falls.
Day 3: Drive to Gondar
On the 180 km long drive to Gondar you experience a typical Ethiopian- landscape - wide grazing land, hilly mountains and numerous farmlands. Visit the castles and churches built by emperor Fassiledes and his descendants Later proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church - one of the World’s heritage sights. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with scenes of biblical lore and medieval history.
Day 4: Drive to Simien Mountains
After early breakfast we drive to Debark, the head quarter of the Simien Mountain National Park. We proceed to Sankaber, where we walk around through breath-taking scenery enjoying endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer. Overnight Simien Loge
Day 5: Drive back to Gondar
After breakfast relax in Simien Mountainns National Park enjoying the scenery, colourful birds and animals. Late afternoon drive back to Gondar for an overnight stay in Goha Hotel.
Day 6: Fly Axum
After breakfast fly to Axum. After transfer to the hotel and refreshment, visit the historical and archaeological sites of Axum. The ancient city marks the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the kingdom of Axum was the most powerful state between the eastern Roman empire and Persia. The archaeological and historical attractions in Axum include: the archaeological museum, the magnificent monolithic steles and obelisks, the tombs of king Kaleb and king Gebre Meskal, the legendary bath of Queen Sheba, and the ruins of her palace. The 16th century cathedral St. Mary of Zion, the holiest church in Ethiopia is said to host the original Ark of the Covenant. The churches and monasteries of Axum are richly endowed with icons and historical crowns of ancient emperors. Overnight Hotel.
Day 7: Fly Lalibela
After breakfast transfer to the airport and flight to Lalibela. The town of Lalibela, lies among the Lasta Mountains at 2630 m above sea level and remains until today a place of pilgrim and devotion for Ethiopian Christians. The construction of the eleven rock-hewn churches is attributed to king Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty. Some of the 12th century churches are monolithic, carved from a sloping mass of red volcanic scoria under laid by dark grey basalt and interconnected by a maze of tunnels and passages with openings to hermit caves and catacombs. Some are of the basilica type, having archaic features and imitating architectural elements from earlier periods, yet they differ in design and style. Two are decorated with interesting wall paintings and carved figures. The Lalibela churches are included in the World Heritage List since 1978. Afternoon visit of the first group of six churches which lie in rock cradles one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mika'el, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem, the largest one, is built like a Greek temple and its stone floor is so polished by the countless numbers of visitors that it reflects shafts of light from apertures in the walls high above. In a corner are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overnight hotel
Day 8: In Lalibela
After breakfast take a mule ride to the 13th century rock hewn monastery of Asheten Mariam. The church is situated on the top of a mountain at an altitude of 3150 metres. The roundtrip takes about 4 hours. We return to Lalibela for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the other groups of rock churches. Bet Giyorgis, the most elegant church, lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa'el. Overnight hotel
Day 9: Fly to Addis Ababa then Drive to Lake Langano
After breakfast you check in to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Meet vehicle and drive heading south for Lake Langano and to Bishangari. Your first stop is at the Crater Lakes of Debrezait town. Here you will find some birds and then continue driving south, stopping off at Koka Dam and the Awash and then at Lake Zeway the common birds to be seen include African pygmy Geese, Yellow billed storks, Collared Pratincoles, Lesser and greater Jacanas, African Jacanas, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles, crowned and common cranes are some of the species to be seen here in impressive numbers. We leave Zway mid-afternoon, continuing to Lake Langano. Overnight Savanna Lodge.
Day 10: Drive to Arba Minch
Drive to Arba Minch via Wolayta Sodo En route visit the Dorze village, high in the mountains north of Arba Minch. The Dorze are well known as master weavers and live in interesting igloo-shaped houses. Overnight Paradise Lodge
Day 11: onwards to Jinka
After breakfast take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, and spot hippos and spectacular concentrations of giant crocodiles. The water birds are great and the scenery is unforgettable. Locals fish here in traditional boats for Nile Perch. Then after drive to Jinka along impressive land terracing to the village of the Woito people, near the Woito river. Overnight Jinka resort
Day 12: Jinka – Mursi – Jinka- Turmi
After breakfast leave Jinka and drive to the Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of the Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Then after drive back to Jinka and continue to Turmi via Dimeka . Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village. 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-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration. The remaining of the day visit the Monday Turmi Market of the Hamer people. Overnight Buska Lodge
Day 13: In Turmi
After breakfast drive to Karo viilage and visit the Karo people in the afternoon visit the hammer village. 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-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.
Day 14: Drive to Arba Mich (260 kms, about 5 - 6 hours drive)
After breakfast drive back to Arba Minch visiting the Airbore people and their Village en route. Overnight Paradise Lodge
Day 15: Drive to Lake Awassa
After breakfast drive to Awassa and the rest of the day enjoy around Lake Awassa, which is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds. Awasa is one of the largest cities in southern Ethiopia but manages to retain an easy-going feel, making it a pleasant place to spend some time. There is a bustling central market as well as a separate fish market. Overnight Haile Resort Hotel
Day 16: Bale Mountain National Park
After breakfast we visit the fish Market by the side of Lake Awassa where the local people buy fish from the fisher men. Then drive to the Bale Mt. National Park, this drive is towards southeast, where fertile land is cultivated by the Oromo people. You arrive at Dinsho (Park HQ) in the afternoon; here you will see two endemic mammals: Menelik's Bushbuck and Mountain Nyala . You will also have a chance to see Warthog, Bohor Reedbuck and Grey Duiker. The Park Head Quarter, is surrounded by juniper trees and numerous species of wildlife. The Dinsho area is covered by grassy riverine plains which are bordered by bands of bushes such as sage bush and St. John's wourt. Wild flowers, such as lobelia, geraniums, red-hot pokers and Alchemilla form a colorful carpet during the spring season. After your visit, late afternoon drive to Goba for an overnight at Wabi Shebele Hotel.
Day 17: Goba – Sanetti Plateau
In the morning, after breakfast, drive to the Afro-alpine setting of the Sanetti Plateau to see the endemic Ethiopian Wolf and the Gaint Mole rat. Here you will also visit the indigenous plants like the giant Lobilia and giant heath. You will also visit endemic birds then after drive back to Goba. Overnight at Wabi Shebele Hotel
Day 18: Drive to Addis Ababa evening departure
After breakfast drive to Addis Ababa through the Great Rift Valley lakes. In the Evening a fare well diner party in one of the Traditional Ethiopian restaurant with dances from the different ethnic Groups. Then transfer out to the airport for departure back to home.
Price shown is for two persons travelling together.
•Meet and greet at airport
•All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
•Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
•Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
•All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
•All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus according to the itinerary.
•All Ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver.
•Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
•Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two monasteries and churches on the islands of Lake Tana
•Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
•A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
Price doesn’t include
•Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
•Any kind of drinks including local non-alcoholic beverage and alcoholic drinks
•Video filming and photography fees
•Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
•Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
•All what is not included in the list above