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Itinerary: The Best of Ethiopia

The Best of Ethiopia

One of only two countries in Africa never to have been colonised, Ethiopia is a truly fascinating land unlike anywhere else on the continent. With a wealth of unique cultures, incredible ethnic and natural diversity.Ethiopia is nothing if not surprising and one of our favourite African destinati

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The Best of Ethiopia

Day 1 - Addis Ababa
Arrive in Addis Ababa. After some time to freshen up explore some of the sights of this fascinating city. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar.

Day 2 - Arba Minch
Morning flight to Arba Minch. In the afternoon travel to the lands of the Dorze people, whose villages are characterized by their beehive shaped huts. Overnight Paradise Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 3 - Jinka
This morning we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to look for hippos - also to be found here are large concentrations of Nile crocodiles. We then drive to Jinka, passing through lands inhabited by the Benna, Tsemay and Ari tribal groups and visit the weekly Key Afer market, allowing us a good opportunity to appreciate the differences between these people. Overnight Jinka Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 4 - Mago National Park
We head into Mago National Park, home to the fascinating Mursi people, known for their lip plates - perhaps the most striking of Ethiopia's tribal groups. After spending time here learning about their customs we return to Jinka for the night. Overnight Jinka Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 5 - Turmi
Drive to Turmi. Turmi is a major settlement for the Hamer people and we visit the weekly Dimeka market to meet them. Overnight Turmi Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 6 - Koricho
We drive this morning to Koricho, a settlement of the Karo people, known for their extraordinary body painting - the men also shave their hair into elaborate styles and often sport ostrich feathers. Overnight Turmi Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 7 - Omorate
Drive to Omorate to visit the Dassenach people, a cattle herding group whose lands extend all the way to Lake Turkana. We then return to Turmi to explore the weekly market, an important meeting place for the various tribal groups that live here. Overnight Turmi Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 8 - Arba Minch
This morning we visit a village belonging to the Konso people, renowned as excellent farmers. From here we return to Arba Minch. Overnight Paradise Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 9 - Lake Langano
We leave the Omo Valley behind and head north to Lake Langano. This is a beautiful part of the Rift Valley and the lake is a great place for birds - hippos and crocodiles also make their homes here. Overnight Sabanna Beach Resort or similar. (BLD)

Day 10 - Addis Ababa
Drive back to Addis Ababa. On the way we stop at the Tiya stelae, a mysterious collection of large standing stones, and Adadi Maryam, a 12th century rock cut church reminiscent of those further north at Lalibela. Overnight Caravan Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 11 - Bahir Dar
Fly north to Bahir Dar, situated on the shores of Lake Tana. Upon arrival we head out onto the lake to visit some of the impressive monasteries tucked away on islands here. In the afternoon continue to the Blue Nile Falls, Africa's second largest waterfall, and explore the area on foot. Overnight Avanti Blue Nile Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 12 - Gondar
Drive to Gondar and explore its remarkable collection of medieval buildings including the castle of Fasiladas. Overnight Goha Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Days 13-14 - Simien Mountains[
Head into the wild landscapes of the Simien Mountains, one of Africa's most beautiful landscapes and home to a rich variety of wildlife. We explore this area on foot. Looking out for the large troops of gelada baboons which live here, as well as Walia ibex if we're lucky. Overnight Simiens Lodge or similar. (BLD)

Day 15 - Gondar
After a last morning in the mountains return to Gondar. This afternoon visit the church of Debre Berhan Selassie with its beautiful frescoes and learn how the local honey wine, tej, is made in the company of a traditional brewer. Overnight Goha Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Days 16-17 - Lalibela
Fly to Lalibela. We spend our time here discovering the stunning collection of rock cut churches which date back to the 11th century, hewn from the surrounding mountains. We explore those both within the town itself and in the surrounding countryside. While we're here, we also have the chance to learn how to make traditional Ethiopian food including injera, the unique bread found here. Overnight Mountain View Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 18 - Axum
Fly to the town of Axum, dating back to the 10th century BC. We visit the enormous collection of stelae, granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times, as well as the Church of St Mary of Tsion, reputed to hold the Ark of the Covenant. Overnight Sabean Hotel or similar. (BLD)

Day 19 - Addis Ababa
Fly back to Addis. In the evening head out to a traditional restaurant for a farewell dinner, before transferring to the airport for your flight home. (BLD)

What's included:
Airport transfers - We include arrival and departure transfers regardless of whether you book flights yourself, or we book them for you. If you're booking them yourself, then please let us know the details so that we can arrange the transfers.

Accommodation - Accommodation as listed in the dossier. The nature of the destinations that we operate may sometimes mean that we need to change hotels, but we'll always endeavour to keep the same standards. Please be aware that as we operate in many countries where tourism is in its infancy, hotel standards may not be the same as you're used to elsewhere.

Guides - In most cases you will be accompanied by one guide from start to finish. However there may be occasions when this is not practical, for example if your trip covers a number of different countries. In these cases it often makes more sense to include different guides for each place, to take advantage of their specific knowledge of the destination.

Meals - As listed within the itinerary / dossier (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner). These will vary from trip to trip - in some areas it makes sense to include all meals while in others there is a good choice of restaurants and we feel people might like to 'do their own thing' now and again.

Entrance fees - Entrance fees are listed for those sites that we mention within the itinerary. If there are any other sites that you'd like to see, these would be at your own expense.

What's not included:
Visas - We don't arrange visas for our travellers, but if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you. If you need any advice with visas then let us know.

Airport taxes - If there are any departure taxes to pay that are not included within the cost of your ticket, you'll need to pay these yourself.

International flights - Many of our travellers arrive from different destinations and so we don't include international flights in the cost of our tours. If however you would like us to book flights for you, then just let us know and we'll be happy to discuss your options.

Travel Insurance - If you need any assistance with this, then let us know - although we can't arrange it ourselves we can point you in the direction of a reputable provider that can assist.

To receive the full details of this trip via email please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information to peruse at your leisure. Please complete our enquiry form below, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have and will provide you with all neccessary booking information.

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