ITINERARIES 1 TO 2 WEEKS

 
Cultural South
 
Cultural South, 8 days
We will travel to Southern Ethiopia by car. We will visit markets and meet people from 5 different ethnic groups.
Day 1 (Thu) Addis Ababa
Our guides will meet you and you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. We will spend the first day in Addis Ababa. Depending on your time of arrival we will take you on a half day or full day city tour to visit some sites; like the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Mercato (the largest market of Africa) and the Entoto Hills just outside Addis Ababa.
Day 2 (Fri) Addis Ababa - Arba Minch
Today, we will travel through the rolling fertile hills along the Butajira Road and then down to the acacia savanna on the bottom of the Rift Valley. We will pass historical sites of Melka Kunture, Adadi Maryam and Tiya. A brief visit to one of these sites is possible.
Day 3 (Sat) Arba Minch (visit Dorze and Nech Sar NP)
We will travel 36 km from Arba Minch to the highland town of Chencha enjoying the beautiful sceneries of Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way. We will then visit the Dorze people in their famous beehive like huts. We will watch the preparation of their staple food made of false banana and of course we will indulge in their food as well. After a relaxing lunch, we will depart for a boat trip on Lake Chamo where you can witness big crocodiles, water birds and hippopotamus.
Day 4 (Sun) Arba Minch - Turmi,
Today we will travel further south and traverse the areas where Konso, Tsamay, Arbore and Hamar people live. We will visit an Arbore village on the way. Near Turmi we will visit a Hamar village and if lucky witness an Evangadi dance or maybe even a Bull jumping ceremony.
Day 5 (Mon) Turmi (visit Dassanech village and Hamar market)
Monday is a market day in Turmi and Hamar people from everywhere are found here. Before we visit the market, we will drive to Omerate at the east bank of the Omo River, about 72 km/ 1,5 hr from Turmi. We will cross the Omo River by local canoe to visit one of their villages, this is the area where the Dassanech people live and then head back to the market.
Day 6 (Tu) Turmi - Konso, 195 km / ~4 hr
We will explore Turmi on foot today. When there's no water running in the Keske River – which happens often, we will follow the riverbed and find the black and white colobus monkey and many types of birds. After lunch we will visit the Konso people with their maze-like villages and terraces for agriculture. Konso people are well known for their Waga stelae - grave markers for the brave and important men in their village. The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia.
Day 7 (Wed) Konso - Yirgalem,
Today we will travel into the fertile hills of Yirgalem, where a lot of the famous Ethiopian coffee is grown. We will stay the night at the Aregash Lodge situated at a coffee plantation. The lodge is a fine example of an eco-lodge. The huts are built in the same style as the surrounding Sidamo people. Delicious organic, home grown, food is served in the restaurant. It is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Day 8 (Thu) Yirgalem - Addis Ababa
Today is the last day of this tour, we will head to Addis Ababan and en route we will visit the fish market in Hawassa. We will have a quick lunch in Ziway after which we can do some birdwatching near the lake. We will then say goodbye to you by taking you out to a cultural restaurant to enjoy Ethiopian food, traditional music and dance from all over the country. After diner we will take you to the airport for your flight back home.

 
 
 
Historical Route by flight and surface
 
Historical Route by flight
 
Historical Route by surface
 
Natural highlights
 

ITINERARIES 2 WEEKS AND MORE

 
Best of Ethiopia
 
Best of Ethiopia, 29 days
This tour is a combination of a 14 day tour to the north and a 14 day tour to the south, with an addition of Harar and Awash National Park sites in the east.
Day 1 (Sa) Addis Ababa
Our guides will meet you and you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in. We will spend the first day in Addis Ababa. Depending on your time of arrival we will take you on a half day or full day city tour to visit some sites; like the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Mercato (the largest market in Africa) and the Entoto Hills just outside Addis Ababa.
Day 2 (Su) Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar
We will have an early breakfast in Addis Ababa before heading for a long drive to the north. This journey leads us through the rolling hills of the Ethiopian Highlands where a lot of agricultural activity is carried out. We will enjoy the natural beauty of the Blue Nile Gorge on the way before reaching Bahir Dar.
Day 3 (Mo) Bahir Dar
Today we will go on a boat trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the beautiful churches. Before that we will head to the source of the Blue Nile to see hippoes and birds.
It takes about an hour by boat to reach Zeghe Peninsula. Once there we will visit the famous church of Uhre Kidane Mehret. We will then enjoy a walk on the forested peninsula to the other churches and might even meet monkeys and exotic birds on the way. On the other side of peninsula, a boat will take us to Kibran Gabriel Island (unfortunately women are not allowed). Finally, we will go back to Bahir Dar in the late afternoon. And at the end of the day we will enjoy the panoramic view and sunset from Bezawit Hill.
Day 4 (Tu) Bahir Dar - Gondar
After an early breakfast we drive for about one hour to reach the small village of Tissisat. Here we enjoy a lovely walk in the cooler morning hours. We cross the Nile by the 17th century Portuguese Bridge and continue the walk to the falls, meeting local people on the way. After admiring the falls we cross the Nile by small boat to find our car waiting for us. We willl head back to Bahir Dar for lunch and proceed to our next destination Gondar.
Day 5 (We) Gondar - Simien Mountains
We will spend the morning to visit the highlights of Gondar: the Royal Enclosure, Fasilidas Bath and Debre Birhan Selassie, the church with the angel faces painted on the ceiling. After lunch we proceed towards the Simien Mountains encountering spectacular scenery on the way as a good preparation for tomorrow.
Day 6 (Th) Simien Mountains
We will spend the whole day today enjoying the beauty of the Simien Mountains. It’s almost guaranteed that we will see the gelada baboon, although the walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf are much more difficult to locate.
(it is possible to add any number of days for additional hiking in the Simien Mountains)

Day 7 (Fr) Simien Mountains - Axum
A long but spectacular day takes us to Axum. Just outside Debark we will head down Lima Limo road until we finally cross the Tekeze River gorge. The scenery there is just beautiful.

Day 8 (Sa) Axum
In Axum, we will take you in the footsteps of the famous Queen of Sheba and Ezana, the emperor who converted to Christianity. You will see the spectacular stelae of Axum and visit the Maryam of Tsion churches which unfortunately is not open to woman. You can experience the rest of the day visiting other sites or have a leisure time.

Day 9 (Su) Axum - Mekele
Today we continue our journey through the breathtaking scenery of Tigray. We will visit the Yeha Temple - the oldest structure found in Ethiopia on the way. A small detour that leads us to the Abreha Atsheba church - one of the best examples of the rock-hewn churches of Tigray. It is also possible to visit Debre Damo, the monastery on the top of a cliff only accessible by a 15 meter long rope and unfortunately open for only men.
Day 10 (Mo) Mekele - Lalibela, 335 km/ ~7,5 hr
A long but mesmerizing drive takes us to the best part of your visit to Ethiopia - Lalibela. If the day goes as planned we might have time to visit Yemrehane Kristos church en route.
Day 11/ 12 (Tu/We) Lalibela
The 12th century rock-hewn churches are the legacy of King Lalibela. History says that it’s his visit to Jerusalem that inspired him to build the 11 churches. Therefore to take it all in, we need a full day to get a good impression of these truly amazing places of worship. It is also possible to add additional days to explore more of Lalibela, excellent hiking opportunities are available.


Day 13 (Th) Lalibela - Harar (by plane to Dire Dawa)
Today we will take two domestic flights to reach Harar. A 45 minute flight takes us to Addis Ababa and later that day a one hour flight will take us to Dire Dawa where our driver will be waiting for us to take us to Harar. This journey is about 55 km long and will take close to 1.5 hrs.
Day 14 (Fr) Harar
The city of Harar is a fascinating town to explore. We will go through the maze like layout of this 4th holiest town of Islam. There are many mosques and shrines to discover and it is a lively town too. The Harari market is popular. In the evening we will see the Hyena man, feeding the hyena by hand. You can give it a try if you dare.
Day 15 (Sa) Harar - Awash NP
We will first travel on the mountainous and fertile areas, famous for their coffee and qat. Later on, we will head to the plains of the Rift Valley and Awash National Park. In the late afternoon we go out for our first game drive in the park.
Day 16 (Su) Awash NP
This is a day to explore Awash National Park. Game drives and walks are available to encounter the wildlife and enjoy the scenery. You are likely to see the beisa oryx, kudu, defassa waterbuck, Soemmering's gazelle, warthog and baboon. The park is also a great place for birdwatchers.
(if you want to explore more of the park you might add another day)
Day 17 (Mo) Awash NP - Langano
Today we leave the park behind for our next destination. En route we will stop at Lake Ziway for some birdwatching. You can take the afternoon for leisure. However we would like to take you to the Shala-Abiata National Park, these twin lakes offer great scenery and abundant birdlife. Overgrazing by cattle seriously damaged the area and few larger mammals are found now, but it is still worth a visit.
Day 18 (Tu) Langano - Arba Minch
We leave the resort to visit the Senkele Game Sanctuary. Here we will get the chance to see the endemic Swayne's hartebeest and other savanna animals.

Day 19 (We) Arba Minch (visit Dorze and Nech Sar NP)
We will travel 36 km from Arba Minch to the highland town of Chencha enjoying the beautiful sceneries of Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way. We will then visit the Dorze people in their famous beehive like huts. We will watch the preparation of their staple food made of false banana and of course we will indulge in their food as well. After a relaxing lunch, we will depart for a boat trip on Lake Chamo where you can witness big crocodiles, water birds and hippopotamus.
Day 20 (Th) Arba Minch - Jinka,
Today we will travel further south and traverse the areas where Konso, Tsamay, Banna and Ari people live. We will visit the Thursday market of Key Afar, one of the biggest in the region. Banna, Ari and Tsamay people travel from far to attend this market. A wide selection of goods and fresh produce is sold here. After visiting the market we proceed to Jinka.
Day 21 (Fr) Jinka (visit Mursi and Ari people)
Today we explore more of the area around Jinka. In the morning we will go to the Mago National Park on our way to probably the most well known people of the Omo Valley: the Mursi. After about a 2 hour drive, we will reach one of the villages where the Mursi people live. We will then head back to Jinka for lunch and visit the Ari people in the afternoon. The Ari people adopt a more 'western' lifestyle and live on small compound where they grow a selection of crops.
Day 22 (Sa) Jinka - Turmi
Today, we will first visit the museum at the South Omo Research Centre and then proceed to Dimeka, where Saturday is a market day. Just like the other markets its open from morning until the evening. At the market, you will find mainly Hamar people but also Karo, Bashada and Banna travel here too. After visiting the market we proceed to Turmi. During our stay in Turmi we might be lucky to witness an Evangadi dance or maybe even a Bulljumping ceremony.
Day 23 (Su) Turmi (visit Dassanech and Hamar people)
In the morning, we will drive to Omerate at the east bank of the Omo River, about 72 km/ 1,5 hr from Turmi. We will cross the Omo River by local canoe to visit one of their villages, this is the area where the Dassanech people live.



Day 24 (Mo) Turmi - Yabello
Before departing for Yabello, we will enjoy a walk around Turmi to explore the area on foot. When there's no water running in the Keske River (most of the time) we follow the riverbed and find almost always the black and white colobus monkey and many kinds of birds. After the walk will drive and visit an Arbore village on the way. After lunch we visit the Konso people with their maze like villages and terraces for agriculture. They are also well known for their Waga stelae, grave markers for the brave and important men of the people. The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia.
Day 25 (Tu) Yabello (visit 'singing well' and El Sod)
Yabello is the heartland of the Borana people - pastoralist who travel around with their camels and cattle. They live in semi arid savanna and with their "singing wells" they provide water for both the animals and themselves when water elsewhere is absent. You might be lucky to witness the chain of people bringing the water up, meanwhile singing to keep the spirits up. The crater of El Sod with a salt lake at the bottom offers great scenery and a challenging walk down (and up again) to see the harvesting process of the salt.
Day 26 (We) Yabello - Yirgalem,
Today we will travel into the fertile hills of Yirgalem, where a lot of the famous Ethiopian coffee is grown. We will stay the night at the Aregash Lodge situated at a coffee plantation. The lodge is a fine example of an eco-lodge. The huts are built in the same style as the surrounding Sidamo people. Delicious organic, home grown, food is served in the restaurant. It is a great place to spend an afternoon.
Day 27 (Th) Yirgalem - Goba 274 km/ ~5 hr
On our way to the Bale Mountains we visit the fish market in Hawassa. We will enjoy a beautiful walk in the surrounding area. Here we have a very good chance to see the endemic mountain nyala and Menelik's bushbuck. After the walk we proceed to Goba.
Day 28 (Fr) Goba (visit Bale Mountains NP)
The whole day today is spent to explore the Bale Mountains. This is going to be a day of extraordinary scenery and of course we continue our search for endemic species of which many are found in this area. Among them the Ethiopian wolf and many endemic birds.

Day 29 (Sa) Goba - Addis Ababa
We are leaving the mountainous area behind to travel down to the bottom of the Rift Valley again by a different, very scenic road, via Asela. The last day of your unforgettable visit to Ethiopia brings us back to Addis Ababa.
We will have a complimentary dinner at a cultural restaurant to enjoy Ethiopian food, traditional music and dance from all over the country. After diner we will take you to the airport for your flight back home.

 
 
 
Cultural South
 
Cultural South
 

ITINERARY DAY TRIPS

 
Addis Ababa
 
Addis Ababa, half/ full day
Addis Ababa is a lively city with a very rich history. Because there are so many sites to visit, you are going to have to first pick what you want to see. Below is our suggested itinerary. Depending on time availability, your tour can be reduced to fit half day.
A full day tour of Addis looks like the following:
Our guides will meet you at the airport, you will then be transferred to your hotel. After checking-in, we will drive to the Entoto Hill to visit the Entoto Maryam Church, meanwhile enjoying beautiful views at the capital. On our way down to the city, our next stop will be the Museum of the Institute for Ethiopian studies in a former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, now the campus of the University of Addis Ababa. Depending on time availability, a short visit to the National Museum might be possible before lunch.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Trinity Cathedral. Afterwards, we will drive through Piazza to visit the Saint George Cathedral. We will then head to Mercato, the largest market in Africa (or we can take you to the more cozy Shola market on the other side of the city). If time is still available, we will take you around the more developed Bole area, passing the Medhanialem cathedral - the biggest church in town. We will finally end our tour with a buna/ coffee ceremony somewhere along the African Avenue before we take you back to your hotel.

 
 
 
Debre Libanos
 
 
 
 
 
 
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