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A Benna girl A Benna girl
Arbore boys Arbore boys
Dorze village Dorze village
Gondar Gondar
Hamer women Hamer women
Hippos near Lake Chamo Hippos near Lake Chamo
Lalibela Lalibela
Merkato market Merkato market
Simien Mountains Simien Mountains
St Mary of Zion Church St Mary of Zion Church
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Best Of Ethiopia Best Of Ethiopia

17 Nights

Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been colonised, and to have maintained its Christian heritage, despite all its neighbouring countries turning to Islam in the 17th century.

This fascinating and charming country is steeped in history, reflected in its many ruins and churches throughout the land. The Best of Ethiopia tour will disclose many layers of its history as well as introduce you to some of the country's enigmatic and fascinating tribes people.

Day 1 Addis Ababa

Met on arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and transfer to your hotel.
Overnight : Jupiter International Hotel

Day 2 Bahir Dar

Fly to Bahir Dar and visit the Blue Nile Falls before lunch. In the afternoon, take a boat trip on Ethiopia's largest body of water - Lake Tana to visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam (both 14th century AD).
Overnght: Summerland Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 3 Gondar

Drive to Gondar, the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the 'Bath of Emperor Fasiladas', the church of Quskuam Mariam (17th century AD), the residence of Empress Mintwab, and the church of Debre Birhan Sillassie which is famous for its wall and ceiling paintings.
Overnight : Goha Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 4 Simien Mountains National Park

Drive to Debark (the headquarter of the Simien Mountain National Park), and proceed to the Simien Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the endemic mammal of Ethiopia - the Gelada baboon, and the breathtaking scenery of the Simien Mountains.
Overnight: Simien Lodge.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 5 Axum

Drive to Axum, the earliest capital of Ethiopia, crossing the Tekezze Gorge.
Overnight : Yeha Hotel Axum
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 6 Axum

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Axum which includes visiting the Archaeological Museum of Axum, the famous Stele Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion, believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant, the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel (5th and 6th century AD), and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba (9th century BC).
Overnight : Yeha Hotel Axum
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 7 Lalibela

In the morning, fly to Lalibela, home of the 12th century AD rock hewn churches of King Lalibela. In the afternoon visit the first group of churches of King Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Overnight: Roha Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 8 Lalibela

In the morning take a mule back ride to the hill top semi monolithic church of Asheton Mariam (13th century AD). The reward for reaching the top is the magnificent view. In the afternoon visit the remaining groups of churches of Lalibela.
Overnight: Roha Hotel
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 9 Langano

Fly back to Addis Ababa and drive 200 km south to the Rift Valley region, visiting the chains of Rift Valley Lakes of Ziway, Langano, Abiyata and Shalla. Spot various birds at Lake Ziway, and enjoy swimming at Lake Langano.
Overnight : Sabana Beach Resort
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 10 Arba Minch

Drive from Langano to Arba Minch through the fertile land of Wolita and Alaba regions. The Alaba people are famous for their beautiful home painting style. On the way visit Sinkile Wildlife Sanctuary where you will see the endemic Swain's hartebeest and other mammals.
Overnight : Paradise Lodge
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 11 Arba Minch

After breakfast drive to Chencha, to visit the Dorze village. The Dorze people are well known for their tradition of weaving and their attractive elephant-shaped huts made from bamboo and false banana tree leafs. Witness the daily activity of the Dorze people before driving back to Arba Minch for lunch. In the afternoon enjoy a boat trip on Lake Chamo, one of the Rift Valley lakes. Visit the Crocodile Market where you can see a large number of crocodiles, different aquatic birds and hippos.
Overnight : Paradise Lodge
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 12 Jinka

Drive from Arba Minch to Jinka and make a stop at Key Afer to visit the colourful weekly market where the Ari, the Tsemay and the Benna people meet.
Overnight: Jinka Resort Hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 13 Mago National Park - Jinka

Enjoy an excursion to Mago National Park. Visit the most famous people of the Omo Valley, the Mursi. The women are typically known for the clay plates they insert in their lower lips. Drive back to Jinka and visit the cultural museum of the Omo people.
Overnight: Jinka Resort Hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 14 Turmi

Drive from Jinka to Dimeka to visit the Saturday market of the Hamer people. Then drive to Turmi and visit the cultural village of the Hamer people. The Hamer people are famous for their hair dressings which the women decorate with red soil and butter.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 15 Turmi

Take a trip to Omorate, cross the Omo River by boat, to visit the Dasenech people who are known for their body scarification. In the afternoon enjoy leisure time in Turmi.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 16 Yabello

Drive from Turmi to Yabello (112 km on gravel road and 163 km on asphalt road). Visit the Erbore people and the Konso people.
Overnight: Yabello Motel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 17 Awassa

Drive to Awassa visiting the nomadic Borena people, and the Sidama people who are noted for their cultivation of false banana (enset). On your way visit the coffee plantations around Yirga Chefe where one of Ethiopia's most richly flavoured coffee beans grows. In the afternoon enjoy bird watching and the sunset over the Rift Valley Lake of Awassa.
Overnight: Tadesse Enjori Hotel.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Day 18 Addis Ababa - Departure

In the morning, drive to the shore of Lake Awassa and visit the 'Fish Market'. Drive 273 km north to Addis Ababa. In the afternoon enjoy a half-day city tour of Addis, which includes a visit to the National Archaeological Museum and Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa. Then drive to Mount Entoto for a panoramic view of the capital. In the evening, time permitting, enjoy a farewell dinner at one of the best traditional restaurants, where you will taste a variety of Ethiopian food and be entertained by folk dancers. Then transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for your onward journey.
Meals : Breakfast and Dinner



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Quick Look

  • Lakes
  • Mountains
  • Wildlife
  • Churches
  • Ruins

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