Group Size: Minimum 2 passengers.
This itinerary takes in Ethiopia’s Historic Route and the Omo Valley. Highlights include viewing the dramatic scenery of the Simien Mountains National Park, the famous monolithic rock-cut churches in Lalibela and having the opportunity to visit the unique ethnic groups of Ethiopia.
Day 1 - Addis Ababa
On arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After lunch (at own expense) you will begin a city tour.
A prime location just 2km from Bole International Airport, in the heart of the City Centre, makes Ramada by Wyndham Addis, Addis Ababa an ideal home-away in Ethiopia. Two innovative restaurants and a contemporary rooftop bar and lounge pair international and local cuisine with panoramic views of the city. An airport shuttle makes arrival and departure seamless, and modern amenities like complimentary WiFi, a business center, meeting venues, and Executive Suites with separate sitting areas make getting work done easy. Located Near the World Bank of Ethiopia, the United Nations Compound, local cultural museums, and natural wonders like Mount Entoto, Ramada by Wyndham Addis, Addis Ababa puts you in the center of one of Ethiopia’s most dynamic cities.
Day 2 - Simien Mountains
This morning you will wake up early for your transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for your flight to Gondar (flight cost not included). (B)
On arrival at Gondar Airport you will drive to Debark town, which is the gateway to Simien Mountains National Park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site since the late 1960s, the Simien Mountains National Park presents perhaps the most dramatic scenery in Africa – great volcanic plugs, formed some 40 million years ago and eroded over time into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat topped mountains, “the chess pieces of the Gods”, as one writer described them, tower over precipitous gorges, river valleys and plains stretching all the way to Eritrea.
In the Simiens visitors can see the endemic Gelada or bleeding heart baboon, the Walia Ibex, the Simien wolf (the rarest canid in the world) and rock hyrax, and endemic birds such as the thick billed raven, black headed siskin, white collared pigeon, wattled ibis, white billed starling, spot breasted plover and white backed black tit.
Simien Lodge is within close proximity to the breathtaking and exotic mountain landscapes of The Simien Mountains National Park. The restaurant at Simien Lodge has a spacious area with a log fire centre piece and Ethiopian décor.
Day 3 - Gondar
After breakfast you will travel back to Gondar. On arrival, check into the Goha Hotel and start your city tour after lunch (at own expense). Gondar was the imperial capital from the 17th to mid-19th centuries, and the Royal Enclosure or Fasil Gibbi, provides visitors with an idea of what it must have been like in its heyday. (B)
Goha Hotel stands on a hill with an enchanting view of the city. Equipped with the most up-to-date facilities and elegantly furnished rooms, the hotel offers a luxurious retreat for its visitors. You can enjoy a breathtaking view of the panorama stretching away towards the distant Lake Tana.
Day 4 - Lalibela
Today you will be transferred to Gondar Airport for your flight to Lalibela (flight cost not included). (B)
On arrival at Lalibela Airport you will be met and transferred to the Mountain View Hotel where you will start your tour of the first group of churches before lunch (churches are closed 12h00-14h00), continuing in the afternoon.
In Lalibela, as part of an initiative undertaken by our ground operator (Ethiopian Quadrants), local hoteliers and the Guides’ Association, visits to a typical farm can be arranged. The guide can explain issues relating to farm work and the daily life of people engaged in agriculture. The fee for visiting goes to the farmer and his family (at own expense).
As part of the same initiative, cookery classes in Ethiopian cuisine can also be arranged (at own expense). These need to be requested before your visit.
Ideally situated on the Eastern side of the city of Lalibela, on approximately 16.55 acres of land, in a remarkably afforested compounded with luxuriant trees and savannah grasses, featured by 30 extra-big gorgeous bungalows, built with the state – of- the art lodge technologies consisting of 48 heavenly beds are supplemented with high speed internet in each room. All the Bungalows feature specious private verandas with scenic views of the hills of Lalibela and this modern – classic lodge creates unforgettable experience to the discerning travellers. The Ethiopian cultural and all day dining restaurants, lavish bar, souvenir shop, spacious swimming pool with clean and warm water and modern day spa (sauna, steam, and massage) services.
Day 5 - Lalibela
AAfter breakfast you will set off on mule or on foot to the church of Ashetun Mariam, about a 4 hour round trip. You will pass small villages on the way up with wonderful views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the mountain where the church is located. Those who do not feel up to a hike or mule ride can go a shorter distance by car to the cave church of Neakuto Leab. (B)
After lunch (at own expense) you will set off by car to the cave church of Yemrehane Christos, built by the king of the same name before the reign of King Lalibela. The church is constructed inside a cave, in Axumite style, similar to the 7th century monastery at Debre Damo in Tigray, with alternating levels of wood and stone. A 40 km trip from Lalibela followed by a 10 minute hike brings you to this beautiful church, the finest example of its kind in Ethiopia (the road is bumpy and dusty, but most visitors feel it is well worth it).
Day 6 - Lake Langano
Today you will transfer to Lalibela Airport for your flight to Addis Ababa (flight cost not included). (B)
On arrival at Addis Ababa Airport you will be met and transferred to Hara Lodge on Lake Langano some 235 kms south of Addis Ababa.
Staying at the Hara Lodge will make you feel like you are at one with nature, each room, or gojo as they are known locally, is secluded giving you your own personal piece of paradise. Surrounded by ancient forest; you will quickly leave behind the bustle and commotion of urban life. If you’re hoping to spot some wildlife enjoy a sundowner at the restaurant while you spot the hippopotamus in the lake.
Day 7 - Arba Minch
After breakfast you will head down the western side of the Great Rift Valley, and past the Rift Valley Lakes of Langano, Shalla, Abiata and Shashamene. After Sodo you will skirt the western shores of Lakes Abaya and Chamo, the southernmost of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley Lakes, before arriving in Arba Minch, or “40 springs” and check into Paradise Lodge. (B)
Haile-Arba Minch is a 107 room four-star resort located at a grand view overlooking the twin lakes of Abaya and Chamo along the beautiful evergreen vegetation and chain of mountains that form the most beautiful pattern. Haile- Arba Minch is an all inclusive concept that provides five star services to its guests. Our new resort features food and beverage outlets on view points; complete health club and wellness center, conference and wedding venue, outdoor activities with kids play ground and several other facilities.
Day 8 - Turmi
Today you will drive south to Konso, where the people are known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials and the carved totems with which they decorate their graves, after your visit you will turn towards Jinka. Konso is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will pass the Weyto river where you will see a great variety of pelicans and other aquatic birds then head to Turmi by visiting the market at Demeka. (B)
Highlight: Market Days in Kosno are Mondays, Wednesday and Thursdays.
Buska Lodge is an eco-lodge offering travellers 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.
Day 9 - Turmi
Today you will head towards the Omo River, to Omo Rate to visit the Galeb/Desanech village. You will cross the river in a local boat and visit villages on the other side. In the late afternoon visit Hamer village. The Hamer, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving and colouring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms and legs. If this day is a Saturday or a Tuesday, you will visit the market at Dimeke, which is one of the most colourful and interesting in the area. During the time you spend in Turmi, you will check whether there is a bull jumping ceremony in the vicinity, this is a right of passage ceremony for young men, marking their transition to adulthood. You can also check for Evangadi, or Hamer dancing ceremonies. (B)
Highlight: Market Days in Dimeke are Saturdays and Tuesdays.
Market Day in Turmi is Mondays.
Day 10 - Turmi
Today you will drive to Murule, and visit the Korcho village of the Karo people. Among the people living along the Omo, the Karo excel in face and body painting. (B)
Day 11 - Jinka
Today you will travel to Jinka via Key Afer, frequented by the Bena and Ari people. (B)
Highlight: Market Days in Key Afer are Thursdays and Saturdays.
Market Days in Jinka are Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Eco Omo Safari Lodge is an eco-friendly permanent safari tents lodge constructed in harmony with its natural surrounding on the border of the Neri River, just outside Jinka on the way to Mago and Omo National Parks in the heart of Omo Valley.
Day 12 - Arba Minch
In the morning leave Jinka and drive to the Mago National Park. The park has a variety of mammals and birds, but the animals tend to stay away from the roads and sightings cannot be guaranteed. (B)
The main attraction in Mago are the Mursi people, you will drive to Shembel, the nearest Mursi village. The Mursi are know for their body scarification and (among the women) the wearing of lip plates. Return to Jinka for lunch (at own expense) and then you will retrace your steps towards Arba Minch.
Day 13 - Addis Ababa
Today you will fly back to Addis Ababa (flight not included in quote). (B)
On arrival at Addis Ababa Airport you will be met and transferred by road to Jupiter International Hotel for day use of a room. This afternoon you will be transferred to Addis Ababa International Airport for your onward flight.
Dates and Pricing
- 16 Feb 19 - 31 Dec 19 $4,850 $5,780
Prices shown are per person based on twin share. Seasonal supplements and minimum night requirement may apply. Solo traveller and extra night prices available on request. Luggage restrictions may apply. International flights not included.