Ethiopia is one of those rare Africa destinations with two distinct diversified regions of historical and geographical uniqueness. Travel to the northern part of the country with its 17 centuries of Christian history. Visit three UNESCO World Heritage sites and learn about interesting historical parallels with Jerusalem and Queen of Sheba, the famous leader of the Axumite Empire. Proceed to southern Ethiopia and be amazed on how the culture and lifestyle is so different from their fellow Ethiopians to the north. Visit four distinct tribal villages and feel as though you have stepped back in time.
Tour 1: February 24 to March 8
Tour 2: June 23 to July 5
Tour 3: December 1 to December 13
InclusionsEntrance fees, guides, ground transportation, all hotels and lodges
Meeting PlaceWe will pick you up upon your arrival at the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport
TransportationVan, coaster bus, 4X4Landcruiser and domestic flights. domestic flight are not included in tour price.
MealsEthiopian cuisine and western foods
AccomodationComfort class hotels and safari-style lodges
Group SizeMinimum 2 people
Price$2,930.00 per person, double occupancy. domestic and international flights not included.
Add $415 for Single room supplement, if you wish single room
Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfer you to the Hotel. Enjoy the morning of leisure and enjoy lunch at the hotel. This afternoon visit historical sites including the National Archaeological Museum, to view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeleton was discovered in 1974. Continue to the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University; a great insight into the many different peoples of Ethiopia and their respective cultures. After visiting Holy Trinity Cathedral, we will end the day with a drive to the top of Mount Entoto, which rises to an altitude of 10,500 feet and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis.
Capital Hotel & Spa (L,D)
Gondar UNESCO site
Fly to Gondar, once the old imperial capital founded in 1635 by Emperor Fasillides who built a palace and seven churches. Refered to as the “Camelot of Africa”, visit the royal enclosure containing six castles, a complex network of connecting tunnels and raised walkways. Proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church with its walls and ceiling decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history.
Goha Hotel (B, L, D)
Lalibela UNESCO site
This morning fly to the most unique Christian sites of Ethiopia.
Lalibela’s churches are collectively referred to as ‘The Eighth Wonder of the World’. Legend has it that Emperor Lalibela had been instructed, in a vision from God, to build the new Jerusalem after returning from Jerusalem which was sacked by the Muslims. Visit the 11 majestic, rock churches that are still used as places of worship by Lalibelans. Since its relatively remote location, Lalibela has yet gained the worldwide exposure and has been compared as the “Petra of Africa”.
Maribela Hotel (B, L, D)
Visit the exquisite church of Yimrhane Kristos. This is a masterpiece of Axumit wood and stone construction which is renowned for its interior decoration and beautiful wooden coffer ceiling. Notice the inlaid of the hexagons and medallions with both figurative geometric motifs. Return back to Lalibela and revisit the rock churches that were not visited on the day of arrival. Return to the hotel offering expanding views of the region.
(B, L, D)
Axum UNESCO site
Fly to the heart of ancient Ethiopia, the capital of the Kingdom of Axum which was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The archaeological and historical attractions in Axum include monolithic steles or obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, the legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba, and the ruins of her ancient palace. Also visit the new and the old Cathedral of St Mary of Tsion (Zion) and the sanctuary that houses the original Arc of the Covenant. The older of the two cathedrals, built in the 16th century, is believed to be built on the ruins of an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest site in Ethiopia.
Sabean Hotel (B,L,D)
Fly to Addis Ababa and connect with your afternoon flight towards southern Ethiopia and to the town of Arba Minch. On arrival,board your exclusive 4x4 exclusive 4-passenger vehicle for a short drive will to the village of the Dorze tribe. Walk amongst the Dorze people and appreciate their beehive-shaped homes. This tribe are respect as expert weavers. Also, they are expert farmers and witness their ingenious terracing technique, allowing them to farm efficiently along the mountainside and yet prevent soil erosion.
Haile Resort (B, L, D)
Visit the colorful village of the Konso tribe. A pagan society, the Konso erect eerie wooden totems, replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead. They also have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents. The cornerstone of Konso culture, however, is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that, through terracing buttressed with stone, enable these people to extract a productive living from the none-too-fertile hills and valleys that surround them. This will be an excellent day to mingle among the people, take photographs with them and learn firsthand about a culture virtually untouched by the outside world. Later in the afternoon arrive in Jinka, located at the foot of Mago National Park.
Eco Omo Lodge (B,L,D)
This morning drive to a Mursi tribal village. The tribe is renowned for the now-uncommon custom of their women, upon reaching maturity, having their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Return back to Jinka for lunch and this afternoon proceed to the Ari Village compound. Learn and understand how the local people process different foods and alcohol.
(B, L, D)
This morning proceed to Dimeka to visit the colorful Hamer tribe.
They are well known for their remarkable hairstyles made of ochre, water, and binding resin., resulting in copper-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth for this tribe. The Hamers are also considered the masters of body decoration. Continue to the town of Turmi.
The Hammers have a traditional Bull jumping which is rite of passage for a younger son; coming of age must be passing through this ritual so as to get marry. The young man must jump, minimum four times, over a line of more than 10 bulls. He has to be nude while in jumping except for a few cords bound across the chest as a symbol of the childhood he is about to leave behind him. This event lasts three days, on completion of this test, the young man joins the ranks of the maza - Maza are other men that have successfully completed the bull jumping event. During this ceremony, the women of the tribe provoke the maza to whip them on their bare backs. This is extremely painful and causes severe scaring on the women. The scars are a symbol of devotion to the men and are encouraged by the tribe. After a successful bull jumping, there is an evening dancing ceremony called Evangadi, a Hammer tradition. The Hammers have unique huts that are made up of mud, wood and straw.
Since this is not a day to day activities, we are not included it as a part of the program, but you may have a chance to see this at late afternoon and if the chances is there, you would be asked to pay $22p/p from your pocket to the community.
Buska Lodge (B, L, D)
Turmi is our new base as we explore the region and meet the different tribes who share this valley but live a life uniquely their own. Drive to the Murulle area. Murile (also spelled Muelle and Murli) lies on the banks of the Omo River, and is a popular base for exploring this area. The two main tribes who live here are the Karo and the Hamer, both of whom practice scarification and have elaborate hairstyles. The Karo are experts in body painting, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs. These designs have no special symbolic significance but instead are created for fun and aesthetic effect, as each artist tries to outdo another. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers.
(B, L, D)
On the return drive to Arba Minch visit the village of Tsemay tribe, who give right for girls to choose their husband before marriage. In the Tsemay tribe, the brides are eating together only during their honeymoon and will not eat together for the rest of their life time. In this village you will appreciate their culture and lifestyle that dates back centuries. They practice small-scale agricultural activities as most of them still depend on nomadic lifestyle.
Haile Resort (B, L, D)
This morning enjoy a refreshing wildife cruise on Lake Chamo. While cruising view crocodiles. hippos and a variety of colorful bird life. After lunch in Sodo, visit Abiyata Shalla National Park to view two lakes with its population of flamingos and the hot springs at Shalla. Continue to your Lake Lagano accommodation, a resort offering both a serene beach front as well as as a vast cliff-top with a breath taking view over the lake.
Sabana Beach Resort (B, L, D)
Return to Addis Ababa and departure
This morning commence our drive to Addis Ababa and stop at Lake Ziway to view the colorful birds. On arrival in the capital city enjoy an early evening dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant offering a folkloric show and the popular coffee ceremony. After sampling the various national dishes, proceed to the airport for your late night flight back to home.
(B, L, D)
Mike L.: I would recommend your company without hesitation.
Ed B.: (The tour guide was) one of the best I have had in my 40 different tours.
Chris Z.: My son and I enjoyed every minute in this fascinating country. We are now looking forward to arranging a similar tour...