Ethiopia - The Horn of Africa

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• Visit 5 UNESCO Sites
• Explore the monastery churches of Lake Tana
• Hike in the stunning Simien Mountains
• Visit the monolithic churches of Lalibela
• Visit the sites in Axum and Gondar
• Omo Valley
• Encounter the Mursi, Karo, Hamer and Dorze tribes

Fact File

• 23 land days
• Maximum 16 travelers
• All meals included
• Start and finish in Addis Ababa
• Includes 3 internal flights
• Activity Level: 3


Few places offer such a myriad of experiences for the traveler as Ethiopia. Much of the fascination of this country lies in its many historical sites. According to legend, the first Ethiopian king, Menelik, was the son of the biblical King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba! Ethiopia also has nine national parks, protecting many of its endemic species. The ancient tribal culture compliments the unique history and nature of Ethiopia. Experience tribal cultures such as the Hamer, the Mursi and the Dorze, whose traditional lifestyle is a stark contrast to our modern life.

We explore Ethiopia, using the capital of Addis Ababa as our base. We travel to the historic north to see the Blue Nile Falls before taking a boat journey across the Blue Nile. We visit a monastery church on Lake Tana before traveling to Gondar, our base for exploring the incredibly scenic Simien Mountains. We explore Lalibela and the monolithic churches carved out of pink granite that date back to the 12th century. We visit Axum, home of the Queen of Sheba in the 10th century, where we see the stelae and some of the crowns of former kings. Axum is also reputed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

Returning to our base in Addis Ababa, we then head to the tribal south, into the Omo Valley. We take a boat trip on Lake Chamo for crocodile and hippo spotting and then visit a Konso village.

Our journey takes us into the region of the Mursi people, whose women have the practice of using disks to expand their lower lip. We go "off-roading" to the River Omo, then on to Turmi to visit the Hamer and other Indigenous tribes. We travel up through the Rift Valley, concluding our journey back in Addis Ababa.

Further Reading

A 23-day exploration of Ethiopia

FROM: $7995 USD


  has guaranteed departures


Comfortable hotels in the north and the south, but the accommodations in the south are more basic. All have private bathrooms.

Comfort notes

5 days over 9,000 feet. Some rough/dusty roads and long drives.

Itinerary - detailed itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa
Day 2: Fly to Bahir Dar and the Blue Nile
Day 3: To Gondar
Day 4: Gondar Sightseeing, to Simien Mountains
Day 5: Simien Mountains
Day 6: To Axum
Day 7: Axum, City Sights
Day 8: Fly to Lalibela and the Northern Churches
Day 9: Lalibela
Day 10: Fly to Addis Ababa
Day 11: Addis Ababa Sites
Day 12: Lake Langano
Day 13: To Arba Minch
Day 14: Lake Chamo
Day 15: Arba Minch, to Jinka
Day 16: Mursi Tribal Encounter
Day 17: Turmi
Day 18: Murele, Omo Bend and Karo People
Day 19: To Arba Minch
Day 20: Shenkele Game Reserve, Awasa
Day 21: Fish Market and Lake Awasa
Day 22: Addis Ababa
Day 23: Depart Addis Ababa
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