Ethiopia - Best Tours & Trips 2019

85 Ethiopia tours from 40 tour companies. 53 reviews. 4.7/5 avg rating.
The birthplace of the Queen of Sheba, a majority of the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is also near the birthplace of modern man and a popular destination for anyone interested in archaeology. You can view its 12th-century rock-hewn Christian churches at Lalibela. The landscape is beautiful and rugged, well suited to an adventurous tour.
All Ethiopia tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages.
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Travel Style Travel Style Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.

Itinerary Focus

Trip Type Trip Type Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.

Lodging Level Lodging Level Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.

Price From*

$ 1,188 $ 10,000+

Price Per Day

Trip Length

Countries

Physical Level Physical Level Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.

Travel Theme

Travelers Age

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Rivers & Seas

Cities & Attractions

Activities

Solo Friendly Solo Friendly Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.

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Ethiopia in Depth

Exodus Travels
Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
15 days
$ 207 / day
$ 3,099
From : $ 4,184
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Rock hewn churches of Tigrai and Lalibela
  • Castles of Gondar
  • Spectacular scenery in the Simien Mountains
  • Stelae of Axum
  • Monasteries on Lake Tana
Visits:
Axum, Gondar, Lake Tana, Lalibela, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Discover Ethiopia

G Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
10 days
$ 188 / day
$ 1,762
From : $ 2,537
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Discover rock-hewn churches in lalibela and castles in gondar
  • Hike in the simien mountains national park and to see the blue nile falls
  • Visit two monasteries on lake tana on a boat ride
Visits:
Addis Ababa, Axum, Gondar, Lake Tana, Lalibela, Kos, Ethiopia
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Ethiopia Experience

Peregrine Adventures
Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
19 days
$ 435 / day
$ 8,500
From : $ 11,165
The strike-through price reflects either the high season trip price or the average price a traveler pays for a similar itinerary when the components are booked separately.
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Enjoy an afternoon tour of addis ababa, including national museum, holy trinity cathedral and the public square, then a traditional ethiopian dinner at local project helping the youth of addis ababa.
  • Take a cruise around lake tana - ethiopia's largest body of water and a source of the nile - enjoying an on-deck sundowner after checking out island monasteries.
  • Venture out on a game walk through the grasslands of the nechisar plain in search of zebra, kudu and gazelle.
  • Walk through the simien mountains national park and up to sankaber before staying at our feature stay - the architecturally designed limalimo lodge.
  • Enjoy a sundowner, local music and dancing on the terrace of our konso lodge.
  • Uncover the eight distinct tribes that call the omo valley home, and gain a deeper understanding and respect for their lifestyle and traditions.
  • Learn about the importance of scarification and hair grooming for the karo and the hamer people in the market town of turmi.
  • See the amazing rock-hewn churches of lalibela with a guided tour over 2 afternoons before an open-air dinner with spectacular views looking over lalibela.
Visits:
Addis Ababa, Axum, Gondar, Lake Tana, Lalibela, Rift Valley, Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Endemics Birding III 2020

17 days
$ 338 / day
$ 5,750
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turaco
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolin
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Lark
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbird
  • Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustard
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie and White-billed Starling
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Spring Endemics 2020

17 days
$ 338 / day
$ 5,750
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turacos
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Egyptian Plover
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolins
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Larks
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbirds
  • Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustards
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie & White-billed Starlings
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver.
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Endemics Birding I 2020

17 days
$ 338 / day
$ 5,750
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turaco
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolin
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Lark
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbird
  • Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustard
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie and White-billed Starling
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Lalibela Historical Extension II 2020

4 days
$ 363 / day
$ 1,450
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Many endemics including White-backed Black Tit
  • Thick-billed Raven
  • Banded Barbet
  • White-billed Starling
  • Rüppell’s & White-fronted Black Chat
  • White-winged Cliff Chat
  • Erckel’s Francolin
  • Yellow-rumped & Brown-rumped Seedeater
  • Wattled Ibis
  • White-collared Pigeon
  • Abyssinian Catbird
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Endemics Birding II 2020

17 days
$ 338 / day
$ 5,750
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turaco
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolin
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Lark
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbird
  • Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustard
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie and White-billed Starling
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Spring Endemics 2019

17 days
$ 324 / day
$ 5,500
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turacos
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Egyptian Plover
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolins
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Larks
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbirds
  • Arabian and Hartlaub’s Bustards
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie & White-billed Starlings
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver.
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Budget Birding 2020

12 days
$ 242 / day
$ 2,900
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turaco
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Harwood’s Francolin
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Sidamo & Somali Short-toed Lark
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Black-bellied Sunbird
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie and White-billed Starling
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Northern Extension: Simiens & Gond ...

6 days
$ 367 / day
$ 2,200
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Bearded Vulture
  • Thick-billed Raven
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Chestnut-naped Francolin
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • White-billed Starling
  • Red-billed Chough
  • White-collared Pigeon
  • Banded Barbet
  • White-fronted & Rüppell’s Black Chat
  • White-winged Cliff Chat
  • Abyssinian Catbird
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Longclaw
  • Yellow-rumped & Brown-rumped Seedeater
  • Ethiopian Siskin
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Mega Birding 2020

22 days
$ 345 / day
$ 7,600
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Ruspoli’s and White-cheeked Turaco
  • Stresemann’s Bush Crow
  • Spot-breasted Lapwing
  • Blue-winged Goose
  • Rouget’s Rail
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Ankober Serin
  • Yellow-fronted Parrot
  • Black-winged Lovebird
  • Erkel’s & Harwood’s Francolin
  • White-backed Black Tit
  • Abyssinian Woodpecker
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Nightjar
  • White-tailed Swallow
  • Archer’s (Sidamo)
  • Gillett’s and Somali Short-toed Lark
  • White-winged Collared Dove
  • Nile Valley & Black-bellied Sunbird
  • Arabian
  • Heuglin’s & Hartlaub’s Bustard
  • Golden-breasted
  • Magpie and White-billed Starling
  • Pygmy Batis
  • Red-naped Bushshrike
  • Juba Weaver
  • Masked Lark
  • Black-fronted Francolin
  • Donaldson-Smith’s Sparrow-Weaver
  • Star-spotted & Sombre Nightjar
  • Demoiselle Crane
  • White-headed Babbler
  • Egyptian Plover
  • Sahel Paradise Whydah and Sudan Golden Sparrow.
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Omo Valley: Birding & Tribal Cultu ...

8 days
$ 319 / day
$ 2,550
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Dusky Babbler
  • Wattled Ibis
  • Yellow throated & Chestnut-bellied Sandgrouse
  • Blue-spotted Wood Dove
  • Bruce’s Green Pigeon
  • African Orange-bellied Parrot
  • White-cheeked Turaco
  • Abyssinian Ground Hornbill
  • Abyssinian Scimitarbill
  • Blue-naped Mousebird
  • Abyssinian Roller
  • Three-streaked Tchagra
  • Taita Fiscal
  • Mouse-coloured Penduline Tit
  • Magpie & Shelley’s Starling
  • chances for White-tailed Lark
  • Nubian Woodpecker
  • Black-billed & Double-toothed Barbet
  • White-breasted Cuckooshrike
  • Mosque Swallow
  • Red-faced Crombec
  • Yellow-bellied Eremomela
  • Chestnut Weaver
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Ethiopia - Lalibela Historical Extension I 2020

4 days
$ 363 / day
$ 1,450
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
Highlights
  • Many endemics including White-backed Black Tit
  • Thick-billed Raven
  • Banded Barbet
  • White-billed Starling
  • Rüppell’s & White-fronted Black Chat
  • White-winged Cliff Chat
  • Erckel’s Francolin
  • Yellow-rumped & Brown-rumped Seedeater
  • Wattled Ibis
  • White-collared Pigeon
  • Abyssinian Catbird
Visits:
Ethiopia
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Gorillas, Gameparks & The Roof of Africa

44 days
$ 101 / day
$ 4,450
Travel Style : You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level : Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level : Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges. Camping
Highlights
  • Visit Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary
  • 3 nights at Murchison Falls National Park
  • Chimpanzee Budongo Forest Trek
  • 2 night safari in Queen Elizabeth National Park
  • 2 Nights Bwindi National Park
  • Mountain Gorilla trekking in Uganda
  • Walking safari in Mburo National Park
  • Wildlife safari in Nakuru National Park
  • 2 night jeep safari in Maasai Mara Reserve
Visits:
Addis Ababa, Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park, Cape Town, Kampala, Lake George, Lake Nakuru National Park, Maasai Mara, Mt. Kenya, Murchison Falls National Park, Nairobi, Queen Elizabeth National Park, Victoria, Victoria Falls, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe
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Top Ethiopia Experiences and Attractions

Top Ethiopia Experiences

Seeing “Lucy” - one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of all time - at the National Museum.

Enjoying traditional Ethiopian cuisine, with its many idiosyncratic tastes and flavors

Birding for rare, endemic species in the Bale Mountains National Park.

Taking a history tour through many ancient sites and ruins.

Coming face to face with a Gelada monkey troupe in the Simien Mountains


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Ethiopia Trip Reviews

53 Ethiopia Tour Reviews - Summary 100% Recommend

4.7 out of 5
Excellent 37
Great 15
Average 1
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Tour Reviews Write a Review

The trek was challenging but absolutely worth the effort

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

Gelada 'baboons' were fantastic to watch from very close distance. Interesting cultural experience.

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Operator World Expeditions

Ethiopian Odyssey

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0

This was a fascinating journey through northern Ethiopia. We saw churches and monasteries galore, each one interesting for its paintings or architecture, often hewn out of the living rock. The road journeys were long but the scenery and the sheer engineering feats involved made it worthwhile. Accommodation throughout was much better than I'd anticipated; we had en suite facilities in all hotels and hot water was usually available.
It is difficult to pick out one - the Stelae of Axum; the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela; the climb up to the monastery on the way to Wukram just before sunset; the camels, cattle, sheep and goats heading to the cattle market on our way to Lalibela; our final meal in Lalibela at Ben Abeba as the sun went down.

Genre was wonderful throughout. He was the fount of all knowledge on the history of the country and its religion and politics while also helping Jane and I to identify birds and flowers en route. He always seemed to anticipate when breaks were needed and remained unflappably and good tempered at all times. I must also mention our tremendous driver, Ananya, who seemed to know every inch of our route intimately and was totally indefatigable..

In February, the temperatures were between 25 and 29 degrees all day and warm clothing was not needed. Ladies should bring scarves for the churches.
In restaurants, portions were more than ample and it might be an idea for those with less than enormous appetites to share dishes.
It proved to be very easy to get our visas at the airport in Addis. Queues were short and photos were not required. In all, much easier than going to the embassy in London.

My only hitch at the very end of the holiday was getting a bottle of duty free gin out of the country! Though we had already gone through two full security checks, when I took my gin (bought at the airport duty free) through the final one, I was told I could not take it in my cabin baggage. I had to send it to the hold In my rucksack while I put other things for the flight into another bag.

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Operator Exodus Travels

Ethiopia in Depth

4.0
  • Value 4.0
  • Guide 4.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 4.0
  • Transportation 4.0
  • Meals 4.0

Fascinating trip learning about a culture I didn't know much about. The West has a distinct impression of Ethiopia and is was great to challenge those ideas.
I really enjoyed the rock hewn churches in the north and Lalibella. We were lucky to be there at Christmas and could watch all the pilgrims.

Our group leade (Gabre) was very good. He had a lot of passion and his country and its potential and was also able to answer any questions we had. Our group was quite mixed in terms of interest and physical capabilities and Gabre ensured everyone was included and could participate at their level.

Be prepared to cover up in churches, fasting days and travel days in the bus.

We had a great driver who looked after the minivan very well. However bigger transport would give everyone a bit more room on long travel days and assist with the unsaved roads, which are of course an avoidable.

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Operator Exodus Travels

Fascinating country but challenging tourist infrastructure

3.0
  • Value 3.0
  • Guide 3.0
  • Activities 3.0
  • Lodging 3.0
  • Transportation 3.0
  • Meals 3.0

Ethiopia is a lovely country with fascinating history, beautiful people and very unique culture. The tour itinerary was well developed where it covered main points of interests on the historical circuit in addition to attending a colorul Timkat festival. The tour was very organized from the logistics perspective (buses, hotels, flights) and everything went very smoothly. The quality of the hotels were the downside of the trip; however, it was my understanding that there were not too many choices in Ethiopia. If you choose to go on the trip, you shall be ready to tolerate very poor (unclean) accommodations, lack (or poor flow) of hot water and unreliable electricity in many of the hotels. The weather tend to flactuate during the day so you may want to bring clothes that allow layering. All is one, the experiences of the trip were very interesting.
Timkat festival was the highlight of the trip, where one can see the blend of Christian Orthodoxy with African tribal culture. I also enjoyed the painted churches on Lake Tana.

Our tour leader was a great tour manager and was able to keep the group together. I did feel on occasion that he didn't have sufficient expertise on some of the places we visited; however, he did a fantastic job in organizing the tour logistics and taking care of the little details on the trip, so all in all, I was very happy with him.

Be ready to deal with lack of hot water and dirty hotels. Bring wipes, dry shampoo, first aid kit, mosquito repellent, clothes to layer and your own sleeping bag or a set of your own sheets. And a sense of humor!

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Operator Exodus Travels

Ethiopia Tours and Travel Guide

Ethiopia Attractions & Landmarks Guide

Ethiopia’s roots date back millions of years. Making up the bulk of the Horn of Africa, the country is near the birthplace of modern man and is a popular destination for anyone interested in archaeology. It also has Biblical connections: it was the legendary home of the Queen of Sheba and it’s said that the Lost Tribe of Israel settled here as well. More concretely, you can view its 12th-century rock-hewn Christian churches at Lalibela. The landscape is beautiful and rugged, well suited to an adventurous tour.

Ethiopian Highlands

Sometimes called the “Roof of Africa,” Ethiopia is famous for its mountains and the Ethiopian plateau. It is also the only part of Africa never to have been colonized.

Visiting the Highlands means seeing a dramatic skyline of fertile flatlands being cut by deep gorges. These undeveloped lands are span the entire Horn of Africa, and are populated with tons of wildlife. Most notably, they are home to the endemic Gelada monkeys, the only grazing monkey remaining on Earth.

Other famous animals include the klipspringer, Ethiopian wolves, and rare birds such as the blue winged goose, golden eagles, and incredible plant life such as the giant lobelias. All of these features make Ethiopia a popular destination for wildlife tours

Ethiopian highland landscapes are not suited to the typical African safari conducted behind an all-terrain vehicle, nor do you have to worry about the dangers about running into an angry elephant or hippopotamus. For this reason, most wildlife tours of Ethiopia are done on foot. This allows you get even closer to the land, and connect with the landscape.

These types of wildlife tours either take the form of day hikes, or extended treks.

Trekking in Ethiopia

Ethiopia a vast territory with a large wilderness area, and so treks can be quite extensive, and go on for more than two weeks.

Some things you should expect on your trek to Ethiopia is that it will not be particularly easy. You may be walking up to 12 hours on some days, and prepare to leave in the dark if you are planning to scale any serious peaks for a picturesque sunrise view.

Although the trails in Ethiopia are well known and well tended, making it one of the best places to trek in Africa, this does not mean that the campsites are at all luxurious. You will be forgoing hot water showers, comfort food, and your own private room for much of your journey. Many campsites include round stone buildings, built for the purpose of housing visitors.

The upside to treks in Ethiopia is that the landscape is completely unspoiled, and your encounters with villagers will be genuine, and their lifestyles and culture will be very different from your own. Some tips to keep in mind  to make the most of your trek are to drink water and to go slowly especially if you’re feeling ill from altitude sickness (consider bringing altitude sickness medicine just in case!).

5 Ethiopia Travel Tips

  1. Prepare to buy a visa upon arrival, the only country whose citizens do not need a visa is Kenya. Your visa will cost $52 US, unless you are staying for more than 30 days.

  2. Yellow Fever vaccines are no longer mandatory to enter Ethiopia, but they are still highly recommended. You should also consider taking anti-malarial pills, or take a preventative vaccine.

  3. If you are planning to trek the Simien Mountains, or visit some of the higher-altitude points on the Ethiopian plateau, plan ahead that it may take you some time to acclimate, and consider packing some altitude sickness medication. Altitude sickness can make you nauseous and light headed, although you will eventually adjust. If you feel either of these symptoms, stop ascending, and rest for a while. It may help you to descend a little, take a break, and then ascend slowly.

  4. Foreign currency isn’t regularly used in Ethiopia, and outside the major cities there are few opportunities to use your credit cards. For these reasons, you are better off exchanging for Birr, the Ethiopian currency, and always carrying some cash. The Birr is very stable, and there is no substantial difference between the standard and black market rates.

  5. On your tour, most of your transportation is likely to be arranged. However, if you have some free time and want to check out some sites on your own, public transportation is safe for tourists in Ethiopia. Be aware that taxis don’t have fixed fares, and you’ll have to negotiate before getting in. Taking a gari, or a two-wheeled horse carriage, is another cheap option, and a great way to travel around like a true Ethiopian!

Ethiopia Festival Tours

Ethiopia’s primary religion is Christianity, and more than half of the population is Ethiopian Orthodox. As a result, Ethiopians celebrate Christian holidays in their own unique way, and often have festivals. If you are interested in observing or even taking part in some of these events, consider going on a festival tour of Ethiopia.

Some of the main festivals in Ethiopia include:

Mekele Timkat Festival

Timkat is the most important day on the Orthodox calendar, and it celebrates the Epiphany in January. The Ethiopians reenact the baptism of Christ in the river Jordan. On the eve of the holiday, crowds gather for a joyous and colorful procession to a spring in the city (Addis Ababa, Gondar, and Lalibela are two popular places to celebrate the Timkat).

The whole way, churchgoers sing and chant. Long parades then carry the tabot (a replica of the tablet containing the 10 commandments), which was left at the spring overnight, home.

Enkutatash Festival

This is the celebration of Ethiopian New Year and directly translates into “Gift of Jewels.” The Ethiopian New Year takes place at the end of the long rainy season, and partially celebrates the new harvest. To mark the occasion, families burn torches in front of their home, and girls dressed in their finest clothing go from door to door singing songs. If you are particularly lucky, and Ethiopian family may even invite you into their to take part in a huge feast.

Genna Festival

This festival takes place on Christmas. Many pilgrims flock to the city of Lalibela to celebrate this holiday. They take part in mass prayers on Christmas Eve, and then celebrate on Christmas day with family and friends.

Top Ethiopia Travel Companies

Things to Know Before You Go

If you're considering a trip to Africa, perhaps plan a visit to Ethiopia. Along with Morocco, Ethiopia has the most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Africa with nine in total. When planning a trip to Ethiopia, there are some things you should take into consideration. Most, to all, of these concerns can be resolved by booking a tour to Ethiopia rather than venturing out alone. Ethiopian guided tours are recommended for a number of reasons.

Ethiopian Guided Tours

Firstly, each tour comes with a knowledgeable guide that knows the terrain, history and significance of the country. They are also very aware of current or possible issues that may arise on the trip. And if any hiccup should occur, the guide knows how to handle the issue in an efficient manner.

Secondly, each guided tour to Ethiopia provides a well-researched, thought out itinerary of the trip. Because most of Ethiopia lacks a strong infrastructure, most of the roads are unpaved and difficult to travel on. Tour companies make sure to take this into account when creating its trip.

In order to capture the country’s diverse terrain, some days are strictly reserved for traveling from one destination to another. Each itinerary balances the time spent on a bus with the time spent at the destination, so that it is not overwhelming or tiresome. This is particularly important for short trips to Ethiopia.

Lastly, Ethiopian tours use their knowledge and insight of the country to capture its essence. Ethiopia has three components that each tour makes sure to include. The first is its cultural significance. Most tours visit local villages and towns where you can experience Ethiopian foods, music and art. One of the best ways to soak this up is to go on a tour with a homestay component.

Ethiopia is also known for its wildlife. The best way to experience Ethiopia’s fauna and flora is by visiting its national parks. The third main component is capturing its historical influences. Most of Ethiopia's historical sites are of ancient ruins in the form of fortified towns. Ethiopia also has many historical religious sites like the Church of Saint George, Lalibela.

All Ethiopia tours, river cruises, expedition cruises, and adventure trips. Find the best guided trips and expert planned vacation and holiday packages. Average rating of 4.7 for all Ethiopia trips.

85 trips from 40 tour companies with 53 reviews

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