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Highlights
  • Explore with a local expert guide
  • Discover rock-hewn churches in lalibela and castles in gondar
  • Admire the monasteries of lake tana
  • Discover the simien mountains and historical axum

Rich with natural contrast, captivating human history and countless surprises, Ethiopia has long been an intersection between the civilizations of North Africa, the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa. This 15-day adventure is perfect for the traveller looking to delve into the history and culture of this incredibly diverse land like few others do. In fact, we’ll help to take some of the infamous bumps out of African travel through a combination of flights and comfortable land transport. Prepare to have your preconceptions challenged.

Trip Description
Highlights of Ethiopia
 
Countries
Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

42,855
G Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

4.8 out of 5
Excellent 32,586 Great 10,221 Average 4 Disappointing 1 Terrible 4
Value
4.8 Guide
4.8 Activities
4.8 Lodging
4.8 Transportation
4.8 Meals
4.8
Highlights of Ethiopia

G

Recommends

Because G Adventures doesn't make us follow a group leader's flag. Because you allow lots of free time on your trips. Because you make the planning of a complex trip simple & allow us to hit the ground running. October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Ethiopia is a stunningly gorgeous country and I wish more people knew that. The people are lovely, the art and history amazing - it's a must-see!

Operator G Adventures

J

Recommends

My trip to Ethiopia was a great mixture of history, mountains, and meeting interesting people. I thought it was well organised and I enjoyed it immensely. September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was my first adventure travel trip and it was everything that I hoped it would be. I have already recommended it and G Adventures to others.

Operator G Adventures

T

Recommends

It was a great experience for me. September 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
It was a great experience for me.

Operator G Adventures

S

Recommends

Everything about this trip went well. Organisation, expectation of travel and hotel quality were perfectly matched. What was brilliant was the extra insights our guide organised. August 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Amazing country, with spectacular natural beauty and the chance to experience the daily life of its rural people. The enduring image for me will be the miles long trails of people, whole families and their donkeys and other animals approaching a market - up and down spectacular hills, many heavily laden - not a private car in sight. We witnessed this on several occasions and it serves to underline the immense difference between the lives of the mass of Ethiopians and our own. The market places themselves were fascinating.
Read more

Operator G Adventures

S

Recommends

The tour was really enjoyable: great places, well organised and our guide Feke was excellent July 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Great tour, great country, great guide. We packed a lot in and I came back with my mind full of sights and sounds.

Operator G Adventures

Itinerary

Day 1 Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, founded more than a century ago, means 'New Flower' in Amharic. At an elevation of 2,400m (7,874 ft), the third highest capital in the world, the climate is pleasantly cool. The city mixes past and present, statues from the imperial times coexist with placards from the former Marxist Regime. Huge billboards advertise current activities in the city and modern businesses, as well as development organizations' goodwill projects. The streets are a mesh of expensive cars, old Russian “Lada model” taxis, along with donkeys, sheep, and goats. Traditional mud houses stand not far from austere fascist buildings and private-sector banks. Included Activities: Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 2 Addis Ababa/Bahir Dar (1B)

Fly to Bahir Dar. Opt to wander through the Bahir Dar market. Enjoy an excursion to the Blue Nile Falls. Included Activities: Blue Nile Falls Hiking Excursion Transport: Plane

Day 3 Bahir Dar/Gonder (1B)

Take a boat trip on Lake Tana. Visit Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam monasteries. Included Activities: Lake Tana Boat Trip (Monastery Visit) Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 4 Gonder (1B)

Explore Gondar town on your own or simply relax and try to strike up a conversation with the locals. Included Activities: Fasiladas Castle and Bath Visit Debre Berhan Selassie Church Tour

Day 5 Gonder/Debark’ (1B)

After breakfast depart for Debark, the starting point for our trekking in the national park. Register with the park authorities and head to the Simien Lodge to relax before a full day in the Simien Mountains tomorrow. The scenic Simien Mountains are a good break from the busy cities. Known as the “Roof of Africa”, they rank as one of the continent’s most beautiful mountain ranges. A number of peaks reach well over 4,000m (13,123.4 ft), and Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia, is one of Africa’s highest mountains. The Simien Mountains have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can see some of Ethiopia's remarkable flora and fauna including Gelada baboon, Walia ibex, and, if you're lucky, the Ethiopian wolf. The huge lammergeyer is also found soaring over the valleys here. Additional Notes: It is cold in the mornings, evenings, and nights, and during the day when there is cloud cover or sleet. Ice often forms on water in the early mornings during the cold period of December through February, and afternoon spurts of hail frequent the beginning of the rains (April-May). Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 6 Debark’ (1B)

Spend the day in Simien Mountains National Park, enjoying guided hiking excursions around Sankaber campsite, the Jinbar waterfalls, and Chenek campsite. Return to Simien Lodge for the evening. Additional Notes: Those not interested in hiking can spend the day at the lodge at leisure. Included Activities: Simien Mountains Trek

Day 7 Debark’/Gonder (1B)

Travel back to Gondar with a stop at the Ploughshare Women Crafts Training Centre in a Falasha village. After, visit Kusquam, Queen Mentawab's historic residence just outside the City. Included Activities: Ploughshare Women's Association Visit Kusquam Castle Visit Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 8 Gonder/Lalībela (1B)

Lalibela is a good place to taste the local beverage, Tej, or honey wine with local traditional song and dance. Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 9 Lalībela (1B)

The churches inside Lalibela town are grouped as the first and second cluster. In the morning, we explore Lalibela’s first group of churches, then in the afternoon we drive to Yemrehana Kristos, outside the city, for a half hour hike to the church. Included Activities: Lalibela Churches Tour Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 10 Lalībela (1B)

In the morning, enjoy a hike to Asheton Maryam. In the afternoon, we'll continue our included visit with the second group of churches. Included Activities: Asheton Maryam Hike Lalibela Churches Tour Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 11 Lalībela/Mek’elē (1B)

The winding road through breathtaking mountain scenery takes us past spectacular views of the Sekota and Alamata Mountains. Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 12 Mek’elē/Hawzēn (1B)

Take a short tour of Mekele then drive to Hawzien after lunch, visiting Abraha Atsbera on the way. In the afternoon, opt to walk to Debre Tsion Abraham or Abune Yemata guh, depending on the group preference. Included Activities: City Orientation Drive Abraha Atsbera Church Visit Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 13 Hawzēn/Āksum (1B)

Visit Maryam Korkor Church before continuing onto Axum. Stop at the ruins of Yeha en route. Included Activities: Maryam Korkor Visit Yeha Temple Visit Transport: Private Vehicle

Day 14 Āksum (1B)

Axum is Ethiopia's oldest city, dating back some 2,000 years when it was the hub of the Axumite Empire. The Queen of Sheba made it her capital 1,000 years before Christ. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church was founded here in the 4th century and it remains the holiest city of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Included Activities: Axum Historical Site Visit

Day 15 Āksum/Addis Ababa (1B)

Morning flight to Addis Ababa. Tour ends upon arrival. Additional Notes: If you would like post-night accommodation in Addis Ababa, please ask your agent. Included Activities: Departure Day (Activities) Transport: Plane

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,299

Price Per Day:

$ 220 per person
 
USD20, usually included in most international air tickets.
Details
Trip Includes
  • National Geographic Journeys Exclusives: Ploughshare Women's Association Visit
  • Gonder
  • Arrival transfer
  • Guided tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
  • Guided tour of Debre Berhan Selassie Church
  • Fasiladas' Bath
  • and historic castles in Gondar
  • Boat trip with guided monasteries tour on Lake Tana
  • Excursion to Blue Nile Falls
  • Simien Mountains trek with local guides
  • Asheton Maryam Hike
  • Mekele City tour
  • Entrance fees and guided visits to Wukro and Abreha We Atsbeha churches
  • Visit Yeha Temple
  • Axum Historical Site
  • Kuskuam Church and Palace
  • All transport between destinations and to/from included activities
Meals Included: 14 breakfasts
Flights & Transport
Only ground transportPlane, minivan, minibus, boat, walking.For this tour we use a combination of flights, minivans, minibus and boats. We use a 12-seater minivan when the group is 7 passengers or less. For larger groups, we will upgrade to a 23-seater coaster bus with cushioned seats, and sliding windows. This style of transportation is a comfortable way to travel through the region. No matter the size of the group there will be extra space to benefit the group. Many of the roads in Ethiopia are under construction. Though at times the quality can be quite good, much of the time we will need to slow our traveling speed, and accept the bumps and dust along the way.
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Maximum Number of People in Group: 15
Max 15, Avg 10.

Solo Notes

We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Accomodations
Comfort hotels (14 nts).
Accommodation in Ethiopia is not to the standard of the west or other parts of Africa where tourism is more developed. Hotels don't always have much character, as they are made more functional than decorative and the choice is limited due to both lack of local and foreign demand. As such customer service standards are lower, due to lack of a large tourism industry and lack of exposure to western service standards. Plumbing can be simple and not always reliable and water pressure is weak, especially in dry season. Safety, location, and cleanliness are our top criteria when choosing hotels. We choose the best one that meets our criteria, and constantly evaluate the options that are out there. Please ensure that you bring enough toiletries as most hotels do not supply them.
Start City
Addis Ababa
End City
Addis Ababa
Guides Chief Experience Officer (CEO), driver, local guides.

Age Notes

Min. Age: You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.

Additional Information:

Important Notes

1. DEPARTURE FLIGHT This tour finishes upon arrival into Addis Abba in the afternoon of Day 15. You may choose to fly out that same evening. Otherwise, we recommend that you add on a final night's stay at our ending hotel. 2. ACCOMMODATION Please note that due to the remote nature of our Ethiopia adventures some of our accommodation may seem rustic by western standards.

Meals

When meals are not included, your hotel will have a restaurant or your will be advised of a good local establishment. Part of the excitement of a G Adventures trip is the ability to try local dishes when possible. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is not expensive. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There is no obligation to do this though, and you may choose to explore some local restaurants on your own or with your travel companion(s).

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary. VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Physical Requirements Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility' is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day's activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information. The medical questionnaire can be found online at: www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
Rules & Other Requirements Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.

Trip ID#: gadventure-23017

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