Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Ethiopian Explorer tour

Ethiopian Explorer

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4.7 . Excellent
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Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Full day hiking or trekking over medium to long distances. Moderate expectation of physical fitness. Strenuous
Lodging Level: You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping. Basic - 2 star
35 days
From: $ 4,480 $ 128 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Admire the flamingo-filled expanse of Lake Nakuru
  • Spot the Big Five in Samburu National Reserve
  • Visit Ethiopia's friendly tribespeople in the Omo Valley
  • Encounter the amazing birdlife of Lake Ziway
  • See the monolithic churches of Lalibela
  • Hike through Ethiopia's Simien Mountains National Park
  • Discover Gonder's ornate castles and palaces

Short Description

Discover fascinating places and beautiful scenery on this journey across the heart of Ethiopia's countryside. Experience a land like no other, from the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the untouched wilderness of the Simien Mountains, to the sophistication of Gonder and the history of ruin-peppered Aksum. Feel the mist rise from the Blue Nile Falls and spot Africa's iconic Big Five in Kenya's Samburu National Reserve. Along the way, encounter friendly Rastafarians, proud Samburu warriors and the rarely visited tribespeople of the Omo Valley. Travelling through a remote and very special part of the continent, this is an adventure like no other.

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.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Lodging Level Basic - 2 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City N/A
End City N/A
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Itinerary

Day 1 Gonder

Border Information: if joining in Gondar, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport. There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. If you are continuing to Kenya or beyond, your leader will need to check the validity dates of your Ethiopian visa. On the next day, we will have a half day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Hotel for the night: Lammergeyer Hotel Lammergeyer Hotel PO box 57 Gondar Ethiopia Tel: 0581 12 29 03 The historic city of Gondar is known as the city of castles and palaces. This was once the capital of Ethiopia in the reign of King Fasilidas who built the first castle. Successive kings added their own castles to the complex. On the outskirts of the town there is also Fasilidas' Bath, which is an interesting building standing in an artificial pool which is still filled for occasional religious ceremonies. At the Debre Berhan Sellassie Church we can see the famous ceiling which is painted with hundreds of faces of angels and hear about the church's fascinating yet violent history. ACTIVITIES: Included: Learn all about medieval Ethiopia on a half-day guided tour of the castles, churches and baths of Gondar. (Included in Kitty) Optional: Enjoy a tour of the local Dashen brewery in Gondar (USD 8)

Day 2 Gonder

Today, we will have an included half day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. In Gondar we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities.

Day 3-5 Simien Mountains National Park

Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains National Park. We will first drive to Debark, where we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options we will have during our excursion, before heading into the National Park. Estimated Drive Time: 3-5 hours. Please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip! The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views! The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot Lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves. We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains National Park. On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking. On our first day, we aim to wild camp at the area of Sankaber. On our second and third days, we aim to wild camp at the area of Chenek (underneath Ras Bwahit, the second-highest mountain in the Simiens, which we hope to get the opportunity to summit). Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather. The Simien Mountains are known throughout the world for their dramatic and spectacular scenery - jagged mountain peaks flank deep valleys and high altitude plains where only grasses, junipers and giant lobelias grow. The Simiens are one of the major mountain regions of Africa, home to the mountain Ras Dejen, which at 4,543m is the highest mountain in Ethiopia. The National Park was created initially as a protection area for the Walia ibex, a very agile wild goat that inhabits the area. Other wildlife that are commonly seen in the area are geladas (a baboon-type primate with long hair), klipspringers, Ethiopian wolves, and Lammageyer vultures! Perhaps the best highlight of the National Park is the phenomenal mountain scenery, best seen by trekking through the wonderful landscape - standing on top of a sharp precipice and gazing out over the magnificent landscape here will take your breath away, so it's definitely worth taking a bit of time to explore. Please also note that the camping areas in the national park are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the National Park are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! ACTIVITIES: Included: Head out on 3 days of guided treks in the phenomenal scenery of the Simien Mountains National Park. (Included in Kitty)

Day 6 Debark

Today is our final day in the Simien Mountains National Park, and we make our way back to Debark for the night. In Debark we will stay in a basic local hotel. Debark is a tiny settlement that was built in the 1840s along the busy Gondar- Massawa trading route. There is not much of interest in the town, but it is the gateway to the magnificent Simien Mountains National Park and a decent place to stock up on supplies before visiting the park,

Day 7-8 Axum

Leaving Debark behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery! Axum is the site of Ethiopia's oldest city, and was once the centre of the mighty Axumite Empire. This empire flourished in the area between the 1st and 8th Centuries CE, and by the 5th Century controlled much of present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Yemen and Saudi Arabia! The town retains some impressive obelisks from the Axumite era carved from single blocks of granite - the tallest still standing is 23 metres high and was probably transported by elephants from a nearby quarry. The scale of the monuments in this stelae field are testament to the enormous importance that the ancient kingdom of Axum once enjoyed. Close to the town are the extensive ruins of a palace that is said to have belonged to the biblical figure of the Queen of Sheba, who was said to have travelled to Jerusalem to test the wisdom of King Solomon. Also in the town are a complex of several ancient churches - the most famous of these is a small unimposing building known as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, which is rumoured by devout Coptic Christians to house the original Ark of the Covenant (the legendary box that contained the original Ten Commandments), although apparently only one appointed guardian is ever allowed to see it! In Axum we will stay in a basic hotel. Estimated Drive Time: 8 hours. Please note that all drive times given here are approximate estimates only and are given with the best intentions - however please be aware that the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!

Day 9 Mekele

Today we will continue through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains and visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church) near to Mekele. Mekele is the cultural, economic and political hub of the northern region of Tigray. Historians date the town of Mekele back to the 13th Century CE, and it is famous for its rock-hewn churches in the surrounding desert landscapes - these churches are stunning and remote, some of them dating all the way backto the 4th and 5th Centuries. We will aim to visit at least one of these atmospheric old Coptic churches on our journey through the province of Tigray. In Mekele we will stay in a decent local hotel. Estimated Drive Time: 7-9 hours. ACTIVITIES: Included: Explore the Tigray rock-hewn churches at Mekele (Free)

Day 10-11 Danakil Depression

After breakfast meet your 4x4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt minin or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression. The Danakil Depression is located in the Afar Region of north-east Ethiopia, near the border with Eritrea. It is a geological depression caused by the Afar Triple Junction: a place where three tectonic plates join, most famous for being one of the hottest places on earth as well as one of the lowest places on the planet ( approximately 100 metres below sea level ). Temperatures frequently soar above 50 degrees celcius We will wildcamp at Hammed Ella both nights for this excursion. The final day we will then make our way back to Mekele visiting villages along the way. On the second day you we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectactular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to watch the Afarand Tigre men cut the salt into bars and load up their camels before they head to the highlands of Ethiopia. ACTIVITIES: Included: Journey out on an incredible 3 day/2 night excursion to the Danakil Depression. (Included in Kitty)

Day 12 Mekele

Today we will finish our time in the beautiful Danakil Depression. We will make our way back to Mekele to stay in a basic hotel overnight.

Day 13-15 Lalibela

Today we will have a full day drive to the town of Lalibela. Hidden in the hills of northern Ethiopia is the small town of Lalibela. This medieval village has grown up around 13 monolithic churches hewn from rock in the 12th Century CE. The layout and names of the major buildings in Lalibela are widely accepted to be a symbolic representation of Jerusalem, which has led some experts to date the churches to the years following the capture of Jerusalem in 1187 by Muslim leader Saladin. The rock-hewn churches are an awe-inspiring feat of engineering, and each is uniquely-designed and beautifully carved - the legend goes that King Lalibela completed all the work in 12 days with the help of a band of angels, but in reality the project took many years and thousands of labourers to complete. The village is small, the churches largely visited by devout Ethiopian pilgrims rather than masses of foreign tourists, and therefore retains its original Ethiopian charm and incredible atmosphere. The monastery of Asheten Mariam is hidden in the rugged hills behind the village, and there is a wonderful trek up the cliffs to reach it and take in the incredible views at the top. Near to Lalibela is the ancient church of Yemrehana Kristos, uniquely located in a cave - this can be visited during our free time in Lalibela. Estimated Drive Time: 9-10 hours. On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of its world-famous 13th-century rock churches. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within. On our second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace. ACTIVITIES: Optional: Explore the highlands of Lalibela on foot, possibly walking to the nearby Asheten Monastery. (ETB 500) Included: Guided tour of the ancient rock churches and monasteries at Lalibela. (Included in Kitty) Optional: Visit Yemrehana Kristos, the very unique 'church in a cave' near Lalibela. (ETB 600)

Day 16-18 Bahir Dar

Today we will drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile. Bahir Dar is a small city located on the banks of Lake Tana, a beautiful lake that is famous as the source of the Blue Nile. A few kilometres down the river from Bahir Dar are the spectacular Blue Nile Falls - locally known as Tissisat Falls (literally translating as 'water that smokes'), these waterfalls are located in a stunning area which is excellent to trek around. On the lake itself are a number of monasteries on islands and peninsulas, and we take the opportunity to visit at least one on a boat trip on the lake. These churches feature the traditional murals and decorations of the Ethiopian Coptic Church - as Christianity in Ethiopia was isolated after the emergence of Islam in the 7th Century, the religion here took a distinct style and the decorations of the monasteries of Lake Tana reflect that perfectly. Estimated Drive Time: 8-9 hours. On our first day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile. On our second full day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to visit some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial. In Bahir Dar we will stay in decent local hotel. ACTIVITIES: Included: Boat trip on Lake Tana from Bahir Dar to visit the monasteries. (Included in Kitty) Included: Explore the stunning Blue Nile Falls just downstream of Bahir Dar. (Included in Kitty)

Day 19 Debremarkos

Today we will continue our journey south towards Addis Ababa. We will break the journey with a nightstop in a basic local hotel in the small town of Debre Markos en route. Estimated Drive Time: 4-6 hours ACTIVITIES: Included: Overland journey north of Addis Ababa, passing through the immense Blue Nile Gorge. (Free)

Day 20 Addis Ababa

Today we will complete our journey to the bustling Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side! Referred to more commonly as simply "Addis", the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa lies amongst wooded hills at an altitude of about 2,300 metres, giving it a pleasant climate. Addis has many sights to offer visitors - get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's many tribal groups at the Ethnological Museum, see the stunning fossi collection at the National Museum, and don't miss the chaotic bustle of the Mercato, one of Africa's largest open-air markets. All manner of arts and crafts can be found in the souvenir shops on Churchill Avenue, and there is often some excellent live music to be found in the centre of the city! In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Estimated Drive Time: 7-9 hours ACTIVITIES: Optional: Visit "Lucy", one of the oldest complete hominid skeletons ever found, at the National Museum. (ETB 10) Optional: Stroll through the Addis Ababa Mercato, one of the largest markets in Africa. (Free) Optional: Visit Africa Hall, a symbol of African independence and optimism. (Free) Optional: Visit the St. George's Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral), built to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians in 1896. (Free) Optional: Visit the Menelik Mausoleum, built to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes. (Free) Optional: Explore the fascinating Ethnological Museum, one of the best museums in Africa set in a former palace of Haile Selassie. (ETB 100)

Day 21 Addis Ababa

Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD). There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums - we recommend that you arrive early (or the night before) if you would like the chance to fully explore the sights of Addis Ababa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa. In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Hotel for the night: Sarem International Hotel Sarem International Hotel Belay Zeleke Street (around Semien Mazegaja) Addis Ababa Ethiopia Tel - +251 11 126 2088 Activity Approximate Cost Visit "Lucy", one of the oldest complete hominid skeletons ever found, at the National Museum Included in Kitty Stroll through the Addis Ababa Mercato, one of the largest markets in Africa Included in Kitty Visit Africa Hall, a symbol of African independence and optimism Included in Kitty Visit the St. George's Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral), built to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians in 1896 Included in Kitty Explore the fascinating Ethnological Museum, one of the best museums in Africa set in a former palace of Haile Selassie Included in Kitty Visit the Menelik Mausoleum, built to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes Free About Addis Ababa: Referred to more commonly as simply "Addis", the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa lies amongst wooded hills at an altitude of about 2,300 metres, giving it a pleasant climate. Addis has many sights to offer visitors - get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's many tribal groups at the Ethnological Museum, see the stunning fossil collection at the National Museum, and don't miss the chaotic bustle of the Mercato, one of Africa's largest open-air markets. All manner of arts and crafts can be found in the souvenir shops on Churchill Avenue, and there is often some excellent live music to be found in the centre of the city! 

Day 22 Addis Ababa

Today we have a free day in Addis Ababa and will organise an included guided tour of the city including visiting St. George's Cathrdral, The Menelik mausoleum, The national Museum and the colourful city market.

Day 23 Harar

Today we will leave Addis Ababa and we will have a long drive east through the mountains to the ancient trading city of Harar. We will stay in a charming small hotel in the old city inself. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!). Activity Approximate Cost Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic Included in Kitty monastery on the island Take a guided tour for half of the day through the winding streets of this ancient city. Included in Kitty Witness Harar's tradition of feeding wild Hyenas by hand each evening just outside the city walls. Free About Harar: Harar is a walled city on a plateau in eastern Ethiopia. It is known for its winding alleyways and traditional houses with wooden balconies hanging over the street. The architecture in this city in wonderfully unique and unlike anywhere else in Ethiopia. The city has many mosques throughout as it is a Islamic city, 82 in total at the last count. Another incredible sight in Harar is the nightly feeding of Hyenas, an experience that has to be seen to be believed!

Day 24-25 Harar

Today we have a free day in ancient Harar and will have an included guided city tour of the walled city of Harar (Harar Jugol). Enjoy its colourful markets, mosques and shrines. In the evening you can visit the Hyena Men who feed the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city. On the following day we have a free day to explore this amazing city on your own. It is one of the most important historic sites in Ethiopia. 

Day 26 Awash National Park

Today we will drive to Awash and overnight in the lovely Awash falls Lodge. Who said Luxury was not part of overlanding! This is a stunning place to experience this great little national park. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours hours Activity Approximate Cost Follow the scout to explore the trails of this National Park. Who knows what wildlife you will encounter?! Included in Kitty About Awash National Park: Awash National Park is named after the Awash river which run along the southern boarder of the park. Along the river are many beautiful waterfalls that can be viewed in multiple locations. The park is over 700 kms squared and is a hive of birding activity ranging from the ostrich to the hornbill. The volcanic landscape is also a sight to behold.

Day 27-28 Lake Ziway

In the morning we will take a park scout out with us to explore the national park and to try to find game or just to enjoy the stunning scenery of this lovely national park. Then we will head to lake Ziway for the night. Estimated drive to lake Ziway 6 hours On the following day, we will take an included boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts. In Ziway we will stay in a small local hotel. Activity Approximate Cost Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island Free About Lake Ziway: Lake Ziway, about 100kms south of Addis Ababa, nurtures an array of wildlife. Birds, hippopotamuses and fish roam the lake, which is dotted with five islands. One of the islands, Tulo Gudo, is home to an atmospheric and colourful old Coptic Christian monastery which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant in the 9th Century CE.

Day 29-31 Bale Mountains National Park

Today we will leave Ziway and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours. We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys! On the other day we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the fourth-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves. In the Bale Mountains we will stay in dorms in a basic lodge near the entrance to the National Park. Activity Approximate Cost Horse/mule treks or guided hikes through Included in Kitty Bale Mountain National Park Head up to the incredible Sanetti Plateau on a day trip with our overland truck, stopping to explore the area on foot and search for Ethiopian Wolves Included in Kitty About Bale Mountains National Park: The Bale Mountains National Park is situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountain peaks which soar to over 4,000 metres in height. As you climb into the hills the terrain changes from forest on the lower slopes, through junipers and heather, to the exotic moorlands of the plateau criss-crossed by fast-flowing streams. This beautiful park is home to three species unique to Ethiopia - the Ethiopian wolf, Menelik's bushbuck and the Mountain nyala. There are some 200 species of birds within the park, including 13 of Ethiopia's 23 endemic species. There are many different trekking routes around the National Park, through the forests and mountains and up onto the moorlands. The high Sanetti Plateau is accessible to vehicles, so we can also explore this high moor in our overland truck.

Day 32 Wendo Genet, Awassa

Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we can visit the local fish market. After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awassa, where we will stay for the night.Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.On the following day we will have a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs. In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel. Activity Approximate Cost Relax in the Hot Springs at Wendo Genet Included in Kitty Head out on a short walk to the waterfalls near Wendo Genet ETB 100 About Wendo Genet: Wendo Genet is a resort town in Ethiopia located near Awassa. Wendo Genet is known for its hot springs and is surrounded by primary Ethiopian forests. The Wendo Genet hotel was established in 1964, on land used as recreation site for the royal family until 1975 - Emperor Haile Selassie bequeathed its name, meaning "Wendo Paradise", in reference to the beautiful panorama with a rich endowment of forests, wildlife and abundant water. About Awassa: Awassa is a small town near the Ethiopian city of Shashemene, and was the capital of the former Sidamo Province. During our time in Awassa we will visit the Awassa Children's Project, which promotes sensible, culturally responsible relief work aimed at assisting children primarily orphaned by AIDS, educating people in Africa's Sub-Saharan region about AIDS prevention, and offering a proactive and immediate approach towards the resolution of serious health and social issues facing the region. The project runs a children's centre that provides housing, food and education for over 60 children orphaned by AIDS, the One Love Theatre AIDS education theatre company, and the Awassa Youth Campus community centre in downtown Awassa. For further information on the project please go to http://www.awassachildrensproject.org/.

Day 33-34 Arba Minch

Today we will travel to the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours On the following day we will have a free day to relax and explore the scenic area, or to take an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there, known locally as the crocodile market. In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel. About Arba Minch: Meaning 'forty springs', Arba Minch takes its name from the streams found between the two Rift Valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo. The town has stunning views over the lakes and surrounding forested areas, and also has an excellent and vibrant market. Lake Chamo National Park is home to what the locals refer to as the 'crocodile market'. This is a place on the shores of the lake where vast numbers of crocs congregate, some of which reach over 7 metres in length. The lake is home to the Guji and Ganjule people who traditionally hunt hippos and are famed for their 'ambatch boats', which resemble the boats carved in the tombs of the ancient Egyptians.

Day 35 Arba Minch

If you are leaving in Arba Minch, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Arba Minch. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight

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Fantastic Trip in Southern Africa

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We did this trip, Explore Southern Africa, from Aug 9 - 26 this year and we thought it was probably our most memorable trip ever. The variety of wildlife (we saw the big 5 plus giraffes, zebras, cheetahs, hippos, hyenas, wildebeests, impalas, baboons, ...) and our proximity to them that we experienced was unparalleled. The scenery was like nothing we had ever experienced before (our first time anywhere in Africa). Although it was winter time there when we went and many areas were looking very dry it was an experience not to be missed. Additionally we were made to feel welcome everywhere that we went. The highlights of the trip for us would be the two days to the Okavango Delta, the optional game drive through Chobe National Park and day 13 with our guide tracking rhinos in Matabos and going to the African village. Our tour leader, cook and drivers were excellent as were our co-travellers. The meals that were prepared for us tasted great, were well balanced and no one ever left hungry. The 2 person tent accommodations weren't the most luxurious but they allowed one to stay right in the "middle of the action" with the animals in close proximity to our overnight homes. This being the case, we never felt unsafe in our tents at any point. The overlander vehicle didn't have air conditioning, as is standard, however if you made sure to open windows for air circulation during the drive the heat wasn't so bad. If one is prepared to put up with these few inconveniences and willing to help out with camp set up, vehicle clean up, and meal clean up afterwards (this is a participatory type of trip where certain tasks are required of the travellers) it is an experience not to be missed. It all makes one more appreciative of the luxuries that we have at home that many do not have in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe.
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Only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.

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Faultless service and incredible trips, at a really good price. Plus they are all really nice peeps, by email or phone, and we need more of that in the world.

So far, and still counting, I've used them for:

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Never had a bad experience, only excellent value for money and memories to last a lifetime.
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The Trip from Hell
Avoid Intrepid Travel!
My daughter and I recently returned from a tour in Central Asia booked through Intrepid Travel. After about 24 hours of travel, we were not met at the airport nor did we have a room. After getting that straightened out, the next morning we were informed that the vehicle we would be traveling in had no air conditioning. The temperatures were over 100 degrees to about 115 degrees or more. The heat was unbearable and no one inquired about how we were coping or their health. Our welfare was ignored. So ww left the tour early so we wouldn’t have to camp in the desert for two nights.
The tour leader booked our flights to Istanbul but neglected to tell us we would have to rebook our flights to Los Angeles. Upon arriving at the airport in Istanbul, we were told we couldn’t get on the flight. New tickets cost us $1800 EACH!
Intrepid Travel has refused to take responsibility or provide any satisfaction in this matter.
BEWARE!
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It was an incredible experience!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We just wrapped up a Tanzania family safari. It was an incredible experience!

Even the cook made sure my picky teenager would like his breakfast by fixing him his scrambled eggs the way he likes them.

I’ve been dreaming of this trip with my son for a long time and I’m glad I booked it with you guys! We’ll cherish the memories we made for ever

If you’re looking for a real adventure kinda trip then go with Intrepid!

Thank you Thank you Thank you
Johan & Maxime
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Perfect Itinerary, Guide spoiled a lot of the trip

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide2.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
The perfect itinerary allowed us to efficiently visited all the top sites with great lodgings. Unfortunately, the guide cut short stops at the Bahai Gardens, Acco, Tel Aviv, and Jerrico on days when we got to our hotel room in the early afternoon--all group members were upset by this. This Palestinian Christian guide emphasized unimpressive churches and minimized all sights that were secular, Muslim, Jewish, ancient, or other faiths. He made bizarre strident political comments about how great Mao Zedong was, praised Putin, said Palestinian people "had never done anything wrong in their history," talked about the Jews killing Jesus--all with a lot of anger. He knew a lot of about Christinaity, not much about anything else. He did a lot to make what could have been the perfect trip, mediocre.

(I would recommend the trip, but only if I knew it was a different guide.)
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I loved the history of this trip

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I loved the history of this trip, as well as the spectacular scenery. Our guide was knowledgeable and helpful. Having arrangements made for places to stay and transport, plus some activities, but with plenty of free time, made for a perfect balance for me. Breakfasts were delicious!
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Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 21

Accomodations

Camping ( 19 nights ) / hotel / hostel / lodge / cabin ( 23 nights )

Guides

OUR DRAGOMAN CREW & GUIDES Our crew are passionate about travel and are always up for adventure. It takes someone special to become a Dragoman leader. Our crew undergo the most intensive training program of all the overland companies, spending 8 weeks learning the ropes at our base in Suffolk, UK, and then up to 6 months on the road as a trainee. Our crew are trained to manage and operate the trip safely and efficiently and their duties include: planning the trip according to the itinerary, driving and maintaining the truck, securing services of local guides, general logistics, health and safety, liaising with bureaucracy, dealing with issues where needed and offering advice and support to our customers. In addition they have a basic knowledge of the places visited and will be able to offer suggestions of things to do and see. Dragoman endeavours to provide the services of experienced crew, however, due to the seasonality of travel, situations may arise where your tour leader is new to a particular region or training other crew, new to the area. On all Dragoman overlanding trips, we usually have 2 western crew. However on our trips in East and Southern Africa we either have 2 western crew or 1 western crew and 1 local driver. On trips south of Nairobi in East and Southern Africa we will also have an African camp master/cook who is in charge of running the camp and organising all of the meals. Their knowledge of the local produce makes shopping at the markets great fun and you will learn how to prepare and cook some unusual dishes. In most other areas of Africa, the Americas, India and Turkey, in addition to our crew we will employ local guides in specific locations of interest (for just a few hours up to a few days). On the majority of our trips in Ethiopia, Sudan, Central Asia, China and South East Asia, in addition to our crew we will have a local guide on board who will travel with us for the entire duration of our time within one country. In these cases, the local guide becomes a third crew member and is able to offer their local knowledge as well as an insight into their country and the lives of the local people. Your crew have a duty of care to all members of the group and therefore they have the authority to ask you to leave the trip if you require serious medical assistance, you are behaving in an anti-social manner or refuse to comply with local laws and customs. In all matters relating to the trip, the leader's decision will be final and we appreciate your respect of this.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Zebib Pension
  • In front of Federal Camp
  • Arba Minch
  • ETHIOPIA

Trip ID#:

intrepid-YDOGM

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