This intriguing tour takes you to the north to admire the ancient history and cultures of Ethiopia dating back to 3,000 years and brings you back to the rich cultures of southern tribes which are completely different in setting.
What to Expect
Day 01: Arrive in Addis and start city tour of the capital founded by the wife of Emperor Menelik in the end of the 19th Century.
Very attractive are the two famous museums the National museum which hosts Lucy, hominid fossil dating back to 3.5 million years. The market of Addis which is noted to be the largest open air market in East Africa holds together different retail and wholesale sectors. Particularly interesting are the recycling sector and the spice market. Overnight Hotel in Addis.
Day 02: Drive from Addis Abeba to Kombolcha for 380km. Stop to visit on the way some Oromo villages. The Oromo are an ethnic group found in Ethiopia, in northern Kenya, and to a lesser extent in parts of Somalia. With 30 million members, their native language is Oromoiffa which is part of the Cushitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic language family. ON Hotel in Kombolcha.
Day 03: Kombolcha- Lalibela, this territory belongs all to the Amhara people. Amhara are anethnic group in the central highlands ofEthiopia, numbering about 19.8 million people, they speak Amharic, the working language of the federal authorities of Ethiopia, and traditionally dominated the country's political and economic life. Overnight Hotel in Lalibela.
Day 04: Lalibela is probably one of the most fascinating places not only in Ethiopia but also in the world. In fact it was included in the World Heritage list by the UNESCO. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only toAxum, and is a center ofpilgrimagefor much of the country. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completelyEthiopian Orthodox Christian.
Lalibela was intended to be aNew Jerusalemin response to the capture ofJerusalemby Muslims in 1187, and many of its historic buildings take their name and layout from buildings in Jerusalem b/n the 12th and 13thC. There are 11 churches, assembled in 3 groups. Full day dedicated to visit these outstanding churches of Lalibela. Overnight Hotel in Lalibela.
Day 05: Lalibela – Axum by flight: Arrive in Axum and start city tour, Axum is acityin northernEthiopiawhich was the original capital of the eponymouskingdom of Axum. Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from ca. 400BCinto the 10thC. The major Aksumitemonumentsin the town arestelae; the largest number lie in theNorthern Stelae Park, ranging up to the 33-metre (33 M high 3.84 M wide 2.35M deep, W 520 Ton)Great Stele, believed to have fallen and broken during construction. Overnight Hotel in Axum.
Day 06: Drive from Axum to Gondar which would be a long day drive for more than 350km on gravel road but the landscape is one of the greatest in all Africa. Overnight Hotel in Gondar.
Day 07: Gondar, Until the 16th century, the Solomonic Emperors of Ethiopiausually had no fixed capital, instead living intentsin temporary royal camps as they moved around their realms. Gondar was founded by Emperor Fasilides around the year 1635, and grew as an agricultural and market town. The modern city of Gondar is popular as a tourist attraction for its many picturesque ruins in theRoyal Enclosure, from which the Emperors once reigned. Visit to the Royal enclosures and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church. Overnight Hotel in Gondar.
Day 08: Gondar-Gorgora- Bahir Dar: Drive to Gorgora for 60km until the north shore of Lake Tana where we shall begin our journey on the lake by boat to visit churches and monasteries on the Lake Tana is the source of theBlue Nileand is the largestlakeinEthiopia. Located in the north-westernEthiopian highlands, the lake is approximately 84 KM long and 66 KM wide, with a maximum depth of 15M, and an elevation of 1,840M. Visit the monasteries of Debre Sina in Gorgora, Nargaselassie and Ura Kidanemhret on the islands of the lake. Overnight Hotel in Bahir Dar.
Day 09: Bahir Dar: Drive to the Blue Nile waterfalls 35km from Bahirdar. The Blue Nile Falls are awaterfallon the Blue Nile river in Ethiopia. They are known as Tis Issat inAmharic, when translated, means "smoking water" They are situated on the upper course of the river, about 30 KM downstream from the town ofBahir DarandLake Tana. The falls are considered one of Ethiopia's best known tourist attractions. The falls are estimated to be between 37 and 45Ms high.
Day 10: Fly from Bahirdar to Addis in the morning and proceed to Langano. Overnight Lodge.
Day 11: Drive from Langano – Arbaminch: Excursion to the Abyata-Shala National park. The 887 km2 Abiata shala National park, bordered to the east by the main Moyale road. In the park around lakes Abiata and Shala it is possible to see flamingos, pelicans, cormorants, ibis, marabou stork and many other species.
Lake Langano is a vacation resort with pleasant beaches dotted with acacia trees; the water is colored a volcanic pink and is safe for swimming. Overnight Hotel in Arbaminch.
Day 12: Arbaminch: visit in the morning Netch Sar National Park meaning “White Grass” in local language, given to it because of its suggestive plain grassland where one can find numerous mammals among which Zebras, Gazelles, Antelopes and the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest found only in Ethiopia.
Afternoon excursion by boat on Lake Chamo to see crocodiles and hippos believed to be among of the largest ones in all Africa. ON Hotel in Arbaminch.
Day 13: Drive from Arbaminch to Jinka for 240 KM, 90 KM from Arbaminch down to south is the territory of Konso people. Konso people are very known to be hardworking and famous of terrace agriculture by which they exploit every meters of the mountainous terrain to grow coffee, bean, sorghum, cotton, and maze. They are as well known for weaving. Continue to Jinka. Arrive in Jinka. Overnight Hotel in Jinka.
Day 14: Jinka-Mursi-Jinka for a total of 150 KM, here starts the real natural part of the tour where we shall explore different people living in their natural state where time and space seems not to exist. Morning drive to the Mursi people, one of the most interesting, from anthropological point of view, in Africa.
They belong to The Nilo-Saharan language group and they speak a language similar to that of Surma and Me’en people. Among their vast and strange cultures is found also the “Lip Plate” which they practice by cutting their lower lip to insert a terra-cotta disc. The men have scarifications on their shoulders and arms. Overnight Hotel in Jinka.
Day 15: Drive from Jinka – Turmi via Demeka, morning dedicated to Ari people around Jinka. Omotic people who practice painting their huts with very interesting design. They are essentially farmers and grow coffee, sorghum, beans and other cereals as well as garden fruits and vegetables. Proceed to Turmi after lunch. Arrive in Turmi. ON lodge in Turmi.
Day 16: Turmi, this day is dedicated to the people of Hamar, one of the most elaborately dressed and largest Omotic speaking people of the Omo Valley. Overnight Lodge in Turmi.
Day 17: Turmi- Omo Rate- Turmi; morning excursion to Karo people, one of the most endangered people in Ethiopia. It seems that they are now left only few Karo numbered not more than 1500. Drive to Omo Rate to visit Dessenech people. Overnight Lodge in Turmi.
Day 18: Turmi- Yabello; morning drive through the Erbore Village, and Tesmay Villages, lunch in Konso, and proceed to Yabello, Main town of the Borana people. Overnight Hotel in Yabello.
Day 19: Yabello- Elsod- Yirgalem; Early in the morning drive to Elsod where there is a crater made from an extinct volcano on the bottom of which there is a black-water lake where the Borana people immerse to extract salt. The salt is then brought up to the village by donkey. Assist the interesting water wells of Boranna called “Singing wells” because the Borana people sing while pulling the water out from the wells that are as deep as 36m. Overnight Lodge in Yirgalem.
Day 20: visit on the way Sidama villages and drive back to Addis Ababa. Farewell dinner at traditional restaurant with folklore music; Departure.
- Full Board accommodation
- Land transportation by 4X4 WDS Guide service
- Entrance fees to all locations
What's Not Included
- Travel insurance
- Baggage insurance
- Alcohol and other personal maters
- Domestic flight
- Food and drinks
Know Before You Go
All programs are re-written to include traditional market days, National Holidays, Special Ceremonies, personal needs, Distances, and other events based on your departure date and time.