ET2 ETHIOPIA TOUR

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Historic North & the Omo Valley

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

Churches of Lalibela; Colourful festivals; Spectacular Simien Mountain scenery; Axum Stellae Park; Tribal south, kaleidoscope of cultures; Christian churches, gilded monasteries; Traditional villages, Rift Valley

  • DATES & PRICES
  • FULL ITINERARY
  • MAP & HOTELS
  • TRIP INFORMATION

Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.


Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Sat 26 Sep 2015Sat 17 Oct 2015 $5690 Last-minute Availability
Tue 24 Nov 2015Tue 15 Dec 2015 $5690
Sun 10 Jan 2016Sun 31 Jan 2016 $5900
Sun 25 Sep 2016Sun 16 Oct 2016 $5690
Wed 23 Nov 2016Wed 14 Dec 2016 $5690

Optional Single Supplement: $1130 (number of singles limited).


Tour Overview


An ancient land of stunning sceneries, fascinating cultures and first-rate historic sites, Ethiopia numbers among Africa's most rewarding tour destinations. As we learn about the country's long history with visits to castles built by various emperors over a 236-year timeframe, 11th century rock-hewn churches, pre-Christian buildings, ancient monuments and royal palaces, we travel through stunning sceneries of mist-shrouded mountain peaks and idyllic cascading waterfalls. Our cultural exploration of this special destination includes spending time in villages isolated from the rest of the world in which fisherman still use papyrus boats, in local marketplaces where Ari women wear traditional skirts made of tree twigs and at tribal gatherings wherein stick-fighting contests, elaborate dress, lip plates and earlobe discs are commonplace. This Ethiopia tour offers a cultural experience like no other.

Regions visited: East Africa
Countries visited: Ethiopia


Testimonials


The excursions I enjoyed most were ALL of them. All local guides were excellent. The Toyota Land Cruisers were wonderful. I did not expect the air conditioning, but it was wonderful to have. Chris, our tour leader, was always!!!!! so enthusiastic and positive. He was extremely well organized and his knowledge was wonderful. AA have a real gem in having Chris on your staff. He is amazing in his enthusiasm and knowledge of Ethiopia. His love of the country and people is so evident and so very contagious.

My initial reason for going to Ethiopia was to see the tribes in the south. So glad I was able to experience the Timket Festival in Lalibela. The whole trip to the north was amazing. I loved the blue Nile Falls outside of Bahir Dar. The National Park in the Simien Mountains was a highlight....Gelada monkeys everywhere....On the way to Mekelle, we stopped to visit a family. We were able to see the interior of the house....we watched the wife grind the tiff got a chance to try grinding with this heavy stone (very difficult)...a great experience. The ceremonial baptism in Lalibela at sunrise.....wow....not to be missed. The Timket Festival was something I will never forget....the pagentry, the color, the faces of the priests, etc. The south of Ethiopia was everything I hoped it would be....stepping into National Geographic. There were no excursions I didn't enjoy. Mulay, our guide in the North and Tedy, our guide in the south were both EXCEPTIONAL. I feel very fortunate to have had these intelligent, kind, caring, funny guides with us. The Toyota Land Rovers were great. We had great meals. Adventures Abroad is so fortunate to have Chris Tripodi as a tour leader. He is calm, kind, funny, considerate, air, truthful, always watchful of peoples facial expressions, respectful of the group and the people we are visiting, always thinking ahead. Adventures Abroad is so lucky to have Chris Tripodi on staff. Not only is he all of the above, he is a WONDERFUL human being.....an AMBASSADOR OF THE WORLD. I am so lucky to have shared this Ethiopian experience with him. Wonderful tour. I have traveled with AA to West Africa (Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso) and Ethiopia. I will travel with them again because of their incredible tour leaders.

Timkat Festival, churches, tribes, castles, country side drives. Vehicles and drivers were excellent. The trip was amazing. We saw things we never dreamed of.

Lorna was extremely knowlegeable and enjoyed imparting her understanding and respect for other cultures to the group. She is an excellent example of imparting not only tolerance but good will and appreciation of others.

This was my first ever tour. It was excellent; the tour, the party and the country and its people. The lead driver/guide was utterly outstanding, and acted as a co-guide. His local knowledge, work and personality got access to villages and families, and helped...enhance the trip and remedy problems.

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrival in Ethiopia
Arrive in Addis Ababa, (2450 m / 8,038 ft) Ethiopia's capital city.

THIS IS A TRIP FOR THE ADVENTUROUS. The itinerary has been designed to be as comfortable as possible, but this part of the world is still undeveloped. Accommodation is basic in some places and some road journeys are long, dusty, and rough. This trip is suitable for hardy travellers who do not expect "creature comforts" or things to work smoothly everywhere. Despite the often-rustic conditions, delays, and bumpy roads, this will be a fascinating journey, full of epic moments for the experienced traveller who possesses a sense of humour, flexibility, and a true spirit for adventure.

Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Meal plan: dinner

Day 2 Addis Ababa: City Tour
This morning we tour Addis Ababa, with a visit to Ethiopia's National and Ethnographic Museum. One of its most famous residents is Lucy, a proto-human skull discovered in Ethiopia in 1974 and believed to be 3.5 million years old. The Ethnographic Museum, on the university campus of Addis Ababa, displays many items important to daily life in rural Ethiopia. A brief section also pertains to the life of the late Haile Selassie, Ethiopia's last emperor, crowned in 1930.

We also visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral, the second most-important place of worship in Ethiopia and the final resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.

NOTE: Our September departure is set to coincide with Meskel, celebrated in this country for over 1,600 years. The word actually means "cross" and the feast commemorates the discovery of the Cross upon which Jesus was crucified by the Empress Helena, the mother of Constantine the Great. The original event took place on 19 March, AD 326, but the feast is now celebrated in late September. In Addis celebrations start in the early afternoon, when a huge procession bearing flaming torches approaches Meskel Square from various directions. The marchers include priests in their brightly hued vestments, students, brass bands, contingents of the armed forces, and bedecked floats carrying huge lit crosses. They circle the demera and fling their torches upon it, while singing a special Meskel song. Thousands gather at the square to join in and welcome the season of flowers and golden sunshine called 'Tseday.' As evening darkens the flames glow brighter. It is not until dawn that the burning pyramid consumes itself and the big tree at the centre finally falls. During the celebrations each house is stocked with tella, the local beer, and strangers are made welcome.

Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 3 Addis Ababa - Bahr Dar: Tis Abay (Blue Nile Falls)
Today we fly to Bahr Dar, situated on the shore of Lake Tana in northwestern Ethiopia. Bahar Dar is a small town set on the southeastern shore of Lake Tana (Ethiopia's largest lake), where local fishermen still use papyrus boats, and just 30 km (19 miles) from the spectacular Tissisat Falls.

This afternoon we have an excursion to Tis Abay (Blue Nile Falls), a cascade 45 m (150 feet) high. The locals call it Tisissat, which means "Water that Smokes". The area is also home to a great variety of birds and plants.

Return to Bahr Dar.

Overnight in Bahr Dar.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 4 Bahr Dar - Gondar
Today we cross Lake Tana by boat and connect with our land transport at Gorgora and continue by road to Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia (1818 m / 6,000 ft). This "City of Castles" is one of Ethiopia's most interesting. Set in a beautiful landscape, Gondar is situated at the base of the Simien Mountains. The city's unique imperial precinct contains a dozen castles built by various emperors over a 236-year period.

Overnight in Gondar.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 5 Gondar: Town Tour
Today we will acquaint ourselves with the city of Gondar, touring the castle of Emperor Fasiledes, founder of the former capital. The two-story castle with its domed towers was said to be "one of the most marvelous of buildings" by a visiting Yemeni envoy. We will also see the Bathing Palace, once surrounded by a moat of water. Today the moat is only filled with water during Epiphany for an annual baptism celebration. We will also visit the monasteries of Qusquam and Debre Berhan Selassie. The latter has not only many detailed 16th century frescoes, but also one of Ethiopia's most photographed ceilings, painted with angels' faces. We will also make a short trip outside Gondar to the tiny village of Wolleka, where there once lived a large community of Falashas (Jewish Ethiopians). Although most departed in 1991, their Christian neighbours still make the figurines of black and red pottery for which the Falasha were so famous.

Overnight in Gondar.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 6 Gondar - Simien Mountains
Today we travel by road into the Simien Mountains and the Simien Eco Lodge. The highest point above us, Ras Dashen (4620 m / 15,246 ft above sea level), is Africa's fourth highest peak. Numerous large rivers, including the Blue Nile, drain the highlands from east to west, towards the Nile Basin. From north to south, it's the Omo River, flowing into Lake Turkana. Our overnight location approaches 2800 m / 9,000 ft; not terribly high, but you will notice the thinness of the air and cold at night.

The Simiens stretch for over 40 kilometres with an almost two mile drop into the valley below. Our lodge is near Debarak, an area that is home to endemic animals such as Gelada baboons. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area on foot and learn about various ongoing eco-projects that preserve the fauna and flora and foster the economic development in the region as a whole.

Overnight in Simien National Park.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 7 Simien Mountains - Axum
Today we continue our journey north towards Axum (2202 m / 7,226 ft). This afternoon you may want to walk through part of the town or relax at our hotel.

Axum (Aksum) was the centre of the (eventual) Christian marine trading power the Aksumite Kingdom, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman era writings (around the time of the birth of Jesus) in good correlation to the expansion of Rome into northern Africa, and later when it developed into the Christian kingdom, was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Persian Empire. The historical record is unclear; primary sources are limited mainly to ancient church records.

Overnight in Axum.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 8 Axum: Area Tour
Today we explore the wonders of ancient Axum, beginning with the Stelae Park. Carved completely from blocks of granite, these stelae are truly impressive. Although never erected, the largest stelae -- now broken into several pieces -- measures over 30 m (100 feet) long and dates from Ethiopia's pre-Christian era.

Our tour continues to the Archaeological Museum, and to St Mary of Zion Church. We will see the ruins of the original 4th century church, and view an amazing collection of church relics including crosses and ancient crowns. It is here that we will also see the building that houses Ethiopia's most sacred religious artifact, the supposed Ark of the Covenant.

We will wander through King Ezana's Park. Of particular interest is a tablet inscribed in three languages: Ge'ez, Sabean, and Greek. We will also visit the tomb of King Basen, who ruled Axum at the time of Christ's birth. This afternoon we will visit two sites located outside the modern town of Axum: the Palace of the Queen of Sheba, and King Kaleb's Palace. Both enjoy commanding views of the countryside -- lands that were once part of the powerful Axumite Kingdom.

On our late November departures, we watch the Hidar Zion Day processions and celebrations. This festival is attended by tens of thousands of people from all over Ethiopia, making it one of the most joyous annual pilgrimages in Axum, the "sacred city of the Ethiopians."

Overnight in Axum.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 9 Axum - Yeha - Mekelle
Today we travel to Mekelle, the capital of the province of Tigre, a dry, rocky region.

En route we make a short detour to Yeha and the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia--the Temple of Yeha. This is a tower built in the Sabaean style, and dated through comparison with ancient structures in South Arabia to around 700 BC. Although no radiocarbon dating testing has been performed on samples from site, this date for the Great Tower is supported by local inscriptions. David Phillipson attributes its "excellent preservation" to two factors: the care with which its original builders ensured a level foundation, firmly placed on the uneven bedrock; and to its rededication -- perhaps as early as the sixth century AD -- for use as a Christian church.

Upon arrival in Mekelle, we can view the city's new war memorial, a towering monument reminding us of the many who lost their lives fighting a bitter struggle for a more democratic Ethiopia. According to local historians, Mekelle was founded in the 13th century. Its heyday came later during the late nineteenth century, after Yohannes IV was crowned as King of Kings of Ethiopia, and chose Mekelle as the capital of his realm.

Overnight in Mekelle.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 10 Mekelle - Lalibela
Today, as we travel from one valley to the next, we shall see a great variety of crops growing. Sugarcane, bananas, citrus fruits, wheat, barley, potatoes, and plenty of teff grow on the dry terraced mountainsides and valley floors. Teff, a short-stalked grain, produces the smallest grain in the world. Ethiopians mill it into flour used to make injera, the national bread.

Lalibela is the site of eleven rock-hewn churches dating from the 11th century. Each of the churches is architecturally unique and several are decorated with colourful, well-preserved paintings.

Overnight in Lalibela.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 11 Lalibela
Our January departure coincides with the Timkat Festival in Lalibela, the biggest celebration of the year in Ethiopia, marking the Epiphany every year on the 19th of January. Timkat is celebrated all over Ethiopia, but nowhere is it quite as spectacular as in Lalibela. The festival begins with Timkat Eve and dramatic processions through a night of fasting. Crowds of revelers, all dressed in white, sing and dance in the streets to the beating of drums. Priests, decked
out in jewel encrusted velvet and satin robes, carry a replica of Arc of the Covenant known as a talbot in a grand procession through the streets.

On all departures we will visit both the western and eastern group of churches where we will spend time wandering through parts of the village.

Overnight in Lalibela.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 12 Lalibela - Addis Ababa
Today we fly from Lalibela back to Addis Ababa.

Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 13 Addis Ababa - Arba Minch
This morning we begin our journey southwards to Arba Minch, the "town of many springs". The passes through a mountainous region and highland plateau covered with banana plantations and bamboo. Arba Minch is situated by lakes Chamo and Abaya, the most southerly of Ethiopia's Rift Valley lakes.

En route we stop at the UNESCO site of Tiya, which features a large collection of stelae. Originally forty-six stelae were erected in the cemetery here between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Archaeological excavations show that the site contains graves. The stelae have carvings representing swords and various enigmatic signs quite unlike those of other regions. The tradition of erecting megalithic monuments is very ancient in Ethiopia; some date from before our era.

Overnight in Arba Minch (1200m / 3,936 ft). Swaynes Hotel.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 14 Arba Minch Area
Today we visit the Dorze tribe, famed for their bee hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides. Around their huts they have their own little garden with vegetables, spices, tobacco and enset (false-banana or musa ensete).

This afternoon we take a refreshing boat trip on Lake Chamo, home to huge crocodiles, hippos and a variety of birdlife.

Overnight in Arba Minch. Swaynes Hotel.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 15 Arba Minch - Jinka
We continue our experience with tribal life with a visit to the Konso. A pagan society, the Konso erect eerie wooden totems replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead and have numerous cults based around the breeding and veneration of serpents. The cornerstone of Konso culture, however, is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy that, through terracing buttressed with stone, enable these people to extract a productive living from the not-very-fertile hills and valleys that surround them. An excellent day to meet the people, take photographs with them and learn of a culture that has had very little outside influence.

Later afternoon arrival in Jinka, set at the foot of Mago National Park (440m / 1,450 ft).

The Omo Valley (average elevation 200-400m / 600-1,320 ft) is a virgin environment where tribal traditions have remained unchanged. The women still dress in elaborately decorated skins and the men celebrate adulthood with special coloured hair buns. There is a fascinating mix of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes, from the Bume and Karo to the Bena, Mursi, and Hamar, coexisting in a harsh land that is all but forgotten by the rest of the world.

Overnight in Jinka.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 16 Jinka - Mago National Park - Jinka
Day excursion to Mago National Park to visit a Mursi village. The insertion of wooden and terracotta discs into the ear lobes is a widespread custom. Mursi women also progressively split and stretch their lower lips to make room for similar discs. Though these lip plates may appear bizarre to outsiders, the Mursi regard them as signs of beauty. Generally, the larger the lip plate the more desirable the wearer. At certain seasons, visitors may be lucky to chance on colourful and dramatic traditional ceremonies. Periodically young men of the Mursi and Surma tribes engage in ritual stick fighting. These duels are conducted with the utmost vigour since the winners are much admired by nubile girls. These are people who farm the land and breed livestock; they live in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world. We have an interesting day here seeing how the lifestyle of bygone days is still being lived.

The Omo Valley, part of the "Great African Rift", is located in the southwestern corner of Ethiopia and shares its borders with Kenya and Sudan. Many anthropologists consider it to be the birthplace of mankind; the entire region has been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list since 1980.

Overnight in Jinka.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 17 Jinka - Dimeka - Turmi
We drive towards Turmi across various villages browsing the different ethnic tribes all with their own unique culture and lifestyle. We visit Dimeka's colourful market and encounter the local people. The Omo Valley is so special because nowhere else in the world are there so many ethnic groups inhabiting such a small area. During the next couple of days you'll encounter numerous peoples, all of whom have their own languages and, for the most part, have few interactions with each other.

Overnight in Turmi.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 18 Turmi Area
Today's excursion involves encounters with various peoples, most notably the Karo. The most striking thing about Karo people's symbolic and ornamental expressions is the painted body and face decorations. This is an elaborate process, which ranges from fine and elaborate details to rough, but striking paintings traced with the palms or fingers. The most beautiful expression is in the facial and chest paintings that combine white (chalk), black (charcoal), yellow, ochre, and red earth. They often imitate the spotted plumage of a guinea fowl. Karo woman scarify their chests to beautify themselves .The complete scarification of a man's chest indicates that he has killed an enemy or a dangerous animal. The scars are cut with a knife or razor blade and ash is rubbed in to produce a raised effect. The wearing of a grey and ochre clay hair bun also indicates the killing of an enemy or a dangerous animal.

We visit a typical Karo settlement with open public meeting grounds and dancing place. The people living here have shelters called shuppa, where they pass the hottest hours of the day playing a Karo board game called Warre.

We return to Buska Lodge.

Overnight in Turmi.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 19 Turmi - Arba Minch
The road crosses soft rolling hills with dark red soil and plentiful crops and woods. This is the territory of the Konso, excellent farmers. Toward the Rift Valley, we may be lucky enough to see Beisa oryx, dik-dik, and lesser kudu. We can also keep an eye out for lesser bustards, secretary birds, and ostriches, but more likely we will encounter the cattle and goats belonging to the local inhabitants.

Overnight at Arba Minch.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 20 Arba Minch - Awassa (Yirgalem)
We travel through the Great Rift Valley, a 6000 km fault line that runs from Syria, under the Red Sea, across southern Ethiopia all the way to Mozambique. We pass Shashemene, the unofficial Ethiopian capital of the Rastafarian community. Our route passes all major lakes that dot the Rift Valley, a fertile land planted with bananas, cereals and tobacco, first inhabited by the Oromo people and then the Sidamo.

We arrive into Awassa, located on the edge of Lake Awassa. The lake is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of bird. There is a beautiful track running along the lakeside, perfect for a walk. After a short stay we drive to Yirgalem and the Aregash Ecological Lodge.

Overnight at Yirgalem.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 21 Yirgalem - Addis Ababa
This morning you have the opportunity for walking in the forest and relaxing at the lodge, nestled between coffee fields and lush vegetation.

We then depart Aregash for Lake Langano, a holiday resort with a splendid beach dotted with acacia trees. After a break for lunch at a local lodge, we continue by road to Addis via Debre Ziet Crater lakes.

Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Meal plan: breakfast,dinner

Day 22 Depart
Departure from Addis Ababa.

BON VOYAGE!!

Meal plan: breakfast

Tour Map

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*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


Hotel List


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Abay Minch Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Bahir Dar
Country: Ethiopia

Throughout time, the haunting images of East Africa’s myriad landscapes have captured the hearts and souls of most discerning travelers.
... one of the few places on earth where adventure still awaits is Ethiopia. This evocative land of dense forests, mountains, mighty rivers, lakes and abundant wildlife provides a unique backdrop for a truly memorable experience.
Located in the heart of Bahir Dar, a city that is surrounded by the beautiftul Lake Tana, the might Blue Nile River and the wonders of Simien Mountains, Abay Minch Lodge is the perfect place to start your adventurous journey. Our lodge is built on a ground that is rich with nature, abundant vegetation and general exotic feel. It is also a place where you can breath the fresh that flows from the various species of trees all around the compound and hear the melodious sound of birds. Come visit us and let us show you why we feel there is no better place for you start your adventure than Abay Minch Lodge.

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Simien Eco-Lodge

Rating: 2 Star Accommodation2 Star Accommodation
Location: Gonder
Country: Ethiopia

This is one of Ethiopia's only true eco-lodges located in the mountains with spectacular views. The lodge is simple but
... and charming, with traditional architecture and a friendly , laid-back atmosphere.


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Hotel Yemereha

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Lalibela
Country: Ethiopia

Named after the 12th century King Yimerehane Kirstos, who built the most impressive churches in Lalibela, Yemereha Hotel is simple,
... clean and comfortable. (photo of Lalibela's primary attraction - see website for hotel photos).
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Buska Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Turmi
Country: Ethiopia

Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska Lodge is an unpretentious eco-lodge offering travelers the
... accommodation and meal service in this region

Buska Lodge overlooks the plains of Buska Mountain and has been constructed to blend beautifully in to the natural surroundings.

Buska Lodge offers the rare opportunity to learn about and experience the culture and traditions of the local Hammer community offering a rare glimpse into the cultures of the Omo Valley. The Hammer are famous for their Evangadi dance and “Bull jumping” ceremony where a young man who wants to marry jumps over a line of bulls in order to show that he is worth to the pride’s family. The Hammer share traditions and rituals with surrounding people like the Tsemai, Ari, Karo, and Bena.

This well designed lodge is ideally located offering comfortable and relaxed visits to the main Omo valley tribes namely, Hammer, Karo, Dassenech, Bume, and Benna.

Covering a total of 30,000 sq. meters area, Buska Lodge’s compound is a fascinating green area with about 120 species of plants.

In addition to the 20 standard bed rooms, the lodge also has 10 roofed camping islands for those who prefer camping. We provide camping gear including spacious water proof tents, sleeping mattresses, cooking huts, etc.

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Aregash Lodge

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Yirga `Alem
Country: Ethiopia

Nestled between coffee fields and lush vegetation in Yirgalem town Aregash Lodge is a peaceful heaven for those who seek
... and a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The bamboo thatched Tukuls of Aregash Lodge are built in the style of a traditional Sidama village. Each bungalow is decorated with vibrant colors and furnished in traditional Sidama style to give a warm, luxurious feel
Read More.


Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Inclusions

Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and restaurants), some lunches. All transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving / departing on tour dates.

Exclusions

Tour Leader gratuity, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), departure taxes, domestic and international air taxes (if applicable), visa fees. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Optional trip cancellation insurance. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, visas, shopping, and locally paid departure taxes.

Seasonality and Weather

It is likely to be sunny most of the time on all departures. Most of the country is high, so although the sun is powerful, the temperature is usually pleasant. There is always, however, the risk of sunburn at high altitude. Nights are generally cool to cold, depending on altitude. In the north, daytime temperatures seldom rise above 25C (80F) falling to around 9 C (50 F).

At lower levels, such as the Omo Valley, temperatures can exceed 30 C (86 F) and fall to 15 C (60 F). The main rains come between June and mid-September; November is one of the coolest and clearest in the year. January will be hotter and drier with a more arid landscape than September - November, which can still be quite lush after the rains.

Warning: the January departure of this tour tends to fill up as early as a year in advance. Early booking is essential to ensure availability. Single supplements are strictly limited to four.

Transport and Travel Conditions

THIS IS A TRIP FOR THE HARDY! The itinerary has been designed to be as comfortable as possible, but this part of the world is still undeveloped. Many road journeys are long, rough, hot and dusty. While every precaution is taken to ensure the quality and hygiene of the accommodations and food provided, those with weak "constitutions" or reduced immunity should not travel to this destination. Medical facilities are limited and located only in major centres; even a minor injury or illness can become very serious in these isolated locales. Long walks may be required to reach some areas, including walks over steep gradients and poorly maintained paths in extreme heat. If you have difficulty walking, even over short distances, or require the assistance of a cane, we regret that this tour is not suitable for you.

We will be using 4WD Land Cruisers, 4WD mini buses or Coaster buses depending on the conditions of the roads and the size of the group. Air- conditioned vehicles are not available in Ethiopia.

Accommodation

Hotel rooms are basic but generally clean with en suite toilet and bath facilities (usually shower only). In many places hotel accommodation is limited; we utilize the best tourist class properties available. Please do not expect all facilities to work flawlessly.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader, drivers, local guides, camp staff in Omo Valley.

Group Size

10-21 (plus Tour Leader)

ET2 TRIP DETAILS

DURATION22 days

TOUR STARTAddis Ababa

TOUR ENDAddis Ababa