Ethiopia Cultural Tours3 tours available
ET1 Ethiopia Tour
13 days from Addis Ababa to Addis Ababa
Once a rich and powerful kingdom in northeast Africa, Ethiopia lays claim to a history that stretches back thousands of years and our 13-day… Read more
SD1 Northern Sudan Tour
18 days from Addis Ababa to Khartoum
This bold and unique new adventure travels the road MUCH less travelled, to three fascinating and friendly neighbours with much to offer the intrepid… Read more
More About Ethiopia
Ethiopia Cultural Tours: Known for far more than just the discovery of coffee in the 11th century, Ethiopia is one of Africa's most fascinating countries. From the towering 3000 m (9842 ft) peaks found within the Simien and Bale Mountains to Africa's lowest point on the continent, the Danakil Depression, Ethiopia cultural tours have a wide range of landscapes to explore.
Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is the most populated landlocked country in the world. It is widely considered that Ethiopia is the cradle of humanity, with the Omo human remains dating back 195,000 years ago as well as Lucy, a proto-human skull discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, believed to be 3.5 million years old.
During antiquity, many kingdoms and empires stretched into Ethiopia most notably the Kingdom of Ethiopia starting in 1137 AD. During the scramble for Africa, in which the British, Belgians, Germans, Ottomans, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italians invaded and occupied Africa between the years 1884 and 1910, the Kingdom of Ethiopia was able to successfully fight off invaders and retain sovereignty.
Before the Kingdom of Ethiopia, was the Aksumite Kingdom, which developed into the Christian kingdom, and was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Persian Empire. Once a maritime trading power, it is during this time that Ethiopia's greatest artifacts come. The 4th century St Mary of Zion Church, housing an amazing collection of church relics including crosses and ancient crowns, as well as housing Ethiopia's most sacred religious artifact, the supposed Ark of the Covenant.
During the Timkat Festival in Lalibela, the biggest celebration of the year in Ethiopia, many gather to mark the Epiphany which is held every year on the 19th of January. 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.
Ethiopia cultural tours are a wonderful way to experience another Christian festival, the 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.
Across the country, many more relics from the wealthy and powerful Kingdoms remain. Gondor, the former capital of Ethiopia is known as the 'City of Castles' with over a dozen castles found at the base of the Simien Mountains.
The Simiens stretch for over 40 kilometres with an almost two mile drop into the valley below. Ras Dashen (4620 m / 15,246 ft above sea level), is Africa's fourth highest peak and found within the Simiens. Perhaps it is the endemic animals, such as Gelada baboons near Debarak, that tend to be the highlight of this area even though numerous large rivers, including the Blue Nile, drain towards the Nile Basin while from north to south, it's the Omo River, flowing into Lake Turkana which make this region truly awe-inspiring.
Further highlights on Ethiopia tours include stops at the Temple of Yeha, the oldest standing structure in Ethiopia and the 13th century town of Mekelle, once a capital of Yohannes IV now with a memorial to the recent struggles of democracy the country has faced.