ET2 20 Day Ethiopia Tour
Historic North & the Omo Valley
Churches of Lalibela; Colourful festivals; Spectacular Simien Mountain scenery; Axum Stellae Park; Tribal south, kaleidoscope of cultures; Christian churches, gilded monasteries; Traditional villages, Omo ValleyINQUIRE ABOUT THIS TOUR
- DATES & PRICES
- FULL ITINERARY
- MAP & HOTELS
- TRIP INFORMATION
Dates & Prices
Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to the entries under the blue box below.
Select a date below to reserve your spot:
|Start Date||End Date||Price||More Info|
|Sun 09 Jan 2022||Fri 28 Jan 2022||$6420 USD|
|Wed 23 Nov 2022||Mon 12 Dec 2022||$6190 USD|
|Mon 09 Jan 2023||Sat 28 Jan 2023||$6630 USD|
Optional Single Supplement: $1250 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $625 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.
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.
+Alan B. (Manalapan, NJ, US)
We particularly enjoyed Lalibela and peoples in the south. The local guides were excellent; informative and spoke English very well. Our tour leader was friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, enthusiastic. One of the best tour directors we have ever had.
+Barbara C. (Saint Louis, MO, US)
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.
+David S. (Toronto, CA)
Ethiopia provides a fabulous variety of scenery / landscape, history, world class ancient sites and fascinating peoples. AA has been touring here multiple times per year for a long time and the experience shows - not just the great tour leader but also the choice of local agent, transportation, hotels, local guides and specific sites visited. Visits to a few private homes, not on the itinerary, were a big bonus. I was very happy with my choice of the September departure with Meskel, better weather and uncrowded hotels and sites rather than the peak time Timkat tours.
+Faith C. (Calgary, CA)
WOW, Great, EXCELLENT, Above and beyond! Lorna (tour leader)clearly loves her job and is fabulous, professional and a wonderful person. WOW the transportation exceeded my expectation by a long shot....our drivers were professional and very good at what they do. Medexa our main driver deserves special credit for being the lead driver and really just a very genuine soft spoken person who took his job seriously and cleaned the vehicles every night. Each day the cars were free of dust and the windows and vehicle sparkling!
+Felicia G. (Denville, NJ, US)
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.
+Gail L. (West Vancouver, BC, CA)
Timkat Festival, churches, tribes, castles, country side drives. Vehicles and drivers were excellent. The trip was amazing. We saw things we never dreamed of.
+John N. (Eugene, OR, 1)
We particularly enjoyed the South Omo tribal people, animal life, Lalibella churches, monasteries on Lake Tana. The drivers exceeded all expectations. Courteous and polite, outstanding driving skill, spotless cars, personable. The meal plan exceeded our expectations. Our tour leader was excellent and I'd do another trip with her as leader anytime.
+Renne S. (Bay Harbour Islands, FL, US)
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.
+Robin M. (Basking Ridge, NJ, US)
I liked all the excursions. Wow, our tour leader was so knowledgeable about the culture of both the Christian majority and the tribal peoples. I learned a lot from her. I'd be happy to see her in future travels. The hotels were very good. Great tour. Learned a lot.
+Roger B. (Richond, BC, CA)
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.
*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.
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.
Best Western Addis Ababa
Location: Addis Ababa
Unfussy rooms in a refined hotel featuring a restaurant, a cafe/bar & a spa, plus free breakfast.
Click here to visit hotel website
Abay Minch Lodge
Location: Bahir Dar
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.
Click here to visit hotel website
Lal Hotel & Spa
All rooms are fully air-conditioned and designed with private balcony that offers a panoramic view of the environment. Each room ... spacious and comes with an en-suite bathroom, a flat screen TV, a fridge and tea/coffee making facilities.
Click here to visit hotel website
Breakfast and dinner daily (hotels and restaurants). All accommodation, transport, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Full time Tour Leader and local guide services at several locations. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving/departing on tour dates.
International airfare to/from the tour. 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, food, weather, visas, what to bring, and shopping.
Seasonality and Weather
It is likely to be sunny most of the time on all departures. Most of the country is higher in elevation, 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.
On most tours, we will be using 4WD Land Cruisers with seating for 5 (including driver), though we place only 3 passengers to enhance comfort. Occasionally 4WD mini buses or Coaster buses depending on the conditions of the roads and the size of the group. Many roads are rough and some days are long; a dust mask may enhance comfort. Vehicles are air-conditioned.
Overall, past travellers on this tour have referred to it as "challenging," "exhilarating," fascinating," and "exhausting." As mentioned above, many roads are in poor condition and many road journeys seem to go on much longer than they should. Food is well-prepared and served with pride, but it can get repetitive with a lack of the variety to which you may be accustomed. Our tour is busy and moves around a lot, which can be fatiguing over time. Ethiopia is a place of great beauty and a fascinating place to visit, but it is also a place of "rough edges" and things that don't always work out as planned. One must definitely approach this trip with an open mind and spirit of adventure. If you do so, you will be rewarded by one of the world's most enriching travel experiences.
Related to the above, please see our entry under "accommodation."
Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.
How might Covid-19 impact this tour and your booking? To review our safety protocols, passenger responsibilites, frequently asked questions, and terms governing your reservation, click here.
Review our full booking terms here.
One of the problems with accommodation outside of main cities in Ethiopia, is the inconsistency in quality and comfort that we will experience as the tour progresses. Beginning/ending the trip with a modern international-class property in Addis, should not suggest that we can expect this same standard throughout the tour. While some hotels, though simple and lacking charm, are still comfortable and welcoming in some locations, some hotels can be disappointing by comparison. Cumulatively, the rough edges -- lack of hot water or air-conditioning, lapses in cleanliness and basic maintenance, lack of atmosphere, etc -- can enhance once's fatigue and sense of tiredness, especially after a long day of travel.
Though every effort is made to monitor levels of quality and to confirm our preferred properties, one should nonetheless be prepared for the reality of a tourist infrastructure that's still in its infancy.
For more information, please click on the "Map & Hotels" tab elsewhere on your screen.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader, drivers, local guides.
Maximum 15 plus Tour Leader
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