North and South Ethiopia Tour

Papyrus boat, tankwa, on Lake Tana.

This first 8 days of this tour enables you to visit the most popular route for those visiting Ethiopia - the ‘Cradle of Mankind’. See a range of fabulous constructions, such as the enchanting castles in Gondar, the Granite stone Stele of Axum and the incredible rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Be amazed by the thundering Blue Nile Falls and enjoy a boat trip on the splendid Lake Tana for island monasteries.

Aside from the awe inspiring constructions at each of these sites, you’ll be able to take in a fine blend of scenic delights, natural history and you’ll get to know the charming Ethiopian people. Drive to the Simien Mountains National Park, famed for its landscape, afro-alpine vegetation, unique wildlife, the endemic Wallia Ibex, Gelada Baboon troops, Bushbuck, Klipspringer.


Currently, due to the ongoing conflict, it is not possible to travel to the province of Tigrai, located in the north of the country. With a high degree of probability, it can be assumed that the situation will not change until the end of the year. This means that it is not possible to visit Aksum.

During the next 8 days of your tour; it would be facile to portray South Omo as some kind of living Museum. This is the itinerary for adventure lovers as you will drive through the off-roads and staying in bushes.

Four of Africa's major linguistic groups are represented in the region, including the Omotic-speakers. All in all, depending on where one draws the lines, as many as two dozen different tribes occupy South Omo, some numbering tens of thousands, others no more than 500, each one of them culturally unique. In addition, you cross the part of the Great Rift Valley which is endowed with the abundant wildlife.


Combined route (Historic and Cultural)

Duration: 15 night/16 days

Accommodation: Hotel/lodge

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Arrive Addis Ababa at Bole International Air Port & meet with us for transfer to the hotel .Overnight hotel

Day 2: Addis Ababa

Today you have a full day city tour in Addis Ababa. Visit the National Museum, where you see the famous fossil Lucy, who was 3.2 million years old, the Ethnographic Museum, Entoto St. Mary Museum, St .Trinity Cathedral church, and Merkato market, the largest open-air market in Africa. Overnight hotel

Day 3: Bahir Dar

Early morning transfer to Air port to fly to Bahir Dar. After check in to the hotel we drive to the Blue Nile Falls, which is known locally as Tissisat (smoking water) fall: 100 m (328 ft) wide, the water plunges for 45 m (148 ft), giving rise to steam clouds and rainbows. After lunch we will have a boat trip on Lake Tana. There are 37 islands on Lake Tana and 32 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. We visit the monastery churche of Ura Kidane Mihiret, which is the best known of the monasteries and has an important collection of religious icons from the 16th to 18th centuries A.D. Overnight hotel

Day 4: Gonder

Drive to Gonder, which is 180 kms away from Bahir Dar. Gonder was the first capital city of the Ethiopian Empire, which began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas. In Gonder, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. The city seems more European than African. In the afternoon, we visit Fasilidas' Palace, probably the most impressive of all the castles found in the area and the oldest one! We continue on to the Church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity). The interior of Debre Berham Selassie is decorated with beautiful frescos, cherubs and paintings. Debre Berham Selassie is rumored to once have been the proposed final resting-place of the Ark of the Covenant. Overnight hotel.

Day 5: Gonder-Semen Mountain National Park-Gonder

Today you have an excursion trip to the majesty of Semen Mountain National park. Early morning with the lunch box drive to Debark. This is a small market town at an altitude of 2700 meters near the boundary of the Semien Mountains National Park corrugated cardboard - iron - surrounded roofed building its colorful and bustling market area. Before entering the park, you need to register at the park headquarters just outside the city. Here armed Scout - joins one of the parking regulations, please. Then go for the best view buying top. Heading through pretty Country Pass is at the foot of the mountains Semen, with attention paid to field, open pasture with grazing horses, trees and distant rocky peaks. At the height of the road there is a magnificent view of the strangely eroded foothills of the series, and you can also lucky enough to spot at first bearded vulture and gelada baboons of the trip. After you visit the National park, drive back to Gonder; On the way visit the Fellasha (Ethiopian Jews) village. Overnight hotel.

Day 6: Lalibela

Fly to Lalibela. Today you have a full day city tour in Lalibela. The city contains 11 monolithic churches that were built in the 12th century and are carved out of the pink granite rock; they have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the first and the third group of churches, which have seven rock churches. After lunch visit the second group of churches, which have four rock churches. Overnight hotel Overnight hotel

Day 7: Lalibela

AM horse/ mule ride excursion to the nearby mountain. While on top you will admire the 13th century rock hewn monastery and the awe-inspiring scenery. Overnight the same hotel.

Day 8: Axum

Am transfer to Lalibela air port for 45 minute flight to Aksum. After check in to the hotel, we will have a city tour in Axum, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the Granite stone Stele of Axum, The Tombs of King Kaleb and his son King G/Mesekel, The Ezana’s stone inscription, The Queen of Sheba’s palace and Swimming pool, and the Church of Zion, which is the final resting place of the True Arc of The Covenant. Overnight hotel

Day 9: Awassa

Fly back to Addis Ababa and then drive to Awassa. On the way visit lake Zeway, which is famous for colorful water birds and largest lake from the Northern rift valley lakes. Overnight hotel

Day 10: Arba Minch

After breakfast drive to the lake Awassa to visit the colorful water birds and Fish market, where people are buying fresh fish from Fisher men; And then drive directly to the lake side town of Arba Minch. On the way visit two different village ,one is Alaba village and the second one is the Dorze people who live on the Guge Mounatin and are famous for their beehive bamboo house and weaving skill; In their society, it is a taboo for men to spin the cotton and also taboo for the women to make a traditional cloth. Overnight hotel

Day 11: Arba Minch

AM drive to Nechi Sar National park to visit many species of birds and mammals. Nechi Sar National Park, located in the rift valley. It is enriched with many species of birds and mammals; African orange-bellied parrots, bustards, weavers, Somber rock-chat, yellow-throated serine, Red-fronted barbet, Pygmy baits, Lesser striped swallow, and Anubis Baboon,, Black-backed Jackal, Bat-eared Fox, Egyptian Mongoose, Warthog, Soemmering’s Gazelle, Lesser Kudu, Salt’s Dik-dik, etc. After lunch will have a boat trip on the 3rd lagest lake in Ethiopia called Chamoue; which famous for big Crocodile, Hippos, and water birds. Overnight same hotel

Day 12: Jinka

After breakfast drive to Weyto via the town of Key Afer. On the way visit the konso village, where you see colorfully costumed dress, impressive terracing of the land, annually engraved wooden status used as grave markers and community house. In the community house called Mora, all the young boys above 12 years old expected to stay every night in it till their marriage .And then drive to Weyto for Lunch. After Lunch continue driving to the town of Jinka. En route visit the Tsemay people, who give right for girls to choose their husband before marriage. During this time, If the girl pregnant, which is not acceptable in the community. In the Tsemay society, the Brides eating together only during their honeymoon time and the rest of their life will not eat together. If the day is Thursday, there is a colourfull market at Key Afer for Tsemay and Benna people. Overnight hotel

Day 13: Turmi

AM drive to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people with their village. The mursi are well known for the large clay discs that the women wear inserted in their slit lower lips ; The Mursi women start cutting their lips between the age of 12 and 16 years and then after they cut their lips, they put small wooden plugs and change every night with the big one to stretch the lips till their lips can hold 6 inch round clay. The Mursi men wear very little, although a cotton wrap is be coming more & more common . After lunch drive to Turmi via Dimeka. If the day is Saturday or Tuesday, will have a chance to see the colorful weekly market at Dimeka. Overnight lodge

Day 14: Turmi

A.M drive to Korocho village to visit the karo tribe; They are famous for body decoration during the ceremony; In the old time, Men are famous for body scars; By counting of the scars, you can identify how many person he killed. Afternoon visit the Hammer village, where you see kids playing in the compound and women are decorate their hair by using red soil, water and cow butter. Hamer people have a bull Jumping ceremony; This ceremony is a transformation for young boys from young to adulthood; During the ceremony, you see the real Hamer traditional dance called Eveangadi; and also the women from the jumper’s families are being wipe by his friend’s to show their love to the Jumper. Overnight same lodge

Day 15: Arba Minch

Drive to Arba minch via Arbore. On the way will have stop at Arbore tribe, who practice circumcision before marriage for the girls. After circumcision program, she will stay two month in her Husband’s family house. Overnight hotel

Day 16: Addis Ababa/Departure

Drive back to Addis via the town of Hossahina. On the way visit the Steale of Tiya, which carved from monolithic stones and used as Tomb for the soldiers who died between the age of 18 and 22. And also the Stele of Tiya registered on the UNESCO Album as one of the world heritage site. Evening after the dinner program in one of the traditional restaurant, transfer to air port for departure. End of the tour

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