This well paced itinerary gives you a good breadth and in-depth look at Ethiopia. From the Historical Route in the North to the Cultural Route in the South, it covers it all!
Day 1: Addis Ababa
Be welcomed by your guide on arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and transfer in to your hotel.
Day 2: Bahir Dar
Fly from Addis to Bahir Dar and visit the Blue Nile Falls before lunch. In the afternoon, have a boat trip on Ethiopia’s largest water body – Lake Tana (3,600 Km Sq) to visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret (14th Century AD) and Azwa Mariam (14th Century AD).
Day 3: Gondar
Drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar – the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasiladas’, the church of Quskuam Mariam (17th century AD), the residence of Empress Mintwab, and the church of Debre Birhan Sillassie which is famous for its wall and ceiling paintings.
Day 4: Simien Mountains
Drive from Gondar to Debark (the headquarter of the Simien Mountain National Park), and after check-in to hotel at Debark drive 36 km farther to the Simien Mountains (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to visit the endemic mammal of Ethiopia – the Gelada Baboon, and the breathtaking scenery of the Simien Mountains.
Day 5: Aksum
Drive to Axum – the earliest Capital of Ethiopia, crossing the Tekezze Gorge.
Day 6: Aksum
Have a sightseeing tour of Axum which includes visiting the Archaeological museum of Axum, the famous stele park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion which is believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant, the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel (6th Century AD), and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba (9th Century BC).
Day 7: Lalibela
In the morning, fly to Lalibela – home of the 12th century AD rock hewn churches of King Lalibela. And in the afternoon, visit the first group of churches of King Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site).
Day 8: Lalibela
In the morning, mule back ride to the hill top semi monolithic church of Asheton Mariam (13th century AD). Getting to the top of the hill rewards with great and unforgettable scenery of the area. In the afternoon, visit the remaining second and the third group of the churches of Lalibela.
Day 9: Lake Langano
Fly back to Addis and drive 200 km south of Addis to the Rift Valley region visiting the chains of Rift Valley Lakes of Ziway, Langano, Abiyatta and Shalla. Spot various birds at Lake Ziway, and enjoy swimming at Lake Langano.
Day 10: Arba Minch
Drive from Langano to Arba Minch through the fertile land of Wolayta and Alaba regions, The Alaba people are very famous for their beautiful home painting style. And on the way visit Sinkile Wild life Sanctuary, here you will see the endemic Swain’s heart best and other mammals.
Day 11: Arba Minch
After breakfast drive to Chencha, to visit the Dorze village, the Dorze people are well known for the weaving tradition and their attractive elephant shaped traditional hut made from bamboo and false banana tree leafs , here you will also see the daily activity of the Doreze people, drive back to Arba Minch for lunch and in the afternoon you will have a boat trip on lake Chamo one of the rift valley lakes, on this lake you will visit the Crocodile Market where you can see large number of crocodiles, different aquatic birds and hippos.
Day 12: Jinka
Drive from Arba Minch to Jinka and make a stop at Key Afer to visit the colorful weekly market where the Ari, the Tsemai, and the Benna people meet.
Day 13: Jinka
Make an excursion trip to Mago National Park. Visit the most famous people of the Omo Valley – the Mursi people, whose women are typically known for their clay lip plates they insert in their lower lips. Then, drive back to Jinka, and visit the cultural museum of the Omo people.
Day 14: Turmi
Drive from Jinka to Dimeka to visit the weekly market of the Hamer people. Then, drive to Turmi for Overnight. Around Turmi, visit the cultural village of the Hamer people. The Hamer people are famous for their typical hair dressings which the women decorate with red soil and butter.
Day 15: Turmi
Make excursion trip to Omorate, cross the Omo River by boat, to visit the Dasenech people who are known for their body scarification. In the afternoon, have a leisure time in Turmi.
Day 16: Yabello
Drive from Turmi to Yabello visiting the Erbore people and the Konso people.
Day 17: Awassa
Drive from Yabello to Awassa visiting the nomadic Borena people, and the Sidama people who are noted for their cultivation of False Banana (Enset). On your way visit the coffer plantations around Yirga Chefe where one of Ethiopia’s most flavored coffee beans grow. In the later afternoon, enjoy bird watching and the sun set over the Rift Valley Lake of Awassa.
In the morning, drive to the shore of the lake and visit the ‘Fish Market’ at Lake Awassa. Then, drive 273 km north to Addis. In the afternoon, have a half-day city tour of Addis, which includes visiting the National Archaeological Museum, Merkato – the largest open air market in Africa, and driving to Mt. Entoto for the panoramic view of the capital. In the evening before departure, you will be invited a fare well dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants in Addis where you taste variety of Ethiopian meals, and watch the folkloric dances of the Ethiopian people.
Domestic Airfare of USD 355 - Subject to change.
Accommodation as indicated, meals as indicated, transfers, transportation, professional guide.
Domestic and international flights, airport taxes, visa costs, meals not specified, optional excursions, drinks, mineral water, gratuities and personal expenses