Highlights: Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela – Simien Mountains NP – The Authentic Omo valley Tribes – Rift Valley lakes
This very popular tour combines the northern Historic and the southern cultural sites. Visits to the main historical sites in the north, Simien Mountains, and the photogenic Omo valley tribes are included in the itinerary. The itinerary is designed for those who want to cover the top tourist sites in Ethiopia in a single trip. Itinerary: Day 1: Flight from London to Addis Ababa Day 2: Arrival Addis
Be welcomed by your guide on arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and transfer in to your hotel. Overnight– Jupiter International or other similar 4* Hotel Day 3: Fly to 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). Overnight – Abyminch lodge or similar Hotel Day 4: Drive to Simien
After breakfast, leave Bahir Dar and drive to head to Sankaber- the headquarters of Simien Mountains National Park- passing rural villages and crossing mountain passes with stunning vistas. The Simien Mountains National park occupies a surface area of 180 km sq. The park, situated between 4,430 and 1,900 meters (6,200 - 4,500 feet), boasts varied flora with three marked botanical areas. The highest parts have meadows with little vegetation, characteristic of afro alpine zones. Here we can find the endemic Lobelia rhynchopetalum, small groups of perpetual flowers, Helichrysum, and the striking Kniphofia foliosa. Spend the afternoon, walking near your lodge to spot the endemic Gelada baboon and appreciate the breathtaking scenery. Overnight - Simien lodge Day 5: Simien Mountains National park
After breakfast head out on a day hike with picnic lunch. Depart the lodge for Chenek where it’s possible to spot the endemic, Walia Ibex. The landscape in the area is remarkably picturesque with panoramic vistas overlooking the deep gorges of the Escarpment.
The excursion today will allow us to explore the pinnacles, valleys and wildlife of this stunning region. The beauty of the ranges can be discovered by following century old footpaths, and don't forget to look out for the Gelada Baboons who reside here amidst the local pasture lands. Overnight - Simien lodge Day 6: Drive to Gondar
After breakfast, drive to Gondar visiting the former village of the Felasha (African Jews), who have now migrated to Israel.Spend the afternoon exploring the Royal Enclosure and its buildings. The fortress, which is surrounded by a 300-foot-long wall, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The oldest and most impressive structure in the compound is the two-story palace of Emperor Fasilidas, built of solid basalt stones. Other royal buildings of interest include the library of Emperor Yohannes I, the House of Song where royal ceremonies took place, the elegant reception and banquet hall of Emperor Bakaffa, and the palace of the king's wife. Also visit the nearby bath of King Fasiledes, where modern-day Timkat ceremonies are performed. Finally, view the Church of DebreBirhan Selassie, an imposing structure with brightly colored ceilings. Overnight Goha Hotel Day 7: Fly to 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). Overnight – Roha Hotel or similar 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. Overnight – Roha or similar Hotel Day 9: Fly to Axum
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and fly to Axum. This simple frontier town is in fact a city of great importance as the ancient capital of Ethiopia. According to local legend, Axum was home to Queen Sheba and the current resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. As we explore Axum, and its ancient relics, our sense of adventure and imagination guides us through this mysterious and historic place.
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). Overnight – Sabean Hotel or similar Day 10: Fly Axum – Addis and drive to 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, Abiyata and Shalla. Spot various birds at Lake Ziway, and enjoy swimming at Lake Langano. Overnight – Sabana Beach Resort or similar Day 11: Drive to Arba Minch
Drive from Langano to Arba Minch through the fertile land of Wolita 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. Overnight – Paradise Lodge or similar Day 12: 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 Dorze 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. Overnight – Paradise Lodge or similar Day 13: Drive to Jinka
This day we drive south of Arba Minch on a rough road to Jinka crossing the Weito Valley and visiting the Tsemay village and Woito people live in the area around Woito River. We will visit the Konso village, which is recently registered as the 9th UNESCO World heritage site in Ethiopia. The Konso people are noted for their rock terracing and colorful hand woven cotton clothes.Further drive to Jinka visiting the Ari village along the path. Overnight – Eco Omo lodge or similar Day 14: Jinka – Mursi village- Turmi
After breakfast, leave Jinka and drive to Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular disks inserted.Then drive to Turmi the settlement of the Hamer people. The women of the Hamer are known particularly for their striking, adorned with thick plaits of ochre-colored hair hanging down in a heavy fringe, leather skirts decorated with cowries, a dozen or more copper bracelets fixed tightly around their arms. And the men are noted for the initiation ceremony of Jumping over the Bulls. Catching this interesting ritual is entirely a matter of chance. Overnight – Buska lodge Day 15: Excursion to Murulle
In the morning, you will make an excursion trip to Murulle - the village of Karo people, who are the tribe with the least in number of members, and known for their body paintings they indulge before important ceremonies. The most striking thing about Karo people's symbolic and ornamental expressions is the painted body and face decorations.In the afternoon, visit the Hamer village at Turmi Overnight – Buska Lodge or similar Hotel
Day 16: Drive to Arbaminch and fly to Addis
After breakfast, transfer to Arbaminch to take afternoon flight to Addis Ababa. We will avhe time for shopping in Addis Ababa.
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.