Ethiopia

Situated in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia boasts extraordinary natural features, a vast range of wildlife, and a captivating historical and cultural heritage. An increasing number of visitors are frequenting this treasure trove filled with unique attractions. Popular attractions include: the medieval castles of Gondar; the walled city of Harar; and Lalibela, a pilgrimage site known for its ancient monolithic churches, hewn into the area’s steep rocky hillsides. Ethiopia’s stunning natural landscapes are the real tourist drawcard. From the lush Simien Mountains to the sulphur vents of the Danakil Depression, the country’s outstanding natural environment is unforgettable. Bahir Dar, located on Lake Tana, is popular as a base from which to explore the fascinating monasteries situated on the numerous islands dotted around the lake, as well as the Blue Nile Falls, which are arguably the most spectacular falls in North Africa.

Addis Ababa

Days 1 - 3

Located in the highlands fringing the Great Rift Valley, Addis Ababa serves as the political, cultural and commercial centre of Ethiopia. This sprawling city rests in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and features a mix of traditional homes, elegant villas, and tall office buildings. Visitors can look forward to a selection of wonderful activities including: visiting the National Museum, displaying local art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils; exploring the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, a Neo-Baroque architectural landmark; and sampling rich Ethiopian coffee as well as the memorable cuisine featuring spicy stews and Ethiopia’s signature Injera bread.

Accommodation

Sapphire Addis Hotel

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Addis Ababa

Debark

Days 3 - 7

Situated in northern Ethiopia the town of Debarq is set at the foot of Simien National Park, located between Aksoum and Gondar. It serves as a convenient base from which to explore the scenic surrounds and as a gateway to the magnificent Simien National Park. Many hikers stopover here before embarking on a hike, climbing expedition and camping overnight in the incredible surrounding mountainous landscapes.

Accommodation

Limalimo Lodge

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Debark

Gondar

Days 7 - 8

Situated southwest of the Simien Mountains, north of Lake Tana, Gondar once served as the royal capital of the ancient Ethiopian Empire. Known as the ‘Camelot of Africa’, Gondar is home to the World Heritage Site of Fasil Ghebbi, a fortress-city previously inhabited by to the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of wonderful activities including: discovering the ancient Gondar Castle, a medieval castle and palace complex, exploring the 17th century Church of Debre Sina, featuring biblical murals on every wall and visiting the nearby Simien Mountains National Park. Don’t miss a visit to Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia.

Accommodation

Gondar Hills Resort

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Gondar

Addis Ababa

Days 8 - 9

As previously described

Accommodation

Sapphire Addis Hotel

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Addis Ababa

Awash National Park

Days 9 - 10

Located in Central Ethiopia, the Awash National Park is one of the most popular parks in the country. This easily accessible park stretches over 700 square kilometres of spectacularly scenic volcanic landscape. Visitors can look forward to a variety of natural attractions such as: the stunning Fantale Volcano, which lies in the heart of the park; the magnificent Awash Falls, situated at the western edge of the dramatic Awash Gorge; and the local hot springs. Commonly spotted wildlife include: oryx, kudu, gazelle, hartebeest, baboon, monkey; with rare sightings of lion, leopard, caracal, serval and wildcat and over 300 bird species. Popular Activites include: rafting, bird watching, and wildlife viewing.

Accommodation

Awash Falls Lodge

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Awash National Park

Alternative Accommodation

Doho Lodge

Lake Langano

Days 10 - 12

Situated in the Ethiopian region of Oromia, Lake Langano is one of the few bilharzia-free lakes in Ethiopia. Stretching for over 200 square kilometres, Lake Langano is popular among tourists and locals alike for swimming, watersports and offers spectacular hippo viewing. The area surrounding the lake is home to baboons, warthogs, hippos and a variety of birds that makes for good bird watching. More wildlife can be found in East Langano Nature Reserve on the eastern shore of the lake; here visitors can spot Colobus monkeys and more than 300 bird species living in the beautiful lakeside forest. Other popular activities include: camping, mountain climbing, biking, fishing and photography.

Accommodation

Sabana Beach Resort

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Lake Langano

Bale Mountain National Park

Days 12 - 15

The Bale Mountains National Park is located in southern Ethiopia, and contains a spectacularly diverse landscape. The high altitude, afro-montane Sanetti Plateau rises to over 4,000m and includes the highest peak in the southern Ethiopia highlands. This undulating plateau is marked by numerous glacial lakes and swamps and surrounded by higher volcanic ridges and peaks. The southern slopes are covered by the lush and largely unexplored Harenna Forest. Bale Mountains is renowned for being home to the largest populations of the Ethiopian wolf, Mountain Nyala, and the endemic Bale monkey. Home to Ethiopia’s densest concentration of large mammals, and filled with spectacular birdlife, the park is a must for animal lovers and birders. Visitors can explore the area on horseback, go fishing, and try the locally-produced coffee and honey.

Accommodation

Bale Mountain Lodge

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Bale Mountain National Park
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