10 Days Ethiopia Highlights Tours

10 Days Ethiopia Highlights Tours


10 Days

Best Of Ethiopia Highlights Tours



Experience Africa with a Middle Eastern influence on this trip to Ethiopia. Travel to northern Ethiopia to explore incredible architecture, natural wonders, and ancient monuments and meet the Amhara. The Discover Ethiopia Tour takes you on a fascinating journey in the captivating, spiritual and historic land of a proud nation.

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Personalised journeys from start to finish

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every trip helps support Conservation

Every detail taken care of

Every detail taken care of

Tour Highlights

  • Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls and Tana Lake's ancient monasteries.
  • Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site), palace ruins and churches.
  • Simien Mountains National Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site) for rare endemic wildlife and breath-taking scenery.
  • Axum - Stelae Park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), churches and palace ruins.
  • Fly to Lalibela to see the famous rock-hewn churches of King Lalibela.
  • Interact with the local people of the Amhara community.

What's Included

  • Transport in a safari mini-van with roof-top for better photography and game viewing drives.
  • Services of an experienced safari tour driver/guide
  • Meals while on safari
  • Accommodation mentioned in the program
  • Government taxes, tolls and levy’s
  • Pick up and drop off from airport / hotel.
  • All park entrance fees

What's Not Included

  • Visa fees
  • Items of personal nature: soft or bottled drinks
  • Gratitude’s (tips to guides)

Tour Itinerary

Day - 1

Transfer to Nyungwe Forest National Park
Arrival- Addis Ababa

Apart from a group meeting in the evening, there are no planned activities for the first day of the Discover Ethiopia Tour. However, guests may choose to join a tour of the city of Addis Ababa. Those joining the tour should arrive in the city a day earlier, as the city tour departs at 09:00.

With over eighty different ethnic groups in the country, Addis Ababa is a fascinating cultural hot pot which combines the ancient and the modern. Expensive cars and Russian Lada taxis share the streets with goats, sheep and donkeys. Translated from Amharic, Addis Ababa means'new flower'. Due to the capital's altitude, the climate is pleasantly cool, although it can get really chilly in the early morning and evening.

Day - 2

Chimpanzee Tracking and Canopy Walk in the Forest
Addis Ababa to Axum

Today our adventure begins with a flight from Addis Ababa to Axum, the site of what is thought to be the first Christian church built in sub-Saharan Africa, the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. The church is purported to be the keeper of the Ark of the Covenant, brought to Ethiopia by Menelik 1st, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, after a visit to his father. The Ark is closely guarded by a virgin monk, the only person who is allowed sight of the Ark and who is appointed for life and is chosen by his predecessor. This part of our Ethiopia Tour also takes us on a visit to the Queen of Sheba’s palace and her bath, carved from rock.

Day - 3

Hike to the Waterfalls and transfer to Lake Kivu
Axum to Simien Mountains National Park

On day three of our Ethiopia travels, we drive from Axum to the Simien Mountains National Park. Sit back and relax in our private vehicle and enjoy the passing scenery as we travel through the Lima Limo Valley.

On arrival in Debark, our base for exploring the national park, there is time to relax and enjoy the mountain views from our lodge.

Day - 4

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Simien Mountains National Park

Today those who are keen spend the morning hiking from Sankaber campsite to the Jinbar waterfalls in the Simien Mountains National Park. Later, if road conditions allow, we drive to Chenek campsite for a picnic lunch and afterwards a short trip in search of Walia ibex and the Ethiopian wolf. Look out for the giant Lammergeier Vultures soaring overhead.

This UNESCO World Heritage site offers a peaceful break from busy cities. Known as one of the world’s most beautiful and unusual mountain ranges with peaks that reach well over 4000 metres and includes Ras Daschen, Ethiopia’s highest peak, it’s easy to understand why Ethiopia is known as the rooftop of Africa.

Day - 5

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Gondar Area

This morning we meet the local Amhara, an ethnic group that makes up almost 27% of Ethiopia's population. The Amhara are an agricultural community living in the north-central highlands of the country. Life is hard for this community who farm using primitive methods. Despite their poverty, the Amhara is a proud nation of Orthodox Christians with a strong culture developed over many centuries.

We move on to Gondar in time for lunch (own expense) after which we visit Debre Berhan Selassie Church, quite possibly the country's most famous church. Its ceiling is covered with frescos of cherubs and its walls portray Ethiopian martyrs, saints and lore.

Day - 6

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Gondar to Bahir Dar

This morning we continue our exploration of Gondar with a visit to Fasiladas' Castle compound. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a complex of castles and palaces that date back to the 17th century when Fasiladas settled in Gondar and established it as the permanent capital. Surrounded by high stone walls, Emperor Fasiladas's Palace is the oldest and perhaps most impressive of the castles. It is two stories high, has an imposing parapet and four small domed towers. Thought to be designed by an Indian architect, it reflects Indian, Portuguese, Moorish, and Aksumite influences.

Following our visit to this fascinating complex, we move on to Emperor Fasiladas’s bath and wander around the grounds shaded by huge fig trees. After an interesting day, we board our private vehicle and take a scenic drive to Bahir Dar, a city on the shores of Lake Tana in north-western Ethiopia and where we spend the night.

Day - 7

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bahir Dar

On day seven of our Discover Ethiopia Tour, we take a boat trip on Lake Tana. We dock to visit Ura Kidane Mehret monastery and then take a twenty-minute walk to visit Azwa Maryam monastery.

TThe Azwa Mariam monastery is tucked away on one of the islands of Lake Tana and also features colourful murals on the interior walls and ceiling. A short walk brings us to this small, round church building housing some ancient religious relics. We may also see the colourfully clad monks of Azwa Mariam during our visit.

And then it is time to don our hiking boots again as we take a two-hour hike to Blue Nile Falls, known as Tis Abay in Amharic, meaning "great smoke". En-route we cross the Blue Nile over the historic Portuguese bridge, built over 400 years ago. It's possible to take a path to the bottom of the falls for a closer view.

Day - 8

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Bahir Dar to Lalibela

Today we settle back in our private vehicle for the drive from Bahir Dar to Lalibela. Proclaimed to have the best honey in the world, Lalibela is the ideal place to savour tej (honey wine) particularly after a long day of driving.

Day - 9

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park

Today we marvel at the world-famous churches of Lalibela, hewn from solid rock and dating from the 12th century. The town is named for King Lalibela who visited Jerusalem and it is widely accepted that the layout and names of the major buildings in Lalibela are meant to be a symbolic representation of Jerusalem. In total there are eleven churches divided by the River Jordan and some of which are connected by tunnels.

A visit to Bet Giyorgis, the Church of St George, is a must as it is the most impressive of the churches. It is the most visually perfect of all the churches, shaped in a Greek cross and at 15 metres high, its perfectly proportioned shape requires no internal pillars. There are also two 800-year-old olive-wood boxes that locals believe were carved by King Lalibela himself and now hold the church’s treasures. Some of the cavities in the walls surrounding the church hold mummified corpses and don't miss the exquisite 16th-century canvas depicting St George slaying the dragon. This visit taken towards the end of our trip to Ethiopia draws our travels to a close on a high note.

Day - 10

Kibale National Park/Queen Elizabeth National Park
Lalibela to Addis Ababa

After breakfast, today guests board the flight for the return journey to Addis Ababa where this 10 Day Discover Ethiopia Tour comes to an end.

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