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Historic and wild north by land and air

12 days

You can come on the dates that suit you best throughout the year

Historic monuments of great antiquity, captivating landscape, wild nature, friendly people, colorful markets… The north of Ethiopia preserves the oldest cultural legacy of the country and represents the tangible testimony of the once great civilization of the Abyssinian Empire. We begin our trip in Ethiopia by visiting its busy and vibrant capital Addis Ababa, the lively streets, and the largest market in Africa, Merkato. We then head to Bahir Dar where the great Nile River and its waterfalls take our breath away proving that Ethiopia is not a dry country.

While we are here, we navigate Lake Tana to visit the monasteries on its islands. This will take us back in time to ancient Ethiopian ways of life and fishing. Then, we skirt Lake Tana by land to visit Gondar, a historical city that opens the doors to its medieval castlesand its great past as an imperial capital. Next, we take a cultural break to breathe fresh air and contemplate the scenic beauty of the roof of Ethiopia, the Simien Mountains, where an easy excursion whose level is not beyond anyone will unfold the natural mysteries of this great massif and its most famous inhabitants, the Gelada baboons. After a scenic route descending the mountain by road, we find ourselves in civilization again, this time in Axum, an authentic village of Tigray that counts as the cradle of Christianity in Ethiopia and keeper of the true Ark of the Covenant.

In the Gheralta Mountains, the most daring moment of the trip awaits us: half ascents and half climbs to reach the summit and you get views of vertigo over valleys and mountains.

The most emblematic place in Ethiopia will be revealed at the end of the northern route. Lalibela, humble and spiritual city, will present its churches carved into the rock and make us understand why they are considered the eighth wonder of the world. A domestic flight will leave us in the capital for the second part of the trip.

DAY 1 - ADDIS ABEBA

Arrival Addis Ababa - Visit the capital - Hotel.

DAY 2 - BAHIR DAR

Flight to Bahir Dar(1h) - Boat sailing on Lake Tana and walk between monasteries - Excursion to the Blue Nile Falls – Back to Bahir Dar - Hotel.

DAY 3 – GONDAR

Drive to Gondar - Visit the medieval castle compound, local market, Debre Birhan Selassie church and Fasiledes bath - Hotel or Lodge in Gondar.

DAY 4 – SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Drive up to Simien Mountains National Park – Easy walk in the area or hike in search of Gelada Baboons - Camping inside the Park or overnight in the highest lodge in all of Africa!

DAY 5 - DEBARK

Full day of trekking and walks to the Jinbar Waterfall where you can see plenty of Lammergeyers and 4x4 trip to Chenek in search of the endemic Walia Ibex - Local hotel in Debark.

DAY 6 - AXUM

Journey to Axum - Visit the Obelisk Field, St. Mary's Church and Museum - Hotel in Axum.

DAY 7 - GHERALTA MOUNTAINS (WUKRO)

Journey to Gheralta Mountains - Moon Temple in Yeha - Visit to the cluster of Teka Tesfai with 2 cave churches (easy access churches) – Overnight at Saint Mary School, a missionary project dedicated to improve the area, where 100% of the money from your stay goes to their projects *

* Can be replaced by stay at Gheralta Lodge, +150 usd per person or Wukro Lodge, +95 usd per person.

DAY 8 - GHERALTA MOUNTAINS (WUKRO)

Fascinating trekking day to the cave churches of Mariam Korkor and Abune Yemata (churches of difficult access).

DAY 9 – LALIBELA

Long drive to Lalibela stopping at places with fascinating views - Local hotel or lodge in Lalibela.

DAY 10 - LALIBELA

Visit of the first group of rock-hewn churches - Excursion on foot (6kms) or by car to the Monastery of Nakuto Leab to admire the rural life of the Amhara - Local hotel or Lodge in Lalibela.

DAY 11 - LALIBELA

Full day to discover the second group of rock hewn churches - Free afternoon and coffee ceremony - Local hotel or Lodge in Lalibela.

DAY 12 - ADDIS ABABA - END OF TRIP

Flight to Addis Ababa - Free time - International flight.

NOTE: You can modify the itinerary by adding or removing days, changing hotels, proposing other places of visit, etc. During the rainy season (June-September) you will not camp inside the Simien Mountains National Park and you will only visit the Kossoye area as the roads of the Park are impassable.

HOTELS 4* Price per person LOCAL HOTELSPrice per person
1 person: 2.590 € 1 person: 2.210 €
2 people: 1.420 € 2 people: 1.245 €
3 people: 1.125 € 3 people: 950 €
4 people: 980 € 4 people: 805 €
5 people: 915 € 5 people: 740 €
6 people: 860 € 6 people: 685 €
7 people: 815 € 7 people: 640 €
8 people: 780 € 8 people: 605 €
9 people: 785 € 9 people: 610 €
10 people: 760 € 10 people: 585 €
Supl. Indiv: 220 € Supl. Indiv: 90 €

Prices based on double / twin room. Odd groups must pay 1 single supplement as many hotels do not accept triple rooms.

For other options consult with us

The price INCLUDES:

  • Transfers to/from all airports
  • 4x4 vehicle or minibus for all ground transfers with driver and petrol included.
  • Accommodation in hotels, lodges and/or camping areas
  • Entrances to all monuments, churches, nature parks and tribal villages
  • English speaking local guides at all places of visit
  • Scouts en los Parques Nacionales
  • Boat to navigate Lake Tana

Price DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Entry Visa
  • intercontinental flights and domestic flights (if you come with Ethiopian Airlines domestic customers get 60% discount)
  • Spanish speaking guide all the way and your domestic flights
  • Lunches, dinners and drinks during the route
  • Breakfast in some local hotels and camping areas (restaurants nearby)
  • Travel Insurance
  • Camera fees for photos or video in some monuments

The transportation on this trip is designed to travel relaxed the north of Ethiopia and enjoy the fullest the daily life of the country. The vehicles used on this tour are 4x4 for groups of less than 4 people, minibus for small groups or Coaster bus for large groups. All vehicles reach everywhere, are comfortable, safe and powerful.

The longest journeys will be made with Ethiopian Airlines. The entire fleet of aircraft was renewed in 2010 by the new Bombardier Q400 manufactured in Canada. They are short, comfortable and safe flights.

You can choose the type of accommodation you want. They can be basic or 4* hotels and some camping.

The local accomodation are economic but clean, although they can present cuts of water or electricity during your stay and a service to the maximum of your possibilities and conception of the time.

The 4* hotels are equipped with all the services to meet the needs of the guests: double rooms with bathroom, hot water, restaurant, bar, sometimes internet connection, etc.. They are usually located in places with beautiful views and have charm.
The traveler should keep in mind that there may be power cuts in some cities with the inconveniences that this entails. Fortunately, these cuts are becoming less frequent due to the construction of hydroelectric dams to supply the population.

The campsites in Ethiopia are very basic, without any infrastructure, but of great scenic beauty.
We do not include lunches and dinners to give more freedom to the traveler. Sometimes you don't feel like having dinner, or you prefer to have just one juice. Contrary to what one might think, in Ethiopia there are restaurants everywhere, open at all hours and with local and western food, rich, cheap and in abundance.