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North and South

21 days

You can come on the dates that suit you best during all the year

This trip through Ethiopia is one of the most complete of our catalog because it covers both the North - the historic cities of Ethiopia with its enormous cultural and monumental legacy - and the South - plenty of ethnic groups, tribes and people so disparate among themselves that will give your trip a human and social flavor -. In addition, trekking excursions are included in the two highest and most exuberant massifs of Ethiopia: the Simien Mountains in the north and the Bale Mountains in the south.

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 castles and 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.

From now on, a new adventure begins with a different look of the country. While we are heading South in a 4x4 vehicles, we will constantly be accompanied by a scenic landscape of great beauty. We will visit the Great Lakes of the Rift Valley populated by crocodiles, hippos and hundreds of wild birds.

Tribal villages await us in the southernmost area of Ethiopia. Here, tribes with ancestral ways of life will reveal the admirable beauty of their aesthetic bodies: Karo, Banna, Dassenech, Tsemay, Hamer, Mursi are the tribes that we will meet in the Omo Valley, among other different groups. In addition, the colorful and bustling tribal markets will awaken all the senses and the eternal savannah that we constantly cross in a 4x4 will give us a great feeling of freedom.

We then continue from the savannah to tropical landscapes towards the most acclaimed coffee plantations and production in Ethiopia, Sidama. Finally, we ascend to the National Park of the Bale Mountains to end this trip witnessing steep peaks, interrupted by streams and waterfalls, and forests that have been inhabited for millennia by endemic animals of Ethiopia such as the mountain Nyala, the Abyssinian Wolf and the Menelik's Bosbok among other animals like the Guereza and Vervet monkeys, and large families of baboons. 

Day 1 - Addis Abeba 

Arrival Addis Ababa - Visit the capital - Hotel.

Day 2 - Bahar Dar

Fly to Bahir Dar (1h) - We sail by boat on Lake Tana in search of the monasteries hidden in its islands - Excursion to the Blue Nile Falls - Return to Bahir Dar - Hotel.

Day 3 – Gondar

Drive to Gondar - Visit the medieval castles, local market, Debre Birhan Selassie church and Banos del Rey Fasílades - Hotel in Gondar.

Day 4 – Simien mountains National park

Trip to the Simien Mountains NP - 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 - Axum

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

Day 6 - Gheralta Mountains (Wukro)

Journey to Gheralta Mountains - On the way we stop at the Temple of the Moon in Yeha - Visit to the cluster of Teka Tesfai with 2 cave churches (easy access churches) - Stay in the mission of Father Angel Olarán (originally from Hernani) 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 7 - Gheralta Mountains (Wukro)

Fascinating trekking day to the cave churches of Mariam Korkor and Abune Yemata (churches of difficult access) - Return to Wukro to see the projects of the Spanish volunteers in this corner of Ethiopia.

Day 8 – Lalibela

Long and hard journey to Lalibela, stopping at places with beautiful views - local hotel or lodge in Lalibela.

Day 9 - Lalibela

Visit of the first group of rock-hewn churches - Excursion on foot (6kms) to the Monastery of Ne’Akuto Le’ab to admire the rural life of the Amhara - Local hotel or Lodge in Lalibela.

Day 10 - Lalibela

Full day to discover the second group of churches - Free afternoon to wander around - Local hotel or lodge in Lalibela.

Day 11 - Lake Langano

In a 4x4 we start the journey to the south along the Lakes of the Great Rift Valley - Camping or lodge in Lake Langano.

Day 12 - Arba Minch

Drive to Arba Minch - On the way, stop at Alaba Villages - Walk inside the Forty Springs Forest - Hotel or Lodge in Arba Minch.

Day 13 - Turmi

Sail by boat on Lake Chamo to spot crocodiles, hippos and wild aquatic birds - Enter the Omo Valley crossing the savanna to reach the Hamer territory - Hotel, camping or lodge in Turmi.

Day 14 - Turmi

Cross the Omo river on local rafts and visit Dassenech village - Again we come across the Omo river, this time with views over the savanna, to visit Karo village - Back to Turmi.

Day 15 - Jinka

Drive to Jinka stopping at tribal markets - Walking tour inside the Ari village - Visit the Ethnographic Museum to learn interesting facts about the tribes - Local hotel or lodge in Jinka.

Day 16 - Konso

Drive into the Mago National Park to visit Mursi village – We leave the savanna behind to visit the Konso village, a World Heritage Site, and the Konso Museum - Lodge in Konso.

Day 17 - Yirgalem

Continue drive to Yirgalem by tropical landscapes – Today it’s about coffee - Local hotel or lodge in Yirgalem.

Day 18 – Bale Mountains National Park*

Ascend to the National Park of the Bale Mountains to visit the Geysey Plain in search of wild animals - Local hotel in Dinsho or Goba.

* It can not be done between July and September due to heavy rain

Day 19 - Bale Mountains National Park

Excursions in a 4x4 and on foot through the Sannetti Plateau and its lakes inhabited by migratory birds – Drive on the highest road in the African continent to enter the Harenna Forest, in search of the Abyssinian Wolf, the Antelope of Menelik and the mountain Nyala - Local Hotel in Dinsho or Goba.

Day 20 – Awassa

Return drive stopping for the last night in the southern capital, Awassa, with its magnificent lake where we can relax enjoying the sunset with beer in hand ... - Local hotel or Resort in Awassa.

Day 21 – Addis Abeba – End of the trip

Drive back to Addis Ababa after visiting the busy fish market of Awassa - Leisure time - International flight.

NOTE: You can modify the itinerary by adding or removing days, changing hotels, proposing other places of visit, etc. In these southern areas, we can arrange your visiting days to match the tribal market days. During the rainy season (July-September), you can not access the Bale Mountains NP, which allows you to extend your visit of the Omo Valley and add Yabelo. Or simply, the trip has less number of days.

HOTELS 4* Price per person LOCAL HOTELSPrice per person
1 person: - 1 person: -
2 people: 2.720 € 2 people: 2.340 €
3 people: 2.200 € 3 people: 1.820 €
4 people: 1.920 € 4 people: 1.545 €
5 people: 1.780 € 5 people: 1.400 €
6 people: 1.665 € 6 people: 1.290 €
7 people: 1.600 € 7 people: 1.225 €
8 people: 1.540 € 8 people: 1.160 €
9 people: 1.505 € 9 people: 1.125 €
10 people: 1.460 € 10 people: 1.085 €
Supl. Indiv: 495 € Supl. Indiv: 245 €

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 in National Parks
  • Boat to navigate Lake Tana
  • Boat to navigate Lake Chamo
  • Local barges to cross the Omo River

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 for you to travel through Ethiopia in a relaxed way and enjoy to the fullest the daily life of the country. The vehicles for this tour are 4x4. These vehicles reach everywhere, are comfortable, safe and powerful.

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.