Experience the wildlife and cultural highlights of this incredible country, with the chance to see one of the world’s rarest mammals - the Ethiopian wolf.
Visiting the country’s best wildlife locations - the Simien Mountains, Bale Mountains and Lake Langano - this wonderful introduction to Ethiopia takes you to look for species such as Ethiopian wolf. gelada baboon, Menelik’s bushbuck and mountain nyala, all in stunning scenery.
The trip also visits the country’s major cultural attractions: the fascinating ancient city of Gondar, nestled in the foothills of the Simien Mountains, where many of the royal castles and imperial buildings have survived the ravages of time, as well as the 13th century cave churches at Lalibela, still a place of pilmigrage and devotion for Ethiopian Christians today.
Day1: Depart UK
Day2: Arrive Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis, you will be met and transferred to your overnight hotel, before an onward flight to Gondar the next day.
Accommodation: Hotel in Addis Ababa, 1-night
Days3-4: Fly to Gondar & transfer to the Simien Mountains
Today you fly to Gondar, and then transfer by road to Sankaber, situated inside the Simien Mountains National Park. During the drive you'll get your first impression of the scale and beauty of this highland region, and hopefully spot some gelada baboons and the bone- breaking giant lammergeyer soaring above.
Departing the mountains in the morning, you'll drive back to the historic city of Gondar for the night and enjoy a tour of this historic city.
Accommodation: Goha Hotel, 1-night
Days6-7: Fly to Lalibela, visit churches
Over the next two days you will visit some of Lalibela's astonishing architecture, including the sites of Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskal, Bete Denaghel, Bete Golgotha, Bete Mikael and Bete Giorgis.
After breakfast, it's time to leave Lake Langano and continue to Bale Mountains National Park, travelling thorough the fertile lands of the Oromo people. The drive will take most of the day, arriving at the park headquarters (Dinsho) in the afternoon, but there should be time for a short orientation walk before checking in at your lodge.
The following day you can take a vehicle safari high up on the Sanetti Plateau to search for Ethiopian wolf.
Most of the day will be taken up with the drive back to the capital, however there should be time for some last minute shopping and an evening meal before transferring to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK
Day12: Arrive UK
Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 12 daysfrom £3,195 pp
Duration and price excluding international flights: 10 daysfrom £2,920 pp
Single supplement: From £495
When to go: Jan-Jul; Sep-Dec: (Bale Mountain not accessible in August)
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Simien Mountains are a place of dramatic scenery. Their rugged landscape was formed over a 3,000 year erosion period of basalt lava, and despite their altitude they sustain a fascinating range of mammals and birdlife, alongside isolated nomadic and rural communities.
The Bale Mountains form a high altitude plateau, broken by spectacular volcanic peaks, beautiful alpine lakes and mountain streams descending through deep rocky gorges into the lowlands. The area is home to an incredibly high number of endemics, including the world’s rarest canid, the Ethiopian wolf.
Considered by many to be one of the unofficial wonders of the world, Lalibela is one of the holiest sites in Ethiopia and renowned for its 13th century rock hewn churches. Many of the city’s buildings are decorated with well-preserved paintings, creating a unique architectural style.
Where: Amhara Region
Excellent for: History & culture
Once the capital of Ethiopia, Gondar is one of the country’s richest historical and cultural areas. The city’s architecture is both Islamic and Christian influenced, especially the Castles of Gondar and palaces of the Royal Enclosure, which were built over 236 years by various rulers.
Where: Gondar Province
Excellent for: History & culture
The freshwaters of Lake Langano are naturally red in colour and the area is rich with wildlife, including ibex, monkeys and baboons. Lake Abijatta and Lake Shalla are very different, but equally as rewarding in terms of wildlife; the birdlife is particularly excellent, and the islands are home to several breeding sites.
Suggested accommodation options are shown below.
for further recommendations.
This innovative and attractive lodge brings new levels of comfort and service to the unmissable Bale Mountains. Set in a forest clearing which teems with wildlife, this thatched ecolodge offers a secure and comfortable base with first-class facilities, excellent food and exceptional views.
Located on the edge of the Lasta Mountains, this 30-room hotel has magnificent panoramas and is the ideal spot from which to enjoy the surrounding countryside – the sunsets are particularly stunning. The hotel’s curious architecture consists of a series of boxes, with acres of windows.
This resort consists of around 25 attractive, clifftop bungalows, with beautiful views across Lake Langano to the distant Arsi Mountains. Individually designed to ensure a relaxing and homely atmosphere, the bungalows are built from local materials in a simple design, with thatched roofs and large verandahs.
Situated at an altitude of over 3,260 metres in the Simien Mountains, this is the highest lodge in Africa. Accommodation consists of 26 rooms in thatched tukel roundhouses, sympathetically constructed in traditional style using local materials. Gelada baboons are regular visitors to the grounds.