Ethiopia, the oldest independent nation in Africa, has a heritage dating back to first century AD. Ethiopia is the only country in Africa it was never colonized. Ethiopia is the only Africa country, which has its own alphabet, and it is a cradle of Humankind and coffee. Ethiopia’s uniqueness makes it a fascinating destination for every kind of traveller, but in particular for the traveller who wants that bit more. Ethiopia’s historic sites are extremely wide-ranging and possibly the most extensive in the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa. The natural beauty of Ethiopia amazes the first-time visitor. Ethiopia is a land of rugged mountains, broad savannah, lakes and rivers.
14 Days tour of North and Omo Valley
This 14 day tour through the North of Ethiopia begins with your arrival in Addis Abeba. Depending on you arrival time, there might be the chance for some sightseeing’s in the city. Over night in Addis.
Early in the morning depart on a flight for Bahir Dar. After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the
area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar (resort or hotel).
After breakfast continue north to Gondar. The four-hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After briefly settling in your hotel, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Gondar (hotel).
Day excursion to Simien Mountains National park. In the morning after breakfast drive to the jagged panorama of the Simien Mountains National
Park, famed for its exclusive landscape, afro-alpine vegetation and unique wildlife, where you may spot the endemic Wallia Ibex, Gelada Baboon troops, Bushbuck, Klipspringer. Then drive back to Gonder. Over night stay in Hotel. Over night stay in Hotel.
Early morning flight to Axum. Upon arrival to Axum, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Axum (hotel).
Depart on a morning flight to Lalibela, the most famous of all of the Ethiopian historical sites. After lunch, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & BetGolgotha (entry not permitted for women). After lunch and, in the afternoon, visit the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael,
Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).
In the morning after breakfast transfer to airport for your flight back to Addis and transfer to Hawassa, one of the famous Rift valley lakes region. Over night stay in Hotel.
After breakfast drive to the southwest out of Addis-Arba Minch, which means ‘Forty Springs’ in Amharic. On the way visit the Dorze tribe and their village, famed for their beehive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides.
After an early breakfast we will continue driving to Jinka. The boat trip along Chomo Lake in the morning is along the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many Hippos and the world’s most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles. The water birds are great and the scenery is truly unforgettable-route we will visit the Konso tribal village, who managed to develop a highly specialize agriculture economy and, in the
process, one of Africa’s most fascinating culture. The day is an excellent day to meet the people, take photograph with them and learn their culture that is untouched by outside influence. On the road you will visit Ari, Benna and Tsemai tribes and also you will be able to visit the colorful Key Afer market, which is attended by all the three tribes. O/N: hotel/lodge
After breakfast we will drive to Turmi, a settlement for the Hammer people very much known for their colorful hairstyle and bull jumping tradition at times of wedding. The ladies normally adorned by leather made skirts decorated by sounding pearls and by gleaming aluminum which is normally fixed to their neck. Enroot visit to the Dimeka market, which is mainly attended by the elegant skin wearing Hammer and Benna women, and decorated men. Since it borders on Benna territory, its Tuesday and Saturday market attract locals from both tribes. After taking time in the market we will drive to Turmi Hammer. O/N: lodge/camp
On this day we will drive to Kolcho, a settlement for the Karo ethnic groups, perhaps the most beautiful, with its lofty views over the Omo River and traditional Karo dwelling. They are in body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic pattern on each Faces, Chests, Arms and Legs. Even Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes with special ochre Cap of hair usually containing several Ostrich feathers. In the afternoon drive back to Turmi. O/N: lodge/camp
An early drive to the Omo valley to across the river and enjoy the home of Lower Omo people and their remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups. Omorate is nestled along the baking eastern bank of Omo River, 72 km southwest of Turmi. Their Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Gelebe (Dassaneech) one of the tribe you will visit settling on the bank of Omo River is the real attraction across the river. After seeing the small villages we will return bake to Turmi. Late afternoon enjoy the ceremony of Evangadi Dance if there is any wedding held on same time you are there and there might also be a bull jumping ceremony, which significance of a passage of from childhood to adulthood. O/N: lodge/camp
On this day we will have a full day of driving to Arba Minch. Along the way visit the tribes of Erbore, which rest 72 km from Turmi. The Erbore people are mixed bunch, with ancestry linking back to the Omo Valley and Konso highlands. With their beads and aluminum jewellery, they resemble the Borena people. The drive continues to Arba Minch passing through Weyto, little village that lies at the junction to Arba Minch. O/N: lodge/hotel
We will then drive back to Addis Ababa aiming to reach the capital for noon. Afternoon lunch we will embark on the city tour of Addis Ababa.