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DANAKIL DEPRESSION

Mekele - Ahmedela - Dallol - Erta Ale

Among the nature and trekking tours, the Danakil Depression tour has undoubtedly the most spectacular landscapes in Ethiopia. This depression has its origin in the rifting process which formed the Red Sea and the African Rift Valley. It contains the only permanently active volcano in the world, the Erta Ale.Travelling through this volcanic area means immersing yourself in another planet, walking around salt lakes and sulphur formations. If you are a real adventurer and do not mind high temperatures (50-60ºC /122-140ºF), this is your ideal destination. You will be charmed by the long camel caravans transporting salt bars to the highlands and by the proud and nomadic Afar tribe. This trekking and nature tour includes a hike near the Erta Ale volcano and a visit to the colourful formations of Dallol, the deepest part of the Danakil Depression.


4 Days

Day 1 Fly to Mekele and drive to Ahmedela via Berhale. On the way, you will be able to see camel caravans from the salt mines. Overnight in Ahmedela (camping) 

Day 2 Drive to Dodom and trek to the Erta Ale volcano (3 hours) to spend the night by the dramatic boiling lava of this unique place. Overnight in Erta Ale (camping)

Day 3 Trek around the pits and craters of the Erta Ale early in the morning and proceed back to Ahmedela for overnight (camping)

Day 4 Drive to Ragab to observe the mine workers cutting bricks of salt from the lake to be transported on camel caravans. Continue driving to Dallol (116m below sea level), the deepest part of the depression and drive back to Mekele via Ahmedela. In the evening, fly to Addis Ababa for a farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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9 Days

Day 1 Drive to Kombolcha via Debre Birhan. If Sunday, it is possible to visit Senbete market, meeting point for different tribes like the Amhara, Oromo and Afar. Overnight in Kombolcha (hotel)

Day 2 Drive to Mekele, the capital of the Tigray Region. On the way, visit Alameda Kobo Chain Mountains and the daily market of Kobo. Overnight in Mekele (hotel)

Day 3 Drive to Ahmedela via Berhale. On the way, you will be able to see camel caravans from the salt mines. Overnight in Ahmedela (camping)

Day 4 Drive to Lake Asale to observe the salt workers cutting bricks of salt from the lake to be transported on camel caravans for selling at the market. Continue driving to Dallol (116m below sea level), the deepest part of the depression and return to Ahmedela for overnight (camping)

Day 5 Drive to Dodom and trek for 15 km to the Erta Ale volcano to see the stunning volcanic eruption. Overnight camping nearby the volcano

Day 6 Trek back to Dodom and drive to Afdera Lake. Overnight nearby the lake (hotel or camping)

Day 7 Drive to Awash National Park via Logia. Overnight inside the park (lodge or camping)

Day 8 Trekking inside the Awash National Park including a driving route to be able to see the wildlife. Finish the day with a stunning sunset from the lodge located by the Awash River falls. Overnight inside the park (lodge or camping)

Day 9 Drive back to Addis Ababa via Debre Zeigt for lunch. Arrive to Addis Ababa with time to do some souvenir shopping or sightseeing. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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LALIBELA AND SURROUNDINGS

Lalibela - Abune Yosef - Wedebye - Hudad Mountain

Lalibela, a small isolated village set in the mountains of Lasta, is popularly known for its rock-hewn churches. According to the legend, King Lalibela, during his exile in Jerusalem, was inspired to create “a new Jerusalem” and thus he built the churches with the help of angels. 

This trip is just a perfect introduction to Ethiopia’s incredible diversity of an ancient civilisation and culture in combination with incredible highlands and unique nature. Here, the incomparable landscape of the Abune Yosef Mountain contrasts with some of the most beautiful scenery of the low lands of Bilbala and Wag Yimra. This trekking route will give you the opportunity to explore one of the most amazing places in Ethiopia and stay in community camps or tukuls (round thatched houses) while sharing scenario with both the locals and the endemic species under a flawless starry sky.

5 Days

Day 1 Early in the morning fly to Lalibela and visit the first group of rock-hewn churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Eight Wonders of the World which includes the following: Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Michael Golegotha and Tomb of Adam. In the afternoon, visit the second group of churches which includes: Bete Gebriel Raphael,  Bete Merkorios, Bete Amanuel, Bete Aba Libanos, Bete Giorgis. Overnight in Lalibela (lodge or hotel)

Day 2 Trek to Wedebye (2,600 to 3,800m) visiting the 13th century monastery church of Asheten Mariam. Stop by Hudad lodge for a short coffee break  and continue along a well trodden path to the village of Wedebiye and its school to experience firsthand the lifestyles of the highland people. Overnight in Wedebye (community lodge or camping)          

Day 3 Early in the morning, trek for 3 hours to Abune Yosef. En route, you will be able to enjoy the stunning view of the mountains covered by the Afro alpine meadows with the chance to spot endemic mammals like Gelada Baboons (groups of least 200 can often be seen) or the Simien fox. Overnight in Abune Yosef (community lodge or camping)

Day 4 Trek back to Lalibela visiting different villages on the way. Overnight in Lalibela (lodge or hotel)

Day 5 Fly to Addis Ababa with time to do some souvenir shopping or sightseeing. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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7 Days

Day 1 Early in the morning fly to Lalibela and visit the first group of rock-hewn churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the Eight Wonders of the World. Overnight in Lalibela (lodge or hotel)

Day 2 In the morning, visit the second group of churches. After lunch, trek to Hudad (3,500m) visiting the 13th century monastery church of Asheten Maryam on the way. Overnight in Hudad (lodge or camping)

Day 3 Trek to Wedebye (3,600 to 3,800m) through the small villages to experience first hand the lifestyles of the highland people. Overnight in Wedebye (community lodge or camping)

Day 4 Trek to Abune Yosef, the third highest pick in Ethiopia (4,130m). En route, you will be able to enjoy the stunning view of the mountains covered by afro alpine types of vegetations with the chance to spot endemic mammals like Gelada Baboons and Simien Foxes. Overnight in Abune Yosef (community lodge or camping) 

Day 5 Trek to Yimrehane Kristos via Degosach, visiting different villages on the way before reaching the 12th century Yimrhane Kristos caved-church. Overnight in Yimrehane Kristos (camping)

Day 6 In the morning trek to visit Arbatu Ensesa, a rock-hewn church from the 4th century AD and meet your driver for the return to Lalibela. On the way, optional stop to visit the 4th century AD Bilbala Cherkos rock hewn church. Overnight in Lalibela (lodge or hotel)

Day 7 Fly to Addis Ababa with time to do some souvenir shopping or sightseeing. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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SIMIEN MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK

Gondar - Sankabar - Geech - Chenek - Ambiquo - Rash Dashen

The Simien Mountains are arguably the most beautiful mountain range in Africa. Vast and unique, the highland plateau is capped by a dramatic skyline of jagged volcanic plugs and split by deep gorges and gullies. The views across this landscape are breathtaking: the striking towers and formations having been described as 'the chess pieces of the Gods'. Our trek takes us to both the highland and rural lowland areas, with an ascent of Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia at 4,543m and the fourth highest in Africa. A haven to many endemic species of wildlife and flora, including the Gelada Baboon and Walia Ibex, the Simien Mountains National Park has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Our tours begin in Gondar and from there we will drive up to Sankabar and start different trekking itineraries according to your time limit and interest. Even though there is accommodation available inside the park we can facilitate all the camping material for a more intense experience.


4 Days

Day 1 Fly to Gondar and drive directly to Sankabar (3,250m), the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, via Debark, where you will meet up with all the trekking crew. Late afternoon, trek for about 2 hours around the campsite. Overnight in Sankaber (camping)

Day 2 Trek for 5-7 hours to Geech (3,600m), through the Kaba Valley and walk by the narrow ridge of Jinbahir river plunges. Continue to the campsite with a short hike up to Kedadit to enjoy the sunset down to the gorgeous shaded landscapes. Overnight in Geech (camping)   

Day 3 Trek to Imet Gogo promontory, for one of the most spectacular views in the whole mountain range and continue for 4-5 hours to the road near Ambaras village to meet the car for the drive back to Gondar. Overnight in Gondar (hotel)

Day 4 In the morning, visit the UNESCO Royal Enclosure, a group of castles from the 17th century, the Debre Birhan Selassie church and the Fasilide’s pool area. In the afternoon, fly to Addis Ababa with time to do some shopping or sightseeing. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure

 

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6 Days

Day 1  Fly to Gondar and visit the UNESCO Royal Enclosure, a group of castles from the 17th century. In the afternoon, visit the Debre Birhan Selassie church and the Fasilide’s pool area. Overnight in Gondar (hotel)

Day 2 Drive to Sankabar (3,250m), the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, via Debark and meet up with all the trekking crew. Late afternoon, trek for about 2 hours around the campsite. Overnight in Sankaber (camping)

Day 3 Trek for 5-7 hours to Geech (3,600m), through the Kaba Valley and walk by the narrow ridge of Jinbahir river plunges. Continue to the campsite with a short hike up to Kedadit to enjoy the sunset down to the gorgeous shaded landscapes. Overnight in Geech (camping)   

Day 4 Trek for 6-7 hours through giant Lobelia trees, where a lot of wildlife can be spotted and keep walking on the edge of the Enatye escarpment for a spectacular view. Then continue to Chenek (3,600m), the best sight to see the endemic Walia Ibex and Gelada Baboons. Overnight in Chenek (camping)  

Day 5 Day of trekking up to the second highest peak in the Simien Mountains, Buwahit (4430m) and walk back to Chenek for lunch. Afterwards, walk to the village of Argin to witness the highland people lifestyles. Overnight in Chenek (camping)

Day 6 After breakfast, drive back to Gondar and fly to Addis Ababa. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure

 

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11 Days

Day 1 Fly to Gondar and visit the UNESCO Royal Enclosure, a group of castles from the 17th century. In the afternoon, visit the Debre Birhan Selassie church and the Fasilide’s pool area. Overnight in Gondar (hotel)

Day 2 Drive to Sankabar (3,250m), the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, via Debark and meet up with all the trekking crew. Late afternoon, trek for about 2 hours around the campsite. Overnight in Sankaber (camping)

Day 3 Trek for 5-7 hours to Geech (3,600m), through the Kaba Valley and walk by the narrow ridge of Jinbahir river plunges (500m). Continue to the campsite with a short hike up to Kedadit to enjoy the sunset down to the gorgeous shaded landscapes. Overnight in Geech (camping) 

Day 4 Trek to Imet Gogo (3,926m) to explore the Siha Gorge and Kedadit through the grass plateau, homeland of the Giant Lobelia plant, and enjoy a 360º panoramic view. Back to the campsite for a rest and short walk for sunset to Kedadit Mount. Overnight in Geech (camping)

Day 5 Trek for 6-7 hours to Chenek (3,600m), through giant Lobelia trees, where a lot of wildlife can be spotted and keep walking on the edge of the Enatye escarpment (400m), for spectacular views. Then continue to Chenek, the best sight to see the endemic lammergeiers, Walia Ibex and Gelada Baboons. Overnight in Chenek (camping)  

Day 6 Trek for 6-7 hours to Ambiquo (4,200m) and climb up to mount Buwahit, the second highest peak in Ethiopia. Overnight in Ambiquo (camping)  

Day 7 Trek for 8-9 hours to Sona (4,620m) through the Meseha river and the Arkwazye village. Overnight in Sona (camping)

Day 8 Trek to Mekareba via the Incya valley and descend to the lowland for picnic and refreshment at the Incya river. Overnight in Mekareba (camping)   

Day 9 Trek to Ras Dashen (4,543m) in the longest and challenging hike of the tour. The reward will be the amazing views from the highest point in Ethiopia. Proceed to Ambiquo campsite for overnight

Day 10 Trek back to Chenek through the side of the Bohit Mountain. Overnight in Chenek (camping)

Day 11 After breakfast, drive back to Gondar and fly to Addis Ababa. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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BALE MOUNTAINS - NATIONAL PARK*

Sodota - Wasama -Sennati Plateau

More than 60 mammal species and 260 birds have been found at the Bale Mountains National Park. This park is the perfect spot for trekking and horseback riding. On your hike, you will be able to spot the endemic Mountain Nyala, the Menelik Bushbuck and the Ethiopian wolf and explore lakes, waterfalls and deep gorges. Even though there is accommodation available inside the park we can facilitate all the camping material for a more intense experience.


3 Days

Day 1 Drive to Bale Mountains National Park through Ziway and Shashemene. After entering the park, you will have time to make a short hike along the northern part of the park. Overnight in Dinsho (camping)

Day 2 Excursion to Sennati Plateau (4,000m), with a beautiful wild Afro-alpine moorland. Overnight in Goba (Hotel or camping)

Day 3 Drive back to Addis Ababa via Bekoji–Assela, with time to do some souvenir shopping or sightseeing upon arrival. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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6 Days

Day 1 Drive to the Bale Mountains National Park with time for an afternoon trek and overnight camping around the entrance of the park

Day 2 Enter the National Park through Dinsho where you will probably see the Mountain Nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck. Trek for 6-7 hours stopping by the Habera waterfall. Overnight in Sodota (camping)

Day 3 A 5-6 hours trekking to Wasama will allow you to see a beautiful landscape occupied by some endemic species such as the Ethiopian wolf, the Lammergeye and the Verraux Eagle. Overnight in Wasama (camping)

Day 4 Hike up to Mount Wasama and proceed down to the Worgona Valley to end up the day at Lake Gebre Gurracha where you can see raptors, falcons and other animals.  Overnight by the lake Gebre Gurracha (camping)

Day 5 Trek up to the Sennati Plateau to take a car for a road trip around this amazing scenario where you will probably spot the Ethiopian wolf. Overnight in Goba (hotel)

Day 6 Drive back to Addis Ababa via Bekoji–Assela, with time to do some souvenir shopping or sightseeing upon arrival. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour

 

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BIRD WATCHING

Awash National Park - Bishangari - Wondo Genet - Yirgalem - Awassa - Abiatta-Shalla National Park

Ethiopia is considered as one of the top birding destination in Africa with more than 800 species, of which more than 600 are resident or presumed resident and the remainder are Palaearctic or intra-African migrants. Ornithological itineraries are normally focused on the southern area although there are also some endemics found in the northern part of Ethiopia. Travelling through the Rift Valley, the Awash National Park or Yabello surroundings will provide you the perfect introduction to African birds as any other country and the fascinating experience to observe a rich variety of birdlife.


7 Days

Day 1 Drive to Awash National Park and enjoy a tour around the park to see the wildlife and admire a stunning sunset from the lodge located by the Awash River falls. Overnight in Awash National Park (lodge or camping) 

Day 2 Visit the Ilala Sala plain, the Awash River waterfalls and the acacia thickets to spot some species such as the Grey Hornbill, the Somali Fiscal, the Helmeted Guinea Fowl or the Kori Bustard. Overnight in Awash National Park (lodge or camping)

Day 3 Drive to Bishangari on the Rift Valley Lake of Langano where you can explore the riverine forest and adjacent lake with birds such as the Yellow-fronted Parrot, the White Cheeked Turaco, the Orange-bellied Parrot, the African Paradise Flycatcher, the Bare-faced go-away bird and others. Overnight in Bishangari (lodge or camping) 

Day 4 Drive to Wondo Genet and hike in the surrounding forest to spot some great birds like the endemic Yellow-fronted Parrot. Overnight in Wondo Genet (hotel or camping)

Day 5 Drive to Yirgalem and check-in at the Aregash Lodge, where there is a large area with a rich bird life. Great Sparrow Hawks, Tambourine Doves, Mountain Thrushes and other species can be easily spotted. Overnight in Yirgalem (lodge or camping) 

Day 6 Drive to Awassa and visit the lake shore to spot some aquatic birds such as White-backed ducks, African Pygmy-gooses, Banded barbets, among others. Overnight in Awassa (hotel)

Day 7 Drive back to Addis Ababa via Abiatta-Shala National Park where there is a large community of flamingos and other water birds. Upon arrival, you will have some free time for souvenir shopping or sightseeing. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour.

 

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THE GREAT RIFT VALLEY

Awash National Park - Bale Mountains National Park - Sof Omar caves - Awassa - Arba Minch - Nechisar National Park - Langano - Abiatta-Shalla National Park

The rifting and consequent separation between the African an the Arabian tectonic plates over 35 million years ago originated an amazing geological and geographical place known as the Great Rift Valley. Starting from northern Syria and reaching central Mozambique, this 6,000km valley reaches deep widths and great elevations, some of them found in Ethiopia. As a result of this geographic accident and due to the high rainfall in the quaternary era, there is a group of lakes in Ethiopia called the Rift Valley Lakes, including Ziway, Langano, Abiata and Shala in the North and Abaya and Chamo in the South. This tour will allow the visitor to witness one of the most intense geological sites in the world.


7 Days

Day 1 Drive to Awash National Park via Adama. Visit the park where you will spot wildlife such as crocodiles, different species of antelopes and monkeys and enjoy the sunset view from the lodge inside the park. Overnight in Awash National Park (lodge or camping)

Day 2 Drive to Goba via Asela and visit the Sanette Plateau and Tullo Deemtu Mount. In the afternoon, visit the Sof Omar caves, a vast network of limestone caverns and go back to the Bale Mountains National Park for overnight (camping)

Day 3 Visit the Bale Mountains National Park with a full day program of trekking inside the park where you will be able to spot some endemic species such as the Ethiopian wolf. Overnight in Bale Mountains National Park (overnight)

Day 4 Drive to Awassa and visit the city with a tour to the lake and the fish market. Overnight in Awassa (hotel)

Day 5 Drive to Arba Minch and visit the Nechisar National Park. On the way, you can visit the Dorze tribe, known for the beehive-shaped bamboo houses and the fine cotton weaved by their people. Overnight in Arba Minch (lodge or hotel)

Day 6 Drive to the Great Rift Valley Lakes region for relaxation at one of the lodges next to Langano Lake. Overnight in Langano (resort, hotel or camping)

Day 7 Before driving back to Addis, visit the Abiatta-Shalla National Park to enjoy the scenic lakes and spot water birds. In the evening, farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with local dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for departure. End of the tour.

 

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 Note that all itineraries are flexible and they can be modified or combined with other itineraries according to your interest, time and budget.
Please contact us for further information.