Monolithic Churches & Ancient Tribes
Ethiopia in 13 Days • 10 Nights in Destination
An incredible experience. A journey of discovery that takes you around Ethiopia, from unearthing medieval cave churches to meeting the people of age-old tribes.
Discover Ethiopia, known as the 'Land of the 13 Sunshines'. Begin your African adventure in Addis Ababa, head to Lalibela and see subterranean Churches carved out of rock, ancient castles in Gondar, and in Bahir Dar, visit island monasteries. Next, live a unique experience of meeting the culture from ancient tribes; The Dorze people, the Konso people, the Daasanach tribe and the Mursi tribe.
13 days trip including flights*
11 days and 10 nights in destination
YTO - ADD
YTO - ADD
ADD - YTO
ADD - YTO
* It may change depending of your departure city, departure date and arrival date.
The calendar does not display internal flights, trains or other transportation included in the itinerary.
Arrive at your departure airport ready to board a flight* to Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Night on board.
* If either your outbound or inbound flights depart in the early hours (before 4:00 a.m.) you must arrive at the airport the night before the indicated departure day.
Arrive at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's sprawling capital in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley. A representative will be at the airport to give you a warm welcome to Ethiopia and assist you with the transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure either resting in the hotel or exploring the city. Dinner* and overnight stay in Addis Ababa.**
* Please note: If you arrive at the hotel after 9:00 p.m, dinner will not be included. Instead, you will have the option to reserve a cold packed dinner for an additional charge in the next step of the booking process.
** Please note that the flight the following day from Addis Ababa to Lalibela departs in the morning, so you will be required to leave for the airport around 9 am.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, transfer to Addis Ababa airport and take a flight to Lalibela, the most famous of all of the Ethiopian historical sites. Lalibela is noted as The "New Jerusalem", an epicenter for internationally renowned rock-hewn churches known as 'Eight wonders of the world'. Physically created from the rock in which they stand, these towering edifices seem to be a superhuman creation due to the scale, workmanship and concept. After lunch, begin to explore the rock-hewn churches of the remarkable king Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches; Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha. “Bet” means house in Amharic, and in this instance stands for church. Transfer back to the hotel for dinner. Overnight stay in Lalibela.
Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, continue exploring the rock-hewn ‘Bet’s’ of Lalibela, heading this time to the Southeastern Cluster of churches. Unearth the history of Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, visit the most famous of all, Bet Giyorgis, a huge monolith in the shape of a cross, constructed in honor of St. George, the patron saint of Ethiopia. Lunch included. Spend the afternoon taking part in a traditional coffee ceremony with a local family, experience the Ethiopian way to drink coffee which is served up to three times, and each serving, named abol, tona and baraka, will be weaker than the previous. Tradition says that the first one is for pleasure, the second one is to provoke contemplation, and the third one serves as the blessing to the drinkers. Transfer back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Lalibela.
Early 6am rise this morning as you set-off to Gondar by road. Enjoy breakfast on-route. Arrive at the hotel for check in and enjoy lunch. In the afternoon your Gondar discovery will commence, discover Gondar Castle, the Fasil Pool, and Debre Birhan Trinity Church. Known as "the Camelot of Africa" it’s famous for its medieval castles and churches, and also known as the Imperial City of Fasilides. The Kings of Ethiopia based their power in Gondar for two centuries. The city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire, there are a number of castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Many picturesque ruins lie in the royal enclosure like fairytale castles, dating back to the 17th century. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and are characterized by lime mortar style. Transfer back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Gondar.
After breakfast, drive from Gondar to Bahir Dar. The drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture and the traditional agricultural methods still in use today. Lunch included. Embark on a boat to visit the ancient island monasteries on the lake. The monasteries are famous for their typical Ethiopian religious paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and other ancient church treasures. The monasteries you visit include; Ura Kidane Mihret famed for its iconic paintings, and continue onto the southern end of the heart-shaped lake to the 14th century island monastery of Kibran Gebriel. End the day watching the sunset at Bezawit Hill where you can see the outside of Emperor Haile Selassie I’s summer residence. Transfer back to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Bahir Dar.
After breakfast, your adventure continues to the Gughe Mountains. Transfer to Bahir Dar airport and fly to Addis Ababa where you will take another flight to Arba Minch. Upon arrival in Arba Minch, lunch and ascend into the Gughe Mountains to visit the Dorze people, known for their tall beehive-like houses and their fine cotton weaving. Have the unique opportunity of meeting the Dorze, a minority ethnic group known for their durable beehive huts that can stand up to two stories high, some even feature fireplaces and are only made of bamboo, enset and other local materials. The Dorze were once warriors, but today they are famous for their cotton weaving and making brightly coloured clothes. Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Arba Minch.
After breakfast, depart Arba Minch and travel by road to Turmi. On-route, stop in Konso for a visit with the Konso people, known for their totems built in honour of the dead, as well as their intricate agricultural terracing techniques. The Konso are agricultural people, cultivating subsistence crops on terraces that reduce soil erosion, leading a way of life that goes hand in hand with nature. The lands of the Konso have been declared as a World Heritage Site. Lunch included. After the visit, continue to Turmi, home of the Hamer tribes. Finally, visit the Hamer village in Turmi. The Hamar, found mostly in the fertile Omo Valley, are pastoralists who place great importance on cattle. Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Turmi.
After breakfast, drive to Omorate to meet the Daasanach tribe. The Daasanach range across a large territory following the western banks of the Omo River to Lake Turkana. Lunch included. Local tradition, reinforced by that of the Turkana, recounts that the Daasanach migrated to their current homeland from a region called Nyupe, to the west of Turkana. Like the Turkana, Samburu and Gabbar of northern Kenya, the Dasenech or Geleb were originally herders, living an almost nomadic lifestyle. The abundant water frontage and fertile soil of their present territory has subsequently pushed them towards a more diverse subsistence economy, based around fishing and agriculture as well as herding livestock. Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Turmi.
Early in the morning, depart Turmi and head to Mago National Park by road via Jinka and enjoy breakfast on-route and lunch included. The most renowned of the tribes that live in Mago are the striking Mursi with their distinctive body ornamentation, such as lip plates, piercings and face paintings and are featured often in travel publications. The Mursi women, like the Suri, insert discs into their lower lips adding to their unusual appearance, adorned with beads, strange and elaborate headdress creations and scant beaded-leather clothes. After visiting the Mursi village, transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Jinka.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Jinka airport and fly back to Addis
Ababa. Lunch included. Located at the foot of the Entoto Mountains, Addis is the capital of Ethiopia, founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik. Known locally as the "new flower", the city is dotted with Eucalyptus trees and surrounded by mountains. Addis is a regional hub with quite a cosmopolitan feel, offering interesting sights and delicious Ethiopian cuisine. Transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay in Addis Ababa.
Breakfast* at the hotel. Sadly, it’s time to bid farewell to Ethiopia after a truly unforgettable experience. Transfer to the airport for a return flight back to Canada.** Night on board.
* Depending on the return flight schedule and the hotel breakfast service, you may not be able to enjoy the included breakfast on the last day.
** IMPORTANT: Your flight may depart in the early hours of the morning in order to ensure the best possible flight times and connections for your journey. In this case, you may not be able to enjoy a full night of accommodation at the hotel.
Arrive in Canada and end your trip.
Accommodation: 10 Nights
*In case the advertised hotels are not available they will be replaced by one of these alternative hotels with the same quality: Caravan Hotel, Triple E Hotel and Spa.
Visit the Northwestern Cluster of Churches
Explore the Northwestern Cluster of rock-hewn churches; Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha.
Not included: Entrance fee payable directly on spot.
Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Take part in a traditional coffee ceremony with a local family. Ethiopian coffee is served up to three times. Tradition says; 1st is for pleasure, 2nd to provoke contemplation, 3rd serves as the blessing to the drinkers.
Visit the Southeastern Cluster of Churches
Unearth the history of Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos, and the most famous of all, Bet Giyorgis, a huge monolith in the shape of a cross.
Not included: Entrance fee payable directly on spot.
Gondar City Tour
Known as "the Camelot of Africa" it’s famous for its medieval castles and churches, and also known as the Imperial City of Fasilides. Discover Gondar Castle, the Fasil Pool, and Debre Birhan Trinity Church.
The price includes
- Included in all our trips. more information
- Departures from main Canadian airports.
- International flights: Canada - Addis Ababa - Canada.
- Internal flights: Addis Abeba - Lalibela, Bahir Dar - Addis Abeba - Arba Minch, Jinka - Addis Abeba.*more information
- 10 nights accommodation in Charm category hotels.See hotels included
- Full board.
- All transfers
- Visits and entrances fees as indicated in the itinerary.See itinerary
- All air taxes and fuel surcharge.
- Lake Tana Boat Cruise.
- English-speaking guide during the whole trip.
*The cancellation policy applicable is according to the Terms and Conditions available and agreed at the time of your purchase
Visa (required)*, entrance **, drinks, tips and any other services not mentioned in what's included.
* Online Visa before arrival is recommended and can be done through the following website: www.evisa.gov.et Approx. price: 52 USD.
** 50 USD Lalibela Churches entrance fee payable directly on spot.
IMPORTANT: This trip is not suitable for a person with reduced mobility due to the nature of the excursions and the terrain.
However, please note that this tour can be taken privately. There will be a private guide and a specifically designed itinerary to ensure maximum enjoyment. The excursions will be taken via alternative routes with ease of access and the pace will be dictated by the passenger.
To take part in the private tour it is required that the person with reduced mobility is accompanied by a dedicated person at all times, to assist in any necessary situations, such as getting in and out of the transport vehicle, on excursions, and so on.
* Documentation of the internal flights will either be available in the "My bookings" section in your "Customer Area" 14 days before your trip or delivered to you on arrival at your destination. It is essential to fill in the passport information correctly for each passenger in the given boxes at the end of the reservations process.
- Entry requirementsPassport with a minimum of six months validity.
- VisaA visa is required to enter the country. E-visa or visa on arrival services are available. For more information visit: https://ethiopianembassy.org/visa-service/
- CurrencyEthiopian Birr
- LanguageAmharic is the official language in Ethiopia, although many tribal languages are spoken in the country such as Oromo and Tigrigna.
- Electricity220 V. Adapter required.
- HealthPlease consult your doctor regarding the vaccination against yellow fever and malaria prophylaxis. Travellers over 60 years must consult their doctor as the Yellow Fever vaccine can have serious side effects.
- Time zoneUTC + 03:00.
- Tourist Office websitehttps://visitethiopia.travel/
Remember to download your e-ticket to confirm the times of your flights and to complete online check-in using the airline’s website, or directly at the check-in desk at the airport.
Accommodation at the hotels is as indicated. In the event of any changes to accommodation, they will always be of the same, or a higher category. The category of hotels is not standardized across all countries in the world. For this reason, the criteria may differ depending on the destination country's own standards.
In the case of adverse weather conditions, for safety reasons or for any other reasons deemed appropriate, the order and duration of the excursions included in the itinerary may be changed or cancelled without prior notice.
Children: 1 - 6.
Triple room: In general, triple rooms will have a double bed/ two single beds and a rollaway or sofa bed.
If you have reduced mobility/require the use of a wheelchair and prefer to go at your own pace, please contact our customer service team at +44 20 8068 3176 or via our contact form.
Exoticca Travel Stories
Creating unforgettable memories, one traveler at a time
A great value experience
I loved Ethiopia, although it is a challenging travel destination which will open your eyes and teach you a lot about different cultures. It was more of an experience than a holiday and I liked that we fit in so many sights into a short time.