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Monolithic Churches & Ancient Tribes

Ethiopia in 13 Days, 10 Nights in Destination

Up to $500 reward

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-25%

From

$4,029

$2,999

/person

Emma, Travel Expert

Emma
Travel crafter

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.

Trip Highlights

  1. map-pin-check-icon
    Addis Ababa
  2. map-pin-check-icon
    Arba Minch
  3. map-pin-check-icon
    Bahir Dar
  4. map-pin-check-icon
    Gondar
  5. map-pin-check-icon
    Jinka
  6. map-pin-check-icon
    Lalibela
  7. map-pin-check-icon
    Turmi

Included

  1. All flights

  2. Accommodation

  3. All transfers

  4. Activities

  5. Breakfast only

Availability

  1. Departures available until December 2025

  2. Available Group tours

  3. Solo travelers from + $340

  4. Add up to 5 nights to your stay

  5. WHAT'S THIS?

Categories available

  1. charm included

  2. WHAT'S THIS?

Book with an expert for free:

1-888-488-0592

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April 2024
May 2024
June 2024
July 2024

Categories Available:

charm

From $2,999

Selected

  • Accommodation in Charm category hotels.
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Accommodation: 10 Nights

Itinerary

Discover Ethiopia, known as the 'Land of 13 months of sunshine'. 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.

1st Day: US - Night on board
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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.

 

2nd Day: Addis Ababa
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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. Overnight stay in Addis Ababa.*

* 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.

You will have the option to add early check-in on arrival in the next step of the booking process. To guarantee optional services, we recommend that you add them to your current booking, as they are subject to availability.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Triple E Hotel and Spa or similar
See our full selection
3rd Day: Addis Ababa - Lalibela
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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 (not included), 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. Overnight stay in Lalibela.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Panoramic View Hotel or similar
tripadvisor rating

477 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Northwestern Cluster of Churches

Active

See more
4th Day: Lalibela
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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. 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 and overnight stay in Lalibela.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Panoramic View Hotel or similar
tripadvisor rating

477 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Southeastern Cluster of Churches

Active

See more
included
Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Moderate

See more
5th Day: Lalibela - Gondar
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Early 6am rise this morning as you set-off to Gondar by road. Enjoy breakfast on-route. Arrive at the hotel for check in. 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 and overnight stay in Gondar.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Zobel Resort Hotel or similar
tripadvisor rating

20 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Gondar City Tour

Moderate

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6th Day: Gondar - Bahir Dar
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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. 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 and overnight stay in Bahir Dar.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Delano or similar
tripadvisor rating

155 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Boat Cruise on Lake Tana

Moderate

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7th Day: Bahir Dar - Arba Minch
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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 (not included) 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 and overnight stay in Arba Minch.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Haile Resort Arba Minch or similar
tripadvisor rating

224 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Dorze People

Moderate

See more
8th Day: Arba Minch - Turmi
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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. 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 and overnight stay in Turmi.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Buska Lodge or similar
tripadvisor rating

324 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Konso People and Hamer Village in Turmi

Moderate

See more
9th Day: Turmi
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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. 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 and overnight stay in Turmi.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Buska Lodge or similar
tripadvisor rating

324 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Daasanach Tribe and Hamer Village in Turmi

Moderate

See more
10th Day: Turmi - Mago - Jinka
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Early in the morning, depart Turmi and head to Mago National Park by road via Jinka and enjoy breakfast on-route and lunch (not 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 and overnight stay in Jinka.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Eco-Omo Lodge or similar
tripadvisor rating

237 Reviews

See our full selection

Activities

included
Visit the Mursi Tribe

Moderate

See more
11th Day: Jinka - Addis Ababa
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Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to Jinka airport and fly back to Addis
Ababa. 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 and overnight stay in Addis Ababa.

Accommodation

ONE OF OUR SELECTED HOTELS
Triple E Hotel and Spa or similar
See our full selection
12th Day: Addis Ababa - Night on board
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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 the US.** 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.

13th Day: US
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Arrive in the US and end your trip.

Included activities

Included

Visit the Northwestern Cluster of Churches

Included activity for day 3

Explore the Northwestern Cluster of rock-hewn churches; Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha.

Duration 08:00h Approx. Pick up time: 09:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Active

more information
Included

Visit the Southeastern Cluster of Churches

Included activity for day 4

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.

Duration 04:00h Approx. Pick up time: 08:30 Approx

Physical rating:

Active

more information
Included

Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony

Included activity for day 4

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.

Duration 02:00h Approx. Pick up time: 15:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information
Included

Gondar City Tour

Included activity for day 5

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.

Duration 11:00h Approx. Pick up time: 07:00 Approx

Physical rating:

Moderate

more information

Show more

The price includes

  • Included in all our trips. more information
  • Departures from main US airports.
  • International flights: US - Addis Ababa - US.
  • 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
  • 10 breakfasts.
  • 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

Not included

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: 82 USD.

** 100 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 requirements

    Passport with a minimum of six months validity.

  • Visa

    A 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/

  • Currency

    Ethiopian Birr

  • Language

    Amharic is the official language in Ethiopia, although many tribal languages are spoken in the country such as Oromo and Tigrigna.

  • Electricity

    220 V. Adapter required.

  • Health

    Please 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 zone

    UTC + 03:00.

  • Tourist Office website

    https://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, or you would prefer this tour to be a private experience for you and your group, you must contact our Experts at +1 888-488-0592 before booking to ensure that your needs can be met.

While on the road, it is highly unlikely that the vehicle will be equipped with wifi or bathroom facilities, though rest stops will be made for long trips. We recommend purchasing a new SIM card at the airport or placing an e-SIM before travel to guarantee internet connection.

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