Highlights of Ethiopia in Comfort

# Tailor-Made Tour

Highlights of Ethiopia in Comfort

15 Days from £5,533 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
15 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Primate Watching
Culture and Archaeology
Photographic

Keeping internal travel to a minimum and staying in Ethiopia’s best wildlife lodges, this is the perfect itinerary for those keen to combine Ethiopia’s top wildlife and historical attractions. Starting with the Simien Mountains there will be outstanding endemic wildlife to see with Walia ibex and majestic lammergeiers soaring against stunning mountain backdrops. One of the world’s most expressive primates, the gelada baboon can also be seen here in exceptional numbers and at so close range that you can hear them chewing the montane grasses. There will also be a visit to the historic city of Gondar, with its famed castles and impressive artwork in the Debre Birhan Selassie Church. After travelling through more sensational scenery, there is the awe inspiring rock and cave hewn churches of Lalibela, one of the wonders of the world. Then fly down to the Bale Mountains for a completely different mountain landscape with wild boulder strewn plateaus, rolling grasslands and ancient moss covered cloud forests. Here there will be more unforgettable wildlife experiences with a range of endemic and exciting mammals, birds, reptiles and plant life. The world’s rarest canid, the elegant Ethiopian wolf is very much at home in Bale’s high altitude moorlands and can routinely be watched hunting another endemic mammal; the giant mole rat during the day. Finish with the tranquil Lake Awassa for hippos, birdlife and one of the country’s best hotels. Offering unique wildlife and historical experiences to treasure, this trip offers the very best of Ethiopia.

Itinerary

Price from £5,533 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Depart UK

Evening departure from London and fly overnight to Addis Ababa

Staying at In-flight. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 1 - Addis Ababa

Met on arrival and transfer to your hotel. Morning at leisure to recover from your flight and in the afternoon take a guided city tour of Addis including a visit to the National Museum to see the Lucy exhibit which houses the remains of one of the oldest humans ever discovered. Return to the hotel for the evening.

Staying at Getfam Hotel. Includes Breakfast.

Day 3 - Simien Mountains

Morning transfer to the airport and take domestic flight to Gondar. Met on arrival and drive north to Debark and into the wonderful Simien Mountains National Park. Afternoon guided excursion for your first encounters with geladas, highland birds and some magnificent scenery. The volcanic Simien Mountains date back nearly 20 million years and offer some of the most rugged and dramatic mountain landscapes in Africa. The altitude will mostly be between 3,300 and 3,500 meters above sea level.

Staying at LimaLimo Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Simien Mountains National Park

This morning enjoy a full day to explore the Simien Mountains National Park perhaps with a packed lunch, enabling you to reach the remote Chennek Valley. Here you will hopefully find the endemic and agile walia ibex which are surprisingly at home on the craggy ledges of the mountains. Look out too for the impressive lammergeier or “bone breaker vulture” here alongside numerous other species of birds of prey, croaking thick-billed ravens and nimble Ethiopian klipspringers. One of the highlights of the day will be spending time with a troop of habituated geladas (or bleeding heart baboons) as they graze on the montane grasslands of the Park.

Staying at LimaLimo Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Gondar

This morning perhaps enjoy some birdwatching around the lodge grounds. Later drive south to the historic town of Gondar to visit its seven castles of Fasil Ghebbi, built by Emperor Fasilides in the 17th Century. Later visit the impressive Debre Birhan Selassie Church; one of the most beautiful churches in all of Ethiopia with intricate ceiling and wall paintings dating back to the 17th Century.

Staying at Gohar Hotel. Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Lalibela

This morning transfer 4 hours south to visit the Awra Amba Community. This fascinating community of approximately 450 people was founded in 1980 by Zumra Nuru who wanted to create a fairer society than the one he was growing up in. Learn about the history of the community and its beliefs and impacts around Ethiopia and the world. Continue the drive through beautiful highland landscapes, rural villages and dry open country to Lalibela arriving in the late afternoon.

Staying at Sora Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Lalibela

Today visit Ethiopia’s “must see” historical attraction; the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. These stunning churches carved out of and also built into solid volcanic rock are a masterpiece of archaeological work and have been attracting pilgrims and visitors for over 800 years. There are 12 main churches to explore; some remarkably sculpted out of the hard volcanic rock by hand in the 12th Century and others skilfully built into the side of caves. Bet Medhane Alem and St George’s are two of the most impressive. Your expert guide will help you make the most of this extraordinary site.

Staying at Sora Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Addis Ababa

Today transfer to the airport and take flight back to Addis Ababa. Met on arrival and transfer to hotel.

Staying at Getfam Hotel. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 9 - Bale Mountains

Transfer to the airport and take domestic flight to Bale Robe Airport. Met on arrival and transfer to your lodge passing the wonderful scenery of the Sanetti Plateau. Enjoy exploring the forest in the late afternoon.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 10 - Bale Mountains

Today you can enjoy a full day to explore the Bale Mountains National Park. Perhaps begin with a pre-breakfast bird walk through the lush Harenna Forest close to the lodge. You may see black-and-white guereza colobus monkeys, white-cheeked turaco, African emerald cuckoos and Abyssinian catbirds here.

Later perhaps explore the magical moorland landscapes of the Sanetti Plateau home of the beautiful and critically endangered Ethiopian wolf. For such a rare animal, these unique canids are surprisingly easy to find as they hunt the plateau’s abundant rodent prey during daylight. Bizarre giant mole rats, locally endemic Stark’s hares, klipspringers, blue-winged geese, spot-breasted lapwings and golden eagles could also be spotted up here.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Bale Mountains

Enjoy another full day to explore the Bale Mountains. Perhaps explore more of the biodiverse Harenna Forest or just relax in the beautiful settings. There are various trails leading out from the lodge where waterfalls and wildlife including the locally endemic Bale monkey, African crowned eagle and Bale nose-horned chameleon may be seen. Other activities could include a visit further south to the Sof Omar Caves and habitat of the rare Prince Ruspoli’s turaco, or visits to local villages, a honey harvesting experience or wild coffee collection and processing.

In the evening perhaps take a game drive through the interior of the Harenna Forest in search of secretive forest dwellers such as the huge giant forest hog, bushpig, Menelik’s bushbuck and maybe even the rare Abyssinian lion.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 12 - Lake Awassa

Today depart on a long drive through changing landscapes as you head north into the Great Rift Valley. Stop in the rolling Gaysay Grasslands to enjoy the herds of endemic mountain nyala, bohor reedbuck, warthog and olive baboons. Look out too for servals hunting rodents in the tall grasslands of this valley. A stop in the Park headquarters at Dinsho can also provide an opportunity to see the rare Abyssinian long eared owl. Continue the drive to Lake Awassa arriving in the late afternoon.

Staying at Haile Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 14 - Lake Awassa

Today explore Lake Awassa, noted for its abundant birdlife and hippos. Perhaps visit the local fish market for close views of a variety of water birds before taking a boat trip around the lake in search of hippos and different birdlife. The woodlands nearby also host many interesting species such as vervet and colobus monkey, red-throated wryneck and spotted creeper.

Staying at Haile Resort. Includes All Meals.

Day 14 - Addis Ababa

Transfer to the airport and take domestic flight back to Addis Ababa. Met on arrival and transfer to the Getfam Hotel for day use of a room. Later pick up and transfer to the airport to take flight back to London.

Staying at In-flight. Includes In-flight Meals.

Day 15 - Arrive London

Includes In-flight Meals.

Travel Info

Are Flights Included?
Yes

Flight Info:
There are direct flights from London Heathrow with Ethiopian Airlines. Flights are 7 hours 35 minutes.

Best visited:
October to April

Area Specialist

Ian Loyd

If you have the time add a 2 night extenstion to Lake Langano for more excellent birdlife and some time to relax.

If you have any queries about this tour please feel free to call me directly on +44 (0)1803 866965 or...

Route Map

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Getfam Hotel: 8.905084, 38.781889
Limalimo Lodge: 13.197980, 37.896217
Goha Hotel: 12.620579, 37.468306
Bale Mountain Lodge: 6.717658, 39.727922
Haile Resort: 7.079588, 38.479094
Sora Lodge: 12.022989, 39.038776
Haile Resort Hawassa: 7.079606, 38.479095