Highlights of Ethiopia in Comfort

# Tailor-Made Tour

Highlights of Ethiopia in Comfort

12 Days from £4863 per adult. All trip details below can be tailored just for you
12 Days
Tailor-Made Tour
Primate Watching
Culture and Archaeology
Photographic

Ethiopia offers a very different Africa; it is a land of dramatic mountain landscapes, with equally impressive and unique wildlife, ancient history and a kaleidoscope of cultures.

Keeping internal travel to a minimum and staying in the country’s best wildlife lodges, this is the perfect itinerary for those looking to discover Ethiopia’s top wildlife and historical highlights at a gentle pace.

Starting with the wild Bale Mountains in the south, enjoy the thrill of watching beautiful Ethiopian wolves hunting bizarre giant mole rats on the moon like Sanetti Plateau. The Bale Mountains supports many other habitats with montane grasslands, stunted juniper woddlands and an enchanting cloud forest where wild coffee still thrives. The wildlife is equally as diverse and features magnificent mountain nyalas, horned chameleons, colourful turacos, shaggy giant forest hogs and the rare Bale monkey which is found nowhere else.

Next comes the historic city of Gondar with its castles and intricately decorated Debre Birhan Selassie Church. From here your journey continues north to the rugged Simien Mountains where lammergeiers soar past the jagged peaks and cliffs and endemic walia ibex and nimble klipspringers graze against an impressive mountain backdrop.

One of the Simien’s most memorable experiences is sitting right in amongst the hundred strong herds of geladas (bleeding heart baboons) that graze the upland grasslands. Geladas must be one of the planet’s most expressive and fascinating primates and watching them so closely in such atmospheric surroundings is an experience to treasure.

The final destination is the awe-inspiring rock and cave hewn churches of Lalibela, one of the wonders of the world and not to be missed. Offering unforgettable wildlife and historical experiences, this trip showcases the very best of Ethiopia.

Itinerary

Price from £4863 per adult. Based on sharing double / twin rooms

Day 1 - Bale Mountains

On your arrival at the Addis Ababa airport, you will be met and transferred 10 minutes to the Getfam Hotel for breakfast and some time to rest. Later in the morning pick up and transfer back to the airport to check in for your onward domestic flight.

Take domestic flight to Goba. Met on arrival by your driver with exclusive 4WD vehicle for the transfer of approx. 2 hours to your lodge, crossing the wild Sanetti Plateau on the way.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes Breakfast and Dinner.

Day 2 - Bale Mountains

Today take your first morning excursion with a local guide from the lodge and a packed lunch up to the nearby Sanetti Plateau.

This treeless big-sky landscape is dominated by low heath, giant lobelias and rocky moonlike escarpments. It can look more like the Scottish Highlands than Africa!

During the day, explore this unique habitat on safari style drives along the highest all-weather road on the continent. This is the best area to see Ethiopia’s most iconic and sadly endangered carnivore, the beautiful Ethiopian wolf. These charismatic canines are surprisingly easy to see here which is their last stronghold and they can often also be seen hunting giant mole rats, another endemic species and their favourite prey.

The abundance of small mammals up here attracts many other predators including numerous birds of prey and other special birds.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 3 - Bale Mountains

Enjoy another day exploring the natural history of the Bale Mountains. Perhaps start the day with an early morning wildlife walk through beautiful moss- and lichen-clad trees surrounding the lodge. This is a great location to look for the locally endemic Bale monkey as well as guereza colobus monkeys, Menelik's Bushbuck, two species of chameleon, endemic frogs and many exciting birds such as crowned eagle, mountain buzzard and the white-cheeked turaco.

Perhaps then return to the Sanetti Plateau for more wolf watching before the mid-day heat haze begins and then continue to drive on to Dinsho. Here the wet grasslands and stunted juniper forests support large gatherings of animals that have become rather habituated and allow a remarkably close approach. This is the best spot to see the magnificent mountain nyala alongside small herds of Bohor reedbuck, Menelik’s bushbuck, duikers, warthogs, olive baboons and many special bird species including the Abyssinian long-eared owl. Occasionally a hunting serval, spotted hyena or jackal is also spotted here.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 4 - Bale Mountains

Enjoy another full day to explore the Bale Mountains.

Perhaps spend more time discovering the fauna and flora of the Harenna Forest in the morning and then watch some traditional honey collection by the local community.

Other activities include horse riding, visiting one of the local camel markets, the coffee growing region or the Sof Omar caves, 50 kms to the south of the lodge. There are many trails to explore from the lodge and wildlife viewing game drives and night drives can also be arranged.

Staying at Bale Mountain Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 5 - Addis Ababa

After a last morning walk or other activity, say farewell to newfound friends at the lodge and depart for the 2-hour journey back to the Goba airport. Take domestic flight back to Addis Ababa and on arrival transfer 15 minutes to the hotel for some time at leisure.

In the evening your driver could take you for dinner at the Yod Abyssinia Restaurant for a memorable typical Ethiopian dinner accompanied by live song and dance performances that showcase the vibrant and diverse cultures of the country.

Staying at Getfam Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 6 - Simien Mountains

This morning pick up after an early breakfast and transfer 15 minutes to the airport.

Take domestic flight to Gondar where you will be met on arrival and transferred north (3.5 hours) to Debark, the gateway to the stunning Simien Mountains National Park. Along the journey you will pass increasingly dramatic scenery and have time for some exploration and gelada viewing in the afternoon.

Staying at Simien Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 7 - Simien Mountains

Today you can enjoy a full day exploring the Simien Mountains National Park.

This National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site offers dramatic eroded mountain landscapes with craggy peaks and pinnacles, deep valleys and sheer cliff faces. The park is also of great importance for its populations of endangered and endemic wildlife including the rare walia ibex, klipspringers, lammergeiers and thick-billed ravens.

One of the most iconic species to thrive here is the magnificent gelada (or bleeding heart) baboon. The large males are particularly photogenic with their fluffy manes, long expressive faces and bright red chests and sitting in amongst the habituated herds as they go about their daily business is a unforgettable.

Staying at Simien Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 8 - Simien Mountains

Today enjoy another full day exploring the Simien Mountains National Park with its spectacular wildlife and landscapes.

Staying at Simien Lodge. Includes All Meals.

Day 9 - Gondar

This morning transfer back to Gondar for a tasty lunch at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. In the afternoon visit the historic Fasil Ghebbi Royal Enclosure and its castles, dating back to the 17th Century.

A short drive from these castles is the Fasilides Bath, which is filled with water once a year and celebrated by the Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. You can also make a short visit to the beautifully painted Debre Birhan Selassie Church.

Staying at Goha Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 10 - Lalibela

After breakfast transfer to the Gondar airport to take the morning domestic flight to Lalibela.

On arrival transfer to your hotel to drop bags, settle in and have lunch. In the afternoon your local guide will take you to Ethiopia’s “must see” historical attraction, the fascinating rock hewn churches of Lalibela.

One of the most important pilgrim sites for followers of the Orthodox Church Lalibela’s incredible rock hewn churches are also a masterpiece of archaeological work. Your expert local guide will explain the history and importance of each church, taking you on a journey through this fascinating site.

Staying at Maribela Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 11 - Lalibela

This morning return to Lalibela’s incredible rock hewn churches to either explore the northern or southern group of churches depending on which you saw the day before.

In the afternoon perhaps visit some of the more remote churches built into the nearby mountainsides or those constructed of the local red stone known as the Lasta Tukuls also dating back to the 12th Century.

Staying at Maribela Hotel . Includes All Meals.

Day 12 - Addis Ababa

After breakfast transfer to the Lalibela airport to take the domestic flight back to Addis Ababa. On arrival you will be met a local guide and driver for a short private city tour. The tour will take in the highlights such as National Museum which houses the famous Lucy exhibit and some of the earliest hominid remains ever discovered. You could also visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral where Emperor Haile Selassie and his wife are buried. Please discuss your interests with the guide.

Return to the Getfam hotel in the evening for dinner and day use of room.

Later in the evening you will be picked up from the hotel and transferred 10 minutes to the international airport to check in for your onward flight home.

Includes All Meals.

Travel Info

Are International Flights Included?
No. Please contact us for a quote if required.

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

Add a visit to one of the wildlife spots in the Great Rift Valley such as Awash National Park/ Ali Deghe Wildlife Sanctuary or Lake Langano. To get more off the beaten track add a visit to the Omo Valley or cultural sites in the Tigray Region.

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
Bale Mountain Lodge: 6.717658, 39.727922
Maribela Hotel: 12.040946, 39.037489
Simien Lodge: 13.211777, 37.977824
Goha Hotel: 12.620579, 37.468306