Ethiopia 2017-05-20T23:48:52+00:00

Ethiopia Tours

With human civilisation dating back thousands of years, Ethiopia is a land rich in history, culture and legend.

It is also a country with breathtaking scenery, with towering misty mountains inhabited by rare and unusual creatures, and an enormous lake that is the source of the Blue Nile.

Visit the medieval archaeological wonders of Axum, believed to be the ancient capital of Sheba, and the amazing rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. The Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia is home to many fascinating tribes, each with their own culture and customs. The Mursi are best known for their women, who display distinctive clay plates in their lower lips while the Bena and Ari adorn themselves with fabulous jewellery including intricate necklaces and metal armlets. The Hamer colour their hair, and their women wear beautiful beaded collars. If you are lucky, you may even witness their thrilling bull jumping ceremonies. This remote region has only recently become more accessible to outsiders, and sadly the traditional lifestyles of its peoples are already fast disappearing.

To find out more about our range of programs in Ethiopia, please download pages below or click here to download the Ethiopia section of our Africa brochure.

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Ethiopia Tour Highlights

Historical Treasures of the North

Discover a fascinating Judaeo-Christian heritage which dates back thousands of years when you explore the ancient cities of northern Ethiopia.

At Axum, visit the Queen of Sheba’s ruined palace, see giant Stelae and inspect 6th century tombs of former kings. Lalibela was built in the 12th century as the “New Jerusalem” and has 11 churches carved from the rock “with the help of angels”. Gondar is a city of medieval castles and churches, including the 16th century church of Debre Birhann Silassie.

Lake Tana – Source of the Blue Nile

From the town of Bahar Dar you can tour enormous Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile which eventually joins the White Nile and flows down to the Mediterranean.

Visit the dramatic Blue Nile Falls, also called Tis Isat or “Smoking Water”. The lake is home to local fishermen who still use traditional papyrus fishing boats. Islands on the lake shelter mysterious monasteries such as Ura Kidane Mihret with its beautiful frescoes.

Simien Mountains

Ethiopia has some of the most spectacular scenery in Africa, and the remarkable Simien Mountains might well deserve first prize.

A massive plateau that has been dramatically eroded, this range is a collection of soaring jagged peaks, steep ravines and endless vistas. Sometimes called “The Roof of Africa” this World Heritage area has several peaks rising up over 4,400 metres, amongst the highest on the continent. Unusual wildlife here include the Ethiopian wolf, the Gelada baboon, the endemic Walia ibex, as well as klipspringer and bushbuck.

Tribes of the South

Southern Ethiopia is renowned for its intriguing tribal peoples who continue to follow traditional lifestyles.

The Mursi are amongst the most photographed, for their flamboyant body art, especially the unusual custom by the women of extending their lower lip with clay disks, and the dramatic stick fights by the men. The Hamer tribe are known for their colourful body art and beaded jewellery, as well as for their dramatic bull jumping ceremonies. The Konso people have many interesting cults, totems and symbols as well as a specialised agricultural system of stone terraces.

Ethiopia Sample Itineraries

Our selection of Ethiopia tours include both historical and tribal cultural tours, with accommodation in comfortable hotels. To find out more about the type of Ethiopia tour program we can put together for you, please download pages below.

Historical Ethiopia

Historical Ethiopia

This private 9 day tour will take you from Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to the historic northern cities of Axum, Lalibela and Gondar. You will also visit the Simien Mountains, Lake Tana and the Blue Nile Falls.

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Tribes of the South

Tribes of the South

This private, locally guided 10 day tour travels to southern Ethiopia to meet traditional tribes such as the Mursi, Hamer, Konso, Tsemay, Ari, Bena, Karo and Konso. Discover cultures and customs which are fast disappearing as modern practices take root.

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Ethiopia Overview

Why Ethiopia: Soaring mountains, a vast lake and breathtaking landscapes combine with a rich history and diverse cultures to make Ethiopia one of Africa’s most fascinating countries.

Culture: Northern Ethiopia has an ancient Judaeo-Christian heritage and many historic cities containing stone churches, forts and castles. The country’s many tribal peoples still retain traditional lifestyles, each with their own language, customs, religious beliefs and body decoration.

When to Go: The climate varies according to the topography with the highlands having a temperate climate whilst the lowlands are very hot. The dry season runs from October to May and is the best time to visit. June to September is the rainy season and travel can be difficult.

Combine With: A wildlife safari in the national parks of neighbouring Kenya or in Tanzania farther south, to see big game.

Getting There: There are regular flights to Addis from Nairobi, Dubai (with Emirates), and from Johannesburg in South Africa.

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