Best of Ethiopia Tour: The Historic North and Omo Valley
16 Days/15 Nights
This package was put together to give you 16 days and 15 nights of unforgettable experiences. Professional and experienced tour agents will make your stay comfortable and memorable. This is the right package for you if you want to experience the beauty and culture of Ethiopia and be comfortable while doing it. The ethnographic museum, the mercato, trinity cathedral, the royal enclosure, and the rock hewn churches are few of the beautiful and memorable sites you will get to visit and experience with this amazing package.
Next Tour dates: October 1st - November 1st - December 1st
Arrival: Bole International Airport
Dejene Ethiopia Tours will meet all clients arriving at the airport regardless of arrival time. For morning flight arrivals, you may begin your tour after checking into your hotel. For afternoon or evening arrivals, you may begin your tour the following day.
Day 01: Addis Ababa
Visit the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. Tour the Mercato, one of Africa's largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, the resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.
Day 02: Addis Ababa - Bahar Dar
Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines. Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile and tour ancient island monasteries.
Day 03: Bahar Dar - Gondar
Drive through the countryside to Gondar. Tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian kings beginning in the early 17th century. Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty empire. Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.
Day 04: Simien Mountain Excursion
Drive to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy an easy hike (2 - 3 hours) to take in the spectacular scenery and spot wildlife such as the endemic Gelada Baboons. Return to Gondar by evening.
Day 05 Gondar - Lalibela
Fly to Lalibela on Ethiopian Airlines. Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This group of eleven monolithic churches were carved directly into the stone mountainside at least 800 years ago. This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings.
Day 06: Lalibela
For the morning you have two choices; take a morning hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the town; or drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands. Following either option above continues with the tour of Lalibela’s churches in the afternoon.
Day 07: Lalibela - Axum
Fly to Axum on Ethiopian Airlines. Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.
Day 08: Axum - Addis Ababa - Lake Langano
Fly to Addis Ababa and then drive to the Rift Valley Lake Langano. Relax at the Sabana Lodge. Lake Langano is safe for swimming.
Day 09: Lake Langano - Arba Minch
Drive to Arba Minch via Melka Kunture, a stone-age archeological site; Adadi Mariam, a 12th-century rock-hewn church; and Tiya, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its mysterious stelae, thought to be grave markers, dating from the 12th century. Also, visit a Dorze village in the Guge Mountains. The Dorze are known for their tall, beehive-shaped bamboo houses. If the base becomes infested with termites, the entire house can be lifted and moved to another location.
Day 10: Arba Minch - Jinka
Take a boat trip on Lake Chamo and view some of the largest crocodiles in the world sunning on the banks of the lake. Hippopotami and birdlife are also abundant. Drive to Jinka where you can visit various peoples such as the Gamo and Derashe. Stop at Key Afar's weekly market (if on a Thursday) and wander among the various tribes such as the Benna and Ari that have gathered to barter their goods.
Day 11: Mago National Park Excursion
Early morning drive to the Mago National Park to visit the Mursi people. The Mursi women are known for the clay plates they insert into their lower lips. If time permits, a visit will be made to the Omo Valley Museum in Jinka.
Day 12: Jinka - Turmi
Drive to Turmi to visit the Hamer people who are well known for the scarring of their bodies, using clay to shape their hairstyles and the unique practice of "bull-jumping" which every young man must accomplish prior to marriage. En route to Turmi, visit the Benna and Ari people.
Day 13: Omorate Excursion
Excursion to Omorate to visit the Dassanech people, known for their elaborate body-painting. Cross the famous Omo River by canoe. Return to Turmi for the evening.
Day 14: Turmi - Konso
Drive to Konso, recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A highland people, the Konso are known for the ancient and intricate terraces that encircle their well-planned villages.
Day 15: Konso - Hawassa
Drive to the lakeside town of Hawassa. Relax and recover from your journey at one of Hawassa's fine resorts.
Day 16: Hawassa - Addis Ababa
Visit the Hawassa fish market in the morning. Drive to Addis Ababa, making stops at the Rift Valley Lakes. In the evening, enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country's many ethnic groups. Transfer to the airport for late night departure if needed.