Ethiopia

A$7,810
POSTPONED
A$7,810
POSTPONED

Journey with us to the Horn of Africa and discover the landlocked country of Ethiopia on an unforgettable 16 day, small-group solos-only adventure.

Ethiopia is a truly unique destination and Africa’s best kept secret. We will travel through spectacular natural landscapes dotted with UNESCO World Heritage sites.

It is the only country in Africa never to be colonised, and so retains much of its fascinating culture. On this stunning tour you will get to embark on a discovery journey to experience just how Ethiopia is blessed with rich history, remarkable wildlife and vibrant culture.

We will admire its famous monasteries and explore the majestic rock-hewn and sunken churches in Lalibela, the cliff side monasteries of Tigray, the walled city of Harar, visit local markets and historical cities such as Axum and Addis Ababa.

Next we will take in the breathtaking beauty and intricate ecosystem of the Simien Mountains National Park, one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges. It is home to Gelada Baboons and some of the most unique wildlife in the world.

Ethiopia is not only known for its remarkable cultural heritage and stunning landscapes but also for its distinctive cuisine and of course this is the home of coffee. Join us on a journey through this fascinating country as we uncover why Ethiopia has been named the #1 destination to travel.

Will you join us?

Day 1 -Tuesday 2nd June 2020 ADDIS ADABA (D)

Arive Addis Adaba anytime.

The city of Addis Adaba is the capital of Ethiopia and lies at the heart of this beautiful country. Addis is the home of “Lucy” the famous early homind and is a cultural and food hub. Relax until our 7pm tour briefing and welcome dinner, where you will meet your fellow group members, Two’s a Crowd Host and local guide.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Sunspot Hotel,’ Addis Ababa


Day 2 -Wednesday 3rd June 2020 ADDIS ADABA, SHOLA MARKET AND CITY TOUR (B,L,D)

After breakfast we will embark on a guided walk through the bustling market of Shola. Learn about the spices that make Ethiopian food so unique, understand how coffee is central to the Ethiopian cultre, visit the Ethiopian national Museum and finish with a traditional Ethiopian meal.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Sunspot Hotel,’ Addis Ababa


Day 3 -Thursday 4th June 2020 ADDIS ADABA TO AWASH NATIONAL PARK (B,L,D)

Awash National Park was the first park to be established in Ethiopia in 1966. Awash is known for its unique wildlife such as the beisa oryx but also for its amazing waterfalls and the breath taking Awash Gorge. Tonight we will enjoy a memorable evening and stay the night within the national park.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Awash Lodge,’ Awash National Park


Day 4 -Friday 5th June 2020 AWASH TO HARAR (B,L,D)

The walled city of Harar was built in the 16th century and rapidly grew into a crossroad for trade between Africa, india and the Middle East.

With 110 mosques, 102 shrines and over 400 alley ways, Harar is a joy to explore on our city walk.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘RAS Hotel,’ in Harar


Day 5 -Saturday 6th June 2020 HARAR, HYENAS AND COFFEE (B,L,D)

Harar is famous for its stunning traditional homes and coffee! Spend the morning visiting the Harar museum before we participate in a traditional coffee ceremony.

In the evening we will meet the famous Hyena of Harar who have been hand fed by a select group of local men for generations.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘RAS Hotel,’ in Harar


Day 6 -Sunday 7th June 2020 FLY TO ADDIS AND ONTO MEKELE (B,L,D)

This morning we will catch a quick flight back to Addis Adaba and onto the northern town of Mekele.

Mekele is the capital of the Tigray region of Ethiopia and the gateway to the Danakil Depression. It is also an important market for the slat harvested in the Afar region to the east.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Mekele Yohannes,’ in Mekele


Day 7 -Monday 8th June 2020 OPTIONAL DANAKIL DEPRESSION TOUR/ MEKELE MARKET AND MUSEUM (B,L,D)

The Danakil Depression lies at the juncture of 3 tectonic plates which makes it one of the most volcanic spots on earth. The depression sits about 125m below sea level and is referred to as the cradle of humanity as the famous hominid remains of “ Lucy” were found in this region.

The depression is also known for its volcanoe the Erta Ale and for the expansive salt pans and camel trains which carry the harvested salt back to the trading markets.

This is an optional activity and can be booked upon arrival in Ethiopia. For those not visiting Danakil Depression, we will explore the city of Mekele and its markets, museums and monuments.

In the afternoon we will visit one of the stunning rock churches, Abrhawe Atsebeha. We will spend the night in beautiful Gheralter

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Kor Kor Lodge’ or ‘Gheralter Lodge,’ in Gheralter


Day 8 -Tuesday 9th June 2020 EXPLORING THE ROCK HEWN CHURCHES OF TIGRAY (B,L,D)

The Tigray region has over 120 rock hewn churches, mostly dating from the 12th century.

Some of the churches are carved directly out of the cliff face while others are built into caves on along rock ledges.

One thing the churches all have in common is the stunning paintings and frescos dating from the 13th century. We will have the chance to visit 2 churches today. We will select these based on the general fitness of the group.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Kor Kor Lodge’ or ‘Gheralter Lodge,’ in Gheralter


 

Day 9 -Wednesday 10th June 2020 AXSUM AND THE HOME OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA (B,L,D)

After and early departure we will weave our way through the stunning mountains of the Tigray region to the city of Axsum. Axsum is one of the most important historical cities in Ethiopia. Home to axsumite empire which ruled the region from 400BC to the 10th century. Axsum is a world heritage site and is dominated by monumental stelae or tomb markers, dating from around 2000BC. Tradition claims that Axsum is the resting place of the Arc of the Covenant and the home of the Queen of Sheba, either way its one of our favourite cities in northern Ethiopia.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Sebean Hotel,’ in Axsum


Day 10 -Thursday 11th June 2020 AXSUM, BURIAL SITES AND HISTORIC TOMBS (B,L,D)

Axsum is an endless exploration of ancient burial sites and tombs. The city of Axsum was once a bustling trade centre and the kingdom controlled the sea trade in the Red Sea and beyond. Visit the Stelae fields, the palace of the Queen of Sheba, the Holy Trinity Church and some of the local markets and museums.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Sebean Hotel,’in Axsum


Day 11 -Friday 12th June 2020 AXSUM TO THE SIMIEN MOUNTAINS (B,L,D)

This morning we will depart early to travel to Simien Mountain National Park. The Simien Mountains are home to the endemic Gelada Baboon and various small mammal species. Spend the evening relaxing by the fire of your local lodge.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Simien Lodge,’ in Simien Mountains National Park


Day 12 -Saturday 13th June 2020 NATURE WALK IN THE SIMIEN MOUNTAINS (B,L,D)

Head out early for an easy walk to see the stunning Gelada baboons and breathtaking views of this World Heritage Site.

In the late afternoon we will drive the short distance to yet another stunning historical city, Gondar.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘AG Hotel,’ in Gondar


Day 13 -Sunday 14th June 2020 GONDAR (B,L,D)

The City of Gondar was the seat of Ethiopian rulers from the 16th century. The city holds the remains of several royal castles in a compound known as the Fasil Ghebbi.

We will take the day to explore Gondar’s royal compound,

The famous Fasilides Bath and the Dibre Birhan Selassie Church with its stunning murals and rows of painted angels.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘AG Hotel,’ in Gondar


Day 14 -Monday 15th June 2020 GONDAR TO LALIBELA (B,L,D)

Depart early to drive to Lalibela.

We will wind our way through the stunning valleys and mountains to arrive in the afternoon at the famous city of Lalibela.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Panoramic Hotel,’ in Lalibela


Day 15 -Tuesday 16th June 2020 LALIBELA (B,L,D)

Whenever people picture Ethiopia, what often comes to mind are the distinctive rock hewn churches of Lalibela.

The churches date from the 12th and 13th century and are a pilgrimage site for Coptic Christians from all over the world.

Carved out of rock the subterranean churches are joined by secret tunnels and trenches and all 11 churches are decorated with stunning art work and carvings.

Spend the day exploring the rock churches and learning about their importance to the Christian faith in Ethiopia.

Accommodation: Your own room at ‘Panoramic Hotel,’ in Lalibela


Day 16 – Wednesday 17th June 2020 ADDIS ABABA (B,L)

As we fly from Lalibela back to Addis, we will cross the mighty plateau that dominates the north of the country.

We will arrive in Addis around midday in time for any evening flights.

TOUR PRICE: A$7,810 PLUS INTERNATIONAL AIRFARES AND TAXES

TOUR DATES: 2ND – 17TH JUNE 2020

Sunspot Hotel:

This Addis Ababa hotel offers a selection of Standard Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Suite Rooms and Double Standard, sleeping one or two people each in twin or queen beds. Some rooms have a balcony or terrace, and all have an ensuite bathroom. Free WiFi is available in all rooms, along with many other amenities like 24-hour room service, a 40″ flat screen TV, safety deposit box, minibar, free toiletries, and more.

Awash Lodge:

This attractive place right above the falls has rustic yet serviceable wood-and-stone tukuls and a restaurant with awesome views. Aside from the setting, a highlight is the food (mains Birr100 to Birr200), with a wide selection of well-prepared Ethiopian and Western dishes. A variety of wildlife and village walks can be organised from the lodge.

RAS Hotel:

On a major commercial thoroughfare, this unassuming hotel is a 2-minute walk from the Ethiopian National Theatre and 6 km from Addis Ababa Airport. The modest rooms have free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minifridges; suites add living areas. Room service is available 24/7. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include 4 casual restaurants, a bar and a terrace.

Mekele Yohannes:

Boasting a garden, 400 m from Emperor Yohannes Museum Mekelle. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers free shuttle service. Every room has a terrace with views of the garden. At the hotel, every room includes a balcony with a city view. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom fitted with a bath and free toiletries, while certain rooms have a seating area. Rooms include air conditioning and a flat-screen TV.

Sebean Hotel:

Casual rooms with satellite TV in a down-to-earth property offering regional dining & event space.

Simien Lodge:

Modest cottages with balconies in a rural lodge offering a bar, a restaurant & free breakfast.

AG Hotel:

Featuring free WiFi within the rooms, AG Hotel Gondar offers accommodation in Gonder, 450 m from Tourist Info Centre. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Featuring a view, every room also comes with a seating area and TV. Rooms include a minibar and linen and towels are provided. All rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a shower.

Panoramic Hotel:

Providing free WiFi, Panoramic View Hotel offers accommodation in Lalībela, 700 m from Bet Medhane Alem and less than 1 km from Bet Giyorgis. Built in 2010, the property is within a 13-minute walk of Church of St. George and 2.4 km of Bet Amanuel. The property has a garden, as well as a restaurant that serves Asian and American cuisine. At the hotel, rooms have a terrace with a mountain view. Each room has a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hair dryer. All rooms feature a seating area.

Visa Requirements

Every national (except Kenyans) need a visa to enter Ethiopia. Single-entry 1 -3 month tourist visas can be issued upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa for most European, US, Australian and Canadian nationals. There is confusing information about whether you pay for visas with US Dollars (you need to prove you have at least $100) or Ethiopian currency (which you can get at the bureau de change at the airport).

Either way, you’ll also need 2 passport size photographs. To get the most current visa information; for business visas and multiple-entry tourist visas, contact your local Ethiopian Embassy.

Proof of an onward or return ticket is frequently asked for upon arrival in Ethiopia. If you are planning to enter Ethiopia by land, you should obtain a tourist visa in advance from your local Ethiopian Embassy. Visas issued by embassies are valid from their date of issue so take this into consideration.

Currency
Foreign currency is rarely used in Ethiopia, instead, you’ll be paying for most hotels, tours, and food with Ethiopian currency — Birr. 1 Birr is divided into 100 cents. There are 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes. The Birr is very stable and there is no significant difference between the official rate and black market rate.

The US Dollar is the best foreign currency to bring with you to Ethiopia and it can be exchanged at banks and foreign exchange bureaus. US Dollars should be carried in cash (they do not accept travellers’ checks).

Major credit cards can be used to pay for flights with Ethiopian Airlines and maybe 2 of the big hotels in Addis Ababa – but that’s about the extent of their usefulness. It’s best to bring cash and good old-fashioned traveller cheques.

ATM machines in Ethiopia do not recognize foreign debit or credit cards.

Climate
In Ethiopia, the climate varies mostly with altitude, and it goes from the hot and arid climate of the lowlands to the cool climate of the plateau. Lying just north of the Equator, the country experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year.

Rainfall is caused by the southwest monsoon, which affects the country from June to September (the rainy season is called Kiremt), but it only affects some areas, namely the plateau and the mountain slopes exposed to the south-west, while in the south-east of the country, there are two rainy periods, though less intense, usually from March to May and in October-November; in the latter area, during some years, the rains don’t occur at all, causing drought.

Electricity
For Ethiopia there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Ethiopia operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Special guest Tour Host Brooke Squires, Founder of RAW Africa eco tours.
  • All transport as per the itinerary (we use a 16 seat air-conditioned coaster van)
  • All guiding, touring, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary.
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation in your own room.
  • All meals as per itinerary: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Group Airport Arrival and departure transfers.
  • All National Park entry fees.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Standard CHI (underwritten by Allianz) or NIB (underwritten by Lloyds) Travel Insurance Policy. Additional premium may be payable if over 69 years, have an existing medial condition or wish to extend your travelling dates. Please refer to respective Insurance PDS.

Tour Exclusions:

  • International airfares and taxes.
  • Internal flights:
    Harar (Dire Dawa) – Addis Ababa – Mekele (Day 6/ 7th June 2020) * must be booked on ET207 + ET102 DIR- ADD- MQX 10:10 – 13:45
    Lalibela (LLI) to Addis Ababa (ADD) (Day 16/ 17th June 2020) * you should be booked on a direct ET flight that best fits with your onward International flight times
  • Visas (if applicable).
  • Danakil Depression excursion – Day 7 (tour is from 4am-12 noon & priced at A$245 per person).
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, souvenirs and phone calls.
  • Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary.
  • Porterage at hotels.

Journey with us to the Horn of Africa and discover the landlocked country of Ethiopia on an unforgettable 16 day, small-group solos-only adventure.

Ethiopia is a truly unique destination and Africa’s best kept secret. We will travel through spectacular natural landscapes dotted with UNESCO World Heritage sites.

It is the only country in Africa never to be colonised, and so retains much of its fascinating culture. On this stunning tour you will get to embark on a discovery journey to experience just how Ethiopia is blessed with rich history, remarkable wildlife and vibrant culture.

We will admire its famous monasteries and explore the majestic rock-hewn and sunken churches in Lalibela, the cliff side monasteries of Tigray, the walled city of Harar, visit local markets and historical cities such as Axum and Addis Ababa.

Next we will take in the breathtaking beauty and intricate ecosystem of the Simien Mountains National Park, one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges. It is home to Gelada Baboons and some of the most unique wildlife in the world.

Ethiopia is not only known for its remarkable cultural heritage and stunning landscapes but also for its distinctive cuisine and of course this is the home of coffee. Join us on a journey through this fascinating country as we uncover why Ethiopia has been named the #1 destination to travel.

Will you join us?

TOUR PRICE: A$7,810 PLUS INTERNATIONAL AIRFARES AND TAXES

TOUR DATES: 2ND – 17TH JUNE 2020

Sunspot Hotel:

This Addis Ababa hotel offers a selection of Standard Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Suite Rooms and Double Standard, sleeping one or two people each in twin or queen beds. Some rooms have a balcony or terrace, and all have an ensuite bathroom. Free WiFi is available in all rooms, along with many other amenities like 24-hour room service, a 40″ flat screen TV, safety deposit box, minibar, free toiletries, and more.

Awash Lodge:

This attractive place right above the falls has rustic yet serviceable wood-and-stone tukuls and a restaurant with awesome views. Aside from the setting, a highlight is the food (mains Birr100 to Birr200), with a wide selection of well-prepared Ethiopian and Western dishes. A variety of wildlife and village walks can be organised from the lodge.

RAS Hotel:

On a major commercial thoroughfare, this unassuming hotel is a 2-minute walk from the Ethiopian National Theatre and 6 km from Addis Ababa Airport. The modest rooms have free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and minifridges; suites add living areas. Room service is available 24/7. Breakfast and parking are complimentary. Other amenities include 4 casual restaurants, a bar and a terrace.

Mekele Yohannes:

Boasting a garden, 400 m from Emperor Yohannes Museum Mekelle. With free WiFi, this 3-star hotel offers free shuttle service. Every room has a terrace with views of the garden. At the hotel, every room includes a balcony with a city view. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom fitted with a bath and free toiletries, while certain rooms have a seating area. Rooms include air conditioning and a flat-screen TV.

Sebean Hotel:

Casual rooms with satellite TV in a down-to-earth property offering regional dining & event space.

Simien Lodge:

Modest cottages with balconies in a rural lodge offering a bar, a restaurant & free breakfast.

AG Hotel:

Featuring free WiFi within the rooms, AG Hotel Gondar offers accommodation in Gonder, 450 m from Tourist Info Centre. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar. Featuring a view, every room also comes with a seating area and TV. Rooms include a minibar and linen and towels are provided. All rooms include a private bathroom fitted with a shower.

Panoramic Hotel:

Providing free WiFi, Panoramic View Hotel offers accommodation in Lalībela, 700 m from Bet Medhane Alem and less than 1 km from Bet Giyorgis. Built in 2010, the property is within a 13-minute walk of Church of St. George and 2.4 km of Bet Amanuel. The property has a garden, as well as a restaurant that serves Asian and American cuisine. At the hotel, rooms have a terrace with a mountain view. Each room has a private bathroom with free toiletries and a hair dryer. All rooms feature a seating area.

Visa Requirements

Every national (except Kenyans) need a visa to enter Ethiopia. Single-entry 1 -3 month tourist visas can be issued upon arrival at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa for most European, US, Australian and Canadian nationals. There is confusing information about whether you pay for visas with US Dollars (you need to prove you have at least $100) or Ethiopian currency (which you can get at the bureau de change at the airport).

Either way, you’ll also need 2 passport size photographs. To get the most current visa information; for business visas and multiple-entry tourist visas, contact your local Ethiopian Embassy.

Proof of an onward or return ticket is frequently asked for upon arrival in Ethiopia. If you are planning to enter Ethiopia by land, you should obtain a tourist visa in advance from your local Ethiopian Embassy. Visas issued by embassies are valid from their date of issue so take this into consideration.

Currency
Foreign currency is rarely used in Ethiopia, instead, you’ll be paying for most hotels, tours, and food with Ethiopian currency — Birr. 1 Birr is divided into 100 cents. There are 1, 5, 10, 50 and 100 Birr notes. The Birr is very stable and there is no significant difference between the official rate and black market rate.

The US Dollar is the best foreign currency to bring with you to Ethiopia and it can be exchanged at banks and foreign exchange bureaus. US Dollars should be carried in cash (they do not accept travellers’ checks).

Major credit cards can be used to pay for flights with Ethiopian Airlines and maybe 2 of the big hotels in Addis Ababa – but that’s about the extent of their usefulness. It’s best to bring cash and good old-fashioned traveller cheques.

ATM machines in Ethiopia do not recognize foreign debit or credit cards.

Climate
In Ethiopia, the climate varies mostly with altitude, and it goes from the hot and arid climate of the lowlands to the cool climate of the plateau. Lying just north of the Equator, the country experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year.

Rainfall is caused by the southwest monsoon, which affects the country from June to September (the rainy season is called Kiremt), but it only affects some areas, namely the plateau and the mountain slopes exposed to the south-west, while in the south-east of the country, there are two rainy periods, though less intense, usually from March to May and in October-November; in the latter area, during some years, the rains don’t occur at all, causing drought.

Electricity
For Ethiopia there are two associated plug types, types C and F. Plug type C is the plug which has two round pins and plug type F is the plug which has two round pins with two earth clips on the side. Ethiopia operates on a 220V supply voltage and 50Hz.

Tour Inclusions:

  • Special guest Tour Host Brooke Squires, Founder of RAW Africa eco tours.
  • All transport as per the itinerary (we use a 16 seat air-conditioned coaster van)
  • All guiding, touring, sightseeing and excursions as per the itinerary.
  • 14 nights hotel accommodation in your own room.
  • All meals as per itinerary: B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner.
  • Group Airport Arrival and departure transfers.
  • All National Park entry fees.
  • Tips and gratuities.
  • Standard CHI (underwritten by Allianz) or NIB (underwritten by Lloyds) Travel Insurance Policy. Additional premium may be payable if over 69 years, have an existing medial condition or wish to extend your travelling dates. Please refer to respective Insurance PDS.

Tour Exclusions:

  • International airfares and taxes.
  • Internal flights:
    Harar (Dire Dawa) – Addis Ababa – Mekele (Day 6/ 7th June 2020) * must be booked on ET207 + ET102 DIR- ADD- MQX 10:10 – 13:45
    Lalibela (LLI) to Addis Ababa (ADD) (Day 16/ 17th June 2020) * you should be booked on a direct ET flight that best fits with your onward International flight times
  • Visas (if applicable).
  • Danakil Depression excursion – Day 7 (tour is from 4am-12 noon & priced at A$245 per person).
  • Expenses of a personal nature such as laundry, souvenirs and phone calls.
  • Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary.
  • Porterage at hotels.
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