“Spend 16 days on this extensive tour of Ethiopia. Your small group will crack on at full-pelt through the sights: Medieval Harar, the high-altitude Simien mountains and rock-cut churches in Lalibela.”

Highlights

Harar | Awash National Park | Addis Ababa | Zeghie Peninsula | Blue Nile | Tississat Falls | Gondar | Debark | Simien Mountains | Axum | Optional activites include: mule trekking

Description of Ethiopia holiday

This 16-day trip takes in the highlights of Ethiopia – as well as lesser visited areas like Harar and Awash National Park. On this jam-packed tour you’ll get around using a series of internal flights and long, immensely scenic drives. Not many travellers make it out to Ethiopia. This enormous and underexplored country necessitates a longer trip to do it justice.

This trip is a chance to hop between the country’s amazing sights at pace. You’ll explore the walled city of Harar with its labyrinthine streets, join the Blue Nile at the thundering Tississat Falls, spot magnificent Gelada monkeys in the Simien mountains, see the medieval castles at Gondar, and descend into Lalibela’s unique UNESCO-listed monolithic churches, which are carved straight out of the rock. The trip starts and ends in Addis Ababa – Addis for short – where you can meet Lucy, one of our earliest ancestors, in the National Museum.

On this trip you’ll be accompanied by a tour leader. Local guides are also used, where possible, in the different cities. You’ll stay in simple hotels and get simple breakfasts – and there’s plenty of opportunity to enjoy Ethiopia’s delicious cuisine throughout the trip. There’s also a chance to see unique wildlife, partake in a coffee ceremony, enjoy local music, and take an optional mule trek.

Travel Team

If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. The Travel Team.

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26 Oct 2019
£2875
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02 Nov 2019
£2885
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09 Nov 2019
£2799
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16 Nov 2019
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23 Nov 2019
£2880
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30 Nov 2019
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07 Dec 2019
£2765
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21 Dec 2019
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07 Jan 2020
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12 Jan 2020
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25 Jan 2020
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15 Feb 2020
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29 Feb 2020
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14 Mar 2020
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28 Mar 2020
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04 Apr 2020
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19 Sep 2020
£3075
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26 Sep 2020
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03 Oct 2020
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10 Oct 2020
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17 Oct 2020
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24 Oct 2020
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31 Oct 2020
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14 Nov 2020
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28 Nov 2020
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19 Dec 2020
£3399
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Holiday type
Small group holidays
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Simplicity
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.

Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
Mythbuster
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
No.
Meet a local guide
No matter how experienced your group leader, they can never make up for the knowledge gained from a lifetime in the destination. That’s why many of our trips work with local guides around the world – who invite you into their homeland with pleasure.

Responsible tourism

Ethiopia holiday

Carbon reduction

Your holiday will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this holiday and how to reduce them.

Environment

Ethiopia - with its fantastic churches, amazing scenery and wonderful people - has a rich cultural heritage, which we fully explore on this comprehensive tour. We travel in small groups ensuring that local suppliers are able to gain the maximum benefit from our visit.

As well as viewing the magnificent sites, groups are encouraged to experience local life - such as eating in local (and excellent!) restaurants and passing time chatting in local markets. The very warmth of the Ethiopian people is for many a tour highlight. On many departures we use local leaders as part of our policy to employ local people wherever possible, however, some departures are led by UK based leaders who have worked in Ethiopia for many years and have formed strong relationships with local crew, suppliers and the people.

Whether you travel with a local or UK based leader we can ensure an experience that allows plenty of opportunity for local interaction.

In addition to the above, we are continually looking for ways to improve and are proud to be ‘Responsible in everything we do’. Education is key and so all staff, Tour Leaders and partnering suppliers are trained in responsible and sustainable tourism. At our Head Office, we continually strive towards a sustainable and planet-friendly working environment, including having solar panels installed and a company commitment to reducing our plastic usage. As well as this, we have valuable and longstanding partnerships with UK charities Toilet Twinning and Send a Cow, plus many smaller initiatives and projects around the world. We’re members of UK travel industry bodies Tourism Concern and AITO because we believe it’s important to share our knowledge and experience, as well as learn from other operators.

As a company we support Cool Earth. Protecting rainforest is one of the most effective actions to tackle climate breakdown. CoolEarth work with indigenous communities empowering them to conserve their forest; keeping CO2 locked in.

2 Reviews of Ethiopia holiday

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 11 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Walking in the Simien Mountains

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a full on tour with few rest opportunities. Hotels are normally the best available but in some places are basic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes. our tour guide (Sue) advised us on how to deal/react to locals and prioritise certain groups/areas. There was disappointment amongst the group in the weight restriction on the mule ride - there should be some warning given in the itinerary.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Thoroughly enjoyed our first tour with the operator. The tour leader (Sue) was without doubt the best we have ever had from any tour company. Her knowledge and enthusiasm contributed to a fascinating and unforgettable tour of a beautiful country.

Reviewed on 19 Mar 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Visiting Lalibela.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for a wide variety of activities: visiting cities, churches that involve a bit of a hike, hiking, etc.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


We spent most of our time outside of the capital city, which was certainly good for spreading the money spent throughout the country. It would have been better if we had some free time to just visit the towns we were in, go shopping, etc (we had a little but not much).

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


Very good; although personally I found it a little too fast-paced. I would have preferred more downtime.

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