Tailor made holidays to Ethiopia

“Ethiopia merges nature and culture superbly, from 17th century imperial Gonder and ancient Axum to the Simien Mountains and Lake Tana, scintillating source of the Blue Nile.”

Highlights

Addis Ababa | Gonder | Simien Mountains | Lalibela | Lasta Mountains | Axum | Lake Tana | Local community visits and wildlife treks

Description of Tailor made holidays to Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a true undiscovered African gem, and this diverse tour journeys from the atmospheric capital streets of Addis Ababa to the source of the Blue Nile, via legendary historic cities, ancient rock-hewn churches and northern highlands of such grandeur they have UNESCO World Heritage status.

In Addis Ababa, superb museums such as the Ethnological Museum in the former Emperor Haile Selassie's palace grounds contrast with East Africa's largest market. Then fly to Lalibela, home to early Christianity's extraordinary rock-cut churches in the rugged Lasta Mountains, described as 'Africa's Petra'. You'll also enjoy a mule trek to the stunning mountain top church of Ashteen Mariam, 4000m up on the way to Heaven.

Your next stop is Axum, one of the ancient world's leading cities. The reputed resting place of the fabled Ark of the Covenant and the sacred palace of the Queen of Sheba, it also boasts an array of towering monoliths (stelae) built in honour of past rulers. Driving through the breathtaking vistas of the Simien Mountains you'll arrive at your eco-lodge base to explore some of Africa's most dramatic landscape, with distinctive wildlife including Gelada baboon, klipspringer plus the rare Walia ibex and Simien fox.

The 17th century former capital Gonder provides wonderful contrast, with sights linked to former emperor Fasiladas plus the gorgeously frescoed Debre Berhan Selassie Church. You'll also visit the Women's Ploughshare Scheme - a great chance to pick up traditional black pottery, weaving and other handicrafts.

The vast waters of Lake Tana end your Ethiopian odyssey. As well as providing the source of the Blue Nile, the lake is also home to the 'smoking waters' of Tis Isat Falls and stunning island monasteries – you'll visit one of the most beautiful on a lake cruise.

Travel Team

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Departure information

This trip can depart anytime between October and March and adapted to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Tailor made holidays to Ethiopia

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.

Community

Life for the majority of Ethiopia’s 73 million people is harsh, even by the standards of Africa’s poorest nations. The average Ethiopian person earns less than $100 per year and will not live beyond 44 years of age. North Wollo is amongst the poorest areas of the country, depending largely on rain fed subsistence agriculture.

Our guide Mark established TESFA - a local charity organisation that was set up in 2003 with the specific aim of developing community-based tourism in Ethiopia WITH communities. By putting communities in charge of their own tourism resources, payment goes directly into the communities - 60% for the communities, 25% to a local guides service (that also transmits bookings to the communities), and 15% to cover administrative costs. After the communities have paid their staffing costs and for the consumables (food, toiletpaper, soap etc), the remainder is split between profit and a fund to allow for reinvestment and depreciation. The profit is then put into a community fund for the whole community to decide how it should be spent, such as the purchase of a community grain grinding mill.

Our Ethiopia trips also fund A-CET (African Childrens’ Education Trust) a small independent charity helping young Africans to achieve their maximum potential through education. A-CET supports 1000 youths with scholarships, 2 rural primary schools and 2 computer training centres. We have provided funds that have been used to buy desks, boards, pay staff salaries and much more.

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