Wildlife and cultural tour to Ethiopia

“Abandoning the well-trodden trails of the north, this tour heads east and south to explore Ethiopia's little-known wildlife, remote tribes and beautiful Rift Valley lakes.”


Addis Ababa | Dorze | Netch-Sar National Park | Lakes Abaya and Tchamo | Konso | Local tribal markets | Game drives in Mago National Park | Viits to Hamar, Mursi and Murle tribes | Yabelo Wildlife Sancutary | Bird watching | Wondo Genet hot springs | Lake Langano | Harar and hyena feeding | Great Rift Valley | Rimbaud's house | Awash

Description of Wildlife and cultural tour to Ethiopia

This two-week wildlife and cultural tour of Ethiopia travels to the Omo valley, Ethiopiaís largest nature sanctuary. Itís an area rich in game and yet itís one of the countryís least visited places. On this trip, youíll meet some of the many small ethnic groups, famous for their artistic talent and traditions, that live in here, visit tribal markets and meet some of the local tribes.

Explore the beautiful lakes of the Great Rift Valley, including Lakes Awassa, Shalla, Abiyata and Zeway and visit Harar, a Medieval walled city with a rich and wonderful history, impressive architecture and friendly people (including the famous Hyena Man, who feeds local hyenas scraps of meat each night). Every day brings something new on this tour, from the sand pinnacles in Konso to wildlife sanctuaries where kudu and zebra roam.

This is a tailor made holiday, with all accommodation, a driver, tour leader and local guides are included, but not meals.

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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Departure information

This trip can be tailormade at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary. Minimum 2 people
Our top tip:
Consider travelling during one of the vibrant festivals such as Timkat. The company can recommend when and where to see local celebrations.
Trip type:
Tailor made. Min age 7.
Activity level:
Leisurely/moderate, depending on choice of activities.
3-4*, locally owned accommodation. Option of camping in national parks.
Accomm., driver, tour leader, local guides, entrance fees, listed activities.
Meals not included.
Dietary Requirements:
A wide array of vegan options are available in Ethiopia. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, this trip is for you. Based on your meal requirements, veg/vegan dishes will be provided on both breakfast and dinner times.
Holiday type

Travelling with a local operator

This holiday is operated by a company based in the holiday destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your holiday to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your holiday will help support conservation and local people.

This trip creates an opportunity for an exchange of cultures between you and the local communities as there are various moments to discuss and interact. As you buy authentic souvenirs, arts and crafts you will support households and families to improve the quality of their life. The income they will earn as a result of your booking and further shopping will enable them to provide their children with their needs and learning materials.

As you visit the park you will stay in camping sites run by the park. All the guides except one throughout the trip are locals and the scouts are hired by the park. Also outside the park you will be staying in locally owned accommodations and will be served by staffs who are members of the community.

Accommodations have put in place policies of environmental conservation, water and energy usage and waste minimizations. They also have economic policies to employ their staff from the local communities and to use the local resources and markets for the services they provide. As part of an environmental responsibility, they participate in different initiatives like in '2 trees for 2000', a millennium initiative against the deforestation and land degradation in Ethiopia. Also to protect the environment, they give away some materials like plastic bags to recycling agencies.

For you to have better knowledge of the trip, we will provide you an accurate pre-trip information before the start of the tour. Also in order for you to have a good understanding of the places, the environment, and the local community; we will supply you with our Travelers' Code of Conduct which is also supplied to our staff and local suppliers.

As you tour the south we will also recommend a visit to a local based initiative in the Konso area which aims to protect Konso's biodiversity and preservation of its natural and cultural sites. In Ethiopia where technology has not kept pace with the demands for productivity, harmful environmental practices are common and people usually resort to exploiting land and other natural resources to meet their needs. As a consequence of this, climatic conditions are becoming erratic and soil quality is declining. We encourage initiatives like the 'Konso Parkas' through promoting their ideas and doing all we can. Perhaps you also might wish to share their concern for the environment and exchange ideas on how to protect and conserve the same. Such kind acts will motivate them to do more.

9 Reviews of Wildlife and cultural tour to Ethiopia

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 23 Apr 2017 by

The highlight was visiting the tribal markets at Turmi and Alduba, including walking to the Turmi market from Buska Lodge; and sitting in a Hamer mud hut drinking coffee. Read full review

Reviewed on 29 Jan 2016 by

A great holiday ... incredible sights and the chance to see several of the tribal groups in the Omo Valley. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Sep 2015 by

This vacation was everything we hoped it would be, and much more. We saw everything we wanted to see, but what really made the difference was the wonderful guide and driver. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2015 by

A highlight was our 4 hour walk on the Sanetti plateau, seeing wolves walk by us not too far away in complete peace. Visiting the Harenna forest, a beautiful largely unexplored rainforest on the southside of Bale Mountains, was also unforgettable. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2014 by

It was a wonderful experience and adventure, being able to see and be present at places and situations that we had only read about. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 May 2014 by

We had a wonderful time in Ethiopia and would recommend this holiday to anyone planning on touring in this remarkable country. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 Apr 2013 by

While in Turmi, we were able to watch the Hamer festivity where the boy marks his passage from boy to adult by jumping the bulls. Not fixed, or touristy. For me, easily the highlight of the trip! Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Jan 2013 by

All very exciting: churches on Lake Tana & in Lalibela, the castle of Gondar, stelae in Axum + visiting the Karo, Dorze, Mursi tribes and witnessing the bull-jumping ceremony of the Hamer people. Very fascinating and worth the effort. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Jan 2012 by

The most amazing thing was that it was not a dry dessert but wonderful farmlands!?...It was a completely different experience, some marvellous some horrifying depending on the cultures of this fertile land. Read full review

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