Ethiopia family holiday

“Ethiopia is brimming with surprises - from the warmth of its people to astonishing rock-hewn churches. But perhaps the biggest surprise of all is how easy it is to travel with kids.”


Addis Ababa | Bahir Dar | Blue Nile gorge | Lake Tana and Island monasteries | Castles and palaces of Gondar | Simien Mountains trek | Gelada baboons and Ethiopian wolves | Aksum and stelae | Lalibela | Rock-hewn churches

Description of Ethiopia family holiday

Suitable for children aged seven and above, this Ethiopia family holiday takes in ancient cities, rock-hewn churches, wild landscapes and waterfalls on a 16 day adventure. Visit beautiful Lalibela, where churches are carved into the rock and built into caves; see the fairytale castles of Gondar and explore the Simien Mountains, home to thousands of gelada baboons and rare Walia ibex and red foxes, found in no other place on earth. See the huge carved stelae at Axum, the pretty town of Bahirdar, the Blue Nile Falls and enjoy some time at Lake Tana, with a boat trip to discover island monasteries.

Throughout, local and highly qualified guides accompany you, and their knowledge of the history, botany, ecology, wildlife and birdlife of each destinations is vast. You’ll visit four of the eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia, soaking up the unique culture and long history of this fascinating country.

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 tailor made 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:
Standards don't always meet Western expectations. Bring a head torch and toilet paper - especially if camping in the mountains!
Trip type:
Tailor made family holiday. Minimum age 7.
Activity level:
Leisurely-moderate (all activities optional).
Locally owned, 3-4* hotels. Optional camping in the mountains.
Accommodation, tour leader, drive, local guides, breakfasts, listed activities, entrance fees.
Not included
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 is a great opportunity to see Ethiopian endemic species of Gelada, Red fox and Walia Ibex. Your visit will benefit the park's effort to protect these great endemics and conserve the environment. The park is a UNESCO world heritage site and many species were once on an endangered list.

The trip also gives employment and a market opportunity for the local shop owners, markets, restaurants, guides, scouts, mule hires, and many more. Also all the accommodations throughout your trip are owned and run by the members of the local community. Your needs associated with your travel will be served by the members of the community.

As you visit the park you will stay in lodges run by the park. All the guides throughout the trip are locals who have had adequate trainings and experiences and scouts are hired from the park. Also for your trekking arrangements, we hire mules from the local farmers and purchase most of the items that are necessary for your stay from local shops.

Most of the destination suppliers have already put in place a policy of using the local resources for development of the tourism industry in their respective areas. They also have economic policies to employ their staff from the local communities and to use the local resources for the services they provide. As part of environmental conservation efforts they give information to their customers on an efficient usage of water, electricity; and give away some materials like plastic bags to recycling agencies.

Also as part of their environmental responsibilities, they participate in different conservation initiatives like in '2 trees for 2000', a millennium initiative against the deforestation and land degradation in Ethiopia.

For you to have a better knowledge of the trip we will provide you with an accurate pre-trip information pack before the start of the tour. And in order 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.

The trip also helps us support and contribute to a local initiative at Gonder working on disadvantaged groups living in rural and suburban settings. It helps the youth without access to basic primary education and for school dropouts providing tailored and market oriented skill trainings.

Also if you have some spare time at Addis we will arrange a visit to a project which is making a difference in the lives of children. You can make a miracle happen for a child and in return get a great deal of satisfaction. Be it a small or big gift, you can help a needy child get life's essentials, like food, an education and basic health care. If you wish to sponsor a child it will also make a big difference and help break the cycle of poverty.

2 Reviews of Ethiopia family holiday

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 16 Nov 2011 by

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

The spectacular mountain scenery was something unexpected and awesome. The people were very friendly. Labilela rock hewn churches and the history was very interesting and fascinating. Overall a fantastic experience.

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

Toilets at Simien mountain camps were plain disgusting, dirty, soiled, impossible to use. Remember to take a good stash of toilet paper.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Local people benefited, but it is upsetting for some tourists when children demand money in some locations e.g. it was even suggested by a student who posed as a guide at Blue Nile Falls that we give children 20 US DOLLARS after wiping mud off ones shoes without an invitation to do so.

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

Apart from the few annoyances as described above, the tour was well organized with a very good reliable driver and the local guides were mostly very knowledgeable. This operator come highly recommended by us --- no problem with their organization.

Reviewed on 10 Mar 2011 by

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

I am not sure what was the most memorable or exciting part of our holiday - for the three of us it would be different things. I think for my daughter it would be the fact that a leopard visited our camp in the Simien Mountains, for my husband it would most likely be the birds - he has never seen so many different types in so short a time followed closely by the rock hewn churches. It is truly amazing to stand in a place of worship that has been carved out of a single piece of stone! For me I think it would be the people. I am amazed that the people in the north eat, dress and farm the same way that they did 2000 years ago, and the tribes in the south must be living in the same way that they were thousands of years ago. Some of the places we went, the people had never seen a white child before. So our daughter caused a lot of excitement (she is 6) but never did we not feel safe. I think because the people in Ethiopia really love children we had many funny/sweet exchanges everywhere we went.

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

To be very clear of your likes and wants so Eskinder can work his magic.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?

Simply by bringing money into the country we must have benefited the local people. None of the hotels we stayed in were part of a chain they were all owned locally owned. We had local guides everywhere we went which was truly wonderful, not only did this give us an insight into the local customs it also put some money into the local areas. Try as I might I don't think that there is anyway I can spin it that we didn't negatively impact on the environment. We flew there, we drove everywhere except when we took our 2 internal flights, we drank bottled water....We did not litter!

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

I would say it was a truly amazing time. We have not come back feeling renewed and refreshed but we feel that we have been very lucky to have seen what we saw and to have had such experiences. There is no way we would have been able to have done so much without Eskinder and his team. We were in Ethiopia for 16 days and I can honesty say we will never forget them.

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