Our Ethiopia holidays
Exploring Ethiopia may occasionally feel like stepping back in time, but these holidays bring you bang up to date by introducing you to the people and culture. You might sample the finest vegan food (few countries do it better), go trekking in the Bale Mountains or to see the baboons in the Simien Mountains, or travel the Northern Circuit to admire the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. But wherever you go, you’ll be in the company of knowledgeable local guides and staying in smaller, often family-run accommodations. It’s the best way to travel here, and definitely the best introduction to Ethiopia.
Our top Ethiopia holidays
From US $3005 days ex flights
Trek remote, beautiful farmland near Janamora
From £349911 days ex flights
Enjoy the elaborate Christian festival in historic Lalibela
From £275616 days ex flights
Experience the unique and breathtaking sites of Ethiopia
About our Ethiopia holidays
Culture in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the only African country never to have been fully colonised, resulting in a culture little-influenced by the West. It has its own alphabet, calendar and time zone, and this strongly religious country (the second-oldest Christian country in the world) also dictates regular fasting days on which you’ll find only vegetarian or vegan food. When thinking of Ethiopian culture, though, most people picture the tribes along the Omo Valley, each with their own distinctive appearance, from lip plates to face paint. The Omo tribes continue to maintain their unique cultures and languages under pressure from displacement and increasing interest from tourists.
Walking holidays in Ethiopia
Ethiopia walking holidays take you to trails that are refreshingly crowd-free and guides capable of introducing you to communities away from the main destinations. Most Ethiopia trekking is done in the north of the country, especially in the Simien Mountains National Park, where you can encounter Gelada baboons in the grasslands and rare Walia ibex. You can also explore the Bale Mountains south of Addis Ababa. The best time for walking is between October (September in the Simien Mountains) and January, and you can choose from small group or tailor made trips.
The Northern Circuit is the most popular – and most impressive – tourism route in Ethiopia. It takes you from Bahir Dar on the shore of Lake Tana (said to be the source of the Blue Nile) to Gondar, Axum and the ancient underground churches of Lalibela. Small group and tailor made trips normally travel in a clockwise direction, with internal flights from Addis Ababa. They last for around two weeks, so that you can get the most from a tour with some long distances involved. You can also include guided trekking in the Simien Mountains between Gondar and Axum.
Types of tours & holidays to Ethiopia
Whether you’re there for trekking, tribes or tramping around ancient churches, small group holidays in Ethiopia enable you to make the most of your time. You’ll see as many of the highlights as possible with well-organised, fully guided itineraries. If your time is more limited or you want to pick and choose between accommodations and activities according to your own tastes, then you can look at tailor made holidays. Encountering the tribes along the Omo Valley is the focus of many cultural tours in Ethiopia, but you can also visit remote mountain communities while walking with a guide.
If you'd like to chat about Ethiopia or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.