If you’re looking for a mind-expanding adventure then this is the trip for you. We’ll be staying in comfortable accommodation, but we’ll be venturing into territories few travellers see. We’ll visit tribes with customs that remain unchanged for centuries. Some of the tribes we’ll visit embrace extreme body modifications. We’ll visit ancient Christian monuments, such as Axum which contains one of the world’s oldest cathedrals, and even the palace of the Queen of Sheba.
This epic trip is one for the more intrepid travellers – you know who you are.
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- 22nd July 2019 Monday
Group Trip Breakdown
Day 1: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
A representative will meet you at Addis Ababa airport. After you’ve obtained your visa you’ll be transferred to the hotel.
Day 2: Axum
We’ll fly to the ancient city of Axum where we’ll visit the 4th-century Cathedral of Tsion Maryam, the home of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. This is the palace of the Queen of Sheba and the alleged home of the Ark of the Covenant. You’ll also see pre-Christian monoliths.
We can also visit the Obelisk of Axum. It was stolen during Mussolini’s conquest of Ethiopia and only recently handed back.
Day 3: Lalibela
Lalibela was once the capital of the Zagwe dynasty. Legend has it that a mother saw her baby in a cradle surrounded by bees. She named her son Lalibela which means “the bees recognise his sovereignty”. Bear with us. So, this son went on to build the local stone churches hewn as they were from the rock 800 years ago. Many of these buildings hold religious services to this day.
Day 4: Lalibela
After breakfast, you can opt for one of two excursions.
- Take a trip to a monastery that was hewn out of a rock cave on the outskirts of town.
- Embark on a mule trek to the Ashetone Mariam Monastery. The road is very steep.
In the afternoon, we’ll visit the famous Bete Georgis, a church built deep in a pit. We’ll also head south of the Jordan River and see the group of four comprised of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercuiros, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa’el. We’ll then attend a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
Day 5: Gondar
Today we’ll fly to Gondar. This city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire. There are dozens of castles and striking ruins to explore, all of which embody the history of Ethiopia’s imperial phase. The buildings of the Gondarine kings are especially striking.
We’ll see many remarkable sites over the course of the day. For lunch, we’ll pause for reflection at the Four Sisters Restaurant.
Day 6: Gondar To Arba Minch
Today we’ll transfer to Addis Abada airport and fly to Arba Minch, the largest town in Southern Ethiopia. At an elevation of 1,300m, it offers stunning views of the Great Rift Valley. The mountains in the west rise to 4000m. Arba Minch is considered to be the capital of the Ethiopian Rastafarian community.
Day 7: Jinka
In the morning we’ll drive to South Omo, a cultural and wildlife Garden of Eden that’s surely one of the most unique places on earth. First we’ll drive to Yetnebersh and visit the Ari tribe. We’ll then head to the research centre and museum – a great place to get an overview of the diverse cultures of Omo.
Day 8: Mago National Park and Drive to Turmi
In the morning we’ll drive to Mago National Park on the banks of the rover Omo. We’ll then drive to Musi village and meet the locals. It is customary for the women of the tribe to wear circular disks in their lower lip. We’ll be staying in a lodge on the Keske River.
Day 9: Karo
Early drive to Murelle where we’ll meet the Karo people. They are distinguished by their elaborate body scars and lip piercings – often done with sticks and plates of ivory.
Day 10: Konso
Konso is a UNESCO heritage site made up of stone wall terraces and fortified settlements. Throughout this 55km area, you’ll find striking wooden statues. This settlement is built in a dry, rocky environment and it represents a way of life that remains unchanged for many centuries.
Day 11: Konso to Arba Minch
We’ll transfer to our hotel in Arba Minch and take a boat trip down Lake Chamo. Here we’ll see hippos and crocodiles – some of the most magnificent crocs in Africa can be found here.
We’ll then take a short drive to Chencha and visit the Dorze people. They are famed for their beehive huts. They also produce cloth that’s considered to be the finest in Ethiopia. Overnight in Arba Minch.
Day 12: Addis Ababa
Today we’ll fly back to Addis Ababa. We’ll visit the National Archaeological Museum, considered to be the most significant in sub-Saharan Africa. We’ll have a farewell dinner and discuss the amazing places we’ve been to. We’ll be dining at one of the best restaurants in the city.
Sounds good? Call our travel experts:+44 (0)20 7157 1570