North and South of Ethiopia Tour Description
North and South Ethiopia is a 14 Days/13 Nights Tour with a keen on history and ancient architecture. Discover Ababa, Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gonder, Axum, Mekelle, Lalibela.
We also suggest you our tour Ethiopia – Historic Route.
2021 pricing, please contact us for an estimate anytime.
2020 Land Cost Per Person (double occupancy)
2 travelers: $5,094
This tour operates with a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 10 travelers. Other rates available on request.
- The flight fare for the sector Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar – Surface – Gonder – Axum – Lalibela – Arba Minch for clients using ET for their International Flight would be 270 USD per person.
- The flight fare for the sector Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar – Surface – Gonder – Axum – Lalibela – Arba Minch for clients NOT using ET for their International Flight would be 668 USD per person.
Please note that the airfare is going to change if Ethiopian airlines or Abyssinia Flights are going to have a change in their fair.
- 1Night at Jupiter International Hotel
- 1 Night at Abay Minch Lodge
- 2 Nights at Taya Belay Hotel
- 1 Night at Sabean International Hotel
- 2 Nights at Mountain View Hotel
- 3 Nights at Swaynes Lodge
- 1 Night at Jinka Resort
- 2 Nights at Turmi Lodge
- Day use at Jupiter International Hotel
- Vehicle for North
- Vehicle for South
- Entrance fee
- Local guide fee
- Vehicles Entrance
- ½ day boat on Lake Chamo
- Boat Crossing
- ½ day city tour
- Canoe on Omo
- English guide for 14 days
- Water Farewell dinner
- Domestic Ticket for Escort Guide
- Transfer in and out
Price Does Not Include:
- Domestic flights (for clients)
- Lunch and dinner in Addis, except for farewell dinner
- Alcoholic drinks and drinks outside mealtime
- Video camera and photographic fees
- Porters fees
- Tips and any other expenses of a personal nature
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa
Arrival in Addis Ababa. After a short break, the visit to Addis Ababa begins, the third highest capital in the world. The visit includes the Entoto Hills, the place from which King Menelik, founder of Addis Ababa, descended to the plains. In Entoto, from where there is a wonderful panoramic view of the city, there are two churches built by Menelik, who was crowned in one of them. Near this site is the old Menelik Palace, still intact and open to visitors. Inside you can see some royal clothing, artifacts of war, furniture and old books. The visit to the city also includes the National Museum, one of the most important museums in sub-Saharan Africa. Here is the Selam skeleton,
found in December 2000 in Dikika, Afar region, northern Ethiopia. Like Lucy, Selam is an Australopithecus Aphaeresis. However, there is an important difference between the two, since Selam lived more than 150,000 years before Lucy! Finally, a visit to Mercato, the largest open market in East Africa, is scheduled in the afternoon. It is possible to find items as diverse as spices and jewelry. There is nothing that cannot be found in this vibrant and immense market. Accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 2: Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar (Flight)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Bahir Dar, one of the most attractive cities in Ethiopia. Bahir Dar, with its wide avenues delineated by rows of palm trees, is located on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. Bahir Dar is also the best base to visit some of the monasteries built on the islands of the interior of Lake Tana, between the 12th and 18th centuries, as well as the sources of the Blue Nile River. After locating ourselves at the hotel, departure to the Tissisat Falls of the Blue Nile, about 30 kilometers from the city. A 20-minute walk takes us to these waterfalls, with a drop of 45 meters in height, which shows its most spectacular appearance during and just after the rainy season (from June to January). Here, the Blue Nile, which contributes 85% of the flow of the Nile River, begins its long journey to the Mediterranean. Lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit to the city of Bahir Dar. The tour includes the city itself, as well as the town of Woito, 2 km to the west, known for its production of tankwa boats made of reeds. Then continue with a visit to the ancient palace of Emperor Haile Selassie in Bezawit, with excellent views of the city, the exact site where the Blue Nile rises from the lake, and some of the local markets. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 3: Bahir Dar – Gorgora – Gondar (8 hours including picnic and views)
The day begins with a boat ride on Lake Tana, where a visit to some of the ancient monasteries that were built around Lake Tana and on many of the islands within it is scheduled, totaling about 38 in total. The list includes a visit to the Zeghe Peninsula, where the churches of Ura Kidane Mehret and Mariam Azewa will be visited, which were built in the late 13th and 14th centuries, respectively, and whose walls are covered with incredible 16th-century murals. Also visiting the church of Dek Stefanos, with its valuable collection of icons, as well as the remains of several medieval emperors, the church of Kibran Gabriel (closed to women) and, finally, the church of Narga Selassie. Picnic lunch on the boat, then continue on the way to the town of Gorgora, where the Debreseina Mariam church is visited. In Gorgora the cars are collected and it continues for 60 km to the city of Gondar. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 4: Gondar
Full day of visits in Gondar. Emperor Fasiladas founded Gondar as his imperial seat in 1636 and, until the 19th century, the city was the capital and main commercial center of the region. The visit includes the Royal Enclosure, or Fasil Gibbi, and the six castles built by the various emperors who ruled Gondar. 2 km from the city center are the King Fasilidas baths where, during Timkat (the Epiphany in Ethiopia), a nearby river is diverted to fill an area the size of a small pool. Worshipers and pilgrims plunge into the cold water in a recreation of the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. Next, visit the church of Debre Berhane Selassie, the only church that was saved from the Mahdista invasion of the 1880s. According to legend, a swarm of bees drove away the invaders who were trying to loot the church. The walls and ceiling of this church are completely covered with murals – the faces of the angels in the ceiling have become a common motif in Ethiopian design. Lunch at the hotel. Finally, visit the ruined palace of Queen Mentowab, and the Qusquam Mariam church, located on a hill just outside the town. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 5: Flight to Axum and city tour
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Axum. Between 200 BC and 700 AD, Axum was the capital of an empire that stretched across the Red Sea to the Arabian Peninsula, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet, and built great engineering works, including dams. . It has been defined by historians as the fourth largest and most powerful empire of the 4th century. Axum is known for its extraordinary granite monoliths and for the church of Santa María de Sión, where the remains of the original Ark of the Covenant are believed to be kept. After check-in at the hotel, visit the city including the Church of Santa Maria, the monoliths of Axum, the tombs of the Kaleb emperors and their son of Gebre-Meskel, and the Mai Shum, the name by which the Queen of Sheba baths. Lunch, dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 6: Axum – Lalibela (Flight)
Breakfast and transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Lalibela. Between the end of the 12th century and the beginning of the 13th century, King Lalibela, from the Zaghwe dynasty, ordered the construction of a series of churches carved in the rock, going on to call the place “New Jerusalem”. Today, Lalibela is deservedly recognized as one of the greatest wonders of the world. In the town, baptized in memory of the emperor, there are 11 churches, while other rock-cut churches are in the vicinity. They are all in use today. After registration at the hotel, the visit to the first group of churches begins; Bet Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Denagel and Bet Medhane Alem. The latter, the largest, resembles a Greek temple. On one corner three empty tombs are observed, symbolically excavated for the Biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, visit Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant church of all the churches in Lalibela, located on a rock terrace on the southwest side of the town, and which can only be accessed through a tunnel. The rest of the day is free to explore the city on your own. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 7: Lalibela
Early in the morning visit the Yemrehene Christos rock church (40 km, 1½ car), built by the king of the same name before the reign of King Lalibela. The church is built inside a cave, with alternating levels of wood and stone. Return to Lalibela and lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon we will visit the second group of churches in Lalibela, located south of the Jordan River. Which includes the churches of Bete Emanuel, Bete Mercurios, Bete Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa´e. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 8: Lalibela – Arba Minch, via Addis Ababa
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to take the flight to Arba Minch, with transit in Addis Ababa. Arrival at the Arba Minch airport, meeting with the cars and transfer to the lodge. Rest of the day free. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 9: Arba Minch – Chencha – Lake Chamo – Arba Minch
After breakfast, visit Chencha village, home of the Dorze tribe, recognized as expert cotton weavers. Its hive-shaped high- roofed huts are one of the most distinctive traditional structures in Africa. The main occupations in the region are subsistence agriculture and weaving. The “shama” fabric, produced around Chencha, is recognized as one of the best in Ethiopia. After lunch, a boat trip on Lake Chamo, during which a large number of hippos and crocodiles can be seen from a very short distance. Accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 10: Arba Minch – Konso – Dimeka – Turmi
After breakfast, departure to Jinka via Konso (96 km), where we will stop to meet this tribe, known for its intricate cultivation terraces sculpted on the foothills of the surrounding mountains, for their fine fabrics and wooden carved totems with the ones that decorate their graves. There will be time to walk through the cultivation terraces and explore some villages. Traditionally, these consist of hilltop settlements surrounded by stone walls that are up to 2 meters high, accessible only through a limited number of steep trails. Lunch in a local restaurant. After Konso, continuation towards Turmi. As it is Tuesday, the market day in Dimeka, there will be a stop at the market in this town attended by members of various tribes in the region. Finally, transfer to Turmi. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen lodge.
Day 11: Turmi – Karo – Omorate – Turmi
After breakfast, departure towards Omorate, about 35 kilometers away, where you cross the Omo River by canoe to visit the Dasenech villages, belonging to the Galeb tribe. Return to Turmi and lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, drive to the town of Muruelle, 67 kilometers away, where the Duss and Korcho villages of the Karo tribe are visited. The Karo are considered to be the masters of the technique of painting on the body, which they resort to during dances and celebrations. Finally, I return to Turmi. Dinner and accommodation at chosen lodge.
Day 12: Turmi – Hammer village – Key – Jinka
After breakfast, visit a village of the Hamer tribe. The Hamers are a town of people of strong, attractive complexion, where women and men alike feel proud and take care of their appearance. They usually dye their hair colored, moisturize their skins with oils, and decorate their bodies with necklaces and bracelets on their arms and legs. After the visit, departure in the direction of Jinka, via the town of Key Afer, where we will stop to enjoy the weekly market on Thursdays, which is attended by tribes such as Tsemay, Ari and Benna. In addition to the various grains and hair colors, decorated pumpkins, traditional musical instruments that compete for space with different types of leather and jewelry, as well as many plastic objects such as buckets and brooms are offered. Finally, continuation to Jinka. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen lodge.
Day 13: Jinka – Mago NP – Mursi – Arba Minch National Park
Early in the morning, after breakfast, visit the villages of the Ari and Bena tribes, and then continue to the Mago National Park, where it is possible to observe an important diversity of animals such as the push-back, dik dik, baboons and monkeys colobus. Inside the park you visit the village of the Mursi tribe. The Mursi de are one of the most eccentric and original branches of the native peoples of Ethiopia, known as Nara Surma. They are transhumant shepherds of the Nilotic language group, and raise cattle on the high plateaus of the Omo River. The Mursi are world renowned for the scarifications on their bodies and the use of earthen plates embedded on the lips of their adult women. The lip plate is inserted into the lip of the woman between 15-20 years. The process begins 6 months before the wedding with the piercing of the lower lip. Successive stretches are achieved by placing increasingly larger plates on the pierced lip. After 6 months of stretching, the lip is so elastic that a plate can slide in and out without difficulty. The plates should always be worn in front of men and can only be removed at private meals, when sleeping or in the presence of other women. After the visit, return to Arba Minch. Food in a local restaurant. Dinner and accommodation at the chosen hotel.
Day 14: Arba Minch – Hosanna – Melka Kunture – Addis Ababa
Return to Addis Ababa by road, via the towns of Hosanna and Melka Kunture, a Stone Age archaeological site. Adadi Mariam, a 12th-century rock-hewn church and Tiya, a World Heritage Site, with its mysterious stelae intended as 12th-century grave markers as well. Archaeological excavations have allowed the recovery of the prehistoric heritage and much related scientific information. More than 80 archaeological sites have been identified during 50 years of archaeological research in this area; 30 of them have been extensively excavated on surfaces ranging from 50 m² to 250 m². Tens of thousands of lithic tools, fauna and human remains (Homo Erectus, Sensu Lato and Homo Sapiens) have been discovered. Many more are conserved in an area of more than 100 km², awaiting future research. Lunch in a local restaurant. Arrival in Addis Ababa, day use of the hotel room. At the agreed time, transfer to a traditional restaurant for a farewell dinner. Later, transfer to the airport to take the return flight.
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Kutrubes Travel also offers a variety of other tours throughout this region. Contact us for detailed itineraries and descriptions.