Travel to Southern and Northern Ethiopia 26Days

Travel to Southern and Northern Ethiopia

Travel to Southern and trek on selected sites of Northern Ethiopia


Program: South and North

Tour Code: Grand T 12

Duration: 25 Nights (26 Days)

Transportation: Land (4X4)

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour Ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1: Arrive to Addis Ababa

Morning, arrive to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport & meet with us then transfer and check-in hotel. Then City tour of Addis Ababa:  driving to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s replica Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa.  Overnight –Hotel   – Addis Ababa

Day 2: Addis – Dorzé Tribes on the hill top of Chencha- Minch (505km)

Drive from Addis Ababa to Dorzé Tribes. Visit the Dorzé Village for cotton weaving tradition at their home and market place on the hill top of Chencha. Dorzé Tribes are very, very known tribe in weaving and offering best quality weaving products in traditional way. Then drive to Arba Minch. Overnight Lodge or hotel – Arba Minch

Day 3: Visit Nechsar National Park & Lake Chamo

Drive to Nechsar National Park (Nechisar National Park) for bird watching and game viewing. In the park, you will see different bird species, including the rare Greater Kestrel, Orange River Francolin, Yellow throated sand grouse, Desert Cistcolas, Bustard, secretary Bird and etc. Some nightjar species such as Slender tailed and star Spotted Nightjars, Donaldson Smith’s and Dusky Nightjars have been recorded. In addition to birds, Nechsar is the home of some mammals like the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest (the park was primarily established to protect the endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest), Thomson’s gazelle, Berchule’s Zebra, Greater Kudu, Dik-Dik, and Baboons. Afternoon; boat trip on Lake Chamo. This Lake is known for its enormous population of Crocodiles and Hippopotamus. Also White pelicans are abundant. Overnight – Arba Minch

Day 4: Konso – Key Afer (ethnic market) – Jinka

Thursday; Drive from Arba Minch to Jinka- roughly 240km Asphalt Road. on the way after 87km drive, visit town of Konso (UNESCO World Heritage Site) – The people of Konso are well known for their intricately terraced hillsides, fine woven materials, carved totems made of wood, decorated graves (mainly the king & his wife), impressive village and etc. Explore The Konso King, totems, Konso villages, and Gesergiyo (New York)-magnificent rock formation.  At Key Afer; there is a colorful, on every Thursday market where you can see the Tsemay, Ari and Bena and etc people. Drive further to Jinka. Overnight – at Jinka – (1490 of altitude)

Day 5 : Mursi tribes and Mago National Park

Friday; drive to Mago National Park & visit the Mursi tribes in their villages. The insertion of wooden and terracotta / Clay/ discs into the ear lobes is a widespread custom amongst Mursi tribes. Progressively, Mursi women split and stretch their lower lips to make room for similar bigger discs (Surma tribes – settled on upper Omo River have the same culture with Mursi). In Mago National Park; there are no many animals visible during the day, but during night time, thousands of sounds, among which is the trumpeting of elephants may be heard. If a visit is early morning, Kudu, Dik – Dik and Guinea Fowls are probable to be seen. Drive back to Jinka and visit the ethnological museum of Jinka in the afternoon. Overnight – at Jinka

Day 6: Discover Dimeka market and drive to Turmi (139 Km)

Saturday; after breakfast; drive to Turmi (roughly 139km from Jinka). On the way; discover the colorful Dimeka Market (Every Saturday). Note that information will be gathered in advance if there is bull jumping ceremony or a Hamer wedding party in the neighborhood during your stay in Turmi. Overnight – at Turmi Lodge– Turmi

Day 7: Omorate – Dassenech/Galeb –Turmi market

Monday;    the area around Turmi is where the Hamer & Bena people live, famous for their bull- jumping ceremonies and great body decoration. Turmi Market is a popular Market in Lower Omo. The market will not be full until noon. So, morning, drive from Murule to Omorate, nearby the Omo River and cross the river by local boat. This area is inhabited by the Dassenech (Galeb) people, known for their very interesting house design and body painting. You will stay with them for a couple of hours, then cross the river again and drive to Turmi, for lunch and a short break from the heat & visit the Turmi Market. The Hamers dominate this market. The Hamers are a fine looking people, both men and women take great pride in their appearance, shaving and coloring their hair, oiling their bodies and decorating themselves with beads and bracelets worn around arms and legs. Late afternoon; approach to some Hamer villages to discover their lifestyle at home and attend the Evangadi Dance. Overnight –Turmi

Day 8: Discover the Karo tribes in Dus & Kolcho villages, & Nyangaten

Drive from Turmi to Karo tribes (60 km rough road) with picnic lunch. Visit Karo tribes in Dus and Kolcho. The Karo tribes are mainly known for their special hairstyle and body paintings. Take your time here, discover & experience their lifestyle Drive from Karo via Murulle some kms and cross the Omo River on the new Bridge that connected Upper and lower Omo River for the Nyangaten/ Nyangaten tribes and drive to Kibish (150km rough road) via Omo Park with opportunity to see wildlife. Then drive late afternoon; drive back to Turmi. Overnight – Kibish

Day 9:  Surma Villages

Full day Excursion in Surma Villages:  Discover the life style of The Surma people in their villages. The Surma women are best known for inserting round clay plates in their lips. Overnight – Tented camp – Kibish

Day 10: Visit the Surma Beret and Surma body paintings

Discover the Surma Body paintings and Surma Young Boys barbering their hair at Beret Area. Beret is a place where Surma Cattle stay during the night. Overnight – Tented camp – Kibish (possibly in Tulgit)

Day 11: Tulgit Kibish- Jima

You have visited tribes on the lower and upper sides of the Omo Valley/River. Drive, therefore; to Jima for the Northern Part. Overnight – Jima (1680 of altitude)

Day 12:  Addis Ababa: 340km Asphalt road

Drive to Addis Ababa (spare time to relax and ready to Northern Part). Overnight – Addis Ababa

Day 13: Addis Ababa – Guassa

Drive to Guassa (about 265km from Addis) via Mehal Meda. Afternoon; Near the Guassa community Lodge, chance to visit the Abyssinian Wolf and Gelada Baboons (both endemics). Overnight – Tented Camp or at Guassa Community Lodge

Day 14: Trekking

After an early breakfast, trek/ mule back from Regreg to Atse Wiha Camping ground; walk through an Afro alpine grassland area to Lobelia Valley. Experience the highland flora and fauna – including the endemic Gelada and Ethiopian wolf.  Keep an eye above your head for a bone breaker bird named the lammergeyer, bearded vulture. This raptor, considered the lord of the high plateau, can often be seen soaring in searching of food.  Overnight – Tented camp at Atse Wiha.

Day 15:  Game view nearby and trek for about two hours to Sefed Meda

Morning, game view in the morning, trek to Sefed Meda and drive  to Ankober, located, off road (40 km from Debre Birhan) through.

Ankober is worth visiting for Shewan Mountains; bordering the Afar region, the beautiful landscapes, historical places (cultural heart of the former province of the Shewa)… Ankober was a seat of the dynasty of Shewan lords since the time of Emperor Yekuno Amlak in the thirteenth century. Yekuno Amlak is known in Ethiopian tradition as the one who restored the so-called Salomonic dynasty.  Visit the Palace of Emperor Menelik II and drive to   the colorful market of Senbete on Sunday and Bati on Monday to experience the culture of the Oromo, Amhara and Afar peoples (highlanders and low Landers together). Overnight – hotel – Kombolcha

Day 16: Lalibela-Rock Hewn Churches

Drive on scenic landscape to Lalibela. (Set at 2,630 m. above sea level).on the way, visit Haik Estifanos Monastery, open Markets, and Genata Maryam Church near Lalibela. Overnight – hotel – Lalibela

Day 17: full day visit in Lalibela

Morning, visit the first group of six churches: 1.Bet Golgotha, 2.Bet Mikael, 3.Bet Mariam, 4.Bet Meskel, 5.Bet Danaghel and 6.Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock hewn church in the world, built like a Greek temple! In a corner there are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

Afternoon; visit the Second groups: 7.Bete Amanuel, 8.Bete Marqorewos, 9.Bete Abba Libanos, 10.Bete Gabriel -Rufael and11 Bet Giyorgis. Bet Giyorgis is the most elegant of all Lalibela churches, which lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the town on a sloping rock terrace. Drive for the cave church of Nakuto Làabe (5kms away from Lalibela). Overnight –at Roha Hotel (3*) or similar – Lalibela

Day 18:   Start trekking

Start trekking from the town of Lalibela to Wedebye (3600 to 3800). Trek time could take between 4-6hours. En route, visit the 13th century monastery church of Asheten Mariam. Overnight –   camping at Wedebye

Day 19: Trekking to Abune Yosef

Trek about 4 hours to Abune Yosef, the third highest peak in the country (4300 mt). En-route, overlook the stunning view, covered by Afro Alpine types of vegetation; chance to see endemic mammals like Gelada Baboon and Simien Fox. Camping at Abune Yosef

Day 20: Arbatu Ensessa

Trek via the plateaus of Degosach. Visit the 6th century rock church of Arbatu Ensessa. From Arbatu Ensessa, drive to Lalibela. Overnight – Lalibela

Day 21: Yimrahine Kristos Excursion

After breakfast; we drive to Mekele. On the way, visit the cave church called Yimrahine Kirstos (42 km from Lalibela). This Church has been constructed by King Yimrahine Kristos during the13th Century. In the church, there are more than 5000 thousand dead human skeletons lying without any coverage for the past 700 years. They are supposed to be pilgrimages from Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia. The murals on the dark walls of the church, the year round spring water – descending from the top of the church and the forest around are very impressive and worthy to be visited. Drive back to Lalibela. Overnight – at – Mekelle

Day 22: Geralta Rock hewn Churches (Wukro Cherkos and Abreha we Atsbeha)

Drive from Mekelle to Hawzen (Geralta Clustered Churches). This area is scenically spectacular and is a site for many architectural old rock hewn churches that are not found in the other areas of the country. On the way, visit Wukro Cherkos, Abreha-We-Atsbeha, and Degum Selassie. Overnight– Hawzen (2105m of altitude)

Day 23: trekking

Morning, drive and trek on cliff landscapes for Maryam Korkor, Daniel Korkor and Abune Yemata. Overnight Hawzen

Day 24: Maryam Wukro &Yeha Temple

Drive from Hawzen to Axum. On the way, climb by a rope and visit Dabra Damo Monastery (only men), the 5th century B.C, Pre-Christian Temple of Yeha (Yeha ruins), and overlook the Adwa escarpment. Overnight – Axum (2131m of altitude)

Day 25: the birth Place of Ethiopian History

Explore the city of Axum. Axum treasures the ancient Ethiopian history. The attractions of Axum include: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles, the tombs of King Kaleb, and the legendary Bath and the ruins of ancient palace of the Queen of Sheba, St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Ark of the Covenant. Almost all  Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and some scholars believe firmly about the presence of the original Ark of God for centuries here in Axum,  at the chapel in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fassiladas’ Castle of Axum. Overnight – Axum

Day 26: Addis Ababa and departure

Morning; fly from Axum to Addis Ababa and departure afternoon or in the evening (end of the trip)

Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on request