16 Days 15 Nights

Tour Type

Specific Tour

Group Size



Amharic, English


This trip focusses on the incredible historic and cultural sites of the north & the suth part of Ethiopia, from the amazing 
 island monasteriesof Lake Tana. where you will Meet monks straight out of the medieval ages, explore the castles of Gondar and hike in the Simien Mountains,
some of the best scenery in Africa and home to unique wildlife found nowhere else. visiting the tall cliff-churches of Tigray and the world-renowned sites of well as the Erta’Ale volcano and also the Danakil Desert. Not only is this desert region the lowest, it is also the hottest, inhabited location on earth.
Spectacular scenery awaits you at Erta’Ale volcano, Erta’Ale meaning smoking mountain.and you will  also visit The World Heritage Site of Lalibela, which is set in the Lasta mountains and was the second capital of ancient Ethiopia. Dating back to at least the 12th Century, it is renowned for its extraordinary rock-hewn churches, carved from the mountains, but still embedded in the granite from which they were shaped
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Tour Itinerary

Day 1

Addis Ababa

Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, your driver will meet you just outside the airport terminal and transfer you to the luxury Sheraton Hotel. Freshen up in the hotel before taking your first steps in the bustling capital city, Addis Ababa (meaning ‘New Flower’). The city lies in the central highlands at 2700m above sea level and is Africa’s diplomatic capital. Founded in 1887 by Emporer Menelik II, it is now the home of over 3 million people, along with a portfolio is fascinating museums, historic sites, churches, and sprawling markets. The Mercato market is the largest open-air market anywhere in Africa, and the surrounding Entoto hills offer dramatic views over the entire city. 
In the evening, you have plenty of choice for restaurants and bars, and there are a handful of cultural restaurants that showcase Ethiopian dancing from across the country. Well worth a visit on your first evening in the country. 
Overnight: Hotel
Day 2

Early in the morning, depart on a flight for Bahir Dar

After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar (resort or hotel).
Day 3

After breakfast, continue north to Gondar

The four-hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After briefly settling in your hotel, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Gondar (hotel).
Day 4

Drive (2.5 hrs) Gondar- Michibiny (3200 m), hike to Sankaber (3250 m)

From Gondar, we drive to Michibiny with a brief stop at the Simien Mountains National Park headquarters to arrange the permit. We start the trekking easy with a 2-3 hours hike to Sankaber, a good way to acclimatize and get used to the altitude.
Overnight Sankaber
Day 5

Hike Sankaber to Gich (3600 m)

Today’s trek covers a distance of approximately 12 km and takes around 5-6 hours. The hike goes through highland grasslands, heather forests, cultivated fields and follows a spectacular escarpment with dramatic views.
We will encounter the friendly Gelada baboons, foraging in big groups. A stunning viewpoint at the Jinbar Falls is reached after clambering a few rocks. This waterfall plunges several hundred meters down the escarpment down into the abyss.
At the end of the day we pass through the welcoming village of Gich where the local people are happy to prepare a well-deserved coffee. The coffee ceremony is an important social event in Ethiopian culture. The camp for the night is not far from the village. Overnight Geech
Accommodation: Camping.
Day 6

Hike Gich to Chennek (3620 m)

This is a long but probably the most spectacular stage of the trekking, offering stunning views all the way.
Today we hike 7-8 hours to cover 12 km, including a short detour to Imet Gogo (3925 m). This summit offers the most exciting views. The giant lobelia is abundant on the Gich plateau. The majestic lammergeyer might soar the skies in front of you and the endemic thick billed raven will be present.
On your way to Chennek you pass some other major peaks (Inataye reaching 4070 meter) and a deep valley. Chennek is the best place to spot the endemic and endangered Walia Ibex. Not seldom they walk into the camp.
 Overnight Chennek
Accommodation: Camping.
Day 7

Hike Chennek to Ras Bwahit (4430 m). Drive (3 hrs) to Debark

The last day in the Simien Mountains takes us up to the Bwahit Pass (4200 m) and if you’ve got the energy, you can hike all the way to Ras Bwahit, the second highest peak of Ethiopia after Ras Dashen. Total hike is 10 km, 5-6 hrs. Not only will you likely spot the Walia Ibex, you might even spot the endemic, and extremely rare, Ethiopian Wolf. In the late afternoon, we drive back to Debark for overnight.
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge
Day 8


 After breakfast in Debark  drive down the switchbacks (4-6 hours) to Axum, Ethiopia’s most religious city which is home to an impressive display of Obelisks. The city is purported to have been the home of the Queen of Sheba. Rumour has it that the lost Ark of the Covenant is in the Church of St Mary of Zion. A short walk through the cobbled streets brings you to the stelae fields. Some of the 4th century AD granite structures rise to over 23 metres.
Overnight Axum
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge
Day 9

Gheralta Lodge

Head to Gheralta Lodge, the perfect way to end your adventure around northern Ethiopia. 
After lunch at the lodge, explore some of the rock-churches in the region. The rock churches of Tigray are astounding not just for their history, rock carvings and paintings, but also for their representation of the religious commitment of the local people. Built high into the cliff face, some of these churches are only accessible through climbing the vertical cliff, and yet they’re still used by local Ethiopians of all ages. The views from inside the churches is extraordinary. The view as the sunsets behind the mountains and the sky illuminates in dark reds, yellows and oranges is the perfect end to your adventure.
Brilliant says: You might want to consider extending your stay at Gheralta to two nights and/or upgrading to Korkor Lodge. 
Overnight Gheralta
Accommodation: Lodge
Day 10


Another full day exploring the beautiful landscapes and churches around Korkor Lodge, or simply relaxing and enjoying the view from your veranda.
Overnight Hawzien
Accommodation: Hotel or Lodge
Day 11

Mekele to Hmed Ela

In the morningyou will drive to Ahmed Ella and stop at the entrance of the Afar region to pick up your entrance permit and police to guide you through the gate of the Afar refion. You will overnight in a local hotel.
Day 12

Afar entrance to Ert Ale

In the morning you will go to Ert Ale and again pick up another police officer to ensure security. Together you will drive to Waydoom and after having a meal you will trek for about 3½ hours to arrive in the large volcanic crater of the Ert Ale volcanic mountain, a still very active volcano. You will have time to adventure around the area and enjoy visiting the volcano before nightfall. You will camp here for the night.
Day 13

Ert Ale to Ahmed Ella

Early morning trek from your campsite descending to Waydoom for breakfast at which point you will be met by your vehicle to drive you Ahmed Ella. When you arrive you will stay in a local hotel.
Day 14

Ahmed Ella to Dallol to Lake Asale to Mekele

Early morning you will head out to visit the Dallol Depression and witness the amazing bubbling sulfuric acid. Then you will visit Lake Asale which is known for being full of salt and a salt extracting area. This day also provides opportunities to take a camel caravan before returning back to Mekele via your vehicle. Overnight Mekele ( hotel ).
Day 15

Mekele -Lalibela

Drive to Lalibela through the rough nature of road but nice to experience along with the magnificent scenery ( gigantic , ups & downs landscape)
Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).
Day 16

In the morning ,visit the first group rock-hewn churche of Lalibela, Bet Medhane Alem , Bet Maryam , Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel , Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (not allowed for women). After lunch, head to the second group of rock-hewn churches which represent scenes of the heavenly Jerusalem. Finally visit the cross-shaped church of St.
George which is regarded to be the third group and is the last work of church excavation by King Lalibela. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).
Day 17

After breakfast, you will set off on mule or on foot to the church of Ashetun Mariam, about a 4 hours’ round trip. An alternative to the Ashetun Mariam trip, or if visitors are not afraid of a full day it can be done in the afternoon in addition to Ashetun Mariam, visit the the church of yimrehanne Kristos, the most popular of the church outside of Lalibela, this church is built in the late -Axumite style, with layers of wood and granite, set in the entrance to a large cavern , afterwards you will be transferred to Lalibela airport for the return Fly back to Addis Ababa and at night fly to home.


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