Ethiopia Encompassed

Group Tour

Overview

Join us on this extraordinary adventure as we explore Ethiopia's remarkable tapestry of landscapes, wildlife, history and cultures, from the fascinating tribal lands of the south, to the captivating historical sites and rugged landscapes of the north. After a brief introduction to Addis, we first head south to one of country's most culturally rich and diverse regions - the Omo Valley, home to numerous indigenous tribes. Here we will get the chance to visit these communities, hoping to gain a ...

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HIGHLIGHTS

At a glance

MEALS

17 x Breakfasts
18 x Lunches
17 x Dinners

TRANSPORT

Minibuses, 4WDs, boats, and domestic flights

GROUP SIZE

Maximum: 12

EXPERT TEAM

The full services of a Wild Frontiers Tour Leader with local guides where appropriate

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodation as outlined in the itinerary

ENTRANCE FEES

All entrance fees for sights mentioned in the itinerary

FITNESS RATING

Moderate

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 7318 Wild Miles

ACCOMMODATION

Wherever possible we aim to use characterful accommodation that enhances the overall travel experience. This can obviously vary greatly across both countries and tours. On this particular trip we will be in hotels and lodges, with two nights wild camping. Please note that the accommodation mentioned in the itinerary is intended as a guide only and is always subject to availability.

FITNESS RATING

LOW: You should be comfortable walking around towns and cultural sites. May include some optional walks (typically 1-2hrs).

LOW/MODERATE: May be of a long duration and/or involve numerous border-crossings. May include easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-3hrs/day). You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle.

MODERATE: May include several easy/moderate day walks (up to 2-5hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You should be relatively fit and lead a generally active lifestyle. Previous experience of similar trips helpful.

MODERATE/HIGH: May involve several days of moderate hiking (up to 3-6 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

HIGH: May involve several days of moderate/strenuous trekking (up to 4-7 hrs/day) possibly at altitude. You must be a very fit and active traveller with appropriate trekking experience.

Wild Miles Club

When you book a trip with Wild Frontiers you are awarded points, which are based on the return distance from London to the arrival city of your trip. Points are awarded for all our holidays, including both our escorted group tours and tailor-made trips. When you accrue points, you will qualify for the following discounts on all future bookings:

Blue More than 10,000 points 2.5% discount
Bronze More than 30,000 points 5% discount
Silver More than 45,000 points 7.5% discount
Gold More than 60,000 points 10% discount

Positive Impact of this Trip

Tree
Ten trees are planted per passenger on this trip
Community
Supports Wild Frontiers Foundation community projects
Wind Turbine
A contribution to renewable energy projects

Map & Itinerary

Individual departures may vary so please refer to the information in the tour specific links in the Dates and Prices section below

Ethiopia Encompassed
EXPAND ALL ITINERARY DAYS
COLLAPSE ALL ITINERARY DAYS

Day 1 Tour starts in Addis Ababa with City Tour

Day 1 Tour starts in Addis Ababa with City Tour

Meeting at our hotel this morning, there will be time to relax and freshen up before having lunch and an orientation tour around Ethiopia’s busy capital, including Unity Park and the National Museum. In the evening we’ll have an early dinner back at our hotel in preparation for the trip ahead.

Capital Hotel And Spa or similar
Lunch, Dinner

Day 2 Addis Ababa – Arba Minch: Journey into the Omo Valley

Day 2 Addis Ababa – Arba Minch: Journey into the Omo Valley

Be prepared for a very long travel day and an early start, as we head south about 500kms in our 4WD landcruisers through the East Africa Rift Valley towards Arba Minch. The journey will take all day and en route we plan to visit a few sites such as the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Tiya, a stelae field, and the rock-hewn church of Adadi Maryam. In the evening we arrive to Arba Minch, located on the shores of Lake Chamo in Ethiopia's deep south, and the gateway to the diverse tribal lands of the Omo Valley and beyond. Over the next few days we will gain an insight not only into the traditions and customs of the different indigenous communities, but also learn more about the external challenges which affect their traditional way of life, and the efforts being made to help promote cultural preservation and sustainable development.

Haile Resort Arba Minch or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3 Arba Minch: Lake Chamo Boat Trip & Dorze Village Visit

Day 3 Arba Minch: Lake Chamo Boat Trip & Dorze Village Visit

This morning we can enjoy a wonderful boat trip on Lake Chamo, an area rich in flora and fauna. One can spot many hippos and often a spectacular concentration of giant crocodiles, locally known as "Crocodile Market”. The water birds are plentiful and the scenery is truly unforgettable. We should also get a glimpse of life on the lake as we look out for locals fishing for Nile perch and many other species on their traditional boats. This afternoon we then travel just a short way outside of Arba Minch to Chencha, which is the focal point for the Dorze people. This tribe is renowned for their weaving skills and today we will visit one of their villages. Their homes, known locally as ‘ele’, are remarkable structures resembling beehives built entirely from organic materials. The design allows for natural ventilation and helps regulate temperature, with the taller homes reaching an incredible 12 metres in height.

Haile Resort Arba Minch or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4 Arba Minch – Turmi: Konso Conservation & Local Markets

Day 4 Arba Minch – Turmi: Konso Conservation & Local Markets

Today we make our way south to Turmi, passing through the remote heartlands of the Konso, Derase, Ari, Tsemai and Banna peoples, all of which have lived here with their own traditional culture and customs for centuries. En route we visit a lively local market as well as a Konso village, where we can gain more of an insight into the Konso Cultural Landscape, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. An example of unique land management practices, the area includes traditional terraced agricultural fields, stone-walled settlements, forest protection and grave sites of the Konso people, all of which showcase a strong connection to the land and how the community has been actively involved in conserving their environment for centuries. We arrive to Turmi in the afternoon where we will then settle in for the evening.

Buska Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5 Turmi: Tribal Traditions of the Karo & Hamer Communities

Day 5 Turmi: Tribal Traditions of the Karo & Hamer Communities

This morning we head to Murelle to visit the tribal villages of Kortcho, home to the Karo. Thought to be one of the most vulnerable populations of the Omo peoples, with perhaps only 1000-1500 individuals remaining, the Karo are traditionally pastoralists, and are famous for their flamboyant hairstyles and body painting. Body painting serves as a multifaceted practice, encompassing cultural, artistic, aesthetic, and spiritual aspects, and plays a vital role in preserving their cultural identity and providing a visual representation of their rich heritage. This afternoon, we then spend some time visiting a Hamer village. Thought to be descended from the ancient Egyptians, the Hamer are also pastoralists by custom and are one of the largest ethnic groups in the region. The Hamer are known for their distinct culture, traditional practices, and vibrant ceremonies, in particular the bull jumping ceremony. Known as "Ukuli Bula" in their language, this ceremony is a rite of passage for young men to transition into adulthood and marriage. The ceremony involves the young man running across the backs of bulls while naked, proving his courage and strength. It is also an opportunity for young women to demonstrate their support and show their eligibility for marriage.

Buska Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6 Turmi – Jinka: Key Afer Market & Mursi Village

Day 6 Turmi – Jinka: Key Afer Market & Mursi Village

Heading north once again we first drive to the lively Key Afer Market which occurs every Thursday. This market provides a platform for the different ethnic communities to come together and trade livestock, agricultural products and handicrafts, as well as take part in cultural performances and ceremonies. From here we then visit the Mursi people, renowned for their elaborate body modifications, particularly lip plates. Young girls typically have their lower lips pierced, and progressively larger clay or wooden plates are inserted over time, a practice which is considered a symbol of beauty and cultural identity. Mursi men also engage in scarification, creating intricate patterns on their bodies using razor blades. Understanding and respecting the cultural significance and uniqueness of the Mursi people is essential for visitors interested in their way of life, and our guide will be able to give us more of an insight during our visit.

Eco-Omo Safari Lodge or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 Jinka – Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar

Day 7 Jinka – Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar

We say goodbye to the south today as we fly to Bahir Dar, via Addis Ababa. Most of the day will be dedicated to travelling, but on arrival there should be some time for some initial exploration of this attractively located lakeside city.

Blue Nile Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8 Bahir Dar: Lake Tana Boat Trip & Blue Nile Falls

Day 8 Bahir Dar: Lake Tana Boat Trip & Blue Nile Falls

This morning we board a boat and take a trip out on to Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake. The islands and peninsulas of Lake Tana host more than 20 monastic churches, many of them founded by Amda Tsion in the 14th century. Visit the beautifully decorated Ura Kidane Mihret Monastery located on the forested Zege Peninsula, as well as Bete Selassie which was rebuilt in 1858 and is home to beautiful paintings, despite the simple exterior of the church. On our return we then drive to Tisissat, followed by a short 30-minute walk along an uneven path to visit the Blue Nile Falls, known as Tis Abay (Smoke of the Nile). Here the waterfall plunges 45 metres down before continuing its journey to join the White Nile in Khartoum. Once one of Africa's most spectacular falls, today they have unfortunately been drastically demised due to the completion of a hydro-electric plant that diverts 95% of the water when operating, so water levels are unpredictable. A suspension bridge takes us to the foot of the falls and from here we can take a pleasant walk around the other side of the falls, before crossing back on a short boat trip across the Blue Nile to our starting point, and back to Bahir Dar.

Blue Nile Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9 Bahir Dar – Gonder: Medieval Castles & Colourful Murals

Day 9 Bahir Dar – Gonder: Medieval Castles & Colourful Murals

From Bahir Dar we drive north today around the eastern edge of Lake Tana to the town of Gonder. The 185km trip takes about 3 hours and we will be able to experience the countryside away from the towns and historical sites. This afternoon we then discover the key sites of the ancient capital, including the Debre Birhan Selassie church (Light of Trinity) with its wonderful murals. We also visit the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its medieval castles, architecturally unique and unlike anything else found in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Goha Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10 Explore the Simien Mountains

Day 10 Explore the Simien Mountains

We have an early start this morning as we set off to spend the day exploring the stunning landscapes of the Simen Mountains National Park, located around 2.5hrs away from Gonder. One of the largest ranges in Africa, here we can see vaulting granite columns, towering escarpments and plummeting valleys, all home to a vast assortment of wildlife, including Gelada Monkeys, the Simien fox, bushbuck and the magnificent Lammergeyer vulture. Taking a picnic lunch with us we walk along the escarpment taking in the exceptional views and hopefully spotting some of the wildlife, before returning to Gonder in the early evening.

Goha Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11 Gonder – Lalibela: Rock-hewn Churches

Day 11 Gonder – Lalibela: Rock-hewn Churches

This morning we catch a flight to Lalibela, arriving late morning. This isolated town, situated high up in the Lasta Mountains, is famous throughout the world for its incredible rock-hewn churches. At 2,630m and perched among wild mountains, the setting is fantastic. From the 10th to the mid-13th century it was the capital of the Zagwe Dynasty that ruled the country and it was under the direction of its most famous King, Lalibela, that the churches were carved. He gathered together the greatest craftsmen possible and some estimate as many as 40,000 people were required to create the churches. This incredible group of monuments consists of six churches to the north and five churches to the south, and the churches are linked by a series of rock hewn tunnels similar to catacombs. After settling into our hotel and enjoying an early lunch, this afternoon we visit the first cluster of UNESCO World Heritage Site churches, included the famous church of St. George, or Bete Giyorgis, carved in the shape of a cross from the red tuff.

Maribela Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12 Lalibela: Rock-hewn Churches & Culinary Delights

Day 12 Lalibela: Rock-hewn Churches & Culinary Delights

Enjoy a slower start this morning, before we set off to learn about the traditional methods of producing Ethiopia’s unique culinary delights. Our host will welcome us and show us how they cook typical Ethiopian food, usually a spicy vegetable and lentil stews and slow-simmered meats. They will also show us a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which is a wonderful opportunity to share in a core cultural custom of Ethiopia, which centres around socialising with relatives, neighbours and other visitors. This afternoon we can then enjoy a visit to the second cluster of staggering rock hewn churches. In the evening we'll take a trip to a tej house to sample the local liquor, followed by dinner at a traditional restaurant.

Maribela Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13 Lalibela – Weldiya with Amhara Village Visit

Day 13 Lalibela – Weldiya with Amhara Village Visit

Today we spend most of the day driving east to Weldiya, offering a glimpse into the landscapes and rural communities of the Amhara region. En route we can visit a local village, home to an Amhara community. The Amhara are one of the largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia, speaking Amharic, Ethiopia’s official language, and have a rich cultural heritage which can be seen through their music, art, dance, clothing and cuisine.

Lal Hotel or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14 Weldiya – Semera with Afar Village Visit

Day 14 Weldiya – Semera with Afar Village Visit

It’s another long drive today as we make our way to Semera, the gateway to the Danakil, passing from the highlands down to the lowland landscapes. En route we stop at an Afar village where we can observe rural life in this area. Traditionally, the Afar people have been nomadic pastoralists, relying on livestock, particularly camels, goats, and sheep, for their livelihood, and moving across vast areas in search of water and grazing land for their animals. However, due to various factors such as modernization and changing climatic conditions, some Afar people have transitioned to settled agricultural or semi-nomadic lifestyles. Continuing on to Semera we settle in for the evening. Here we will obtain the necessary permission required to enter the Danakil region tomorrow.

LEVA Afar Semera Resort or similar
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15 Semera – Ahmed Ela: Discovering Dallol

Day 15 Semera – Ahmed Ela: Discovering Dallol

This morning we will make our way northwards into the barren landscape of the Danakil Desert. All the while we will be slowly losing altitude and by the time we reach Lake Afrera we will be 100m below sea level. Continuing north to Dallol, the driving is all off road, through the desert. Dallol is like nowhere else; a bizarre landscape of colourful mineral deposits, sulphur pools and geysers, where we’ll have the afternoon to explore this seemingly alien terrain. We will also visit the striking landscape of the salt canyons, before driving to Ahmed Ela, a small settlement where the salt caravans meet before their long walk to Mekele. Here we will camp for the night.

Wild Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16 Ahmed Ela – Erta Ale: Volcano Adventure

Day 16 Ahmed Ela – Erta Ale: Volcano Adventure

After another chance to visit Dallol this morning, we head towards Erta Ale Volcano, which literally translates to ‘Smoking Mountain’ in Afar language. Reaching Kuswarad, an Afar village where we pick up our local guides, we then continue through the desert where we reach the basalt rock formed by old lava flows. After getting off our vehicle, we trek to the rim of the volcano at around sunset, to avoid walking during the heat of the day. The trek will take about 45-60 minutes, with the latter part of the walk taking part in the dark. The path is not that steep, but it is important everyone has a torch and sticks together. We camp on the crater rim, a safe distance away from the lava. Here we will hopefully be able to witness the volcano in all its glory, and see the beauty of its lava lake, one of only six active lava lakes in the world.

Wild Camp
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17 Erta Ale – Semera – Addis Ababa

Day 17 Erta Ale – Semera – Addis Ababa

We return to Semera today to catch our flight back to Addis. Enjoy a well-earned shower at the hotel before having an evening at leisure to unwind after a busy few days.

Capital Hotel And Spa or similar
Breakfast, Lunch

Day 18 Addis Ababa City Tour & Departure

Day 18 Addis Ababa City Tour & Departure

Enjoy a free morning to relax at the hotel or explore independently at leisure. After checking out of our hotel, we will then meet for a late lunch, followed by an afternoon exploring more of the city, including the Ethnological Museum - located in the former Emperor Haile Selassie's palace grounds, and the Merkato - the largest open-air market in Africa. We can also pay a visit to the church of the Holy Trinity, which houses some stunning stained glass windows, and whose dome is a prominent landmark in the city. After our final dinner, what better way to end our adventure than listening to some mesmerising Ethio-jazz at one of the city hotspots. Those on the suggested group flight will then be transferred to the airport late this evening.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

ACCOMMODATION USED ON THIS TOUR

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Hotel Rating

Ultra
The best of the best, the ultimate in luxury
Luxury
Outstanding service and facilities, giving you the 5* experience
Premium
Excellent standards offering a higher-end experience
Superior
Good quality service and overall comfort
Simple
No frills, basic accommodation, but often in the most exciting of places

Accommodation displayed here should be taken as a guide only. *Please refer to the Detailed Itinerary of your individual departure for more information.

PRIVATE HOLIDAYS: DATES DON’T FIT?

All group tours can be taken on a private basis.

Additional Details

Responsible Travel

With local people, culture and eco-systems in mind, responsible travel and sustainable tourism are at the core of Wild Frontiers. We believe that a successful trip not only delivers a unique and unsurpassable journey for our travellers but also benefits the people and places we visit.

When designing our tours, we actively seek out experiences that have a positive impact on the communities and precious environments we visit - from supporting social enterprises; resting our heads in rural homestays; and eating at locally owned restaurants; to helping fund conservation projects that protect wildlife and their habitats. 

Visit the Responsible Travel area of our website to read more, including the work of the Wild Frontiers Foundation through which we fundraise to aid community empowerment and education projects.

Supporting Education in Ethiopia

The Wild Frontiers Foundation is proud to support Camara Education, an international charity and social enterprise that uses recycled technology to deliver 21st century skills to improve education in disadvantaged communities around the world.

The Wild Frontiers Foundation has funded the installation of computer classrooms - 25 recycled computers, loaded with educational software - in three schools in Ethiopia. Teachers from the schools are also trained in basic digital literacy skills, simple hardware maintenance and how to use the computers to teach various subjects.

With access to this technology, students are learning new skills to improve their education and ultimately gain better future employment.

Promoting Gender Quality

Wild Frontiers is sponsoring the Gonder Girls’ Football Team. The team initiative, set up by partners Link Ethiopia, promotes gender quality, builds confidence, and develops the leadership skills of girls aged 13 to 16. Training twice a week, it also provides opportunities for girls to move beyond the limitations of traditional gender roles in a fun, safe environment and develop a supportive network of friends, while improving their physical fitness.

The programme also runs regular sessions for the 20 girls on puberty, sexual health, family planning, and the right over their bodies, along with providing menstrual hygiene management kits.

Support for the Omo Valley communities

The tribal communities in the Omo Valley face numerous challenges, including rapid modernization, land displacement, climate change and limited representation in decision-making processes. Through responsible tourism practices, we can help preserve cultural heritage and promote sustainable development, which in turn can help secure land rights and empower these communities to more effectively address their needs. Respectful engagement is vital, allowing us to gain a deeper understanding for local traditions and customs and help foster positive cultural exchange.

Reducing Single Use Plastic

We recognise the environmental issues and challenges around single-use plastic in many countries we visit and are actively working with our partners on the ground to reduce plastic waste on our tours and within the hotels and restaurants we visit. You can help to reduce your personal plastic waste by taking a refillable, filtered water bottle with you on your trip. Filtered water bottles can be refilled from water sources including your hotel room and restaurant taps, drinking fountains and refill stations. Every time you refill your bottle without the use of single-use plastic, you will be helping to reduce waste and protect the environment. Filtered Water Bottles | Wild Frontiers (wildfrontierstravel.com)

Supplementary Information

The Omo Valley & Photography

The Omo Valley & Photography

The Omo Valley is not an easy place to visit, even for the most experienced of travellers. Over the years tourism has been allowed to develop there without much thought for the local people. With the best will in the world, no one tour group or tour company is going to be able to “undo” years of bad habits but by having an understanding of the issues and focusing on market days we at least hope this trip will be able to offer a more satisfying experience for both clients and the locals. However please come prepared for an experience that will undoubtedly be memorable but may also prove challenging at times. It should also be noted that photography is one of the only sources of currency for the people in this remote part of Ethiopia and payment will be expected for photographs taken in each village.  Your tour leader will be able to advise on the relevant etiquette during your time in the Omo Valley.

Getting There

If you would like us to send you a quote for the suggested tour flights or on any alternative flight that may suit you better, please let us know, noting that for our US clients, we will most likely refer you to one of our preferred partners. For this trip our suggested flights from the UK (subject to change) are shown below.

If you wish to arrange your own flights you are completely free to do so and in this case we can arrange any transfers or supplementary accommodation that you may require. However please note that if you are planning on making your own flight arrangements, we recommend that you first check with us to see if the trip is guaranteed. We then suggest that you purchase flights that are flexible and ideally refundable as due to the nature of adventure travel, itineraries and destination accessibility can change at any time. For more information, please refer to our booking conditions.
 

Flight Code Departing Arriving
ET 701 London Heathrow (LHR) 20:00 Addis Ababa Airport (ADD) 07:00
ET 700 Addis Ababa Airport (ADD) 01:35 London Heathrow (LHR) 06:35

Visas

VISAS

Visas are necessary for many of the destinations we travel to and while we aim to provide you with the most up-to-date information, requirements frequently change and as such for the latest advice we advise that you check with the relevant embassies or contact a reputable visa agency. More details can be found here - https://www.wildfrontierstravel.com/visa

For this tour UK passport holders currently require a visa for Ethiopia, which can be obtained as an e-visa.

Passports should ideally be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the end of your tour.

Non-UK passport holders or non-UK residents should contact the relevant embassies for individual requirements.

VACCINATIONS & ADDITIONAL TRAVEL REQUIREMENTS

A Yellow Fever vaccination certificate is a mandatory requirement for travellers arriving from, or transiting through, a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

For all destinations, please make sure you are up-to-date with any standard vaccinations (e.g. MMR, Hepatitis A, Tetanus) as recommended by your local health care provider. 

Malaria is present in some parts of Ethiopia and precautions are essential.

For the most up-to-date information on all vaccination requirements and the most suitable anti-malarial tablets, we strongly suggest that you seek advice from your local travel centre or consult an official travel health website such as www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk or www.travelhealthpro.org.uk

Covid Testing: No mandatory testing is currently required for vaccinated or unvaccinated travellers.

If necessary further details will be sent out to you upon booking, however ensuring that correct and valid visas & vaccinations are obtained remains the sole responsibility of the client.

Extensions

If you have more time available, why not arrive early to adjust to a new time zone or just to get a feel for the country before your tour starts? Alternatively, you might choose to allow a few extra days after the tour to relax or to undertake some further exploration.

The choice is completely yours and we can usually arrange anything from simply additional accommodation and transfers to full tailor-made itineraries*. Please contact the office for more details and to discuss your requirements.

*Please note bespoke, tailor-made itineraries need to be a minimum of 7 days and we can only offer them in countries where we have a tailor-made expert

Governmental Travel Advice

Many governments issue advice which highlights potential hazards their citizens might experience when travelling abroad. We strongly suggest you refer to your country’s particular advisory site before booking and contact us if you have any queries or concerns. Click to follow links to the advice of the British Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or the US State Department.

Non-UK citizens should consult the travel advice of their respective governments.

Warning

The FCDO advises against all but essential travel to much of this itinerary, however please note that this information is subject to change.

Wild Frontiers has many years’ experience of running trips which contravene FCDO advice but these decisions that are never taken lightly and are always taken in conjunction with our local partners after extensive consultation. As part of the booking process, you will need to sign a disclaimer to confirm you have read the advice, that you are still happy to travel and that you will obtain travel insurance which is not invalidated by the FCDO advice.

For more information, please see the Insurance section or contact us. Non-UK clients should be sure to check the travel advice of their own governments as well as the small print of their insurance policies. Should you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Key Information

CLIMATE

Throughout most of Ethiopia, February and October represent transitional periods between wet and dry seasons.

The weather is typically mild with warm days and cool nights, and you can expect some rain. In the north, temperatures can range from around 20 to 25 degrees Celsius during the day, and cooler temperatures at night. In the south, you may experience warmer temperatures, with daytime temperatures ranging from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius, with relatively cooler nights.

The Danakil Depression is one of the hottest places on Earth so please come prepared. Our trips to the Danakil run from Oct - Feb as this is the cooler time of year but this can still mean daytime temperatures up to and around 40C. Night time temperatures in the Danakil are in the 20s (C) and rainfall is very rare.

IS THIS TRIP FOR ME?

It may sound obvious but Wild Frontiers tours are not always for everyone and it is important to us that the tour you choose is the most suitable. All our tours have a fitness rating as a guideline but you should check the day-by-day itinerary carefully. In certain instances we may ask you to complete a travel questionnaire before confirming your booking in order to ensure your suitability. Should you have any concerns about your ability to partake in any aspect of the tour then please contact the office.

KEY ASPECTS TO CONSIDER

Anyone in a good state of health, reasonably fit, with an open mind and a big sense of adventure should be able to cope with this tour. However, please note that there will be some long days in the car and when visiting some of the sights you will be on your feet walking around. In addition, the camping will be very basic with no facilities and at times, especially when at Erta Ale, the temperatures may be very hot! During days in the Danakil, temperatures can exceed 40C so you must be able to cope with extreme heat.

Please note that if it become logistically viable in the future to include the historic site of Axum, we would endeavour to do so in lieu of the current two travelling days between Lalibela and Semera.

Due to the ever-changing nature of the volcano and the region, the visibility of the lava lake and lava flows may vary. Please contact the office for the current situation and up to date information.

Please be advised that on this trip vegetarians can be catered for but the selection and variety may be limited. Other dietary requirements may be very difficult to provide for, but that said we will do our best.

THE NATURE OF ADVENTURE TRAVEL

We feel that it’s worth pointing out that while we will always strive to stick as close to the stated itinerary as possible, it may be necessary from time to time to make changes to our itineraries or services (due to weather, political and religious influences etc.) and this can happen with little or no notice. This unpredictability can be one of the most exciting aspects of adventure travel and for many of our clients often leads to unexpected highlights as the tour-leader necessarily adapts the tour to the changing conditions. However we are aware that this lack of assuredness may not suit everyone. As such, with the greatest respect, if you are someone who needs to know that everything will happen exactly as planned, we would kindly suggest that perhaps our tours are not for you. Adventure travel can be infectious and once you’ve caught the bug, it is likely to never leave you, but especially if this is your first such tour we would strongly urge you to give us a call if you have any concerns whatsoever about your suitability for this trip.

TRAVELLING SOLO AND SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS

As a company approximately 70% of our clients are solo travellers, so it’s very unlikely you’ll be alone!

Our prices are typically based on twin-share accommodation but single supplements are not compulsory for any Wild Frontiers tour. If you prefer not to pay a single supplement we’ll pair you with someone else of the same sex for you to share with throughout the trip. On this trip, if you do opt to pay for a single supplement then please note that it will cover you for all nights of the tour, including camping nights.

Please note that paying a single supplement entitles you to lone occupancy of a single room. In many cases these rooms will be of the same size as a double/twin room, but in some cases they may be smaller.

INSURANCE

Insurance that provides cover for emergency repatriation in case of a medical emergency is compulsory for all tours. You should be aware that due to some of the geographical areas visited and some of the activities included on certain of our trips some standard insurance policies may not always provide adequate cover. As such we strongly recommend that you purchase a policy that adequately covers your trip. Please see the Insurance section for more details.

General Information

TOUR PRICE

All our tours are priced on a land-only basis, giving you maximum flexibility when deciding how to get to and from your tour.

DEPOSIT

A 10% deposit is required to confirm your booking.

PROTECTION FOR YOUR MONEY

For further details please see our travelling with peace of mind page

WILD MILES

This tour will earn you 7318 Wild Miles

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

We believe in a completely transparent approach to pricing with no hidden extras. As such, please note that the following are not included in the cost of the tour.

Visas & Travel Insurance: Visas will always be tour/nationality dependent but travel insurance is mandatory
Tips: Always optional but some guidance will be given in the pre-departure information documents
International Flights: Please ask us for an obligation-free quote for flights which originate in the UK
Airport Transfers: We include complimentary transfers if arriving/departing on the suggested group flights
Beverages & any costs of a personal nature: This will include items such as laundry and souvenirs

WILD FRONTIERS COMMUNITY

If you’re still not sure if this trip is right or just want to see get some different perspectives, then why not have a look at the wide variety of resources we have on our website? Browse our community section to read our blogs, watch videos and find out about our events. 

WHY WILD FRONTIERS?

We are frequently asked what makes Wild Frontiers different from other tour operators. Visit our Why Wild Frontiers page to find out.