Ethiopia: Northern Explorer


This is a great itinerary that visits the very best of the northern historical circuit whilst offering a few hidden treasures as well, many of which are not offered, to our knowledge, by any other UK tour operator. Starting our tour in Addis we will fly to Gonder with its medieval castles and then drive up into the wonderful Simien Mountains.

But it is from Axum that the trip really becomes quite different, as we drive – rather than fly – to the World Heritage town of Lalibela via Yeha, through Eastern Tigray and one of the most visually stunning parts of the whole country, to see some of the most rarely seen rock churches. From Lalibela (which for some is considered to be the 8th wonder of the world) we then undertake an incredibly rewarding village walk, spending 2 nights with local communities in conjunction with the charity TESFA (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives).

As a fitting climax, we finally arrive in Bahir Dar for a stroll beneath the Blue Nile Falls and a boat ride on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. Read our Tour in Focus guide to Ethiopia Northern Explorer.

  • Please Note: The 09 February 2019 Northern Explorer tour and the Easter Explorer 20 April 2019 tour will travel in a slightly different order to the other departures. Please refer to the specific tour itinerary for full details.


  • Exploring the rarely visited Tigray region
  • Highland Village Walk
  • Travelling from Gonder to Lalibela by 4WD
  • UNESCO sites of Lalibela, Gonder & Axum
  • Stunning scenery of the Simien Mountains

Tour Includes:

  • Full services of a Tour Leader with local guides and drivers
  • 13 breakfasts, 14 lunches, 13 dinners (typically in local restaurants where viable)
  • All transport (4WDs, minibuses, boats and domestc flights )
  • 13 nights' accommodation (9 in hotels, 2 in loges and 2 nights in specially constructed huts (tukuls) with shared facilities)
  • All entrance fees, sightseeing, excursions and activities as per the itinerary
  • A carbon-offsetting contribution to Carbon Clear (if booking international flights through our office)


Trip rating:

Adventure Rating
Adventure Rating - 7

Tours that fall into this category are likely to involve at least a few challenging days and are often in destinations where tourism is still in its infancy.

Comfort Rating
Comfort Rating - 6

You can typically expect a mixture of accommodation with some nights being spent in comfortable and characterful places, and some in more basic places, homestays or camping, especially where choices are limited.

Fitness Rating
Fitness Rating - 7

These tours will typically involve a couple of days of easy/moderate trekking (3-5 hrs/day) or perhaps a more active approach to a cultural itinerary. For riding trips see the Riding Information section

Culture Rating
Culture Rating - 9

With this rating, you can typically expect a tour with a strong focus on culture. Depending on the trip this could involve exploring ancient sites, medieval architecture, ethnographic museums and/or having tribal encounters.

Talk to us about Ethiopia


When visiting the Simien Mountains, take binoculars - they're great for spotting Ibex and Gelada baboons.

Speak to one of our team on
1-877-725-6674 or use the simple online form below

More Group Tours in Ethiopia