This is a great itinerary that visits the best of the historical northern circuit whilst offering a few additional 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 rock-hewn 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 a community-based tourism project called TESFA (Tourism in Ethiopia for Sustainable Future Alternatives). As a fitting climax, we finally arrive in Bahir Dar for a boat ride on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile.
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.
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.
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
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 you are in Gondar - go for dinner at the Four Sisters restaurant. This is a wonderful locally- run authentic spot, which serves great food and a lively atmosphere.