Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||3 nights at the 5-star Sheraton in Addis, 11 nights best-available hotels and lodges|
|Meals:||All meals included except 1 dinner|
|Activity:||Walking, Cultural Adventures|
Rugged road travel by 4WD vehicle, easy walks
- The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, medieval city of Gondar
- Tribal villages of the Karo, with their body painting, and Bume and Mursi tribes
- Spectacular festival on each trip: Timkat (January) or Meskel (September)
- Watch a Karo dance performance
- Small group—maximum 8!
This was my third trip with WT and it certainly won’t be my last. The itinerary was fascinating, our Trip Leader delightful, and the WT office wonderfully responsive.Sandra C.—New York, NY
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Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.
Ethiopia is like no other place in Africa, from its Orthodox Christian heritage, revealed in stunning rock-hewn churches, to its animistic tribes that coexist in a harsh land all but forgotten by the rest of the world. We’ve created an in-depth adventure that takes in the full sweep of this storied land, discovering intriguing places such as Axum, Ethiopia’s ancient holy city, and encountering thriving indigenous tribal cultures like the Mursi, with their clay lip plates. Our trips are timed for special festivals—January departures attend Timkat, the famed Epiphany celebration; our September trip witnesses Meskel, with its bonfires and carpets of meskel daisies.
Itinerary at a Glance
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
Addis / Axum / Lalibela / Gondar / Lake Tana
Explore Addis, with its archaeological museum and open-air markets, then fly to Axum in the highlands, where the original Ark of the Covenant is said to reside. Lalibela’s astounding rock-hewn churches and Gondar’s towering medieval castles offer a further glimpse into the history of Ethiopia, and we also bring you to an island-monastery on Lake Tana.
Rift Valley / Jinka
Heading south into Rift Valley savannas, we introduce you to Ethiopia’s fantastic tribal country with visits to Lakes Chamo and Abaya, the villages of the Dorze tribe, known for their weavings, and the bustling market town of Jinka.
Omo River Valley
Our program here is flexible, but we typically visit the Karo, who excel in body painting, and watch one of their traditional dances. We also meet the Mursi, whose men practice scarification, and hike to a Bume village.
Addis / Timkat or Meskel Festival
Our private charter flight back to Addis avoids two days of driving. In Addis, you’ll witness Timkat’s lively processions of Orthodox priests in vividly hued gowns and throngs of parishioners in traditional dress, or the dancing, feasting, and massive bonfires of Meskel. Depart on Day 15.
For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary
If you would like to continue your adventure, we offer the following extension:
- Harar Post-Trip Extension (3 days)
What the Trip is Like
The trip is Level 2+, moderate, according to our trip grading system. This is a rugged trip in a very remote region. Participants should be fit, healthy, and have no mobility restrictions. Medical facilities on the trip will be far away and often non-existent. Some mornings, we have departures as early as 5:30 am! Trip members must be prepared for some walking and some long days of rugged vehicle travel.
Accommodations at the Sheraton in Addis are excellent, as is the food at that international-standard hotel. Outside of Addis, we stay in “best available” hotels. Although there are private bathrooms in the rooms, you must expect only cold-water showers! Outside of Addis, our meals will be simple and lack variety because there are limited resources in the countryside. Ethiopia has some good beers, but the local wines are not distinguished. You may want to bring your favorite alcoholic beverage from a duty-free shop. Electricity in hotels in rural areas can be intermittent and sometimes generators are operated only during certain hours of the day.
Road travel in rural Ethiopia is very challenging. Our vehicles may break down or get flat tires on occasion, and that can delay the trip. We use vans for the trip, but they may not compare favorably with the vehicles you may be familiar with from safari countries such as Botswana and Kenya. While we are on our rural road journeys, there are no organized toilet facilities available. We will make “pit stops” from time to time so trip members can get out of the vehicle and find a private spot behind a bush.
In Ethiopia, air schedules can often be altered and new government regulations are implemented suddenly. We ask that you bring flexibility and a spirit of adventure to this unique journey, and take pleasure in the knowledge that you will be visiting a fascinating country.
Our trip is designed so that anyone in good physical condition can participate. We encourage you to make an effort to get in good physical condition with exercise beyond your normal routine.
Sep 13-29, 2015* Meskel Festival
Jan 7-21, 2016 Timkat Festival
Jan 12-26, 2016 Timkat Festival
Jan 19-Feb 2, 2016 Timkat Festival
Sep 12-26, 2016 Meskel Festival
Jan 6-20, 2017 Timkat Festival
Jan 11-25, 2017 Timkat Festival
Jan 17-31, 2017 Timkat Festival
*Please note: date change since catalog publication
**Please note our 2015 departures are 2 days longer, call for details
Prices are for 2016
$7395 (7-8 members)
$7895 (4-6 members)
Single supplement: $1290
Forced single supplement: $990
Internal airfare: $1390-$1890* (subject to change)
*Note that the internal airfare is based on using Air Ethiopia to issue your international air tickets to Addis. If you use a different international carrier, the internal airfare surcharge is $370 per person.
more on pricing
Harar Post-Trip Extension
Trip Payment Schedule
At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20% of trip cost
60 days prior to departure: Balance
Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule
More than 90 days prior to departure: No charge!
90-46 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost
Trip Cost Includes:
- Expert leadership of a Wilderness Travel Trip Leader and local guides
- Accommodations (5-star Sheraton in Addis, simple lodging outside Addis)
- All meals included except 1 dinner
- Land transportation and airport transfers for passengers on recommended flights, and baggage handling
- Sightseeing and excursions as noted in the itinerary