The north of Ethiopia holds some of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Learn more about the historical and natural attractions of this country below.
Lalibela has been a place of pilgrimage since it was built nearly 1000 years ago. Still today, this holy city brings thousands of faithful Ethiopians and tourists from all over the world to wonder at the unimaginable feat of King Lalibela and his people, who carved these 11 churches from the bedrock using only crude hand tools.
The Danakil Depression The Danakil Depression, with its other-worldly landscapes, offers a rewarding experience for those who venture out. This is the land of the Afar nomads, who trek over barren lands with their camel caravans transporting blocks of salt mined from large salt flats for sale in the larger towns.
20 Days

Day itinerary as follows:

#DAY 1- Addis Abeba – Bahir Dar We will take the morning flight to Bahir Dar (duration approximately one hour). Bahir Dar is a beautiful city located at lake Tana. It is the capital of the Amhara Region and known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and a variety of colorful flowers. We will take a relaxing boat trip on Lake Tana and visit the peninsulas Zege with the Azwa Maryam monastery and Ura Kidanemariam. Lake Tana consists of a number of islands, some of them are inhabited. A lot of islands consist of very old monasteries and church treasures. The locals use boats made of papyrus to travel on the lake and to get and sell goods on the market. If we are lucky we will be able to see hippos. We will spend the night at the Abay Mentch Lodge.
#DAY 2- Bahir Dar – Gondar After breakfast we will head towards Gondar (180 km). The drive takes about three hours through beautiful and interesting landscapes. After checking into the hotel and having lunch we will visit the famous castle-site of emperor Fassilidas as well as the Debrebrihan Selassie church that is well known for the painting of its sealing. Afterwards we will head to the bath of emperor Fassilidas – another UNESCO world heritage site of the city. We will enjoy a traditional dinner at the Four Sister Restaurant and sleep at Hotel Goha.

#DAY 3- Gondar – Lalibela After breakfast we will take the 30 minute flight to Lalibela (9:45 am). We will be picked up from the airport and driven to the Mountain View Hotel. After lunch we will visit the first group of the 11 rock hewn churches – one of the UNESCO world heritages. We will enjoy our dinner with a fantastic panoramic view at the Ben Abeba Restaurant. Overnight at Mountain View Hotel.

#DAY 4- Lalibela After breakfast we will climb up with our guide and donkeys to visit the cloister Ashete Mariam. It is located 3200 m above sea level. It takes 2 hours to climb up (8 km). After reaching the top of the hill we will enjoy the splendid view of Lalibela and the area. In the afternoon we will visit the second group of the churches including the most famous one. Dinner at Ben Abeba Restaurant, overnight at the Mountain View hotel.

#DAY 5- Lalibela – Axum After breakfast we will take the 40 minute flight to Axum (10:35 am). After lunch we will visit the famous Obelisk and the Queen of Sheba’s Bath. Also the cathedral of St Mary of Zion can be visited. It was built in 1665 by Empereor Fasilides and due to the believe of Ethiopians it is said to have previously housed the Ark of Covenant. Only men are allowed to enter the church. Dinner and overnight at the Sabean International Hotel.

#DAY 6- Axum – Mekele Today we are going to have a full day drive to Mekele. We will spend the night in Mekele.

#DAY 7- Mekele – Afdera Early in the morning we will drive to Afdera via Abala enjoying the scenery of the road. It is going to be a full day of driving and we will arrive late in the afternoon to camp in Afdera. We will enjoy the hot springs (bring your bathing suit!) and the scenery. We will observe the workers extracting salt from the mines.

#DAY 8- Afdera – Kurwased – Dodem – Erta Ale In the morning we depart shortly after breakfast to pick up escort police from the police station. We will continue then to Kurwased to get permission from the local authority and escort additional local military. We will also arrange camels for carrying the camping gear, luggage and water for the volcano. Afterwards we will start hiking up the Erta Ale Volcano Hills (613 meters above sea level) which is 15 km one way. We are going to see the volcanic eruption which is very colorful and spectacular. At night we will camp nearby the eruption on the crater rim above the active lava lake.

#DAY 9- Erta Ale – Dodom – Hamad Ela We will wake up with the sunrise and spend some time walking around pits and craters. We will head back to Dodom before the sun gets too strong and have breakfast there. After spending some time in Dodom to pack our equipment, we will continue our tour to Hamad Ela – a village with a total population of 500 people. We will walk around the village and admire the camel caravan as they arrive to spend the night at the village where we are going to spend the night camping.

#DAY 10- Hamad Ela – Daloll – Lake Assal – Mekele -> Addis (domestic flight) After breakfast we will drive to Ragad (Asebao) where the salt is mined. We are going to learn how the salt is broken from the ground, cut into rectangular pieces and loaded on camels. Afterwards we will continue driving to Dallol and visit the different landscapes formed by volcanic activity. It is located 116 meters below sea level and one of the lowest places on earth with colorful salt mining. We will also visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people who live there. Afterwards we will drive back to Mekele and fly back to Addis Abeba where we will spend the night.

#DAY 11- Addis Abeba – Dorze / Arba Minch We will depart early heading south from Addis Abeba via Butajira. On the way we will stop by to visit the villa ge of the Gurage tribe. Afterwards we proceed to the Dorze Village set in the highlands of Arba Minch. The Dorze ethnics are unique for their elephant-beehive-like houses and their cotton weaving. We will visit their village and learn about their culture and their everyday life. We will spend the night in traditional Dorze huts with shared toilet facilities / we will spend the night at the Paradise Lodge in Arba Minch.

#DAY 12- Dorze / Arba Minch – Jinka Our traditional breakfast will be served by the locals / we will have breakfast at the lodge. Afterwards we will depart to Arba Minch for a boat trip on Lake Chamo where we will visit the “crocodile market”, hippos, birds as well as other animals and enj oy the nature of the lake. After lunch we will continue or drive to Jinka passing through Weyto Valley and arrive late in the afternoon at the Omo Eco Lodge in Jinka.

#DAY 13- Jinka – Mago – Dimeka – Turmi Very early in the morning we will drive to Mago National Park to visit the Mursi Tribes who are very well known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. After spending some hours with them we turn back to Jinka for lunch and continue our trip via Dimeka (market on Saturdays) to Turmi. We will be sleeping at the Busca Lodge in Turm the next two nights / camp with the Hamer tribe.

#DAY 14- Turmi – Omorate – Turmi In the morning we take a day trip to Omorate to visit the Dassanech tribe. Here we will cross the Omo River on a local boat in order to enter the Dassanech village. After exploring their life and interacting with them we will head back to Turmi. If a Bull Jumping (coming-of-age) Ceremony with the Hamer Tribe takes place that will be visited.

#DAY 15- Turmi – Dus – Turmi We will drive to Dus and visit the Kara people. We will be driving through the Hamer village to reach the Kara tribe. They are famous for their body decoration, body painting and scaring. They are located close to the Omo River. After exploring their way of life we will drive back to Turmi.

#DAY 16- Turmi – Erbore – Arba Minch After breakfast we will depart from Turmi to Arba Minch via Erbore where we will have a brief visit of a local village. We will spend the night at the Paradise Lodge in Arba Minch.

#DAY 17- Arba Minch – Awasa After breakfast we are going to drive to Awasa via Wolayta. On the way we will stop by the Alaba Village that can be visited. In Awasa we will visit the Amora Gedel National Parc on the lake side where we have the time to interact with velvets and Colobus monkeys. If you get lucky you might be able to see hippos in the lake. We will spend the night in a hotel in Awasa.

#DAY 18- Awasa – Addis Abeba After breakfast we depart north to Addis Abeba. On the way you may visit the Abiatta-Shala National Park. Lake Shala with ist deep blue water is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236 meters. Lake Abiatta is a soda lake at which thousands of flamingos can be seen at various times of the year. Arrive late in Addis Abeba and spend the night in a hotel.

#DAY 19- Addis Abeba After breakfast we will have a city tour of Addis with the visit of the national museum. We are also going up Entoto mountain and enjoy the view of Addis. Depending on time we will spend some time at Merkato – Africa’s biggest open market. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

#DAY 20- Surounding Addis Abeba We are going to visit a few more sights such as the Trinity Cathedral and we will do some souvenir shopping. At night we will have dinner at the Checheho – a traditional ethiopian restaurant with a traditional dance show and life music. Afterwards transfer to the airport.**

**another option for the last day is the following: We will spend the day in Debre Zeyt – a town approximately 47 km south of Addis Abeba. Debre Zeyt is one of the favorite tourist destinations in Ethiopia due to its cool climate and its location on the shores of five crater lakes (no malaria!). The town is also famous for being the favorite weekend retreat for Emperor Haile Selassie. It has a serene and peaceful environment to relax. We will spend some time at the Kuriftu Resort and Spa.

This itinerary is flexible and can be adjusted on behalf of your interest.