January 15-31, 2019
Experience Ethiopia’s rich history, culture and diverse wildlife on this 17 day journey. Simien Mountains National Park is known for its breath-taking views and spectacular wildlife from precipitous cliffs and deep, canyon-style gorges to species such as the Simien fox or Ethiopian wolf as well as the endemic Gelada baboon. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the Ethiopian culture than to celebrate Timket Festival in Gondar with the locals. Aside from this you will journey to the highest park in Africa, Bale Mountains National Park where you will visit numerous glacial lakes, the largely unexplored Harenna Forst and more before heading to Lake Abiata-Shalla National Park. Combining the history with the rock-hewn churches and Timket Festival with the beautiful landscape and species in the national parks this is an itinerary ensuring an experience unlike any other!
Day 1: Arrive to Addis Ababa. City Tour and transfer to hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Drive to Simien Mountain, short trek and exploring of the park.
Day 3: Explore Simien Mountain by going into Chenek and Sankaber.
Day 4: Drive to Gondar. Pre-Timket festivities in PM and evening Timket Festival.
Day 5: Spend the day at Timket Festival. In the PM visit the church of Debra Berham Selassie
Day 6: Fly to Lalibela. Visit rock hewn churches and exploring the city.
Day 7: Excursion to Asheton Maryam Church & visit remaining rock hewn churches.
Day 8: Fly to Addis & drive to Awassa passing by Debre Zeit. Birdwatching at Lake Ziway.
Day 9: Drive to Bale Mountains National Park. Arrive to Dinshow in the PM.
Day 10: Drive to Sanetti Plateau in AM. PM visit to Harena Forest.
Day 11: AM game drive in Bale Mountains National Park. PM drive to Langano
Day 12: AM visit twin lakes in Lake Abiata-Shalla National Park. PM drive to Arba Minch.
Day 13: Boat trip to Lake Chamo & drive to Jinka.
Day 14: AM excursion to see culture of Mursi women. PM journey to Turmi.
Day 15: Drive to Koricho. PM visit of the Hamer vicinity.
Day 16:Drive to Arba Munch visiting Konso tribal village en-route. Day 17:AM visit to Dorze tribe and their village. Fly to Addis. Depart for home.
Interested in more information? Please contact Africa Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Africa Easy Team.
January 15-31, 2019
Day 01 – Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – Arrive to Addis Ababa – Overnight at Sheraton Hotel
Depart from home city and arrive in Addis Ababa. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by a representative and driven to your hotel. If your flight to Addis Ababa is in the late evening hours, you shall be transferred to your hotel and your trip down Gondar will begin the following morning. However, if the flight to Addis Ababa is in the early morning hours you shall have a full/half day city tour depending on the time of arrival. No meals are included today.
The name of the city, in Amharic, means “new flower”. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain (3,000 meters above sea level). It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25°C. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open air markets in Africa, known as the “Mercato”. It also has a good number of restaurants and discotheques. Overnight stay Sheraton Hotel or a hotel of similar standard.
Day 02 – Wednesday, January 26, 2019 – Fly to Gondar / Drive to Simien Mountain – Overnight at Limalimo Lodge
Early in the morning transferred to the airport for your flight to Gondar. Up on arrival you shall journey to the Simien Mountains which are undoubtedly among Africa’s most beautiful ranges. In the park, the highest mountain is Ras Dashen, at 4,543 meters above sea level and is appropriately named as ‘The Roof of Africa’. These spectacular segments of the Simien Mountain, termed as the wildest and most spectacular site of all the Ethiopian Landscapes is home to many endemic animals like the Ethiopian Wolf, Waliya Ibex and plants like Giant Lobelia. This massive 4,000 meters-high table of rock offers easy but immensely rewarding trekking along the edge of a plateau that falls sheer to the plains far below. The scenery and the variety of wildlife will leave you speechless. The day will be dedicated to do short trek and explore the park. Overnight stay Limalimo Lodge. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 03 – Thursday, January 17, 2019 – Simien Mountain – Overnight at Limalimo Lodge
In the next day you will have more time to explore the mountain by going to Chenek and Sankaber. This is one of the best areas to see the endemic Walia Ibex, a large mountain goat unique to Ethiopia, with distinctively patterned fore-legs and large, ridged horns. Overnight stay in Limalimo Lodge. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 04 – Friday, January 18, 2019 – Drive to Gondar / Timkat Eve – Overnight at Goha Hotel
After breakfast you shall be driving to Gondar. Gondar was the first capital city of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas. In Gondar, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. The city seems more European than African and also has Islamic influences. You will check-in to our hotel then have the afternoon to witness the pre-Timket festivities (which are just as exciting as the actual festival day). Tonight is the eve of Timket – the biggest religious festival in Ethiopia marking the Epiphany (or baptism of Christ). Local priests carry tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) from their churches to Fasiladas’ Bath in Gondar where they are guarded overnight. The baths, empty for the rest of the year, have been filled with water for the occasion. The parade of tabots is brilliantly colourful and you will dedicate the afternoon (from about 1.30pm) to watching all the action. Overnight stay Goha Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 05 – Saturday, January 19, 2019 – Timket Festival and sightseeing – Overnight at Goha Hotel
Today is the main celebration day for the Timket Festival and is marked by a public holiday. You start very early in the morning (around 5:00am) with a transfer to Fasiladas’ Bath where priests and faithful Christians have spent an all night vigil watching over the tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant). Crowds gather at the Bath in the morning where the water is blessed and splashed over the tabots. We will witness the whole baptism ceremony where religious vows are renewed before the tabots are paraded back to church accompanied by a furor of singing and dancing. The spectacle of thousands of white-robed faithful following a procession of colourful and elaborately dressed priests is truly incredible. It is impossible not to get caught up in the fever of excitement associated with this celebration. Afterwards, you will visit the church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity) (termed by UNESCO as one of the World’s heritages) its walls and ceilings decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history it shows the religious art of the Gondarian period. The interior is decorated with beautiful frescoes. Overnight stay Goha Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 06 – Sunday, January 20, 2019 – Fly to Lalibela / visit rock hewn churches – Overnight at Mountain View Hotel
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport to take your flight to Lalibela. The city is located at 2,600 meters above sea level. It contains 11monolithic churches that were built in the twelfth century and are carved out of the pink granite rock; they have been classified as one of the wonders of the world. Each church has a unique architectural style; all are superbly carved and most of them are decorated with well-preserved paintings. The entire city may be described as a sculpture dedicated to the glory of God. The Rest of the day will be dedicated to visit the first group of rock hewn churches and exploring the city itself. Overnight stay Mountain View Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 07 – Monday, January 21, 2019 – Visit to Asheton Maryam Church / rock hewn churches – Overnight at Mountain View Hotel
Today you will have an excursion to Asheton Maryam church and enjoy the remaining rock hewn churches. Overnight stay Mountain View Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today
Day 08 – Tuesday, January 22, 2019 – Fly to Addis / Drive to Awassa passing by Debre Zeit – Overnight at Haile Resort
After breakfast, transfer to the airport catch the flight that will bring you back to Addis. Up on arrival you shall directly drive to Awassa passing by the volcanic lakes of Debre Zeit, and you will stop by at Lake Ziway which is ideal for bird watching and photographing. Overnight stay Haile Resort Hotel or similar. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 09 – Wednesday, January 23, 2019 – Drive to Bale Mountains National Park – Overnight at Bale Mountain Lodge
In the morning you will drive to the Bale Mountains National Park where fertile land is cultivated by the Oromo people. You shall arrive at Dinsho (Park Head Quarters) in the afternoon where you shall spot a few endemic birds then continue our drive to Bale lodge for the night. Overnight stay in Bale Mountain Lodge or a hotel of similar standards. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 10 – Thursday, January 24, 2019 – Drive to Sanetti Plateu / Visit to Harena Forest – Overnight at Bale Mountain Lodge
After an early breakfast you shall drive to the second highest mountain in the country with an altitude of 4377 meters, to Sanetti Plateau. Here you may spot several endemic flora and fauna species including the illusive Ethiopian Wolf (Simien Fox) and indigenous plants like the giant Lobelia and giant heath. Also you will visit the Harena forest, where you will be able to spot different endemic birds. Overnight stay in Bale Mountain Lodge or a hotel of similar standards. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 11 – Friday, January 25, 2019 – AM Game Drive / PM drive to Langano – Overnight at Sabana Resort
Morning Game drive in Bale Mountains National then you shall drive to Langano. Overnight stay in Sabana Resort or a hotel of similar standards. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 12 – Saturday, January 26, 2019 – Lake Abiata-Shalla National Park / Drive to Arba Minch – Overnight at Paradise Lodge
Today you will visit the twin lakes in Lake Abiata-Shalla National Park, famous for flocks of flamingos and great white pelicans. Though the park has been intruded upon by settlers with their domestic animals and plantations, it is still worth a visit. Abiata is a shallow brackish lake home to colonies of flamingos. Lake Shalla is a crater lake has a depth of about 820 feet and is surrounded by sulphur springs. Afterwards you shall drive to Arba Minch for the night. Overnight stay Paradise lodge or a hotel with similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 13 – Sunday, January 27, 2019- Boat trip to Lake Chamo / Drive to Jinka – Overnight at Eco Omo Resort
Arba Minch meaning ‘Forty Springs’ in Amharic takes its name from the bubbling forty streams that cover the groundwater forest occupying the flats of the town. After breakfast you will have a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where you can spot many Hippos and see giant crocodiles. The water birds are great and the scenery is truly unforgettable. Then, you shall continue drive to Jinka for the night. Overnight stay at Eco Omo Resort or a hotel of similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 14 – Monday, January 28, 2019 – Culture of Mursi Women / Journey to Turmi settlement – Overnight at Buska Resort
Jinka is the nearest town set in the hills above Mago National Park. The excursion will escort you to see widespread custom of half naked Mursi women, the insertion of wooden and terra-cotta discs into the ear lobes, the split and stretching of their lower lips to make room for similar discs. Though these ‘lip plates’ may appear bizarre to outsiders, the Mursi regard them as signs of beauty. Generally speaking, the larger the lip plate the more desirable the wearer. In the afternoon you shall journey to Turmi a settlement for hammer people. Overnight stay Buska Resort or a hotel with similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 15 – Tuesday, January 29, 2019 – Drive to Koricho / visit to Hamer vicinity – Overnight at Buska Resort
This morning, you will drive to Koricho, a settlement for the Karo ethnic groups, perhaps the most beautiful, with its lofty views over the Omo River and traditional Karo dwelling. They are experts in body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic pattern on each Faces, Chests, Arms and Legs. Even Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes with special ochre Cap of hair usually containing several Ostrich feathers. Afternoon, you will visit one of the Hamer vicinity, very much known for their colorful hair style. Overnight stay Buska Resort or a hotel with similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today
Day 16 – Wednesday, January 30, 2019 – Drive to Arba Minch visit Konso tribal village en route – Overnight at Paradise Lodge
After breakfast you shall drive to Arba Minch. En-route you will visit the Konso tribal village, who managed to develop a highly specialized agriculture economy and, in the process, one of Africa’s most fascinating culture. Overnight stay Paradise lodge or a hotel with similar standard. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Day 17 – Thursday, January 31, 2019 – Visit Dorze Tribe / Fly to Addis / Depart for home.
After breakfast you shall visit the Dorze tribe and their village (Drive – 30 km), famed for their bee hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides. Around their huts they have their own little garden with vegetables, spices; tobacco and Enset (false-banana). After lunch you shall be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Addis. In the evening, there is a farewell traditional dinner where you will experience live cultural music and dance. Your tour concludes by being dropped to Bole International Airport to catch your flight home. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are included today.
Note: The above itinerary and arranged sightseeing is subject to change. Please contact us with your preferred travel dates and goals to confirm your trip.
January 15-31, 2019
January 15 – 31, 2019
Safari Package Rate:
$6,750 approx per person sharing based on 10 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 3 4WDs for South + 1 Bus for North
$6,825 approx per person sharing based on 9 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 3 4WDs for South + 1 Bus for North
$7,455 approx per person sharing based on 8 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 3 4WDs for South + 1 Bus for North
$7,580 approx per person sharing based on 7 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 3 4WDs for South + 1 Bus for North
$7,545 approx per person sharing based on 6 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 2 4WDs for South + 1 Van for North
$8,250 approx per person sharing based on 5 Guests including 1 Africa Easy Tour Leader (Nadia) in 2 4WDs for South + 1 Van for North
$6,240 approx per person sharing based on 4 Guests with English speaking accompanying guide in 1 4WD for South + 1 Van for North
$6,545 approx per person sharing based on 3 Guests with English speaking accompanying guide in 1 4WD for South + 1 Van for North
$7,720 approx per person sharing based on 2 Guests with English speaking accompanying guide in 1 4WD for South + 1 Van for North
Single Supplement: $995 approx. per person in single accommodations
Please Note: An Africa Easy Tour Leader will join this trip with a minimum of 5 confirmed guests. Less than 5 guests there will just be an English speaking accompanying local guide
Plus Scheduled/Domestic Air Rate:
Domestic Airfare if guests fly in/out of Addis Abba on Ethiopian Airlines: $345 approx. per person
Domestic Airfare if guests DO NOT fly in/out of Addis Abba on Ethiopian Airlines: $740 approx. per person
Rates are based on per person sharing and are approximate until the time of booking. Rates are quoted in USD and subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.
Domestic & Regional Flights:
The following Commercial flights will be required for the above itinerary. Africa Easy will book these flights for you. Please note: these flights are not included in the safari package rate. We have quoted the airfare separately in the rates section below.
January 16: Fly to Gondar
January 20: Fly to Lalibela
January 22: Fly to Addis
January 31: Fly to Addis
International air is not included. Africa Easy can assist you to book international flights into and out of East Africa, or we can put you directly in touch with our airline partner here in Seattle (Exito travel) to book international air.
Rates are approximate until the time of booking. Please note rates are subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances beyond our control; i.e. fuel increases, currency fluctuations, etc.
– Accommodations as per itinerary
– Meals as per itinerary
– Timket Festival
– Gratuities for guides, drivers and all accommodations
– Bottle of water with each meal
– All entrance fees, local guide fees & boat fees
– All transfers and ground transportation and government tax
– If there are 5 or more passengers there will be an English speaking accompanying guide and tour leader from the US
– If there are less than 5 passengers there will be just an English speaking accompanying guide
– International Air
– Domestic Air (quoted separately in the rates section)
– Alcoholic drinks
– Visa Fees
– Video Camera charges
– Porter fee
– personal gratuity & tips
– Any items of personal nature
Deposit & Payments
A completed & signed Africa Easy Reservation Form, along with your 20% safari package deposit and full regional and/or domestic air payment (if applicable) is required at the time of booking.
This itinerary is subject to the availability of all services at the time of making a reservation. No space is being held at this time. Please contact Africa Easy for the full terms and conditions that apply. We are happy to answer questions and discuss your trip.
To reserve space on a trip on the Africa Easy website, please contact Africa Easy by calling 1-800-617-2319 or click here to e-mail the Africa Easy Team.
January 15 - 31, 2019