Ethiopia in Depth

  • days: 20
  • from $10,895

Save $500!

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Ethiopia

Description

★ New Tour!

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Destinations visited icon

1 country

UNESCO icon

5 UNESCO World 
Heritage-listed sites

Festival tour icon

Special departure: 10 January 2020 will enjoy the Timkat Festival

SPECIAL DEPARTURE 10 JAN 2020 - TIMKAT FESTIVAL

Timkat-Priests

Celebrating ‘Epiphany’, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, Ethiopia’s famous Timkat Festival involves colourful processions and festivities and is the one day of the year Gondar’s Fasilides baths are filled with water for ceremonies.

The tour includes a morning visit to watch the baptism ceremony at the baths.

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Explore a different side of Africa on a fascinating adventure across rich and diverse Ethiopia. From the capital of Addis Ababa to the water wildlife haven of Lake Chamo in the south and the majestic Simien Mountains in the north, discover the source of the Blue Nile, cruise Lake Tana and see the remains of the Fasilides Empire in Gondar. Visit the ancient obelisks and tombs of Axum and be amazed by the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela.

Addis to Bahir Dar

Delve into the history of Ethiopia in the capital of Addis Ababa and indulge in local delicacies on a culinary walking tour through the city neighbourhoods. Fly north to Bahir Dar and admire majestic Blue Nile Falls before cruising Lake Tana and visiting the island churches decorated with colourful frescoes.

History and Highlands

Travel to Gondar, home to the remains of the Fasilides Empire in the form of palaces, residences and baths. Then discover the stunning Simien Mountains, some of Africa’s most beautiful ranges, searching for the unique endemic wildlife such as the Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and the famous red-chested gelada baboons. 

World Wonders

See the historic sites of Axum, including the fascinating stele fields and tombs. Stand in awe in front of the monolithic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, one of the ‘wonders of the world’. Carved in the 12th century from pink granite, these 11 churches all boast a unique architectural style and are decorated with well-preserved art. 

Itinerary

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive Addis Ababa

Welcome to Ethiopia and its capital, Addis Ababa! Enjoy a group welcome dinner this evening. [D]

Day 3. Addis Ababa

Today we’ll discover some of the city’s history on a sightseeing tour, visiting the Ethnological Museum, the National Museum and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. [B,L,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Explore Addis Ababa’s best restaurants on a culinary walking tour. Learn the story and traditions behind each dish and get to know more of the local neighbourhoods.

Day 4. Addis Ababa - Jinka

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Jinka, set in the hills above Mago National Park. Here we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we'll visit the South-Omo Museum & Research Centre, with a fascinating exhibition on the region's cultures. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Jinka - Konso

Be immersed in the local traditions today as we visit the intriguing Mursi tribe. Here we meet the tribe members and learn the local customs. Interestingly, in this tribe it is still the norm for women to wear plates in their lower lips. Next we’ll travel to the town of Konso, located on the Sagan River and declared a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Featuring human-like wooden statues and stone walls, the cultural traditions of this village date back 400 years. [B,L,D]

Day 6. Konso - Arba Minch

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Today we will tour this fascinating village including a visit to the King’s residence, where we will see the traditions and culture that make this place so special. 

This afternoon we drive to Arba Minch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. [B,L,D]

Day 7. Arba Minch

Today we’ll enjoy a cruise on Lake Chamo, searching for hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds. After lunch we’ll visit the Dorze tribe in one of their villages. They are renowned for their beehive-shaped houses and impressive weaving skills. [B,L,D]

Day 8. Arba Minch - Bahir Dar

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Bahir Dar via Addis Ababa, on the shores of Lake Tana. [B,D]

Day 9. Bahir Dar

We’ll enjoy a half-day cruise on Lake Tana this morning, visiting some of the 37 islands that dot the lake. Certain islands are famous for their beautiful churches decorated with colourful frescoes. We’ll also discover the monastery of Ura Kidane Mehret, and Aswa Mariam. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to the town of Tiss Abay, then continuing on foot to the majestic Blue Nile Falls (weather permitting). Estimated to be over 40-metres-high and 400-metres-wide during the wet season, the falls are the most dramatic spectacle on the Nile. [B,L]

Day 10. Bahir Dar - Gondar

The morning is free for you to enjoy at leisure before we make our way to Gondar, visiting the fascinating village of Awra Amba along the way. In Awra Amba society, everyone is respected equally and works collectively to make the community self-sufficient rather than dependent on aid. [B,L,D]

Day 11. Gondar

Gondar was the first capital of the Ethiopian Empire, which began in 1632 and lasted 236 years. Many castles were built here during this time. Today we’ll explore the remains of the empire, visiting the palaces, residences and baths of Fasilides. After lunch we’ll visit the Church of Debre Berhan Selassie, famous for the mesmerising frescoes that decorate its interior. [B,L,D]

Day 12. Gondar - Simien Mountains National Park 

This morning we depart for the Simien Mountains, some of Africa's most beautiful ranges. 

Walking Man

In the afternoon we'll explore on foot as we discover all the local flora and fauna. [B,L,D]

 

Day 13. Simien Mountains National Park

Today we travel further into the beautiful national park and further discover the amazing landscape. [B,L,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Hike through the stunning Simien Mountains in search of the area's endemic animals, such as the Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and gelada baboons. 

Day 14.  Simien Mountains National Park - Axum

After breakfast take in the rich and varied landscape as we sit back and relax with a day of driving. Our destination is Axum, known for its tall, carved obelisks. [B,L,D]

Day 15. Axum

We see the historic sites of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Axum today, visiting the stele fields and tombs. We will also see the Church of St Mary of Zion, remains of Queen Sheba’s Palace and the Archaeological Museum. [B,L,D]

Day 16.  Axum - Lalibela

This morning we will fly to Lalibela, famous for its 11 monolithic churches, carved in the 12th century from pink granite. We then visit the Monastery of Nakuto Leab, a rural church carved into a cave and featuring natural springs. It was originally developed by King Nakuto who renounced his throne in the 12th century to live a hermit's life. Here we will meet locals and learn more about Ethiopian culture and religious practices. [B,L,D]

Day 17. Lalibela

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Explore one of the ‘wonders of the world’, the first and second group of monolithic rock-hewn churches. Each church boasts a unique architectural style and is superbly carved and decorated with well-preserved art. 

[B,L,D]

Day 18.  Lalibela - Addis Ababa

We will head to the airport this morning for our flight back to Addis Ababa. This evening we’ll experience a traditional group farewell dinner with live cultural music and dance. [B,D]

Day 19. Depart Addis Ababa

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 20. Arrive Australia

Itinerary, Timkat Festival

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Timkat Festival Itinerary

This Itinerary is for our special Timkat Festival departure, 10 January 2020. Please see other Itinerary for all other dates.

Abbreviation: [B,L,D] Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 1. Depart Australia

Day 2. Arrive Addis Ababa

Welcome to Ethiopia and its capital, Addis Ababa! Enjoy a group welcome dinner this evening. [D]

Day 3. Addis Ababa

Today we’ll discover some of the city’s history on a sightseeing tour, visiting the Ethnological Museum, the National Museum and the Holy Trinity Cathedral. [B,L,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Explore Addis Ababa’s best restaurants on a culinary walking tour. Learn the story and traditions behind each dish and get to know more of the local neighbourhoods.

Day 4. Addis Ababa - Jinka

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Jinka, set in the hills above Mago National Park. Here we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch we'll visit the South-Omo Museum & Research Centre, with a fascinating exhibition on the region's cultures. [B,L,D]

Day 5. Jinka - Konso

Be immersed in the local traditions today as we visit the intriguing Mursi tribe. Here we meet the tribe members and learn the local customs. Interestingly, in this tribe it is still the norm for women to wear plates in their lower lips. Next we’ll travel to the town of Konso, located on the Sagan River and declared a UNESCO World Heritage-listed site. Featuring human-like wooden statues and stone walls, the cultural traditions of this village date back 400 years. [B,L,D]

Day 6. Konso - Arba Minch

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Today we will tour this fascinating village including a visit to the King’s residence, where we will see the traditions and culture that make this place so special. 

This afternoon we drive to Arba Minch. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. [B,L,D]

Day 7. Arba Minch

Today we’ll enjoy a cruise on Lake Chamo, searching for hippos, crocodiles and waterbirds. After lunch we’ll visit the Dorze tribe in one of their villages. They are renowned for their beehive-shaped houses and impressive weaving skills. [B,L,D]

Day 8. Arba Minch - Bahir Dar

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Bahir Dar via Addis Ababa, on the shores of Lake Tana. [B,D]

Day 9. Bahir Dar

We’ll enjoy a half-day cruise on Lake Tana this morning, visiting some of the 37 islands that dot the lake. Certain islands are famous for their beautiful churches decorated with colourful frescoes. We’ll also discover the monastery of Ura Kidane Mehret, and Aswa Mariam. We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before driving to the town of Tiss Abay, then continuing on foot to the majestic Blue Nile Falls (weather permitting). Estimated to be over 40-metres-high and 400-metres-wide during the wet season, the falls are the most dramatic spectacle on the Nile. [B,L]

Day 10. Bahir Dar - Gondar

The morning we make our way to Gondar, arriving in time to see preparations for the Timkat Festival tomorrow. In the afternoon we witness a brilliantly colourful parade, where local priests carry tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) from their churches to Fasiladas’ Bath in Gondar where they are guarded overnight. [B,L,D]

Day 11. Gondar

An early start this morning as we head to the Fasiladas’ Bath in Gondar. [B,L,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Timkat Festival: This morning we witness the spectacle of the Timkat Festival, where thousands of white-robed faithful follow a procession of colourful and elaborately dressed priests. The baptism ceremony sees religious vows renewed before the tabots are paraded back to church accompanied by a celebration of singing and dancing.

After lunch, we visit the church of Debre Berham Selassie.

Day 12. Gondar - Simien Mountains National Park 

This morning we depart for the Simien Mountains, some of Africa's most beautiful ranges. 

Walking Man

In the afternoon we'll explore on foot as we discover all the local flora and fauna. [B,L,D]

 

Day 13. Simien Mountains National Park

Today we travel further into the beautiful national park and further discover the amazing landscape. [B,L,D]

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Hike through the stunning Simien Mountains in search of the area's endemic animals, such as the Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and gelada baboons. 

Day 14.  Simien Mountains National Park - Axum

After breakfast take in the rich and varied landscape as we sit back and relax with a day of driving. Our destination is Axum, known for its tall, carved obelisks. [B,L,D]

Day 15. Axum

We see the historic sites of UNESCO World Heritage-listed Axum today, visiting the stele fields and tombs. We will also see the Church of St Mary of Zion, remains of Queen Sheba’s Palace and the Archaeological Museum. [B,L,D]

Day 16.  Axum - Lalibela

This morning we will fly to Lalibela, famous for its 11 monolithic churches, carved in the 12th century from pink granite. We then visit the Monastery of Nakuto Leab, a rural church carved into a cave and featuring natural springs. It was originally developed by King Nakuto who renounced his throne in the 12th century to live a hermit's life. Here we will meet locals and learn more about Ethiopian culture and religious practices. [B,L,D]

Day 17. Lalibela

Special-Experience-Icon-30px

Special Experience: Explore one of the ‘wonders of the world’, the first and second group of monolithic rock-hewn churches. Each church boasts a unique architectural style and is superbly carved and decorated with well-preserved art. 

[B,L,D]

Day 18.  Lalibela - Addis Ababa

We will head to the airport this morning for our flight back to Addis Ababa. This evening we’ll experience a traditional group farewell dinner with live cultural music and dance. [B,D]

Day 19. Depart Addis Ababa

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 20. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Africa. Taxes included
  • 5 economy-class flights within Africa
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding shared lodge open safari 4WD)
  • Tipping Made Easy, $270pp pre-paid

Accommodation & Meals

  • 15 nights in good quality hotels (3-4 star)
  • 2 nights in Simien Mountains National Park, staying at the highest hotel in Africa (3,260 metres)
  • 17 breakfasts, 14 lunches and 16 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

  • English-speaking locally based national guide throughout
  • English-speaking locally based guides

Porterage

  • Porterage included where available

Entrance Fees & Permits

  • Entrance fees to all national parks and reserves are included

Sightseeing

Discover the diversity of Ethiopia

  • Enjoy a panoramic view of Addis Adaba from it's former capital Entoto.
  • City tour of Addis Ababa including the Ethnological (Haile Selassie House) Museum, National Museum and the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
  • Explore some of Addis Ababa's best restaurants on a culinary walking tour.
  • Visit the Jinka Museum.
  • Excursion to the Mursi Tribe.
  • Tour the village of Konso.
  • Cruise on Lake Chamo in Arba Minch in search of the many hippos and crocodiles that inhabit this area.
  • Visit the Dorze tribe in their village, see the bee-hive shaped houses and admire their impressive weaving skills.
  • Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Tana visiting the beautifully decorated Monastaries of Ura Kidane Miheret and Azwa Mariam.
  • Take a short hike to the lookout point of majestic Blue Nile Falls.
  • Visit the fascinating village of Awra Amba, where everyone is equal and works collectively to make them independent from aid and poverty.
  • Explore the remains of the Fasilidas empire in Gondar, including the castles, palaces, residents and baths.
  • Visit the church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity) and admire its colourful frescoes.
  • Explore Simien Mountains National Park on foot and by safari vehicle in search of the local endemic animals such as the Ethiopian wolf, Waliya ibex and gelada baboon.
  • Explore the ancient city of Axum, known for its monolithic obelisks and ancient castles which housed the likes of the Queen of Sheba.
  • Visit the Monastery of Nakuto Leab.
  • Explore 'one of the wonders of the world', the first and second group of rock hewn churches which have been carved out of the pink granite rock in Lalibela.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

SPECIAL DEPARTURE 10 JAN 2020 - TIMKAT FESTIVAL

Timkat-Priests

Celebrating ‘Epiphany’, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, Ethiopia’s famous Timkat Festival involves colourful processions and festivities and is the one day of the year Gondar’s Fasilides baths are filled with water for ceremonies.

The tour includes a morning visit to watch the baptism ceremony at the baths.

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
10/09/19 01/10/19 $500 $10,895 Available book now
08/10/19 29/10/19 $500 $10,895 Available book now
13/11/19 04/12/19 $500 $10,895 Available book now
10/01/20 31/01/20 $500 $11,495 Guaranteed Departure book now
11/02/20 03/03/20 $500 $11,095 Available book now
10/03/20 31/03/20 $500 $11,095 Available book now
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Please contact our office for applicable pricing
Tips: Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $270pp pre-paid
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $245pp
Single supplement: from $1,550
  • Day/Date Variations: Due to airline flight schedules day of arrival and day of departure may vary depending on your city of departure
  • Taxes & Fuel Costs: Total cost includes air taxes. Taxes and fuel surcharges change regularly so above levies shown as a guide only
  • T&C: All prices shown are per person based on twin share and include airfares, all taxes and tips (if applicable). Prices and itineraries correct at current time but are subject to change. Please call for more details. View our full terms & conditions here

Fitness to Travel

Let's Talk Fitness

Levels-of-Fitness-sml

At Bunnik Tours we don’t put specific age limits on our tours, but we also recognise some travellers may find our itineraries challenging.
We have a duty of care to all tour participants and the tour guides, so we do impose a firm policy on the level of fitness required by all our clients to attempt to ensure your safety and the safety of other travellers on our tours.
At Bunnik Tours our goal is for all our travellers to enjoy their tour, not struggle through it! Which is why we want to work with you to ensure you are on the best possible trip for your fitness level. We do reserve the right to refuse bookings if we feel that the requirements of the tour are too demanding.
Bunnik Tours are for independently minded travellers with good levels of mobility.

Our tours include:
1. Generous amounts of free time
2. Lots of walking
3. Local and authentic experiences including various modes of transport and accommodation

In some regions travellers can also expect:
1. Long days of travelling, at times on dirt and gravel roads in Africa
2. Extended periods at high altitude (3,000-4,000 metres) in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia and Ethiopia
3. Extended periods of walking/hiking through humid forest areas in Rwanda, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica
4. Limited medical facilities in remote areas

Bunnik Tours travellers are required to at least:
1. Be able to walk 2-3 hours on uneven surfaces
2. Walk up multiple flights of stairs and short, steep hills
3. Stand for 20 minutes without needing to sit down, often in hot/humid climates
4. Carry their own luggage
5. Get on and off various modes of transport without assistance, including small boats

Accommodation

Accommodation

Accommodation is subject to change and every effort is made to avoid this. However if a change does become necessary, accommodation of a similar standard will be used.

Golden Tulip, Addis Ababa

Offering a barbecue and fitness centre, Golden Tulip Addis Ababa is situated in Addis Ababa. Guests can enjoy the on-site bar, and meals at the on-site restaurant. 

Facilities: wifi; tea & coffee making facilities; minibar, air-conditioning; safe deposit box

Eco-Omo Safari Lodge, Jinka

Eco-Omo Safari Lodge is located just outside Jinka. It has tented rooms that are built on wooden platforms with thatched roofs and each room has en-suite facilities. This lodge also features a restaurant and bar with an outdoor terrace with views down to the river.

Facilities: restaurant; bar

Kanta Lodge, Konso

Kanta lodge is a lovely and comfortable place featuring valley views. 

Facilities: bar; restaurant; laundry service

Haile Resort, Arba Minch

Situated in Migie, Haile Resort has an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness centre and a garden. Featuring free shuttle service, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. The accommodation provides a sauna and evening entertainment.

Facilities: bar; wifi; air-conditioning; swimming pool; fitness centre

Blue Nile Resort Hotel, Bahir Dar

Blue Nile Resort Hotel features modern amenities with views overlooking Lake Tan. All rooms are equipped with Wi-Fi access, Air-conditioning, bathroom, mini bar, safe box, desk and 32' flat screen televsion.

Facilities: free wifi; fridge/minibar; safe deposit box;

Gondar Hill Resort, Gondar

This resort features outstanding structures with amazing traditional stone work combined with green roofs that blend with the surrounding mountains, and boasts urban and countryside views. 

Facilities: swimming pool; restaurant; bar

Simien Lodge, Gondar

Simien Lodge is the highest hotel in Africa at apx 3,260m above sea-level, and the only accommodation based within the Simien Mountains National Park.  Magnificent views of the Simien escarpment, excellent local walks and nearby communities of Gelada baboons are all features of the lodge.The lodge is positioned just inside the park entrance and in striking distance of the very best trekking opportunities. The unique rooms (tukel’s) feature 2 large single beds, bathroom and shower. All rooms have solar-powered under-floor heating and feature a sheltered balcony with views.

Facilities: under-floor heating, bar, restaurant

Yared Zema Hotel, Axum

Yared Zema Hotel is located in the historical Axum town in northern Ethiopia. It is designed for comfort and convenience and is equipped with the up-to-date facilities and elegantly furnished rooms.

Facilities: gym; wifi; safe deposit box; refrigerator

Mountain View Hotel, Lalibela

This impressive cliff-hugging Hotel sits at an altitude of 2680 meters and offers spectacular mountain views of nature. The spacious rooms offer an extensive balcony with views of the magnificent mountain tops. All Rooms feature sizeable beds, bathroom with shower, reading/dressing tables, wardrobes, safe locks, and more.

Facilities: free wifi, restaurant, bar

Weather

Weather

Addis Ababa

Dry Season: November to January

Wet Season: June to September

Addis Ababa

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Rainy Days

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Gondar

Dry Season: December to March

Wet Season: July to September

Gondar

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Currency

Currency

Ethiopian Birr

The official currency of Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Birr (displayed as Br).

  • 1 Ethiopian Birr = 100 Santim
  • Notes are in denominations of Br100, 50, 10, 5, 1

Visa Information

Visa Requirements

Passport-AU2

Please note, Australian passport holders need to obtain a visa for this tour. Please check with your travel agent for further details.

  • Australian passport holders
  • Non-Australian passport holders
    • Please check with your travel agent on visa requirements.

The following government websites are also a handy source of general information.

Luggage Info

Luggage Information

Africa-Luggage

Because of the limited storage space in light aircraft and safari vehicles in Africa, please note the following luggage restrictions for this tour.

  • A soft bag is required

If you have any other questions about luggage requirements, please feel free to call one of our consultants on 1800 286 645 or email us.

Tour Extensions

These optional extras can be included in your tour.

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Special Experiences!

  • Explore Addis Ababa's best restaurants on a culinary walking tour. Learn the traditions behind each dish and get to know more of the local neighbourhoods.
  • Tour the fascinating village of Konso including a visit to the King’s residence, seeing the traditions and culture that make this place so special.
  • Discover the stunning Simien Mountains on a hike in search of the area's endemic animals, such as the Ethiopian wolf, walia ibex and gelada baboons.
  • Explore one of the 'wonders of the world', the first and second group of monolithic rock-hewn churches in Lalibela. Each church boasts a unique architectural style and is superbly carved and decorated with well-preserved art.

Trip Info

Group Size

Min: 4 | Max: 12

Transportation

Coach, plane, boat & 4WD safari vehicle

Tips

Total cost includes - Tipping Made Easy, $270pp pre-paid

Tour Highlights

Search for hippos and crocodiles on Lake Chamo • Hike the incredible Simien Mountains • Explore the monolithic obelisks and ancient castles of Axum • See one of the 'wonders of the world', churches carved out of pink granite rock in Lalibela

View Tour Map