Highlights of Ethiopia

  • days: 17
  • from $9,665

Flights Included

Types of travel:

Countries Visited:

  • Ethiopia

Description

★ New Tour!

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

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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. 

Wonders and Wildlife

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. End your amazing journey at Lake Chamo in the country’s south, searching for hippos, Nile crocodiles and water birds.

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 & Archaeological Museum, the National Museum and the Holy Trinity Church. [B,L,D]

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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 - Bahir Dar

This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to Bahir Dar, on the shores of Lake Tana. This afternoon we’ll travel to the town of Tiss Abay and continue on foot to the majestic Blue Nile Falls (weather permitting). Estimated to be over 40m-high and 400m-wide during the wet season, the falls are the most dramatic spectacle on the Nile. [B,L,D]

Day 5. 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 Miheret, and Aswa Mariam. [B,L]

Day 6. 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 the society of Awra Amba, everyone is respected equally and works collectively to make the community self-sufficient rather than dependent on aid. [B,L,D]

Day 7. Gondar

Gondar was the first capital of the Ethiopian Empire, which began in 1632, and consequently saw many castles built over the course of 236 years. 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 8. Gondar - Simien Mountains National Park

This morning we depart for the Simien Mountains, some of Africa's most beautiful ranges. In the afternoon we'll explore the grounds on foot as we discover all the local flora and fauna. [B,L,D]

Day 9. Simien Mountains Excursion

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

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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 10. Simien Mountains National Park - Gondar

Enjoy exploring more of the mountains this morning before we return to Gondar. [B,L,D]

Day 11. Gondar - Lalibela

Sit back and enjoy some of Ethiopia’s most stunning and beautiful scenery as we spend the day travelling through the Amhara region to Lalibela. Lalibela is famous for its 11 monolithic churches, carved in the 12th century from pink granite. [B,L,D]

Day 12. Lalibela

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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 13. Lalibela - Arba Minch

After breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our flight to Arba Minch, via Addis Ababa. [B,D]

Day 14. Arba Minch

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

Day 15. Arba Minch - Addis Ababa

Enjoy the morning at leisure before our flight back to Addis Ababa. This evening we’ll experience a traditional group farewell dinner with live cultural music and dance. [B,L,D]

Day 16. Depart Addis Ababa

Today we begin our journey home. [B]

Day 17. Arrive Australia

Inclusions

Travel

  • Return economy-class flights from Australia to Africa. Taxes included
  • 4 economy-class flights within Africa
  • Airport transfers on the first and last day of tour
  • All touring in air-conditioned vehicles (excluding shared lodge safari 4WD)

Accommodation & Meals

  • 12 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)
  • 14 breakfasts, 12 lunches and 13 dinners, including group welcome and farewell dinners

Tour Guides

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

Entrance Fees & Permits

  • Entrance fees to all national parks and reserves are included

Sightseeing

Discover the diversity of Ethiopia

  • City tour of Addis Ababa including the Ethnological (Haile Selassie House) Museum, Archeological Museum, National Museum and the Holy Trinity Church.
  • Explore some of Addis Ababa's best restaurants on a culinary walking tour.
  • Take a short hike to the lookout point of majestic Blue Nile Falls.
  • Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Tana visiting the beautifully decorated Monastaries of Ura Kidane Miheret and Azwa Mariam.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy a picnic lunch en-route to Lalibela.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Dates & Prices

Dates & Prices

Starts Ends Save Total Cost* Status Book
12/02/19 28/02/19   $9,665 On Request  
12/03/19 28/03/19   $9,665 On Request  
Valid From: Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane & Perth
Other departure cities: Please contact our office for applicable pricing
Tips: Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day
Taxes: Total cost includes - air taxes, $300pp
Single supplement: from $1,290
  • 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. 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

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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.

Jupiter International Hotel Cazanchis, Addis Ababa

The Jupiter International Hotel Cazanchis is located apx 5 Kms from the city’s international airport and is convenient to other points of interest in the city. Rooms feature a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, a minibar and a safe. The en suite bathrooms offer a bath or a shower and free toiletries are provided.

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

Goha Hotel, Gondar

Goha Hotel offers accommodation situated on a hill and offering panoramic views of the city of Gonder. The property boasts an outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi in the public areas. Each room at Goha Hotel features traditional decor and a seating area. It is equipped with a telephone and a writing desk, and the private bathrooms are fitted with a shower. Additional amenities such as swimming pool, souvenir shop, restaurant, bar with campfire.

Facilities: free wifi (public areas), flat screen TV, outdoor pool

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

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

Paradise Lodge, Arbaminch

Paradise Lodge provides unparalleled service and an authentic experience while preserving the natural environment and strengthening the local culture. Rooms feature one twin size bed, a reading table and furniture made from the wood of local Cordia Africana trees. The rooms are situated in the peaceful gardens of the lodge.

Facilities: free wifi (lobby), restaurant, bar, gym, pool, spa

Weather

Weather

Addis Ababa

Dry Season: November to January

Wet Season: June to September

Addis Ababa

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7

Rainy Days

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Gondar

Dry Season: December to March

Wet Season: July to September

Gondar

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Rainy Days

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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.
  • 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

Tipping payable locally, suggested amounts are approx. $15-$20pp US per day

Tour Highlights

Majestic Blue Nile Falls • See the colourfully decorated churches on the island of Lake Tana • The remains of the Fasilides Empire in Gondar • Search for hippos and crocodiles on Lake Chamo

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Please refer to web site for most up to date information & pricing

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