Discover Ethiopia 16-day Private Tour
Beta Giorgis at Lalibela  
Ethiopian wolf on the Sanetti Plateau  
Blue Nile Falls Bahir Dar  
Mural at Azwa Maryam Monastery Bahir Dar  
Imperial Compound in Gondar  
Mural at Debre Birhan Selassie in Gondar  
Hippos in Rift Valley Lakes region  
Gelada monkey male in Simien Mountains  
16 day tour
Including flights
Prices from
£3999 - £4295

Tour Highlights

  • Lake Tana's island monasteries
  • Awe-inspiring scenery (Simien & Bale Mountains, Lake Tana, Rift Valley Lakes)
  • Critically endangered wildlife and abundant birdlife
  • Lalibela's amazing rock-hewn churches
  • Vibrant Addis Ababa
  • Ethiopian Culture
Home Africa Ethiopia Discover Ethiopia 16-day Private Tour
Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Senior travel and product specialist
"Ethiopia is a completely different African experience, the archaeological sites, castles and monasteries are utterly fascinating."

Discover Ethiopia 16-day Private Tour


On this extensive private tour you visit the best known of Ethiopia's historical attractions including Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum, as well as the spectacular scenery of the Simien Mountains, the Rift Valley Lakes region, the Bale Mountains National Park and Sanetti Plateau  and the Blue Niles Falls. Ethiopia has the largest concentration of endemic birds and mammals of any African country, so for nature enthusiasts who also want to immerse themselves in Ethiopia's fascinating historical and culural aspects, this is the option to choose. You stay in comfortable accommodation throughout and at Bale Mountains National Park, we can upgrade you (see itinerary for supplement information) to Bale Mountains Lodge

Day 1
Fly from London on an overnight Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis Ababa.
Day 2
Day 2
Addis Ababa
On arrival, your guide will drive you to the Jupiter International Hotel. An afternoon city tour including visits to Entoto Hills, some of the city's more spectacular cathedrals and the National Museum, where you see among other exhibits, the bones of 'Lucy'. Overnight here, breakfast included.
Day 3
Day 3
Bahir Dar
Transfer to the airport to fly to Bahir Dar, on the shores of the deep blue Lake Tana. Your guide will take you to the Zeghe Peninsula to see some of the island monasteries. Overnight in a suite at Abayminch Lodge, all meals included. Optional upgrade to Kuriftu Resort & Spa, from £90 per person sharing, per night.
Day 4
Day 4
Enjoy an excursion to the Blue Niles Falls, Africa's second largest waterfalls, and then to the vibrant market of Bahir Dar.
Day 5
Day 5
Simien Mountains National Park
After breakfast, depart on the 2 - 3 hour journey to Gondar and then 2 hours onward to the Simien Mountains, where you overnight in an en-suite chalet at Simien Lodge, all meals included. You can drive up to Chennek to seek the critically endangered Walia ibex - of which less than 500 remain with none in captivity - and in the lodge grounds, the iconic Gelada monkey (the only primate to graze) is common.
Day 6
Day 6
Spend today exploring the awe inspiring Simien mountains, where you can take in some of the most dramatic scenery in Africa. In the early morning, you will be driven up to Sankaber Camp, which will be your base. The Simien Mountains National Park is a World Heritage Site and contains great volcanic plugs, formed 40 million years ago, and now shaped into fantastic crags and flat topped mountains. Seek out the endemic Gelada or Bleeding- heart monkeys (formerly thought to be baboons), the Walia ibex and many endemic birds, especially raptors including Lammergeier and Ruppells griffon vultures.
Return to Gondar, founded in 1636 by Emperor Fasilidas who chose Gondar as his imperial seat. Here you can explore the Imperial Compound, with its enchanting 'Fasilidas' castles, still in very good condition. Overnight stay in the Goha Hotel, all meals included.
Day 7
Day 7
Transfer to the airport for the morning flight to Lalibela. Here you will be taken to see some of the famed rock-hewn churches which are cut into the rugged mountainsides. Stay 2 nights at Mountain View Hotel, all meals included. Your guide and driver will take you to see the first cluster of rock-hewn churches in this World Heritage Site
Day 8
Day 8
Visit Ashetun Mariam and Yemrehane Christos, two of the most spectacular churches outside of Lalibela. You can also make a short mule trip if you wish, but this is by no means essential. Please note that stairs leading to some of the churches can be quite demanding but your guide will be happy to assist you if need be.
Day 9
Day 9
Fly to Axum in northern Ethiopia where you will see the incredible monolithic obelisks or stelae, the Queen of Sheba's Bath, the church where it is said the Ark of the Covenant is housed, and an interesting museum. Overnight in a suite at the simple Sabean Hotel, all meals included. Please note that there are no good hotels in Axum, but the Sabean is the best of the town's existing accommodation.
Day 10
Day 10
Lake Langano
Transfer to Axum airport for the flight back to Addis Ababa where you will be met by your guide and driver. Travel southwards by land with your guide into the Rift Valley to Lake Langano, where the lakeland scenery is home to an abundance of water birds. Overnight at Bishangari Lodge, all meals included.
Day 11
Day 11
Bale Mountains National Park
Drive overland to Goba in the Bale Mountains National Park, via the park HQ in Dinsho. In the juniper woods around Dinsho, keep a lookout for endemic mammals like the Mountain nyala and Menelik's bushbuck. There is excellent birding here, with local specials including one of Africa's finest songsters, the Abyssinian catbird. Stay 3 nights in the simple Goba Wabi Shebelle Hotel, all meals included. You can upgrade to Bale Mountains Lodge if you wish, from £240 per person per night.
Day 12
Day 12
Your guide and driver take you to the bleak, high-lying Sanetti Plateau, where wildlife enthusiasts come to look for the world's rarest canid, the Simien wolf. They are easy to see - 75% of the remaining population is concentrated in Bale.
The Sanetti Plateau is included in all birding itineraries to Ethiopia, because it is the best place for endemics like the Blue-winged goose (Africa's only true goose), Spot-breasted lapwing and Rouget's rail. All of these are easy to see in these Afro-alpine moorlands.
Day 13
Day 13
Excursion to the wonderful Harenna Forest OR to the Sof Omar Caves. The Harenna forest is a treasure trove for naturalists, with several new reptiles and frogs discovered here in recent years. Birds, mammals and butterflies are abundant and diverse. The Sof Omar Caves are a most impressive cave system.
Day 14
Day 14
Depart Bale National Park today for Nazret, to stay overnight in the Safari Lodge, all meals included.
Day 15
Day 15
Return to Addis overland and opportunity to explore the Merkato district, the largest market in Africa. In the evening you will be taken to see a traditional dance and music. Overnight at the Jupiter International Hotel or if your flight departs after midnight you will be transferred to the airport for the Ethiopian Airlines check-in.
Day 16
Transfer to Addis Ababa airport for your mid-morning Ethiopian Airlines flight to London. Arrive Heathrow in the evening.

Pricing Information & Dates

16 day tour, from £3999 - £4295 per person
Price Includes:
  • Flights
  • Accommodation
Price Includes
- international Ethiopian Airlines flights (from London Heathrow, economy class seating),
- domestic Ethiopian Airlines flights, departure taxes
- airport facilitation, all transfers and internal travel with all private transportation
- services of your full-time, experienced, English-speaking escort-guide and of drivers
- national park permits and park guide fees
- entrance fees and local guide fees, all excursions and activities as outlined
- all accommodation as per itinerary with all meals (full board everywhere except in Addis Ababa where it is B&B).
Price Excludes
- Ethiopian visa (US$50, issued on arrival)
- additional sightseeing and transfers not mentioned
- lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa
- items of a personal nature (tips, phone calls, drinks, laundry, travel insurance) are not included.
Price Notes
Price is based on two adults travelling together and sharing twin or double room accommodation.
For extensions to locations such as Simien Mountains, contact us.

Tour Route Map

  1.   Bahir Dar & Lake Tana
  2.   Gondar
  3.   Lalibela
  4.   Axum
  5.   Simyen Mountains
  6.   Bale Mountains

Accommodation on this Tour

Abayminch Lodge
Bahir Dar & Lake Tana, Ethiopia
Abayminch Lodge Abayminch Lodge is one of the most popular places to stay in Bahir Dar. It's near the Abay Bridge and is set in a large, former coffee plantation where you can stroll among the......
Bishangari Lodge
Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Set in a secluded retreat of outstanding beauty, Bishangari Lodge plays host to 400 bird species, a diverse range of wildlife and a huge array of un-spoilt biodiversity.
Goba Wabeshebelle Hotel
Bale Mountains, Ethiopia
Currently the only reasonable hotel servicing Bale Mountains National Park, this government-run hotel is simple and conveniently located for people wanting to explore the three main places in Bale, Sanette Plateau, the Sof Omar Caves and Harenna Forest.
Goha Hotel
Gondar, Ethiopia
Goha Hotel Goha Hotel in Gondar is recently privatised and superbly located on a hilltop with lovely views over the town. From the terrace, where guests can enjoy sundowners, various raptor species......
Simien Lodge
Simyen Mountains, Ethiopia
Simien Lodge is currently the only accommodation in the Simien Mountain National Park which is listed as a World Heritage site because of the incredible views and the endemic animals.

Image Gallery

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Service from tour operator: excellent. Overall satisfaction: excellent. All guides were good or even excellent. We enjoyed this trip so much that we are thinking of visiting again.

John and Angela Brown
October 31, 2013

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