Itinerary Highlights

  • Lake Tana's island monasteries and Blue Nile Falls
  • Awe-inspiring scenery in Simien & Bale Mountains, Rift Valley Lakes
  • Endemic Wolves, Geladas, Ibexes and more
  • Lalibela's amazing rock-hewn churches
  • Ethiopian Culture

What's Included

  • Flights
  • Accommodation Throughout
14 nights from £5,925 per person

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.
This long-standing favourite with our clients who prefer an individual tour, combines the best best- known of Ethiopia's historical attractions with its two chief hotspots for endemic mammals and birdlife.
 
Stops of historical interest include Bahir Dar, Gondar and Lalibela.
Scenery is unbeatable, from the awe-inspiring Simien and Bale Mountains to the panoramic Rift Valley Lakes and the Blue Nile Falls.
 
Ethiopia has among the largest complements of endemic mammals and birds of any African country, so for those keen to experience an incomparable blend of natural history, culture and historical highlights, this is a wonderful option to choose. We can tailor it to 
suit individual interests and requirements.
 
Accommodation is comfortable throughout, including the best lodge in the country, Bale Mountain Lodge.
 
Our excellent, experienced, knowledgeable, professional English-speaking guides and capable drivers, will ensure that you are superbly taken care of. 
 
The itinerary can be done all year except in July and August, when the lodges in Bale and Simien Mountains close for the rainy season.
 
 

Itinerary

Check in at London Heathrow (or Manchester) for the overnight Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis Ababa. * If you are not flying from the UK, or if you prefer another carrier for international flights, please let us know.
Fly from London on an overnight Ethiopian Airlines flight to Addis Ababa.
On arrival, your guide will drive you to the Golden Tulip 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'.If you wish, you can have an introduction to traditional cuisine (pictured), an element of which is 'injera', a pancake made out of a fine grain called teff. Overnight at Golden Tulip, breakfast included.
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 at Kuriftu Resort & Spa, all meals included.
After breakfast, depart on the all-day drive to Simien Mountains to Gondar stopping along the way to see the Blue Nile Falls. Lunch in Gondar, before the drive up to the Simien Mountains. Stay two nights an en-suite chalet at Simien Lodge, all meals included. * If you want to upgrade to Limalimo Lodge, let us know.
Spend the day 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 to one of the locations in the park such as Chennek, to seek endangered Walia ibex and various raptors. You should have the 'Gelada Experience' today - these delightful if odd baboon-like monkeys with their 'bleeding heart' chest patches, are the world's only primates that graze and they congregate in large numbers, allowing a close approach.
Staying at   Simien Lodge
You will be driven back to Gondar today, to see the Imperial Compound with its wonderful castles and Debre Berhan Selassie church, where people come to see the country's single most iconic frieze with rows of angel faces, plastered to the ceiling and walls. Overnight stay in the Goha Hotel, all meals included.
Staying at   Goha Hotel
Transfer to the airport for the (once weekly, Jan 2023 update) morning flight to Lalibela***. Here you will be taken to see the 'first cluster' of the famed monolithic or semi monolithic, rock-hewn churches cut top-down into the rugged mountainsides. Stay 2 nights at Maribela Hotel OR Mezena Lodge, all meals included. The last church you see today is the iconic, cruciform Bete Giorgis, which makes for a superb end to this unforgettable excursion. *** January 2023: as the direct Gondar - Lalibela flight is currently operated only on Mondays, be sure to structure your travel dates around this.
After breakfast, your guide and driver will take you to see the second cluster of Lalibela's churches. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant like Seven Olives, which also has outdoor seating in the garden. Then, visit Yemrehane Kristos, arguably the finest of the churches around Lalibela. It is about 40km from the town and makes for a superb afternoon outing.
Staying at   Maribela Hotel
Transfer to Axum airport for the flight back to Addis Ababa where you will be met by your guide and driver. Travel southwards for about 5 hours along good roads in your very comfortable, air-conditioned 4-wheel drive vehicle, with your guide into the Rift Valley. Your destination for the night is Lake Langano in the Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes region. In the woods around the hotel you can find a selection of mammals and numerous birds. Overnight at the the lovely Hara Langano Lodge, all meals included.
Drive to Goba in the Bale Mountains National Park, via the park HQ in Dinsho. In the juniper-hagenia 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 style at the superb Bale Mountains Lodge***, all meals included. *** Bale Mountain Lodge anticipates reopening around September 2023.
Your guide and driver take you for a drive up to the high-lying Sanetti Plateau, where wildlife enthusiasts come to look for the world's rarest canid, the Simien wolf. They are easy to see - most of the approx. 400 individuals are concentrated in Bale. Their future remains very precarious, as a rabies outbreak which started among feral dogs in villages around the park, killed a substantial proportion of the wolves in Bale during the last year. Watching these beautiful animals hunt by day for their favourite prey - giant mole rats - is an unforgettable experience! 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 at puddles or small ponds along the road.
Staying at   Bale Mountain Lodge
Your guide and driver take you in your comfortable, air-conditioned 4-wheel drive to the wonderful Harenna Forest, where the lodge is located. This vast evergreen forest is a treasure trove for naturalists, with several new reptiles and frogs discovered here in recent years. Mammals present include lion, giant forest hog, warthog, Menelik's bushbuck, the rare and localised Bale monkey (pictured) and birds are abundant and diverse. Regularly seen highlights include Narina trogon, White-cheeked turacou and look around the lodge for Abyssinian catbird.
Staying at   Bale Mountain Lodge
Ethiopian Airlines is now operating flights Goba airport thrice weekly = Sundays, Wednesdays and Friday mornings, so after an early breakfast you will be transferred back over the escarpment and Sanetti Plateau, to the airport to check in for the flight back to Addis Ababa. Here you are met and transferred to Golden Tulip where you stay overnight with breakfast included, or if your flight departs early next morning, you'll have the use of a day/evening room. During the afternoon, visit the city for some shopping with your guide. (You can stock up on some amazing Ethiopian coffee for example). If your flight departs in the early hours next morning, you'll be transferred to Bole airport to check in for the Ethiopian Airlines flight home.
Staying at   Golden Tulip
Fly back to the UK on Ethiopian Airlines flight.

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Pricing Information & Dates

14 nights from £5,925 per person

Shelley Phillips

Travel Specialist

I'm here to tailor-make your perfect holiday. Give me a call and I'll use my expertise to create your personalised experience.

Price Includes

  • Return International Flights as per the itinerary
  • All airport taxes and security charges
  • Accommodation and meals as specified
  • Transfers as specified
  • Activities and excursions as specified
  • All entrace fees on sightseeing tours as specified
* International Ethiopian Airlines flights (from London Heathrow, economy class seating), * domestic Ethiopian Airlines flights * departure taxes * airport facilitation, all private transfers and internal travel with all private transportation (private 4-wheel drive from Bahir Dar to Simien Mountains and back to Gondar, and for the Rift Valley & Bale; in Lalibela private mini-bus) * 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 meal plan is B&B).

Price Excludes

  • Travel Insurance
  • Any meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Optional excursions
* Ethiopian visa (US$50, issued on arrival) * lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa * items of a personal nature (tips, phone calls, drinks, laundry, travel insurance) are not included.

Pricing Notes

* Price is based on two adults travelling together and sharing twin or double room accommodation. * Single room supplement: £785 * Airfare is based on low season Ethiopian Airlines flights from London or Manchester. *** A note on Ethiopian Airlines domestic flight schedules (January 2023): currently the once-weekly DIRECT flight between Gondar and Lalibela is operated on Mondays, so be sure to plan your international travel dates around that.

Why Choose Us?

Passionate travel experts

  • We've been leading wildlife travel since our first South Africa tours over 25 years ago
  • Our Travel Specialists have lived in their specialist area for years
  • We work with local guides to immerse you deeper in our diverse range of experiences

Personal & tailor-made

  • You'll speak to your own expert who'll share their first-hand knowledge
  • We'll make your itinerary seamless with 24/7 emergency contact available
  • Your Travel Specialist will listen to ensure you have the best chance of seeing the wildlife you love

Responsible by nature

  • We take care to actively contribute to the conservation of environments we visit
  • For select countries, we make a charitable donation on your behalf when you make your booking
  • We've partnered with conservation experts and NGOs to curate responsible tours
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