9 Days Northern Ethiopian History, Culture, Scenery and Wildlife US$2,945.-pp

  • Visit rock hewn churches of Lalibela;
  • View spectacular Simian mountains and see the Geleada baboons;
  • Boat Tour on Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile;
  • Tour the “Royal Enclosure” and its castles;
  • 2000 year old stela fields and St. Mary Tsion church of Axum;
  • Discover rich history of Addis Ababa;
  • Archaeology, history, culture, scenery, wildlife, markets and more…;
  • Combination of flights and countryside drives to really get a feel for the country

Best time to visit:

From September till May. Rains are more frequent June through August.

Although it’s near the equator, much of Ethiopia’s climate is very pleasant due to the high altitude. In the Ethiopian highlands (the historic north route), temperatures average between 15˚C (60˚F) and 27˚C (80˚F). However, temperatures can get surprisingly cool at night.

AccommodationDestinationBasisRoom TypeDuration
Saro-Maria HotelAddis AbabaFB+1x Standard Room1 Night
Abay Minch LodgeBahir DarFB+1x Standard Room1 Night
Goha HotelGondarFB+1x Standard Room1 Night
Simien LodgeSimien Mountains National ParkFB+1x Main rooms1 Night
Sabean International HotelAxumFB+1x Standard Room2 Nights
Panoramic View HotelLalibelaFB+1x Standard Room2 Nights


FB+: Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities


US$2,945.- per person, sharing occupancy

Price valid 2021, with 2 person participating in tour. Tour is more economical for four or more persons. Accommodation in comfortable 3-4 star hotels with upgrades possible upon request.


Accommodations and meals as per package, entrance fees for all sites and parks as per itinerary, all activities per itinerary, experienced, professional  guide, domestic flights and ground transportation as per package,


International flight to Addis Ababa, photography or video fees at sights if applicable, visa, travel and evacuation insurance;

Day 1:            Saro-Maria Hotel, Addis Ababa           


Situated in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia boasts extraordinary natural features, a vast range of wildlife, and a captivating historical and cultural heritage. An increasing number of visitors are frequenting this treasure trove filled with unique attractions. Popular attractions include: the medieval castles of Gondar; the walled city of Harar; and Lalibela, a pilgrimage site known for its ancient monolithic churches, hewn into the area’s steep rocky hillsides. Ethiopia’s stunning natural landscapes are the real tourist drawcard. From the lush Simien Mountains to the sulphur vents of the Danakil Depression, the country’s outstanding natural environment is unforgettable. Bahir Dar, located on Lake Tana, is popular as a base from which to explore the fascinating monasteries situated on the numerous islands dotted around the lake, as well as the Blue Nile Falls, which are arguably the most spectacular falls in North Africa.

Ethiopian Highlands - Wikipedia
Ethiopian Highlands

Addis Ababa

Located in the highlands fringing the Great Rift Valley, Addis Ababa serves as the political, cultural and commercial centre of Ethiopia. This sprawling city rests in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and features a mix of traditional homes, elegant villas, and tall office buildings. Visitors can look forward to a selection of wonderful activities including: visiting the National Museum, displaying local art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils; exploring the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, a Neo-Baroque architectural landmark; and sampling rich Ethiopian coffee as well as the memorable cuisine featuring spicy stews and Ethiopia’s signature Injera bread.

The busy Mercato in Addis Ababa.
The Mercato

Day Itinerary

Arrive at Bole International Airport. Our representative will meet you and take you to your hotel. For morning arrivals, visit the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. As time allows, visit the Mercato, one of Africa’s largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Tomb of the late Emperor Haile Selassie at Trinity Cathedral.
Tomb at Trinity Cathedral

Overnight: Saro-Maria Hotel

Strategically located in the prime business area in the city of Addis Ababa within walking distance of shopping malls, the Saro-Maria Hotel provides accommodation in 96 rooms ranging from standard to superior deluxe, all with satellite TV, tea-coffee-making equipment, Wi-Fi, safety deposit boxes, mini bars, and telephones. The private bathrooms feature bathtubs and/or showers and bathrobes, towels, and complimentary toiletries are provided.

The hotel features a restaurant serving international cuisines and an Italian restaurant. There is also a bar where guests can relax with a drink. Other facilities include free private parking, free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, a gift shop, a spa with a steam bath and sauna, and a free shuttle service.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 2:            Abay Minch Lodge, Bahir Dar   

Bahir Dar

Situated on the southern shores of Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia, Bahir Dar serves as the capital city of the Amhara region. The city features palm-lined avenues and was awarded the ‘UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize’ in 2002, for addressing the challenges of rapid urbanisation. Bahir Dar is a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia offering a wonderful selection of attractions in the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of interesting sites including: visiting some of the world’s oldest medieval monasteries and churches on the islands scattered within the Lake Tana, and discovering the spectacular Blue Nile Falls, featuring a 45-metre drop, an impressive 400-metre width and an array of misty rainbows.

Papyrus boat on Lake Tana.
Papyrus Boat Lake Tana

Day Itinerary

Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines. Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and tour ancient island monasteries.

Overnight: Abay Minch Lodge          

Located in the heart of Bahir Dar, the Abay Minch Lodge is surrounded by lush tropical vegetation which includes a variety of trees such as papaya, mango, avocado, lemon, and coffee trees. The spacious accommodation provides fruit baskets, Wi-Fi access, and satellite TV. Guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet in the mornings, and for lunch and dinner, the on-site restaurant features traditional dishes as well as international cuisine. Additionally, the hotel offers room service for in-room dining, as well as a free airport shuttle.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 3:            Goha Hotel, Gondar        


Situated southwest of the Simien Mountains, north of Lake Tana, Gondar once served as the royal capital of the ancient Ethiopian Empire. Known as the ‘Camelot of Africa’, Gondar is home to the World Heritage Site of Fasil Ghebbi, a fortress-city previously inhabited by to the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of wonderful activities including: discovering the ancient Gondar Castle, a medieval castle and palace complex, exploring the 17th century Church of Debre Sina, featuring biblical murals on every wall and visiting the nearby Simien Mountains National Park. Don’t miss a visit to Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia.

Day Itinerary

Drive through the countryside to Gondar. Tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century.

Castle of Fasilides

Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty African Empire. Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.

Drive takes about 4 hours.

Gondar's Royal Enclosure.
Gondars Royal Enclosure

Overnight: Goha Hotel          

Situated in Gondar, Ethiopia, the Goha Hotel features elegantly designed and furnished rooms with bathrooms with showers, writing desks, sitting areas, TVs and Wi-Fi. The on-site restaurant serves traditional and European cuisine throughout the day, and 24-hour room service is available for in-room dining. The restaurant provides live entertainment with traditional music and dance every Saturday and Sunday. The hotel also offers a sunny terrace and a swimming pool.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 4:            Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park    

Simien Mountains National Park

Situated in northern Ethiopia, the Simien Mountains National Park is one of the very first natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has been compared to the Grand Canyon with its spectacular landscape featuring rugged peaks, deep valleys and plunging waterfalls. Renowned as Ethiopia’s highest Peaks, the Simien Mountains reach up to 4000 metres high. This area is home to remote local communities as well as rare and endangered fauna and flora. Some of these rare species include: gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the only walia ibex population in the world. Don’t miss the panoramic views from Ras Dejen, the highest point in Ethiopia.

Day Itinerary

Drive about 3 hours to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take in the spectacular scenery and view wildlife such as the Gelada baboon.

Gelada Baboon

Overnight: Simien Lodge      

Situated in Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains National Park, Simien Lodge is the highest hotel in Africa. The lodge sits on the edge of the escarpment offering some of the most spectacular views in the world. Accommodation consists of spacious semi-circular rooms, with bathrooms, tiled floors heated by a solar system, and tea and coffee machines, as well as tukuls, with two rooms and two bathrooms. Guests can dine at the on-site restaurant which features a spacious area with a log fire centrepiece and have drinks in the cosy bar fitted with warm comfortable furnishings. Activities in the area include base jumping, trekking, mountain biking, and wildlife and bird watching.

Simien Lodge

Main rooms

There are 26 main rooms.

A main room is normally a twin bedded room although there are a couple with queen size beds. They naturally have on suite bathrooms.

All rooms have wall saves. There are shelves and hangars for clothes. On the writing desk is a kettle with tea and coffee facility.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 5:            Sabean International Hotel, Axum     


Situated in northern Ethiopia, Axum, also Aksum, is the ancient capital of the old Kingdom of Axum, one of the most important historical sites in sub-Saharan Africa. The town of Axum is the centre of a myriad of religious mysteries. It said to be the home of the biblical Ark of the Covenant, the previous home of the Queen of Sheba and it is believed to be the resting place of one of the wise men. Axum’s historical archaeological sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The undeniable highlight of this ancient city and its most renowned surviving monuments is a group of memorial monolithic obelisks, or stelae, built between the third and fourth centuries A.D.

Day Itinerary

Take a scenic drive to Axum, for about 7 hours,  capital of the ancient Axumite Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frequent stops at viewpoints along the way. Arrive in Axum late afternoon.

Overnight: Sabean International Hotel        

Situated in Aksum, the Sabean International Hotel features suites that epitomise a harmonious blend of luxury, aesthetics, and comfort, all equipped with satellite TV, high-speed internet, minibars, and safes. The hotel also offers an on-site restaurant.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 6:            Sabean International Hotel, Axum     

Day Itinerary

Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. See St. Mary Tsion Church, which houses the Ark of the Covenant according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (no one is allowed to see the Ark.) Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 7:            Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela           


Situated in northern Ethiopia, the town of Lalibela is named after King Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty. The town is considered Ethiopia’s cultural capital and one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, it serves as a centre of pilgrimage. The undeniable highlight of this ancient capital is dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’  and includes eleven rock-hewn churches dating back to the 13th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is carved out of solid rock and includes subterranean monoliths, a network of interconnected tunnels, and chambers featuring magnificent frescoes. Lalibela also plays host to some of the most famous church festivals in Ethiopia.

Lalibela Doorway
Entry Door

Day Itinerary

Fly to Lalibela on Ethiopian Airlines (about 10am)  700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa. Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This group of eleven monolithic and semi-monolithic structures were carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings.

St. George Church, Lalibela.
St. George Church

Overnight: Panoramic View Hotel    

Standing high on Lalibela Mountain, the Panoramic View Hotel offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Ethiopian highlands and countryside in all directions. The spacious guest rooms include private balconies with amazing views as well as Wi-Fi. A breakfast is included in the rate, and guests can dine at the bar and restaurant featuring traditional local dishes and international cuisine. Meals can be enjoyed inside the restaurant or on the rooftop terrace. The famous churches of Lalibela are only a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and many restaurants, artisan shops, and bars are located nearby.



Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 8:            Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela           

Day Itinerary

For the morning you have two choices: Take a morning hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the town; – OR – Drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands. Following either option above continue with tour of Lalibela’s churches in the afternoon..

Monk, Lalibela
Monk at study


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities

Day 9:            End of Itinerary     

Day Itinerary

Fly to Addis Ababa. Visit the National Museum, home of the 3 million year old skeleton “Lucy.” Optional souvenir shopping. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure or additional hotel night booked upon request.


Full Board Plus – Dinner, Bed, Breakfast, Lunch and Activities


DateFlightAirlineDeparture AirportTimeArrival AirportTimeClassRef
 Scheduled Bole International Airport [ADD] Bahir Dar Airport [BJR]   
 Scheduled Axum Lalibela Airport [LLI]   
 Scheduled Lalibela Bole International Airport [ADD]   

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