Ethiopia's Unmissable

Trip description

Ethiopia has so many incredible historical, cultural and geographical sites that it is difficult to make a choice. If you have only 15 days but would like to visit the high places of the country, here is an itinerary that combines a tour in the north, rich in historical and geographical remains, and a loop in the south where the famous tribes of the Omo Valley are located

Day 1: Addis Ababa, the capital city

Day 2: Lalibela, the surroundings

Day 3: Lalibela, the eleven churches in the centre

Day 4: Aksum, the giant stelae

Day 5: Gondar: the castles

Day 6: Bahar Dar

Day 7: The monasteries of Lake Tana

Day 8: Arba Minch

Day 9: The Dorzé Kingdom

Day 10: Turmi and the Konso people

Day 11: Les and Dimeka

Day 12: Mago National Park and the Mursis

Day 13: Yabelo and the Borana

Day 14: Lake Langano

Day 15: Return to Addis Ababa

Day 1 : Addis Ababa, the capital city

Day1 : Addis Ababa, the capital city ©TRINITY

Arrival in Addis Ababa, visit of the Ethnological Museum. An escapade to Entoto Hill allows you to discover one of Menelik II's first palaces and have a panoramic view of the Ethiopian capital. Go out in the evening to an ethiojazz or traditional Ethiopian music and dance club

Day 2 : Lalibela, the surroundings

Day2 : Lalibela, the surroundings ©Abdesslam BENZITOUNI

Early in the morning we take an Addis-Lalibela plane. Arrival at the hotel and departure for the visit of the Estifanos monastery on the shores of Lake Hayq, or some churches around the city. The bravest can go to the Yemrehanna Kristos church near Bilbila, one of the most surprising in terms of its decoration.

Day 3 : Lalibela, the eleven churches in the centre

Day3 : Lalibela, the eleven churches in the centre ©TRINITY

It takes a good day to take the time to visit and immerse yourself in the faith of the eleven incredible churches carved into the rock of Lalibela, also known as the "New Jerusalem". We recommend that you visit the north group in the morning, the most spectacular, and the south group in the afternoon. Flight to Aksum in the late afternoon.

Day 4 : Aksum, the giant stelae

Day4 : Aksum, the giant stelae ©Alamer - Iconotec

Visit Aksum, the northernmost city on the Eritrean border. Its majestic erected stelae are from a pagan era of which little is known today. You can visit royal tombs, the ruins of the Queen of Sheba's palace and churches, as everywhere. Flight to Gondar at the end of the day, overnight stay on site.

Day 5 : Gondar: the castles

Day5 : Gondar: the castles ©Abdesslam BENZITOUNI

Gondar: visit the fortified complex of the city's six castles, capital of Ethiopian rulers from the 17th to the 19th century, and the unmissable Debre Birhan Selassie church. A stroll through the city, quite developed and dynamic. Rest in preparation for the trek in the Simien the next morning very early

Day 6 : Bahar Dar

Day6 : Bahar Dar ©TRINITY

Drive towards Bahar Dar, count half a day in a 4x4. On the way, contemplate the beautiful landscapes around Lake Tana. Afternoon: stroll in the pretty leisure town by the lake, shopping for local crafts, well-deserved rest and dinner in a good restaurant in the centre

Day 7 : The monasteries of Lake Tana

Day7 : The monasteries of Lake Tana ©BremecR - iStockphoto

Take a day to carry out excursions on the monasteries of Lake Tana and visit the beautiful churches that are built there, some of which have the finest frescoes of the country. Return to Bahar Dar late afternoon and plane for Addis Ababa. Arrival at the hotel and exit in a good restaurant in the capital.

Day 8 : Arba Minch

Day8 : Arba Minch ©TRINITY

Take a flight in the morning to Arba Minch, a very authentic city visit. If this is a Saturday, you can also visit the market of Sodomy. In Arba Minch, several hotels with views of the two Lakes Abaya and Chamo allow you to recover from the fatigue of the first days of travel.

Day 9 : The Dorzé Kingdom

Day9 : The Dorzé Kingdom ©TRINITY

Climb in 4 x 4 on the heights of the kingdom of Dorzé in the eponymous village. The landscapes are beautiful, and the architecture of the huts is remarkable and unique in the country. Don't miss to attend a market: on Monday and Thursday, beautiful fabric market in Dorzé. Tuesday and Saturday, market in Chencha (5 km from Dorzé). Thursday morning, Marché market. In the afternoon, go to Konso.

Day 10 : Turmi and the Konso people

Day10 : Turmi and the Konso people ©TRINITY

Exploration of the Konso villages and their remarkable social and urban structure. Route to Turmi. Meeting on the markets of the Erboré, Bana and Hamer peoples living in the region. Night in lodge for maximum comfort, if not: camping equipment and cook in general included in the starting price.

Day 11 : Les and Dimeka

Day11 : Les and Dimeka ©François JANNE DOTHEE

If it is a Tuesday, visit the market of Dimeka, renowned for its cultural diversity. Many people from the South are giving their appointment. Alternatively, you can make a village tour with a guide. Then take the road to Jinka. Possibility to choose a beautiful hotel or a very pleasant campsite to change the spartan accommodation of the trip.

Day 12 : Mago National Park and the Mursis

Day12 : Mago National Park and the Mursis ©Abdesslam BENZITOUNI

Early in the morning, visit Mago Park with the must-see Mursi, the women with trays inserted in the lower lip. This is one of the highlights of tribal visits from southern Ethiopia. If it is a Thursday, stop at the Key Afer market, very authentic. In the afternoon, drive to Yabelo.

Day 13 : Yabelo and the Borana

Day13 : Yabelo and the Borana ©Alfotokunst /

Unmissable Yabelo market on Saturdays. Visit the famous freshwater wells dug deep by the Borana ethnic group nearly 100 km from Yabelo, as well as the crater lakes where men collect alkaline deposits.

Day 14 : Lake Langano

Then take the road to Lake Langano, the only one where you can swim because it is free of bilharzia. Well-deserved rest in one of the new lodges along the lake and a stroll along the banks

Day 15 : Return to Addis Ababa

Return to the capital. Last purchase of traditional fabrics, silver jewelry, crafts... You will find all kinds of gifts to bring back.

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