Extraordinary Ethiopia: Highlands & Beyond
Explore stunning forests, bustling towns, sweeping green mountain landscapes, plus unusual wildlife such as the Ethiopian wolf and Gelada monkeys in this up-and-coming destination.
East Africa: Drink It In
Ethiopia is home to a variety of unique and endemic species. Explore with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) and discover remote Bale Mountains National Park—home to rare Ethiopian wolves and over 300 species of birds—and Simien Mountains National Park, where the engaging gelada baboons reside. Ethiopia is known for its legendary historical sites, including some of the earliest churches known to Christendom in Lalibela and the royal castles of Gondar. Enjoy the convenience and comfort of private air charters to Ethiopia’s wild parks and historic highlands.
Travel Curator’s Insights:
- • Learn more about the AWF's important work with a stay at Limalimo, a conservation enterprise lodge developed by AWF, and visit an AWF Classroom Africa school, which provides primary education for local children.
• Get up close with enormous troops of gelada monkeys and see breathtaking scenery from your lodge perched high on an escarpment in the Simien Mountains.
• Travel with this well-connected operator who has been developing new destinations consistently for over 38 years.
From $13,789 per person
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Trip Sustainability Awards
Fantastic advances in minimizing carbon footprints at locations.
On the East African Energy Renewal Board
Runs local educational facilities for children.
Days 1-2: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Arrive in Addis Ababa International Airport and transfer to the Sheraton Addis Hotel. Meet your AWF safari leader and fellow travelers for a briefing on your adventure ahead. The next day, after a leisurely morning, venture into the city to visit national sites, including the Holy Trinity Church and the National Museum. Visit a local market and enjoy a traditional coffee ceremony.
Accommodation: Sheraton Addis
Sheraton Addis: Located in the heart of the Ethiopian capital, Sheraton Addis sits on a hilltop overlooking the city, nestled between the National Palace and the prime minister’s residence. This 5-star hotel mixes African refinement with modern accents, and boasts glittering pools with underwater music, an indulgent spa menu of soothing massages at Aqva Club, and several gourmet restaurants.
Days 3-5: Bale Mountains National Park
This morning, take a private charter flight to Goba and enjoy a scenic drive through the national park to Bale Mountain Lodge, a conservation enterprise lodge supported by AWF. Bale Mountains National Park is a premier destination for wildlife enthusiasts, hikers, birdwatchers, and cultural explorers. Hike the local Hagenia Forest and drive over the high plateau in search of the rare Ethiopian wolf. With fewer than 400 of these wolves remaining, they are the most endangered carnivore in all of Africa.
Accommodation: Bale Mountain Lodge
Bale Mountain Lodge: Bale Mountain Lodge is an eight-room boutique wilderness lodge set in the pristine wilderness of Bale Mountains National Park. The central lodge blends beautifully into its hilly surroundings, and features a traditional 'tukul' dining area that overlooks the sweeping vistas of the valley and mountains beyond.
Days 6-8: Simien Mountains National Park
After an early breakfast, return to Goba for your private charter flight to the historic city of Gondar. After a brief city tour, drive to the breathtaking Simien Mountains National Park, with views often compared to the Grand Canyon. Limalimo Lodge is a conservation enterprise lodge developed by AWF and is perched on the edge of the escarpment to take full advantage of the panoramic views. Look for the critically endangered walia ibex and meander through enormous troops of gelada monkeys, casually photographing as you walk amongst them. You will also visit an AWF Classroom Africa school, which provides access to high-quality primary education for the local children.
Accommodation: LimaLimo Lodge
LimaLimo Lodge: Perched on the edge of the escarpment, Limalimo Lodge is the perfect home base for exploring Ethiopia's Simien Mountains National Park. Combining simple luxury and elegant design in a stunning setting, the lodge promotes sustainable tourism with minimal environmental impact, and provides new opportunities to the local community.
Day 9: Bahir Dar
This morning, depart by road and arrive in Bahir Dar in time for lunch on the shores of Lake Tana. In the afternoon, take a boat tour to visit the local monasteries of Lake Tana, taking in their vibrant colors and learning of their rich history.
Accommodation: Kuriftu Resort & Spa
Kuriftu Resort & Spa: Breathtaking landscapes encompass the resort and guests can enjoy an outdoor pool and sunbathing terrace that overlooks gorgeous Lake Tana. An organic spa and gourmet restaurants are the perfect places to relax after a full day of exploration.
Day 10: Lalibela / Addis Ababa
On your final full day, board a private charter flight to Lalibela, home to one of the world’s most astounding sacred sites. Nearly a dozen subterranean churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of stone centuries ago, continue to be in use today. Religious ritual is central to life in this town of 10,000 inhabitants — with more than 1,000 of them being priests. Enjoy lunch at Ben Abeba, which offers spectacular views, before flying onward to Addis for dinner and overnight at the Shreaton Addis.
Accommodation: Sheraton Addis
Day 11: Addis Ababa
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your independent homeward flight. (This day includes Breakfast.)
If you've been to Kenya and Tanzania and are ready for somewhere very different, or if you're looking for a more off-the-beaten-path Africa trip, Ethiopia is emerging as a fascinating destination. This operator will show it to you through the eyes of a wildlife conservationist.
Joy Martinello, Founder
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