Best Ethiopia tour safari is a 14 days African safari tour in Ethiopia. This 14 day Ethiopian safari tour takes you both to north and south of the country. Be sure to have the best of cultural and historical insights in this safari.
About the 14 Day Best Ethiopia Tour Safari
The Best Ethiopia tour safari is the ultimate comprehensive safari in Ethiopia. You will cover the north by flight. The south will be covered by road when on the best Ethiopia tour safari. This Ethiopia safari is for those who want to experience the best of Ethiopia.
This Best Ethiopia tour combines the highlights of Northern- and Southern Ethiopia. The Ethiopia tour is ideal for those who wish to combine two completely different parts of the country. You will have in one intense, yet comfortable Ethiopia safari trip. You will not only have a surprise but you’ll get fascinated by this diverse journey.
Highlights of the 14 Day Best Ethiopia Tour Safari
Among the highlights of this 14 Day Ethiopia tour safari include:
- Blue Nile Falls, Bahir Dar
- Boat trip on lake Tana with unique island monasteries and nature
- Former imperial town of Gondar (UNESCO world heritage site)
- Former imperial town of Axum with many relicts of a several thousand-year-old civilizations
- Famous Rock-hewn churches of Tigray in the Gheralta mountains
- Lalibela, the unofficial 8th wonder of the world (UNESCO world heritage site)
- Stelae of Tyia (UNESCO world heritage site)
- Boat Safari in lake Chamo with the Africa’s biggest crocodiles, hippos and bird species
- Visit of the colorful markets of Key Afer and Dimeka in the Omo Valley
- Authentic encounters with locals during visits of several communities
- Visit of the Konso region (UNESCO world heritage site)
Detailed 14 Day Best Ethiopia Tour Safari Itinerary
Day 1: Bahir Dar
You will be met at Bole Airport or your hotel in Addis Ababa. Our Ethiopia safari rep will brief you on the best Ethiopia safari. This is before you board a local flight at 0700 hrs to Bahir Dar. You will be met on arrival at the airport by our safari guide.
On a boat, your best Ethiopia tour safari heads for a tour on Lake Tana. You’ll visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands. There are also other monasteries found on the shores of this sacred lake. You’ll go to the Zege Penninsula to the monastery of Azuwa Maryam.
The visit also goes to the monastery of Ura Kidane Mehret. On the island is the monastery of Debre Maryam. This is found near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon you’ll drive out to the Blue Nile Falls. This will be for a short hike in the area. You’ll finish the day with a sundowner over the lake. Your overnight will be in Bahir Dar at Kuriftu Resort and Spa.
Day 2: Bahir Dar – Gondar
You will begin the day on this best Ethiopia safari with breakfast. This will be followed by a departure. You’ll drive north to Gondar. This will be a four-hour drive going through rural villages. You’ll enjoy wonderful insight into the Amhara culture.
On arrival you’ll settle in your hotel in Gondar. This is before going out to explore your surroundings. The sites that you will visit include the Royal Enclosure with six castles. There are several other buildings that are worth a visit.
Your best Ethiopia tour safari will also visit Fasilidas’s Pool. This pool is still used for Timket celebrations today. You’ll visit to Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. They have the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Today you’ll spend the night in Gondar at Taye Hotel.
Day 3: Gondar – Axum
You will wake up to an early breakfast before departure on this best Ethiopia safari. You will be flying early morning at 0745 hrs to Axum. Our guide will meet you on arrival at Axum.
Enjoy the transfer to your Axum hotel. You will spend the day visiting the sites of Axum. This includes the famous obelisks. One was recently erected after its return from Italy. There is the archaeological museum and the Queen of Sheba’s Bath. The latter supplies water to Axum year-round. You’ll also visit Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb and King Bazen’s tomb.
You cannot finish the royalty visit without the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. In Axum you can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church. This is where there is a belief that the Ark of the Covenant. It is only men allowed to enter the old church.
Unfortunately, you are not allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. This is a preserve only one chosen guardian monk. Your overnight will be at in Axum at Sabean International Hotel.
Day 4: Axum – Lalibela
You will have the morning at leisure on best Ethiopia tour safari. You can tour what you did not see in Axum. Your best Ethiopia tour safari will later enjoy a transfer to the airport. This is in time for the 1100 hrs morning flight to Lalibela.
Lalibela is the most famous of all the Ethiopian historical sites. You’ll venture out after settling in your hotel in Lalibela. You will tour the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. The tour starts with the Northwestern Cluster of churches. They include Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam and Bet Meskel.
There is also Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael and Bet Golgotha. At Bet Golgotha it is only men permited to enter. Evening and overnight in Lalibela will be at Mountain View Hotel.
Day 5: Lalibela
You’ll spend the full day of best Ethiopia safari in Lalibela. You will spend the morning on Lalibela tour to the church of Yimrehanne Kristos. It is the most popular of the churches outside of Lalibela. This church is built with layers of wood and granite. It is set in the entrance to a large cavern.
Your best Ethiopia tour safari will return to Lalibela for lunch break. You’ll have the afternoon visiting the South-eastern Cluster of churches. They include Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos.
You cannot finish best Ethiopia tour safari without visiting Bet Giyorgis. It is the most famous Ethiopian church. It was constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight will be in Lalibela at Mountain View Hotel.
Day 6: Lalibela – Addis Ababa – Awassa
Your best Ethiopia tour safari will wake up to your breakfast in the hotel. Later enjoy a transfer to the airport. You will be there in time for the 0900hrs flight to Addis Ababa. You will then leave and head South via Butajira.
There will be a few stops at archeological sites along the way. There will be a stop at Tiya which is an ancient stelae field a “UNESCO” World Heritage Site. You’ll also stop at Adadi Maryam which is a rock church like the ones in Lalibela.
The other stop your Best Ethiopia tour safari makes will be at Melka Kunture that is a pre-historic tool making site. This is before you get to the final destination which is Awassa. You will spend the night at Tadesse Enjory Hotel.
Day 7: Awassa – Dorze
Start your day on the best Ethiopia safari with breakfast. This will be followed by a visit Lake Awassa and the fish market. Your best Ethiopia tour safari then proceeds to to Dorze. This is set in the highlands above the town of Arba Minch.
The people of Dorze are famous for their beehive-like houses. They are also known for their fine cotton weaving. A Village tour is on the cards that includes the local market. This if only if the market is open. You may opt to go traditional and sleep at Dorze in traditional Dorze hut. The facility has shared toilet facilities. You may continue to Arba Minch for overnight at Tourist Hotel.
Day 8: Dorze – Turmi
Your best Ethiopia safari will leave after breakfast. You will be heading to the town of Turmi. You should expect to arrive in the afternoon. This journey will have a stop at the village of Weyto. This is home to the Tsemai tribe.
You will then head through the Weyto Valley to Erbore. Here you have the opportunity for a brief photography stop. Finally, you’ll be at Turmi, home of the Hamer tribe. Traditional night dancing of the Hamer tribe is a must for all. Your overnight in Turmi will be at Evangadi Lodge.
Day 9: Turmi
Today your best Ethiopia safari visits the Dassenech tribe. This is in the town of Omorate. From Omorate you’ll cross the Omo River by boat and enter a Dassenech village. You’ll return to Turmi in the afternoon.
You have a chance to visit the a local Hamer village. You’ll be lucky to have the Jumping of the Bulls ceremony. This is a coming-of-age ceremony that usher young men into adulthood. You will spend your night in Turmi at Evangadi Lodge.
Day 10: Turmi – Jinka
You’ll begin your best Ethiopia tour safari with an early breakfast. This will be before your departure to Jinka area. The drive takes you through the towns of Dimeka and Key Afar.
Dimeka offers one of the most colorful markets in the area. This is popular to th many Southern Ethiopia tribes, including Hamer, Benna and Karo. Your overnight in Jinka will be Orit Hotel.
Day 11: Jinka
Today you will begin your best Ethiopia safari early. This will be with breakfast before departure. You’ll drive through the Mago National Park. The best Ethiopia safari goes onto a village of the Mursi tribe.
The Mursi people are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. You’ll return to Jinka in the afternoon. You’ll visit the visit the South Omo Museum & Research Center. Here you’ll learn more about the local tribes. As an alternative, you may hike in the surrounding hills to visit a local Ari village. Your overnight in Jinka will be Orit Hotel.
Day 12: Jinka – Konso
Enjoy an early breakfast in your Jinka hotel. Your best Ethiopia safari then proceeds to the town of Konso. You’ll stop of in Key Afar to witness the Benna and Tsemai tribes trading goods. You will arrive in Konso in the afternoon.
Konso people are well known for their wooden statues (wakas). These are erected in honor of dead heroes. Konso people are also known for their innovative agricultural terracing. Time allowing, you may also visit the “natural New York Village”. This is named after the tall sand formations resembling skyscrapers. Your overnight in Konso will be at Strawberry Fields Ecolodge.
Day 13: Konso – Lake Langano
Today your best Ethiopia tour safari goes to Lake Langano. This will be after breakfast punctuated with stops. You will stop at the Senkele Wildlife Sanctuary. This is famed for its endemic Swayne’s Hartebeest. Your overnight will be at Lake Langano at Abule Bassumo Hotel.
Day 14: Lake Langano – Addis Ababa
You will wake up to an early breakfast on this best Ethiopia tour safari. You got time to enjoy a stunning morning swim in Lake Langano. This is before your departure as you head off for Addis Ababa.
Depending on time you’ll have a visit to the Abiatta-Shala National Park. This park offers up two interesting lakes. There is the Lake Shala, with its deep blue waters is the deepest lake in Ethiopia at 236m. Lake Abiatta is a soda lake with thousands of flamingos which you may see at various times of the year.
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Best Ethiopia Tour Safari Costs:
What is included in the Best Ethiopia Tour Safari cost?
- Accommodation on Twin/Double Bed Room sharing basis
- All entrance(admission) fees at places of visits in the itinerary
- All transfer in and outs
- Comfortable safari vehicle
- Gasoline (fuel) and driver’s allowance
- Professional experienced English-speaking guide for the entire route
- All on-site guides
- Bottled Water in the vehicle
- And, all related government taxes
Best Ethiopia Tour Safari Price excludes:
- Any meals and drinks
- Visa Fee
- Domestic flight fare
- Fees to take pictures and videos
- Any expense of personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry, tips for service people, etc
- And, any expense which is not mentioned in the “Included” List above
What to Carry on the Best Ethiopia Tour?
- Light and a few heavy clothing for evenings
- Closed, comfortable shoes
- Sun protection like sun cream, hat
Best Ethiopia Tour Safari Destinations
Best Ethiopia tour safari starts from Addis ababa to Bahir Dar. This is the capital city of the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia. It’s a port on the south shore of the huge inland Lake Tana. Dek Island is one of many islands in the lake that are home to medieval monasteries.
On the Zege Peninsula, the Ura Kidane Mihret monastery is known for its elaborate, colorful murals. The Blue Nile River snakes southeast of the city toward the towering cliffs at the Blue Nile Falls.
The Best Ethiopia tour safari to Bahir Dar takes you 500 meters above and 600 kilometres north of Addis Ababa. It provides the setting and starting point for the majority of northern Ethiopian tours.
It is situated on the edge of the beautiful Lake Tana, and surrounded by cool mountain air. Bahir Dar is a great contrast to Addis and a gentle introduction to the north of Ethiopia.
The town has a well-served airport that connects it to Addis Ababa and the entire north of the country, which is why most Ethiopia tours end here too.
Gondar is also referred to as Gonder. Your Best Ethiopia safaris tour goes to this city in northern Ethiopia. It’s known for the walled Fasil Ghebbi fortress and palace compound. This was once the seat of Ethiopian emperors.
You will notice on your Best Ethiopia tour safari that this town in dominated by the immense 17th-century castle of Emperor Fasilides, which combines Portuguese, Indian and local architectural styles.
Outside the complex is Debre Berhan Selassie church, with an interior of elaborate murals, including a ceiling of faces.
Gondar previously served as the capital of both the Ethiopian Empire and the subsequent Begemder Province.
The city holds the remains of several royal castles, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), for which Gondar has been called the “Camelot of Africa”.
The history of Gondar as the capital of Ethiopia really begins In 1636. This is when Emperor Fasilides ended the tradition by decreeing Gondar to be the Ethiopia’s capital.
He started building a walled enclosure around his castle became the palace compound for half a dozen of different palaces 3 churches and support buildings built of two centuries by his successors.
Aksum or Axum is a city in northern Ethiopia. Your Best Ethiopia tour safari goes to this town known for its tall, carved obelisks, relics of the ancient Kingdom of Aksum.
Most are in the northern Stelae Park, including a huge fallen pillar, now in pieces. Your Best Ethiopia tour safari goes to the Centuries-old St. Mary of Zion. This is a Christian church and pilgrimage site believed to have housed the biblical Ark of the Covenant.
The neighboring Chapel of the Tablet is said to contain the Ark today. On the Best Ethiopia tour safari, no one is allowed to see the same as it is a preserve of only one person in Ethiopia.
The Kingdom of Aksum (or Axum; also known as the Aksumite Empire) was a trading nation in the area of northern Ethiopia and Eritrea that existed from approximately 100 to 940 CE.
The Aksumite Empire at its height extended across most of present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, western Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, and Sudan. The capital city of the empire was Aksum, now in northern Ethiopia.
By 350, Aksum conquered the Kingdom of Kush. Around 520, King Kaleb sent an expedition to Yemen. This was against the Jewish Himyarite King Dhu Nuwas, who was persecuting the Christian/Aksumite community in his kingdom.
These wars may have been Aksum’s swan-song as a great power, but it is also possible that Ethiopia was affected by the Plague of Justinian.
The kingdom covered parts of what is now northern Ethiopia and Eritrea. Aksum was deeply involved in the trade network between India and the Mediterranean (Rome, later Byzantium).
Aksum’s access to both the Red Sea and the Upper Nile enabled its strong navy to profit in trade between various African (Nubia), Arabian (Yemen), and Indian states.
The Kingdom of Aksum is notable for a number of achievements. It had its own alphabet, the Ge’ez alphabet.
Under Emperor Ezana, Aksum adopted Christianity, which gave rise to the present-day Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahdo Church.
There exist different hypotheses as to why the empire collapsed, but historians agree that climate changes must have greatly contributed to the end of Aksum.
Why the Best Ethiopia safari tour to Aksum? It’s supposedly home to the Queen of Sheba and the Ark of the Covenant (which holds Moses’ 10 commandments).
It definitely was the centre of an ancient civilisation on a level with Rome, Greece and Egypt!
The Best Ethiopia tour safari then heads to Lalibela. This is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It’s known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries.
The Best of Ethiopia tour safari will be here for the rock strewn churches that are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians. Carved out of rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem, and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis.
Many are joined by tunnels and trenches, and some have carved bas-reliefs and colored frescoes inside.
Most famous as the centre of Ethiopia’s rock-hewn churches, Lalibela is a town soaked in magic and mysticism. You will confirm the same on your Best Ethiopia tour safari.
A small, rural village, an unassuming place set amidst a stunning highland landscape, Lalibela is home to some of the finest UNESCO rock-hewn churches in the world.
In true Ethiopian form, these churches sit alongside a unique, ancient, fascinating and untainted culture. With no gift shops, no souvenir touts, no staged cultural shows, Lalibela is refreshingly real.
The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century ‘New Jerusalem’ are situated in a mountainous region. Your Best Ethiopia tour safari goes to the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings.
Lalibela is a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion. You can join into one of the pilgrimage on the Best Ethiopia tour safari.
Your Best Ethiopia tour safari will tour the two main groups of churches. To the north of the river Jordan: Biete Medhani Alem (House of the Saviour of the World), Biete Mariam (House of Mary), Biete Maskal (House of the Cross), Biete Denagel (House of Virgins), Biete Golgotha Mikael (House of Golgotha Mikael)
To the south of the river your Best Ethiopia tour safari will visit Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel), Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos), Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos), Biete Gabriel Raphael (House of Gabriel Raphael), and Biete Lehem (House of Holy Bread).
The eleventh church, Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George), is isolated from the others, but connected by a system of trenches.
The Best Ethiopia tour safari then heads south with a stop in Tiya, is a town in central Ethiopia. It is situated in the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples Region south of Addis Ababa. It is also the location of an archaeological site.
Tiya is among the most important of the roughly 160 archaeological sites discovered so far in the Soddo region, south of Addis Ababa. The Best Ethiopia tour safari will stop here for you to be able to witness the same.
The site contains 36 monuments, including 32 carved stelae covered with symbols, most of which are difficult to decipher. Your Best Ethiopia tour safari will find the remains of an ancient Ethiopian culture whose age has not yet been precisely determined.
The pillar sites contain large stelae (monuments) of three types – anthropomorphic, phallic, and non-anthropomorphic/non-phallic. Anthropomorphic stelae are those which are given a human form. Phallic stelae are tall, thin shafts.
The final stelae are flat monuments that take on neither an anthropomorphic nor phallic form, yet still, take on the same basic form as the other megaliths.
Each of these types of stelae is prominent within the nine sites of the Gurage Zone. Additionally, most of the stelae in the Gurage Zone contain elaborate decorations.
They include symbols that resemble plants, swords, and human figures, standing “akimbo,” with their hands on their hips and elbows turned out.
Further south, your Best Ethiopia tour safari heads to Turmi, a market town in south-western Ethiopia. Located in the Debub Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region.
Your Best Ethiopia tour safari will go to a town hwith a latitude and longitude of 4°58′N 36°29′E with an elevation of 925 metres above sea level. Home to many of the Hamer people, Turmi has a weekly market on Mondays.
The small town of Turmi is the heart of the Omo Valley region where the Hamar tribe live. We timed our visit to arrive into Turmi on Monday, which is the big market day.
The people of all the Hamar villages in the area walk for hours to trade animals, goods that they have made, food they have grown, firewood and even souvenirs for tourists.
Down two side alleys are the mills where Hamar women take purchased grains to be ground into flour. The place buzzed with activities and we normally time your Best Ethiopia tour safari to be here during the market days.