13 Days Historical and Cultural Tour

This cultural tour focuses on the ancient history and culture of Ethiopia as well as the people and nature on the classic Historic Route of Ethiopia. Among other things, on this tour, you will visit Three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

As you travel by road on the classic Historic Route of Ethiopia, you will be able to explore more of the country's less-visited sites, beautiful nature, culture, and history as all these unfold in front of you each and every mile. As you drive from Addis Ababa, you will pass through many villages and small towns. On this route, you will stop at Jemma River Gorge and you will be driving through the magnificent Blue Nile River Gorge, Ethiopia’s own Grand Canyon.

You can book this tour on any date as an individual journey.

Tour Code: ETE022
Duration: 12 nights (13 days)
Transportation: Land (4WD)
Tour starts: Addis Ababa
Tour ends: Addis Ababa

Trip Highlights

Day 01: Arrive Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed by your tour guide and driven to Jupiter Hotel (4*). For the rest of the day, you will take a city tour of Addis Ababa, which includes the National Museum, one of the churches in Addis Ababa, the Piassa, the Mercato, and the view from Mount Entoto

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 02: Lake Tana, Blue Nile Falls, Bahir Dar

In the morning, we will take a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana. The 37 islands of Lake Tana shelter 20 monasteries — surviving remnants of an old, contemplative tradition. After lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 km to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 03: Bahir Dar, Gondar

After breakfast, we will drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery of Fogera to arrive at Gondar around lunchtime. Founded by Emperor Fasiledas around 1635, Gondar is a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its many medieval castles and the design and architecture of its churches. Debre Berhan Selassie represents a masterpiece of the unique Ethiopian school of traditional art. This afternoon, you will visit this ancient city and the castles.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 04: Gondar, Simien Mountains National Park- Gonder

After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Simien Mountains National Park. Driving from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, you will be stunned with the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rest of the day we will trek among troops of endemic Gelada Baboons to explore the surrounding area of Sankaber, part of the Simien Mountains National Park.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 05: Gonder- Lalibela

Today you will drive to Lalibela via visiting the Awra Amba community, The fact that its members work together, are diligent, disciplined and self-confident makes the Awra Amba community distinct from other Amhara communities. Women have equal rights as men and there is no distinction in divisions of labor between men and women. All people in the community have no religion as distinct from most communities in Ethiopia. They believe in hard work and being good to people.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 06: Lalibela

After breakfast, we will drive to the site of some of Ethiopia’s most famous rock-hewn churches, often referred to by many as one of “the living wonders of the world”. These churches are, and they have been for at least 800 years, an active Christian shrine — the spiritual center of the country’s religious life. The monolithic churches were carved out of a 2,600-square-meter natural rock terrace in the 12th century AD by King Lalibela. In the evening, there will be a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 07: Asheten Mariam, Lalibela (B, D)

In the morning, take a mule ride, and/or walk to the top of Asheten Mariam Monastery. This is very famous for its 12th-century monastery church and beautiful view at 10,298 ft above sea level. After having lunch and resting at the hotel, later in the afternoon, you will visit one of the local school.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 08: Lalibela, Addis Ababa- Langano

After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, we will meet our drivers for the drive to the Great Ethiopian Rift Valley and Lake Langano. While driving from Addis Ababa to Langano, we will pass by different small towns and stop for a visit at one of the most beautiful Rift Valley Lakes, Lake Ziway. The rest of the day, relax around the beautiful Sabana Lodge perched on the top of the hill overlooking the beautiful lake.

Overnight: Lodge

Day 09: Langano, Dorze, Arba Minch (B, D)

In the morning, we drive further southwest to the Great Rift Valley visiting the small villages of Welyita at Sodo and Alaba at Tembaro enroute. When we approach Arba Minch town, we will make a detour to drive north to the mountain village of Chencha located on the southwestern escarpment of the Great Rift Valley running north to south all the way to Mozambique. This is the home of the Dorze people. Once famous warriors in the region, the Dorze are now renowned cotton weavers whose tall beehive-shaped and bamboo-woven dwellings are among the most distinctive structures to be seen anywhere in Africa.

Overnight: Hotel

Day 10 : Arba Minch, Konso-Turmi

Today we will drive to Turmi including the Konso villages enroute. The Konso are famous for their old and unique terracing and unusual engraved wooden statues of grave markers. Between Konso and Jinka, we will also take brief stops to visit different cultural peoples.

Overnight: Lodge

Day 11: Turmi, Omorate- Turmi

In the cool morning, we will drive to Omorate to visit the Desanech (Geleb) tribal village after crossing the Omo River by boat. The Desanech are nomadic pastoralists found across the western bank of the Omo River south of Lake Turkana very close to the Kenyan boarder. In the afternoon, we will drive to Hamer village. The Hamer display an elaborate and diverse selection of body decorations. They are also identifiable for their high cheekbones and elaborate custom of beads, cowries, and leather, and thick copper necklaces. At the same village we will enjoy the seasonal cultural activities including the famous Evangadi (Hamer Dancing).

Overnight: Lodge

Day 12-Jinka, Mago, Mursi, Jinka

After having an early breakfast, we will drive to Jinka then to Mursi village. The Mursi, undoubtedly the most celebrated residents of South Omo, are a distinctive group of pastoralists. The Mursi are best known for their unique item of decoration — lip plates. Women of Mursi wear a circular clay plate on their lower lip, and the bigger a woman can wear, the greater her value when she gets married. After our visit to the Mursi village, we will have a picnic lunch in Mago National Park and drive to Jinka.

Overnight: Lodge

Day 13: Jinka- Addis Ababa- End of the tour.

Today, you will take the early flight to Addis Ababa, upon arrival you will have a free time to buy souvenirs. In the evening, there will be farewell dinner party with a traditional special buffet and local drinks. There will also be a cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country — the perfect end to our tour. At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back home. End of tour.

Enquire now

Other tours