Rondreis Addis Ababa - 14 days North & South


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Covid-19 safety measures during this trip

This trip is recommended by Yared Tour as a covid-19 safe travel experience in Ethiopia. This means that different aspects of the trip have been carefully considered in terms of physical distancing and hygiene standards. Ethiopia is a vast country and the rural areas in particular are sparsely populated.



During this trip you can expect:

  • Face masks provided for travellers

  • Careful selection of accommodation providers with high hygiene standards

  • Driver/guide trained in health and safety, first aid and covid-19 protocols

  • Vehicles regularly sanitized

  • Social distancing encouraged throughout the trip

  • Hand sanitiser provided for travellers and driver/guides

  • Temperature checks for travellers upon start of tour




Please read our Covid-19 Measures page for all up-to-date information about covid-19 in Ethiopia.


Day 1 & 2 - Bahir Dar: Lake Tana & Blue Nile falls

On day 1 you will fly from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar, the is big city in north-western Ethiopia. Arriving in Bahir Dar, you can relax in the hotel or enjoy a stroll along the lake.



The next day you will drive around 30km south of Bahir Dar and Lake Tana to visit the Blue Nile Falls . It’s immense power and beauty is known locally as ‘tis abay’ meaning ‘great smoke’. The best time of year to see the falls is during the wetter months. To reach the most beautiful viewpoint, we take a gentle stroll for around 1½ hours.



Lake Tana , source of the Blue Nile, is Ethiopia’s largest lake and an absolute delight to explore. We’ll be taking a boat ride to the lake’s peninsula visiting two picturesque church monasteries dating back to the 13th & 14th centuries. You’ll have a chance to explore the monasteries, see the colourful murals of Christian saints and martyrs adoring their walls and hear stories about the remains of ancient Ethiopian Emperors and treasures of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.


Day 3 - Vist Awra Amba

On the road between Bahir Dar, Gondar and Lalibela we’ll be stopping off to visit a village like no other in Ethiopia. The special community of Awra Amba is a thriving egalitarian society where residents believe in gender-equality, shared responsibility, hard work and education. The village was founded in 1972 on the vision of a young farmer named Zumra and a small group of like-minded friends. Today, Awra Amba has successfully evolved into a self-sustaining community, independent of food aid and religious funding. Residents run a weaving social enterprise and profits are invested into community services such as a local library and retirement home. You’ll have the chance to visit the village and then continue towards Gondar, a legendary city so full of regal history that it is often regarded to be ‘the Camelot of Africa’.


Day 4 - Imperial Gondar

We take the full morning to learn about the Kings and Emperors of Ethiopia and discover all the best of World Heritage Site Gondar.



During a guided tour, we visit some of the oldest and most impressive buildings dating back to the 17th century and Fasilides’ time; the Royal Enclosure , a 70,000 sq/m compound contains the remains of several royal buildings; Fasilides’ castle, Iyasu’s palace, Dawit’s Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Empress Mentewab’s castle, a chancellery, library and three churches. Near the city lies Fasilides’ ancient bathhouse, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing, and finally Debre Berhan Selassie church , said to be one of the most beautiful and well-preserved in the country.


Day 5 - Drive to Lalibela

We’ve saved the best North Ethiopia until last, the world wonder of Lalibela. In this magical, cobblestone town, you can view no less than thirteen beautiful medieval churches. Lalibela’s churches have also been carved out of rocks, like Tigray’s, but they sit below ground level, some connected by narrow passages. It is believed the churches were built for King Lalibela, with the help of angels (as the legend tells), whose vision was to create a ‘new Jerusalem’ for Christian Ethiopians during the 13th century.



After a long journey, you’ll soak up more of the jovial atmosphere and traditional nightlife at a local bar whilst enjoying Asmari performances, Ethiopia’s version of stand-up comedy. And of course, you will have the chance to taste Lalibela’s delicious local honey wine and enjoy more good Ethiopian food.


Day 6: Churches of Lalibela

Today you explore the mystical rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, that are organised into two groups. The northern group consists of six churches including Bet Medhane Alem, the largest of all Lalibela churches which has the shape of a Greek temple. Bet Maryam, dedicated to Maria has a bath which is said to have wonderful healing properties. Other churches are Bet Meskal, Bet Danaghel, and the interconnected churches of Bet Golgotha and Bet Mika'el.



The southern group consists of four churches including Bet Amanuel which is praised by art historians for its beautifully decorated exterior walls. Bet Abba Libanos, has a structure of great charm, and Bet Gabriel-Rufael.Last but not least you visit the remarkable church of Bet Giyorgis, carved into a cross shape and perhaps the most elegant of all in Lalibela.


Day 7 & 8- Jinka: the Ari or Mursi tribe

Our next stop is Jinka, a fast-developing market town set in a cradle of green hills above Mago National Park which gives the area a cooler climate compared to the rest of the Lower Omo Valley.
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The Ari tribe represent the largest population among all groups of the Omo Valley, living around Jinka. Ari are the farmers and one of the most advanced tribes of the valley. They grow a variety of vegetables, fruits, coffee and herbs like cardamom. Visit some farmers houses and experience daily life, like injera cooking or the black smith’s work. From Jinka, we may alternatively visit the Mursi tribe, an ethnic group living around west of Jinka.



The Mursi have a rich cultural heritage and they are most well-known by the outside world for their practice of ceremonial stick fighting and the large pottery discs (‘debhinya’) which are worn by Mursi women in their lower lips. It is not always advisable to visit the Mursi, because it is difficult to really get in touch with the people. We will help you planning which tribes to visit.


Day 9 - To Turmi - Hamar Region

Today you will travel from Jinka to Turmi. We pass through Key Afar, the main town of the Banna tribe. We’ll catch one of the biggest traditional tribal markets which takes place on Thursdays. Groups of Ari, Benna, Tsemay and Hamar people are the main attendees, walking long distances to buy and sell local commodities at the Key Afar market, like tabacco (‘tampo’), coffee husks (‘bunno’) and sorghum (‘asine’). At the catle market men trade cows and goats. As the day progresses, you will also see the popular drink ‘parsee’ – a beloved traditional beer made from fermented sorghum being passed around groups of people in large calabash gourds.



You’ll witness the landscape dramatically change to wild, dry, acacia tree savannah and feel the warmth and humidity rise. You’ll also notice colourful wraps change to animal skins, shoes to rubber sandals, and the diverse fashions of passers-by wearing brightly coloured adornments and fantastic hairstyles. Turmi village lies in the heart of the Hamar tribe region. From here you will explore different tribes in the Lower Omo Valley.



You can best visit the Hamar tribe in the evening, after the work has been done. Therefore, we will take you here just before sunset. You will spend time in the Hamar community with a trained guide and a local family, enjoying the traditional food, drink, delving deeper into rural tribal culture.


Day 10 - The Hamar Tribe

Ancient traditions still form the backbone of daily life in Hamar. Most live in rural settlements and practise traditional livelihoods through subsistence agro-pastoralism. Daily life revolves around taking care of livestock, domestic duties and farming of maize and sorghum. Hamar men are semi-nomadic and travel with large herds of goats and cattle between grazing areas, whereas Hamar women take care of the children, cooking, water and firewood collection.



Ceremonies and rituals are an integral part of traditional Hamar life. The most well-known is a rite of passage for men into adulthood and marriage called ‘ukili bula’ or bull-jump. During the ceremony, a young Hamar man leaps naked over several of his family’s bulls. It’s a highlight to witness if there’s one taking place whilst you’re here.


Day 11 & 12 - Drive to Unesco Konso

On day 9 we will drive from Turmi to Konso. The Konso are a resourceful, efficient, charming, careful, and hard-working people. They have always fiercely defended their territory. This is evident in the fact that each village is walled . They are famous for their wooden anthropomorph statuettes, erected in honor of important - deceased - people. In the Konso language these statuettes are called Waga. You’ll have a chance to walk around the fortress like villages (‘kantas’) with their uniquely designed stone-walled walkways, thatched huts and terraced farms.



Konso is also known for its natural phenomenon "New York" - interesting pinnacles of red earth, reminiscent of city skyscrapers with a legendary tale. On day 10 you will drive from Konso to Arba Minch. Time to relax at the pool in the afternoon!


Day 13 – Nech Sar & Dorze tribe

During today’s action-packed excursion, we visit the nearby scenic Nech Sar National Park . From the park’s edge, we take a motorboat on the lake to see hundreds of huge Nile crocodiles bathing in the sun and hippos bobbing in and out of the water. There are also many pelicans and other birds around the lake.



In the afternoon, we drive into the Gamo highlands outside of Arba Minch, to visit an extraordinary mountain community called Dorze. The traditional way of life of the Dorze people is fascinating. The friendly local community invite you into their beautiful villages to view their huts artfully woven from bamboo and thatched with leaves, which look like huge beehives or upturned baskets, followed by visits to the weaving, pottery and tanning cooperatives. You will also enjoy the breath-taking views of the lakes in the valley.


Day 14 - Relax and flight to Addis Ababa

Today we head back to Addis Ababa by plane. You could shop or make a single final visit in the capital in the afternoon. Or you take a rest in your dayroom in Addis Ababa. You'll be picked up and dropped at the airport.



Thank you for travelling with Yared Tour & Travel!


Customized tour through Ethiopia

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