Tailor-made Ethiopia tours
A very unique country, Ethiopia is a place where 12th century rock-hewn churches are in daily use, and 17th century castles are only recent history. Currently it is enjoying modernization while it seems to also hold on to the values of its past. In the north of the country, interesting ’boutique’ hotels are opening and others are being updated. So if you have ever considered an Ethiopia tour or holiday, but held back because the accommodation was lacking, this could be the time to act. We show some sample Ethiopia tours below but in reality all our tours are tailor-made around your time, interests and budget.
Why visit Ethiopia?
Ethiopia is blessed with extensive natural variety and beauty. The landscape varies from the depths of the Danakil depression in the Afar at about 125 metres below sea level, to the peaks of the Simien Mountains at 4533m. In the Danakil the temperature can reach 50°C. Whilst elsewhere snow is not uncommon in the Simien highlands! In between the weather is mild and sometimes wet, resulting in a green and lush landscape through much of the country. The Great Rift Valley cuts through Ethiopia and creates a string of lakes towards the south.
Ethiopia is a very peaceful destination with so much to offer the traveller. If you have already explored elsewhere in Africa and looking for something off the beaten track, think of Ethiopia. An Ethiopia tour could include the mysterious rock-cut churches of Lalibela, the enigmatic Stele park of Axum or the timeless Lake Monasteries of Lake Tana. You may like to journey to the Simien Mountains to experience the dizzy heights of the Rift Valley Mountains with views of the valley 1500 m below or visit the historic walled city of Harar with its 99 mosques.
Ethiopia Tours: Religion & Culture
Religion is very much part of everyday life with the Orthodox Church (dating from the 4th century) established in the north. In the south some tribes follow their traditional beliefs whilst the Islamic faith is followed in the west. Apart from some monasteries which do not allow women, everyone is welcome to visit provided they remove their shoes and dress appropriately.
Music is everywhere in Ethiopia. It is used as an accompaniment to the local dance which involves a lot of shoulder movement. Touching shoulders (the ‘shoulder bump’) is a common greeting among friends.
Coffee comes from Ethiopia. Everywhere you can see the traditional coffee ceremony, involving much smoke and incense, performed in many restaurants and at the roadside stalls.
Ethiopian Wildlife & Landscapes
The Simien Mountains are a great high altitude trekking destination and are home to the Gelada baboon and a great number of birds. There are Simien wolves and Walia ibex to look for as you walk along the high mountain paths.
Further south in the Bale Mountains you are likely to see mountain nyala, the rare Ethiopian wolf and maybe even its odd-looking prey, the giant molerat. Most of our Ethiopia tours include one of these wildlife areas.
If you are torn between seeing the natural beauty of the country or the best of its history our Ethiopian tour, Northern Ethiopia History & Scenery offers both. This has the perfect combination of Ethiopia’s varied scenery as well as its famous churches and monasterys.
Below we offer a selection of Ethiopia tours. Have a look at the various regions of Ethiopia to decide which interest you most or check out Kate’s very enthuiastic post on Why visit Ethiopia. See here for more about Ethiopia’s early and later history.