- Day 1 & 2: Addis Abeba
- Day 3 : Bus to Bahir Dar, 558km, 10h
- Day 4 : Bahir Dar, half-day trip around the lake to visit monasteries and half-day trip to the falls
- Day 5 : Mini-bus to Gonder, 175km, 3h and half-day to visit the royal castle and church
- Day 6,7 & 8 : 2 days and a half trek in Simiens Moutains from Debark to Chennek with reach of a top peak in Imet Gogo at 3940m high
- Day 9,10 & 11 : Lalibela, visit of the 12 churches and walk to Asheton Maryam Monastery
- Day 12 : Plane from Lalibela to Addis Abeba with a stop in Gondar, 3h
- Day 13 : Bus to Arba Minch, 446km, 12h
- Days 14, 15, 16, 17 & 18 : Omo Valley with Konso, Mursi, Karo, Hamer, Bana tribes
- Day 19 : Bus to Addis Abeba, 446km, 12h
- Day 20 : Addis Abeba and flight to Nairobi
We spent 2 days in the capital city. The Ethnological Museum is interesting to understand the culture and different Ethiopian tribes (the visit takes around 1 hour and is located within the university campus). We loved to walk and loose ourselves in the chaotic « Merkato », an open air market where you can find everything you need. We tried our first delicious Ethiopian coffee at Tomoca’s counter and we tasted a wide range of Ethiopian dishes in Totot (including famous injara). The best way to visit Addis is merely to walk in the streets to feel the energy of the city!
We went for a 3 days / 2 nights trek in the moutains, from Debark to Chennek with a return by car from Chennek to Gondar. Our itinerary was the following: Day 1 = Debark to Buyit Ras 10 km ; Day 2 = Geech via Sankaber 25km ; Day 3 = Chennek via Imet Gogo 20km. The walk is accessible even if altitude is high – the highest point is Imet Gogo at 3926m above see level. We enjoyed a lot the beautiful scenery all along the trek, meeting local farmers on lowlands and valleyrs and meeting gelada baboons (a specie only found in the national park). Trekking in the national park will be always guided providing a guide, a scout, a cook and a mule man and equipment to camp.
We have been 3 days in Lalibela but if you run out of time 2 days are enough to visit the highlights of the city. We could not miss the 11 Orthodox monolithic rock-hewn churches. This religious masterpiece is today regarded as a symbolic representation of Jerusalem. If you have the chance, go to the churches on a sunday morning when peligrims gather (A ticket will allow you to enter a much as you want 5 days in a row). We also had a nice walk to the Asheton Maryam Monastery, 1h30 from Lalibela center, which offers a panoramic view of the countryside. In the city, the market teeming of life worth the detour and do not hesitate to have a talk with students – there are many in Lalibela willing to speak English.
South Omo Valley
We arranged a 5-days trip from Arba Minch with a 4W drive and a driver-guide, to discover some of the famous tribes in South Omo Valley. The fist day, we went in a Konso village and made a stop in « New York », then drove to Jinka. The 2nd day, we visited a Mursi village in Mago National Park (the journey itself makes the trip) and went to Key Afar market where Banna tribe gather. The 3rd day, we spend some time with Haris in their village and then participated in a bull jumping ceremony. The 4th day, we drove up to a Karo village through desertic landscapes and spent the afternoon in Dimeka. The 5th day, we went back to Arba Minch. We also had the chance to stay 2 nights in a Hammer family, who welcomed us like family and to spend some quality time with one chief of a Hammer tribe.
GDP / capita
Coffee & Khat
- The superb and quiet views of Simiens Moutains
- Meeting a Hamer family and live 2 days with them
- The kindness of Ethiopian people
- The food: pastas and injaras (especially tebs) and nice breakfasts with eggs and pancakes
- To pay twice or 3 times more than locals
- To be harassed by people thinking « you are white, so you are rich people, give me money »
- The slow service wherever you may go
- Andualem, our driver-guide to South Ethiopia in Omo Valley from Arba Minch. An amazing experience. Andy knows really well the area, speaks a really good english and enabled us to meet tribes off the touristic road. Priceless! Contact him by e-mail
- Arba Minch, Paradise Lodge Hotel. An amazing view of the 2 lakes and the forest, with all facilities (pool, internet, terrace in each bungalow) from 40 dollars a night.
- If you book your inbound flight with Ethiopian Airlines, you will be able to have 50% off on all internal flights in Ethiopia. Might worth the deal!
- We arranged our Simiens tour by ourselves from Debark (guide, mule man, cook, food and equipment) for the same price per person as the tours from Gondar will offer. If you want to be alone, it might be a good idea – if not don’t hesitate to pay for a tour (still negotiating the price).