The traveler who truly wants to “experience” all Ethiopia has to offer will be drawn to Vast Ethiopia Tours’s Complete Ethiopia Tour. In just under three weeks, travelers can participate in the tribal culture on the Southern Cultural Route and afterwards travel through time on the Northern Historic Route.
First, in the Omo Valley, travelers witness Ethiopia’s many ethnicities and cultural traditions. The Southern Cultural Route takes travelers to the heart of the most remote tribes, whose animist beliefs strike a chord with the true African experience.
Each tribe has its own distinctive characteristics and traditional ways of life. The Mursi and Surma people are famous for their lip plates, the Arbore and Hamer, for the amazing paintings on their bodies. The southern part of Ethiopia is also home to several national parks suitable for camping and viewing wildlife such as the buffalo, cheetah, leopard, giraffe, Bruchell’s zebra, hartebeest, topi, oryx and even the elusive lion.
Next, travelers will be whisked away to a wholly different experience steeped in history and ancient civilizations. On the Northern Historic Route travelers visit the former capitals of the Gonderite and Axumite empires, as well as to the sacred city of Lalibela.
The Complete Ethiopia Tour takes travelers some 4000 kilometers overland and by air through the Ethiopian country side, mountains and desert. Driving from site to site and from village to village gives the traveler a chance to see the places in between, enjoy local culture and see the Ethiopia that exists outside of these incredible sites and villages.
Day 1 Arrival to Addis Ababa. Overnight Ghion Hotel.
Day 2 Drive to Arba Minch. Overnight Bekele Molla Hotel.
Day 3 Drive to Nechisar National Park to see animals, including various species of birds. Drive to Lake Chamo for short boat excursion and return to Arba Minch. Overnight Bekele Molla Hotel.
Day 4 Drive to Jinka via Woito and Key Afer. Overnight Jinka Resort Hotel.
Day 5 Drive to Mursi tribe villages and return to Jinka. Overnight Jinka Resort Hotel.
Day 6 Drive to Turmi via Dimeka and visit the Hamer tribe villages and ceremonies (depending on availability). Overnight camping at Turmi.
Day 7 Drive to Muruulle to visit the Karo tribe village. Overnight camping at Turmi.
Day 8 Drive to Omorata and visit the Dassanech (Gelab) tribe village. Overnight camping at Turmi.
Day 9 Drive to Konso via Tsamay and visit Erbore and Konso villages. Overnight Konso, option: local hotel or camping.
Day 10 Drive to Yabelo via Borena villages and visit Elsod salt extraction site, and singing wells. Overnight in Yabelo at Yabelo Motel.
Day 11 Drive North to Wondo Genet and enjoy the natural hot spring at Wondo Genet. Overnight Wabi Shebele Hotel.
Day 12 Drive to Addis Ababa via Awassa to visit the fish market and see Lake Awassa’s rich birdlife. Overnight in Addis at Ghion Hotel.
Day 13 Fly to Bahir Dar and take boat trip on Lake Tana to visit island monasteries. Overnight Tana Hotel.
Day 14 Drive to the Blue Nile Falls (32 km south) and return to Bahir Dar. Overnight Tana Hotel.
Day 15 Drive to Gonder and visit the 17th century castle compound and bath. Overnight Goha Hotel.
Day 16 Gonder, full Day. Visit the church of Debre Berhan Selassie and the Felasha village. Overnight Goha Hotel.
Day 17 Drive to Axum on the way admiring the spectacular views Tigray and across Tekezze river forge. Overnight Remhai Hotel.
Day 18 Axum, full day. Visit the ancient stelae, archeological sites, Queen of Sheba’s bath and palace, excavated tombs and perhaps the country’s most revered church: St. Mary of Zion (where legend says the Ethiopian Orthodox Church keeps the original Ark of Covenant). Overnight Remhai Hotel.
Day 19 Fly to Lalibela and visit the first group of rock-hewn churches. Overnight Mountain view Hotel.
Day 20 Lalibela, full day. Morning mule ride or hike to Asheten Maryam monastery and afternoon visit to the remaining churches of Lalibela. Overnight Mountain view Hotel.
Day 21 Fly to Addis Ababa for half-day city tour and farewell dinner. Overnight Ghion Hotel.
*Lodges can replace camping upon request.
*Camping gear can be provided upon request.
Photo Gallery of VAST Ethiopia
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