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The only African country that has never
been colonised, Ethiopia is also unusual
for its rich Orthodox Christian heritage,
which was maintained even when all
its neighbours embraced Islam in the
seventh century. This journey travels
through this enthralling and beautiful
country, little explored by tourists, and
discovers the layers of history that have
shaped the land.
View more climate information & imperial units
Saving up to £400 on specific departures when booked by 12 Jan 20
Fly overnight from London (regional
connections available) to Addis Ababa. (N)
Arrive in the third highest capital in the world.
Afternoon city tour, including the Ethnographic
Museum and the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Overnight at the Golden Tulip Hotel (or
similar). Pre-dinner welcome drink. (L, D)
Morning flight to Mekelle. Short tour of
Mekelle, including Bete Yohannes. Drive
to Hawzien. En route, visit the rock-hewn
churches of Wukro Cherkos and Abraha
Atsbeha. Stay overnight at the Gheralta Lodge
(or similar). (B, L, D)
Morning drive to Axum. Stay 2 nights at
Sabean Hotel (or similar). The next day visit
the tombs of King Kaleb and Gebra Meskel, the
Queen of Sheba’s swimming pool and palace,
King Ezana’s Stone and the magnificent stele
(obelisks). Afternoon visit to the Cathedral of St
Mary of Zion and the Chapel of the Tablet, said
to contain the Ark of the Covenant, as well as
the Axum Museum. (B, L, D)
Fly to the world heritage site of Lalibela,
via Gondar. The site features 11 rock-hewn
churches. Afternoon visit to the north-west
cluster of churches, including the Church of
St George. Stay 2 nights at the Mezena Lodge
(or similar). Morning walk the following day
up to Asheton Maryam (weather permitting).
Alternatively, visit the cave church Nakutelab,
accessible by car. Afternoon visit to the southeast
cluster of churches. (B, L, D)
Fly to Gondar, located at the foot of the
Simien mountains. Visit the Church of Debre
Berhan Selassie to see its murals. Drive to
the Simien Mountain Lodge (or similar)
and stay for 2 nights. Evening talk on gelada
monkeys, endemic to this area. Morning
drive the following day to Chennek, home to
the endemic walia ibex. Stop to view gelada
monkeys and walk to a waterfall. Afternoon at
leisure. (B, L, D)
Drive to Gondar and stay 1 night at the
Mayleko Lodge (or similar). Afternoon tour
of the castles of Emperor Fasiladas and the
Palace of the Queen Mentuab. (B, L, D)
Drive to Gorgora and visit the monastery of
Debre Sina Mariam. Cross Lake Tana by boat
and visit Narga Selassie. Continue to URA
Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam on the Zege
peninsula. Stay 2 nights at the Kuriftu Resort &
Spa (or similar). (B, L, D)
Visit the Blue Nile Falls at Tissisat. Afternoon
visit to the Bezawit Palace and the market in
Bahir Dar. Optional spa treatments available.
(B, L, D)
Morning flight to Addis Ababa. Day room at the
Golden Tulip Hotel. Short visit to the Mercato.
Dinner at a cultural restaurant and transfer to
the airport. Fly to London. Arrive the next day.
(B, L, D) (N)
As per itinerary – B: Breakfast,
L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.
This tour is best suited to
the hardier traveller as it includes some
rougher road journeys and some basic
accommodation. Hotels, while sometimes
not reaching western standards, are clean
and comfortable and the country’s cultural
wonders more than make up for occasional
deficiencies (please note that some churches
are not open to female travellers). Ethiopia is
mountainous and altitude may be a problem
for some visitors.
This tour is fully escorted
throughout by a local tour manager from arrival in
Some of the departures have been scheduled to coincide with Ethiopia’s most celebrated
festivals listed below.
Timkat: Taking place in Bahir Dar in January, Timkat is the Ethiopian Orthodox
celebration of Epiphany. The 9 January 2020 departure leaves and
returns on a Thursday. The Timkat festival
departure has an extra night duration of 15 days & 12 nights.
Meskel: Celebrated in Addis Ababa in
September, Meskel commemorates the
finding of the true cross by Queen Helena.
The 16 September 2020 departure includes
time to enjoy this festival.
Hidar Tsion: Celebrated in Axum in
November, Hidar Tsion is associated with
the presence of the Ark of the Covenant
and is a joyous annual pilgrimage.
The 26 November 2020 departure is timed
to coincide with this celebration.
This itinerary can be taken privately on a date that suits
you, for which guideline prices are shown.
Alternatively, it can be tailored to your exact
requirements. Please call to speak with a Cox & Kings consultant or
This tour can be booked / reserved online by clicking on one of the coloured links below.
ETH2020: 11 Nights
The scenery was amazing throughout the tour, but the two main sights for us were St. Georges cruciform rock church and the Blue Nile falls. Both truly amazing.Mr David Eyres
The entire Ethiopian experience, coffee making in a small hut, sitting with Gelada baboons in the Simian Mountains, the churches of Lalibela, and the exciting participation in Timkat was an experience not to be missed. Mrs Suzanne Vincent
Although the rock churches of Lalibela were particularly impressive, it was the overall balance of sights that impressed us: the stelae of Axum and the castles of Gondar plus the magnificence of the Simien Mountains and Lake Tana. Mr Roger Darlington
We are experienced travellers and always looking for something a little different. We thought Ethiopia Odyssey was beyond our expectations and to see so many different Unesco World Heritage Sites in one holiday was exceptional. The wildlife content was unexpected and to see so many different types during such a short holiday was surprising. Would recommend Cox & Kings to others and congratulate them for putting together our holiday - the literature and the tour manager were first class. Mr David King
Gondar Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasilidas around 1635, is famous for its many...
Lalibela, the ‘New Jerusalem’ was built by King Lalibela ‘with the help of...
Simien Mountains National Park The Simien Mountains National Park is situated about...