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Ethiopian Odyssey Journey

Private Travel | General Interest 12 Days & 10 Nights Lead-in price: £4995

With its unusual Orthodox Christian heritage and table-topping number of UNESCO sites, Ethiopia stands out from the crowd. This journey through the country’s historical and natural highlights, from rock-hewn churches to monkey-strewn mountains, reveals the influences that have shaped it into the enthralling destination of today.

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Discovery Group Tour in brief

Day 1: Fly to Addis Ababa

Fly overnight from London (regional connections available) to Addis Ababa. (N)

Day 2: Addis Ababa

This afternoon, take a tour of the world’s third highest capital, with visits to the National Museum of Ethiopia, Ethnographic Museum and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Enjoy a pre-dinner welcome drink and stay overnight at the Golden Tulip hotel (or similar). (L, D)

Day 3: Adadi Mariam - Tiya stelae field

In the morning, visit Adadi Mariam, a striking, subterranean rock-hewn church less visited than those in Lalibela. Continue to the Tiya stelae field, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to 160 archaeological sites. Overnight at the Golden Tulip hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 4: Lalibela

Fly to the town of Lalibela this morning, arriving in time for lunch at Ben Abeba restaurant. Then begin your tour of Lalibela’s rock-hewn, UNESCO-listed churches with a visit to the first group of six. The churches in this cluster lie in rock cradles, one behind the other. Bet Medhane Alem, the largest, resembles a Greek temple. In its corner are three symbolic graves representing the Biblical patriarchs of Jacob, Isaac and Abraham. Overnight at Mezena Lodge (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 5: Lalibela

This morning, hike with mules up to the mountaintop monastery of Asheton Maryam (weather permitting). After lunch, you will visit the south-eastern cluster of Lalibela’s 11 rock-carved churches – smaller but more finely carved than those of the north. In the afternoon, experience Ethiopian hospitality during a traditional coffee ceremony. Overnight at Mezena Lodge (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 6: Bahir Dar

Fly to the town of Bahir Dar, which means ‘Beside the Sea’ in the Amharic language – so named for its position on the southern shore of shimmering Lake Tana. Spend your afternoon at leisure, perhaps exploring the peaceful jacaranda-fringed avenues, dotted with shops, restaurants and attractive architecture. Overnight at Kuriftu Resort Bahir Dar (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 7: Blue Nile - Lake Tana

In the morning, drive from Bahir Dar to the Blue Nile Falls, with sightseeing opportunities en route. The picturesque falls are known locally as Tissiat, which means ‘The Smoking Water’. This afternoon, take a relaxing boat trip, visiting two of the Lake Tana region’s prettiest monasteries, Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Maryam. Overnight at Kuriftu Resort Bahir Dar (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 8: Gondar

Today, drive to Ethiopia’s very own castle-filled ‘Camelot’, the medieval city of Gondar. Visit Fasilidas’ Bath, in which pilgrims still take a ceremonial plunge during the annual Timkat (Epiphany) celebrations. Overnight at Mayleko Lodge (or similar). (B,L,D)

Day 9: Simien Mountains National Park

Set off on a scenic morning drive to Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site whose rugged precipices and alpine valleys shelter all manner of interesting wildlife. This afternoon, drive to the Sankaber campsite for a hiking excursion up to the vertiginous Jinbar Falls. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for gelada monkeys as you go. Overnight at Simien Lodge (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 10: Simien Mountains National Park

After a three-hour drive, arrive at the Chennek campsite for an exhilarating excursion in this biodiversity hot spot. You have the opportunity to explore on foot, admire phenomenal vistas and spot local fauna such as the endangered walia ibex, before settling down for a picnic lunch. Overnight at Simien Lodge (or similar). (B, L, D)

Day 11: Addis Ababa - Fly to the UK

Return to Gondar for a flight to Addis Ababa. There is time enough to visit bustling Mercato, Africa’s largest open-air market, before catching your return flight home. Enjoy day-use of a room at the Golden Tulip hotel (or similar). (B, L, D)

Arrive in London



Meal basis:

As per itinerary – B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner, N: No meals.

Private & tailor-made travel:

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.

Discovery group tour accommodation

  • Golden Tulip
    Golden Tulip

    The Golden Tulip Addis Ababa is conveniently located within 3km of the international airport and within easy reach of Addis' main attractions. All of the property's 90 rooms are spacious and offer a modern design. The hotel's restaurant serves a variety of international dishes and there is also a coffee shop and a bar for evening drinks. Features: 90 rooms, restaurant, bar, lounge, gym, Wi-Fi. Room amenities: Private bathroom, air conditioning, minibar, television, tea & coffee making facilities, hairdryer.

  • Mezena Resort & Spa
    Mezena Resort & Spa

    Mezena is situated to the east of Lalibela, amid luxuriant trees and savannah grasses with panoramic views over the valleys. It is ideally located to visit the historic sites of the rock hewn churches which were declared heritage sites back in 1970. This is the newest architecturally designed lodge that combines eco-friendly designs with classic Ethiopian building styles. Large stone and thatch bungalows offer either twin or double four poster beds with private bathrooms. There is an all-day dining restaurant and a bar along with a spacious swimming pool to cool off in the heat of the day. A modern day spa offers a sauna and steam room and massages are available. All the staff are from the local community.

  • Kuriftu Resort and Spa Bahir Dar
    Kuriftu Resort and Spa Bahir Dar

    Situated on the shores of Lake Tana, Kuriftu Resort Bahir Dar comprises 28 stone bungalows set in attractive gardens. Each room is decorated in a traditional Ethiopian style with en suite facilities, a four-poster bed, lounge and television. The resort also boasts its own restaurant and swimming pool, while the spa treatments, a fusion of traditional Asian and European techniques, are some of the best in Ethiopia.

  • Mayleko Lodge
    Mayleko Lodge

    Situated just a couple of minutes drive from Theodros airport, and only 15km from the ancient castle of Fasiledes, Mayleko Lodge is surrounded by nature. The lodge has 20 bungalows that are situated against the backdrop of the Dilha Mountain. They are spacious, comfortable and tastefully decorated with traditional furniture. The restaurant has a beautiful terrace overlooking the mountains and there is a cosy bar. The property has a swimming pool and a driving range.

  • Simien Mountain Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park
    Simien Mountain Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park

    The Simien Mountain Lodge is the highest hotel in Africa at 3,260 metres. It is an eco-friendly property built at Buyit Ras with wonderful views across the mountain range. The accommodation has traditional tukul-style exteriors and the interiors are very comfortable with tasteful decor. The main lodge building has a friendly bar with an open fire that is a great place to gather in the evening before dinner. The food is of a good standard and the staff are friendly and hospitable. The lodge supports a local school and is able to organise visits, subject to timing. The altitude of this lodge means that it is often cold. The lodge provides hot water bottles and thick duvets, but can be chilly, especially in the evenings and when guests arrive from lower altitudes. Bringing a fleece or jumper is highly recommended. Features: 26 rooms, restaurant, bar, lounge. Room amenities: Private bathroom, tea & ...

Discovery group tour extensions

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Dates & prices


Main Costs
Departure-Return date Original Price Special Offer(£) Single Supplement Guaranteed Departures Click to Book
17 Mar 2022 - 28 Mar 2022 £3,495 £0 £0 Reserve
18 Sep 2022 - 29 Sep 2022 £3,495 £0 £0 Reserve
7 Oct 2022 - 18 Oct 2022 £3,345 £0 £650 Reserve
25 Nov 2022 - 6 Dec 2022 £3,295 £0 £650 Reserve

Flexible Prices & Itineraries
For a quote based on alternative accommodation standards or flight options, or to tailor this itinerary, please call 020 7873 5000 or send an email enquiry

Guaranteed Departures This departure is guaranteed to run.

Terms & Conditions: Guaranteed departures will run except in the circumstances where travel to the destination is advised against by the FCDO or entry restrictions relating to Covid preclude travel.

Additional Information

Please call 020 7873 5000 for more information or to make a booking.

Prices above are per person in pounds sterling (£), based on two people sharing a twin-room. The prices which were valid at the time of publication, may be subject to change, particularly as a result of variable flight costs. You will be informed of any such changes prior to booking.

  • • 3-star accommodation
    • Average group size - 10 people (max 18)
    • Direct international and internal flights
    • Transfers in air-conditioned vehicles
    • Experienced local tour manager
    • 11 breakfasts, 12 lunch, 12 dinners
    • Welcome drink to meet the group and guide
    • Guided sightseeing & entrance fees
    • Special festival departures, including Timkat

Destinations on this tour

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