Your journey will begin on the enchanting island of Zanzibar before spending time at an exclusive game lodge in Kenya. But nothing quite prepares the traveller for Ethiopia's breathtaking beauty, remarkable ancient history, rich culture, and sheer diversity of people. From the rugged Simien Mountains to dramatic desert landscapes and lush countryside. Ethiopia was the only country in Africa never colonised and the lack of outside influence gives visitors an insight into an old and original Africa. It was here the first humans roamed and today the rich tribal culture and strong Coptic Christian beliefs offer an amazing contrast. We visit the most important sites including Lalibela and its 12th century rock-cut Christian churches, and Axum, the ruins of an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles, and Our Lady Mary of Zion church.
Attend the Meskel festival in Ethiopia Ethiopia is renowned for its colourful festivals and Meskel is one of the major highlights of the year. Witness people dancing and singing around bonfires in Meskel Square, Addis Ababa.
Visit the Mursi Tribe Living in one of the most isolated regions of Ethiopia, the Mursi people in the beautiful Omo Valley are one of the most fascinating tribes in Africa. Still wearing brightly coloured traditional dress, they are best known for the clay plates that women start wearing in their lips from their late teens.
The Dallol Depression Numerous sulphur springs, volcanoes, geysers, acidic pools, vast salt pans, and colourful mineral-laden lakes dot this alien-looking landscape.
YOUR JOURNEY AT A GLANCE
• Explore the Stone Town of Zanzibar with its many cultural influences and intriguing history - where Africa met Arabia • Go game viewing in mighty Amboseli National Park with Mt Kilimanjaro as your backdrop • Visit the Simien Mountains - a vast cauldron of deep ravines and gorges, towering pinnacles and rock spires, and fascinating wildlife found nowhere else on Earth • Admire the impressive castles at Gondar • Travel back to biblical times at Axum and learn the history of the Queen of Sheba • Walk through the incredible rock-hewn churches of Lalibela - carved out of solid rock by hand • Walk on the salt pans of the Dallol Depression • Visit some of the most traditional tribes in Africa with their striking decorations
WELCOME BACK OFFER
Travelled on one of our Hosted Journeys before? We would like to offer you a saving of $400 per couple (or $200 per person) if you book this journey.
This small group hosted journey is guaranteed to depart, regardless of numbers!
Tues 10: Doha > Zanzibar Upon arrival in Zanzibar, settle into our luxury hotel overlooking the dhow harbour and the Indian Ocean.
Wed 11: Zanzibar (B,D) Morning walking tour of the Stone Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with fascinating influences of Arab, Indian, Persian, European, and Swahili culture. Welcome dinner included this evening.
Thu 12: Zanzibar > Amboseli (B,D) Fly to Amboseli National Park via Nairobi. We spend three nights in this spectacular national park with its views of Mt Kilimanjaro.
Fri 13 & Sat 14: Amboseli (B,L,D) Enjoy two full days of game drives, walks, sundowners and bush meals both inside the Amboseli National Park and within a private 30,000 acre game concession. Fantastic opportunities for wildlife viewing and photography.
Sun 15: Amboseli > Addis Ababa (B) After breakfast fly to Nairobi and connect to Addis Ababa.
Mon 16: Addis Ababa > Simien Mountains (B,L,D) This morning take a short flight to Gondar then continue by road to our lodge on the edge of the Simien Mountains. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area and relax at the lodge for the rest of the day.
Tue 17: Simien Mountains (B,L,D) We spend the day in Simien National Park with its spectacular views of this unique ecosystem. We can expect to see the endemic Gelada baboons, klipspringers, lammergeyer vultures, and bushbuck all framed in breathtaking scenery.
Wed 18: Simien Mountains > Gondar (B,D) After breakfast we drive back to the city of Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia and one of the country's largest and most impressive cities, with its walled Royal Enclosure. Gondar's most famous monuments are its exceptionally well-preserved 17th century castles and the 'Pavilion of Delight' "“ a huge walled private bath built for King Fasilidas.
Thu 19: Gondar > Axum (B,D) We fly to Axum, the seat of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum, which was once one of the most powerful civilisations in the ancient world. Axum is also the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia and believed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. We will also visit the ruins of the palace of the Queen of Sheba. This will be a very special day!
Fri 20: Axum > Lalibela (B,D) Take a short flight to Lalibela and we will visit the first cluster of rock hewn churches in the afternoon. Lalibela, the 'New Jerusalem', is thought to have been constructed some 800 years ago by King Lalibela.
Sat 21: Lalibela (B,D) Today we will visit the church of Yimrhane Kristos, which is a masterpiece of Axumit wood and stone construction. In the afternoon, we explore the remaining rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and absorb the atmosphere of this extraordinary town with its Tukul or round houses.
Sun 22: Lalibela > Mekelle (B,D) We fly to Mekelle and have an afternoon at leisure.
Mon 23: Mekelle > Dallol Depression > Mekelle (B,L,D) A fascinating day's drive by 4x4 passing salt workers and caravans of camels into the Dallol Depression. This unique landscape is full of marvels including limestone terraces that perhaps remind us of how Rotorua's Pink and White Terraces could have looked. Return to Mekelle for overnight.
Tue 24: Mekelle > Addis Ababa > Jinka (B,D) We fly back to Addis Ababa and from there connect by air to Jinka. Later, we will visit the Ari village nearby.
Wed 25: Jinka > Mursi > Turmi (B,L,D) Early morning drive to Mago National Park where we visit one of Ethiopia's most unique tribes, the Mursi, known all over the world for the decorative lip plates that adorn the lower lips of the Mursi women. The plates stretch the lower lip beyond imagination and the women's beauty, pride, and desirability is determined in direct proportion to the size of the plate. Not to be outdone, the Mursi men are also famous for their hairstyles! After lunch in Jinka, we will drive into the Omo Valley where we will visit the Hamer tribe who use their bodies as canvases, elaborately decorating and painting their bodies and faces with spontaneous and beautifully detailed designs and patterns.
Thu 26: Turmi > Jinka > Addis Ababa (B) Return to Jinka for an afternoon flight to Addis Ababa. Transfer to our 5 Star hotel for three nights.
Fri 27: Addis Ababa (B) A highlight of our journey will be attending the Ethiopian Orthodox festival of Meskel. The festival celebrates the finding of the true cross and is celebrated by lighting bonfires topped with crosses and flowers. Once they are blessed, dancing and singing takes place. A photographer's delight. In the evening, enjoy a special Ethiopian dinner and traditional show.
Sat 28: Addis Ababa (B) Our morning sightseeing tour includes the highlights of Addis Ababa, a city founded in 1886 by Menelik II. Noteworthy will be a visit to the National Museum which houses the 3.5 million year old remains of 'Lucy' - the world's oldest hominid discovered in the Olduvai Gorge, part of Ethiopia's Great Rift Valley. We have arranged late checkout from the hotel and shortly before midnight depart for the airport.
Sun 29: Addis Ababa > Doha (B) Early flight departure from Addis Ababa and on arrival in Doha early morning, transfer to your hotel and the day is at leisure.
Mon 30: Doha This morning, tour the city and the Islamic Museum. The afternoon will be at leisure before an evening transfer to the airport. Late checkout from the hotel is included today.
• A World Journeys host • Accommodation in 4 and 5 star hotels, lodges and camps • Transfers, sightseeing, and entrance fees as per the itinerary on a private basis • Meals as indicated • Gratuities
Pricing (per person) $AUD
Departs 10 September 2019
10 September 2019
Booking conditions • A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required, with the balance due 10 June 2019.
• As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.
• A non-refundable deposit of $1,500 per person is required, with the balance due 10 June 2019. • As cancellation fees apply, travel insurance is mandatory.
Not included • International airfares
• Items of a personal nature
• Travel insurance (mandatory)
• Optional activities
• Visas (if applicable)
• International airfares • Items of a personal nature • Travel insurance (mandatory) • Optional activities • Visas (if applicable)
Gratuity In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host for all group activities.
In the countries we are visiting, tipping is customary. For a hassle-free journey, tipping is included and will be handled by the World Journeys host for all group activities.