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A complete guide to Visiting Ethiopia, when to go , the various attractions to find, getting around the country,  Trekking in Ethiopia, flights, accommodation and hotels, food and culture, Ethiopian national parks, the best tour operators, Popular spots such as Simien Mountains, Bale Mountains and Omo Valley. Ethiopia tours and safaris guide.

Tour Packages

Simien mountains National Park

simien mountains national parkCharacterized by deep gorgeous verdant meadows and high mountains, this National Park which is among the world heritage sites is most popular for its amazing hiking opportunities and dramatic scenery. This is one of the top Ethiopia tour destinations. With the highest point standing at a height of 14,901 feet, the Simien Mountains are a large mountain range and ranked among the highest mountain-ranges in Africa. The mountain hike will reward you with spectacular views, good sights of water streams and gorges, as well as an opportunity to see some endangered wildlife such as the walia ibex and the unique gelada baboon. This mountain range can best be hiked from mid – September to November when it is green but also dry. The wild flowers on the mountain slopes fully bloom in the month of October so visiting during this time of the year will surely reward you with amazing sights.

Bale Mountains National Park

bale mountains national parkBales Mountain National Park is a top spot for all those who love birding. The National Park has a lot of trees and its location help in creating a good habitat for the birds and the different wild life that is found in the Park. For nature lovers a visit to the Bale Mountains is one of the recommended things to do during your Ethiopia tours. The mountains are characterized by odd rock formations, giant Heather and in addition its home to a number of wild animals including the common Ethiopian wolves. Its wild landscape Stand at a height of 4000 meters above sea level and it’s found about 1500 from the sanetti plateau and close to the Harenna forest. There are several hiking trails available which offer you the best way to explore the National Park.

Gambella National Park

Like the great migration in East Africa, Gambella National Park in Ethiopia has a large antelope migration that happens between March and August and the migration also includes the white tailed Kob. This is one place that you need to visit when you go to Ethiopia.

Danakil Depression – the hottest place on Earth

danakil depression ethiopia toursThe Danakil Depression which is one of the lowest points in the world is found more than 100 meters below sea level and it is regarded to be one of the most bizarre and harsh places in the world. Basing on its average temperatures, it is considered to be the hottest place on Earth and hardly receiving any rainfall throughout the year. a visit to this depression is surely a unique expedition as you will get an opportunity to hike up the active volcano, explorer that unearthly Dallol landscapes having mineral deposits that are rainbow colored as well as gaysers, and even camp on the rim of the crater.

One of the hottest places on the entire planet is the Danakil region. during the day the temperatures may rise to about 122 degrees Fahrenheit (122°F), it however is a very unique destination that will reward its visitors and opportunity to see the locals go about the old traditional way of extracting salt, they will also be able to witness the unique Afar culture as well as see the unusual landscapes in this region. Because of its very hot nature, people interested in visiting this depression are recommended to visit during the cooler months starting in November up to March

Chebera churchura National Park

The Chebera Churchura is a good place for game trekking especially elephants. These can be trekked on foot and the park is located in the western part of the country and the trekking is only done with the help of trained tour guides to avoid accidents.

Yangudi Rassa National Park

The Yangudi National Park is located near the Yangudi Mountain and is one of the less known national parks in the country. It is filled with a lot of bushes and thickets and wildlife that you can get to see when you visit and enjoy trekking up the Mountain.

Awash National Park

The Awash National Park is a home to various wild life but most especially the dry country Antelope that is found in the Great Rift Valley. It is also a top spot for birding as it is a home to more than 500 bird species.

Mago National Park Southern Ethiopia

The Mago National Park is not as big as others and the wild life in the Park is a bit scarce as compared to others due to the constant poaching that is done by the locals. The few animals that can be seen in the park are being protected so that they do not go into extinction in the country.

Netch sar National Park

Netch Sar National Park is a home to a number of birds especially the Nechisar night jar which is one of the rarest birds in the world and it is surrounded by the beautiful scenery which is created by the Abaya and Chamo twin lakes and the green plains.

Abijatta Shalla National Park

This is located in the southern part of the country and it is a home to various bird species, wild life and a lake which provides water to the animals. It has one of the largest aqua life in Ethiopia and this is one of the few reasons as to why the Park was preserved.


anciety city Ethiopia tourAksum which was the capital city of the ancient Aksumite Kingdom back 100AD and it’s believed to be among the oldest inhabited places in Africa. This ancient city is found in the northern part of the country and is mainly popular for its towering carved stone obelisks which are ruins of the ancient Kingdom. Some of these stand at a height of thirty two meters and weigh about 520 tones with the oldest one believed to be about 1700 years.  Unique about this place is that it is said that the biblical Ark of the Covenant is believed to have been housed here and a church known as the Chapel of the Tablet (which is known as the holiest place in Ethiopia) was constructed here and it receives a very large number of tourists annually.

Visit Harar One of Islams Holiest Cities

The city of Harar is located in the eastern part of Ethiopia and it is considered to be one of the holiest cities in the Islamic faith covering only one square kilometer. This fortress has a wall surrounding it and inside its boundaries are more than eighty (80) mosques as well as 360 complex alleyways which are believed to be about 1,000 years old. When you visit you will surely be impressed by the elegant architecture of the Islamic people, colorful robes as well as the very old markets which currently seem to have undergone very minimal change from what they used to be initially. Among the highlights in Harar city is an opportunity to feed the hyenas. This ritual which is carried out every night is intended to prevent the hyenas from attacking the domestic animals that belongs to the locals.

The Lalibela Rock Churches

When you visit Lalibela you will get an opportunity to see the rock churches which are said to have been constructed back in the 13th century, and a number of them stand at a height of thirteen (13) meters. These are one of the leading tourist attractions in Ethiopia. Amazingly these churches were curved out of rock using basic tools like chisels and hammers and where completed with detailed roofs, windows and columns. Presently Lalibela is a living cultural area and among its 10,000 residents are approximately 1,000 priests whereas its churches are the central point for all religious processions, ceremonies and vigils.

Bahir Dar & Lake Tana

Bahir Dar which is a port on the southern shore of the Lake Tana is Amhara region’s (found in the northern part of the country) capital and the gateway to this amazing inland lake as well as the Blue Nile Falls. This is among the most spectacular places to visit in the country and although this previously glorious forty meter (40m) high cascade was recently emaciated recently during the building of a dam. there is a lively market held daily plus a number of charming cafes that offer beautiful views of the lakeside. During your visit you can enjoy a boat tour on the lake to visit the islands as well as see different animals such as hippos.

Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary

This wildlife sanctuary was initially established to protect Swayne’s hartebeests, although sadly these animals have nearly vanished from this place. Despite that, there are a number of other animals such as the dik-dik, zebras, gazelles and the kudu in addition to more than two hundred (200) bid species such as the Prince ruspoli’s turaco, the ostrich, as well be as the Taita falcon. in case you are interested in having a wildlife encounter on your visit in Ethiopia, this is one of the recommended places to visit.

The Rift Valley of Ethiopia

rift valley Ethiopia toursThe Great Rift Valley that runs across parts of the African continent has left a noticeable scar in central Ethiopia which is a great huge valley in which you will find several self-made lakes as well as verdant Forests. The rift valley is generally warm and the humidity is bearable as compared to the arid harsh Highlands as you explore to the rest of the country.  On your visit to the valley you will not only be impressed by the numerous lakes but also encounter the different tribes each with a unique culture. Because the country is landlocked spending some quality time on the Lakeshore in Ethiopia is much comparable to spending some quality time at the beach or on the seashore elsewhere.

Visit the Konso and Dorze people

Although these Konso and Dorze people may not have an outward impressive appearance as the Omo valley tribes. Their fascinating way of life and local culture is worth exploring. They leave within the southern part of rift valley and this spectacular region has had very minimal influence by the modern day tourism. The lifestyle of these people mainly depends around market days, weaving and traditional ceremonies. In contrary to the more conservative Omo people you will find some workshops and guest houses here were holidaymakers can stay as they learn about the fascinating culture of this people.

Visit the town of Gonder

Gonder is one of the historical towns found in Ethiopia and it is located a couple of hours from the Simien Mountains National Park and Bahir Dar. Previously this was home to several powerful and influential people who during that time constructed spectacular palaces and fortresses to display their dominance and wealth. Back in the 17th century Fasil Ghebbi who was the Man behind the end to the brutal migrant dictatorship constructed the spectacular Fasil Ghebbi Royal Enclosure as well as the Fasil Ghebbi Palace which was the center of attraction there. The Royal enclosure complex includes several buildings such as the ceremonial baths, churches, banqueting Halls, Castle and the palace; and according to the Ethiopian standards this is a fairly new city. Today this amazing architecture stands in ruins and many tourists from all parts of the world come to visit this place as well as its surrounding. During your visit to Gonder town, you can opt to stay at the Mayleko Lodge.

Meet the Omo People

The people who live in the Omo Valley have a very unique culture and have become a popular people because of their lip-plates which they put on their lower lip. According to their tradition it is thought that the wider a lip- plate a lady has the better wife she will make. Their custom of using these clay plates which are normally well decorated has attracted very large numbers of tourists from all parts of the country who come to see this unique tradition and other cultural practices of these people

Blue Nile Falls in Bahar Dar

The Nile is the longest river in the world and although the White Nile has its source in Jinja – Uganda, the source of the Blue Nile which is another arm of Nile is found close to Bahar Dar. During your safari in Ethiopia, you will get a chance to visiting the starting point of the Blue Nile from where it proceeds with its long journey to join the White Nile and then finally pour into the Mediterranean Sea. You will hike through the remote area during which you will enjoy the beautiful scenery, have a boat ride and see the waterfall.

Asale salt lake

Within the Danakil Depression is a large salt lake called Lake Asale which is another fascinating place to visit in Ethiopia. During your visit you will be able to see a number of locals traditionally mine the salt and see caravans of camels carrying salt from the salt crystal parts of the late. the sight of the camel caravans disappearing beyond the horizon with the rays of the African sun setting in the background is very breathtaking.

Cultural Ethiopia Tours

ethiopia cultural toursBeside the traditional game drives, hikes, sightseeing and bird watching, have you ever thought about trying the traditional Ethiopian dance? Well one of the best ways to immense into the unique culture of any new community is by joining the traditional dancing and singing. The Ethiopian music is very lively and there is no better way to wind down your evening than dancing away your evening as you enjoy a chilled beer.

National Museum in Addis Ababa

The National Museum of Ethiopia found within Addis Ababa is considered to house one of the most comprehensive collections across sub-Saharan Africa with different exhibits on the political and natural histories of this country. One of the most significant displays here is a collection of bones of an ancient archeological discovery of Lucy (Australopithecus afarensis) a female skeleton estimated to be 3.5 million years old. During the day tours you will not only be entertained by the amazing displays but also learn a lot. We recommend that you rent a guide for your tour.

Frequently asked questions About Ethiopia Tour Safaris?

Ethiopia is one of the much-loved destinations in Africa it is also known as the horn of Africa. Every year a very large number of tourists visit this amazing country, however, there are a couple of questions that are commonly asked by holidaymakers and below we have compiled and professionally answered them to help you successfully plan a memorable holiday and understand Ethiopia as a tourist destination.

Why Visit Ethiopia?

ethiopia safariEthiopia is a land of differences, from the cold peaks of Simien Mountains National Park to the hot Danakil desert. Ethiopia continues to be an exceptional destination in Africa. Ethiopia tours are characterized by nature tours and visits to the cultural sites.

Ethiopia’s History starts with her most popular ancestor, Lucy, that roamed this country 3.2 million years back. The surge of the Axumite Empire during the First century BC normally marks the start of fairly modern Ethiopian history.

With the introduction of Christianity to this somewhat isolated nation in the 4th century, you can’t help as you watch the vibrant Orthodox celebrations to find out that these acts of faith as well as devotion are most likely close to the very original kind of Christianity as is within the world these days.

In addition to a lively history are enchanting stories plus legends which define the legacy of Ethiopia.

How are the people of Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is considered to be blend of different cultures and has a population of approximately seventy seven (77) million people including eighty different ethnic groups. despite the cultural diversity, the Ethiopians can be divided into four (4) major groups which include: Omotic, Semitic, Nilotics and Hamitics. These people are generally peaceful, sociable and very welcoming and area eager to learn and gladly accept development.

When is the Best Time to Visit Ethiopia?

ethiopia adventure safarisThe dry season which begins in October until the end of February is considered to be the best time to have a holiday in Ethiopia as the country is sunny and dry. This is considered to be the peak tourist season when the country is receiving a very high number of tourists which in the long run results into high demand for accommodation increasing the cost of a safari this time of the year. So in case you are a budget traveler, this is not a good time to visit the country. Also if you are specifically interested in the different festivals in Ethiopia, we recommend that you plan appropriately as some festivals come during the rainy season.

 Do I need a visa to enter Ethiopia?

All foreign visitors coming to Ethiopia are required to have a valid passport with at least six-month validity from the date they intend to depart the country. Basing on the citizenship of your passport you will or will not be required to acquire a Visa. A visa to Ethiopia can be acquired in two ways either through application at the Ethiopian diplomatic mission back in your home country or at the point of entrance like the airport into Ethiopia.

What is the local currency Ethiopia?

The Ethiopian birr (ETB) is the local currency used in the country and it is the local acceptable mode of payment used in shops, restaurants and many other places. The birr notes comes in denominations of 100, 50, 10 and 5 and also includes up to 100 cents

Which foreign currency is accepted in Ethiopia?

People visiting Ethiopia are allowed to import any amount of foreign currency without restrictions ranging from the US dollar, the GBP and Euro however this money should be declared to the customs officials with the proper blue-colored form on arrival. It is important to note that foreign currency can only be exchanged at banks and the authorized hotels and such transactions should be well receipted. Endeavor to keep you currency declaration form because you will need to show it to customs at the time of departure.

Are credit cards allowed in Ethiopia?

Yes fortunately in Ethiopia you can easily access your money through MasterCard and Visa especially when in the large cities like Addis Ababa or at the airport, at the ticketing and airline offices as well as at the major hotels.

Is there internet access in Ethiopia?

Majority of the large towns as well as tourist destinations offer internet access. In your hotels you might be provided for with Wi-Fi, and also there are a number of internet cafes found in most of the cities which will make your communication with the people back home very easy. fax and telephone services are also readily available here

Is photography allowed in across Ethiopia?

yes you are allowed to take as many photographs as you wish however you should keep in mind that there are a couple places where photography is prohibited such as military camps, the main Palace, the bridge over the River Nile (abay); and also in case you are taking photographs of the local people it will be very kind if you first request for their permission.

Are there limitations on items that can be exported from Ethiopia?

Holidaymakers are allowed to carry souvenirs from Ethiopia back to their home country however items like antiques plus animal skin will require a special export permit.

What to pack when visiting Ethiopia?

A small flash light

Anti-malaria medication

Insect repellent

Long sleeved clothes and trousers to be worn in the evening to protect you against insect bites

A sun cream to protect you against the hot sun

Strong good walking shoes preferably with ankle support for hiking

Lightweight clothes (summer clothes) which will be best appropriate for the hot weather caused by the high temperatures experienced in Ethiopia.

A hat with a wide brim to protect your face from the hot sun

Sun glasses

A re-usable water bottle; It is very important that you hydrate regularly because of the overall heat experience.

How are the people of Ethiopia?

Ethiopia is considered to be blend of different cultures and has a population of approximately seventy seven (77) million people including eighty different ethnic groups. despite the cultural diversity, the Ethiopians can be divided into four (4) major groups which include: Omotic, Semitic, Nilotics and Hamitics. These people are generally peaceful, sociable and very welcoming and area eager to learn and gladly accept development.

How is Ethiopia’s Weather?

omo valley national park EthiopiaThe Rainy Season: The climate of Ethiopia varies from one region to another; however the rainy / wet season begins in June to September whereas the short rains start in March. The country receives the highest amount of rainfall in June and July especially within the northern highlands. The advantage of visiting during this time is that there are fewer tourists within the country at this time of the year giving you a less crowded experience and best of all a number of accommodation facilities and tour operators offer a discount on their fares.  The month of June and July should be avoided since they receive heavy rain.

The Dry Season: this season begins in October all through to February. It is the best time to visit the country as it is warm and pleasantly sunny through the days however we should warn you that the temperatures at night drop so you should pack some warm clothes to help you layer up.