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Destination: Ethiopia
Travel Style: Local Expedition
Accommodation: Hostels
Activity Level:  • • 3 • • (Medium)
Group Size: Min 1, Max 16
Age Range: 18 to 65+

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Itinerary Overview

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Day 1: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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Arrival Airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)

Travel to a country with over 3,000 years of history and rulers descending from the legendary King Solomon himself. Known as the birthplace of humankind, and home to numerous Indigenous groups, Ethiopia is a vibrant cultural hub.

We’ll arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, and you will spend the day getting acquainted with the city at your leisure. You may also choose to add on an Ethiopian cooking class and coffee tasting.

Accommodation: Revolution International Hotel or similar

Day 2: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
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After you've eaten breakfast at your hotel, you'll spend the day learning more about Ethiopian culture and history. On your morning guided tour, you'll visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Entoto Mountain, and the National Museum of Ethopia (home to Lucy, the oldest partial skeleton ever discovered).

You'll eat lunch in a local restaurant, learning more about Ethiopia through its flavors, then head to the National Palace. Along the way, you'll want to make sure to take in the wonders of the land.

In the evening, you'll have another delicious meal at a local restaurant, then enjoy a few hours of leisure time.

Accommodation: Revolution International Hotel or similar

Day 3: Bahir Dar, Ethiopia
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Today, you’ll journey north to the bustling city of Bahir Dar. Your guide will pick you up from the hotel, and you’ll take a boat trip on the vast Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. Your guide will teach you about the region’s history while you enjoy stunning views of the surrounding nature, wildlife, and monasteries, including the colorful Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam.

You will continue our boat tour to the Blue Nile Falls — also known as Tis Issat, or “smoking water.” Sure to be a scene you’ll never forget, the falls are among Africa’s most breathtaking sights!

Accommodation: Water Front Hotel or similar

Day 4: Gondar - Bonga - Jimma Region, Ethiopia
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Today, you will drive to beautiful villages in the desolate plateau of Ethiopia, one of the country’s most cultured regions. Gondar, known as the “Camelot of Africa,” is famous for its many regal castle remains.

After lunch, you’ll travel back to the hotel where you will have time to unwind and relax. Make sure to ask your guide for recommended restaurants and sights that you can later explore at your leisure.

Accommodation: Goha Hotel or similar

Day 5: Gondar - Bonga - Jimma Region, Ethiopia
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Your guide will meet you at the hotel and escort you on your adventures in Gondar/Bonga/Jimma Region, where you’ll visit Fasilida’s Pool, Ras Gimb, and the Debre Berhan Selassie Church (home to the most famous, intricately designed ceiling in all of Ethiopia). You'll travel through the lush greenery of Bonga, enjoy the flourishing landscapes, and catch glimpses of the abundant wildlife!

After lunch, you’ll travel back to the hotel, where you will have time to unwind and relax. You may also choose to add on a tour of the bustling markets of Jimma and be amazed by the local craftsmanship. Remember to seek out the famous three-legged stools, quality basketwork, and delicious honey!

Accommodation: Goha Hotel or similar

Day 6: Axum, Ethiopia
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After breakfast, you will fly to Axum — one of Ethiopia’s oldest and holiest cities, thought to be the home of the Queen of Sheba. There’s a long list of can’t-miss sites, so prepare yourself for a jam-packed day of exploration!

You will continue exploring Axum as the day progresses. With visits to the famous obelisks, the Archaeological Museum of Axuum, Queen of Sheba’s Bath, and the Church of St. Mary of Zion, which holds the Ark of the Covenant.

In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant of your choosing, which will help you continue to learn about Ethiopia's culture and cuisine.

Accommodation: Planet Resort or similar

Day 7: Lalibela, Ethiopia
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After breakfast, you'll catch an early-morning flight to Lalibela. Famous for its legendary rock-hewn churches, Lalibela is a must-visit destination for anyone spending time in Ethiopia.

You’ll head to the northwest churches first, touring Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, and Bet Meskel, to name a few. Each church is unique with something new to see at every turn!

Accommodation: Selam Guesthouse or similar

Day 8: Lalibela, Ethiopia
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You'll eat breakfast at your hotel, then visit the famous Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of Saint George, the patron saint of Ethiopia. You'll want to take time to gaze upon the stunning, entrenched building bathed in pale pink and golden yellow.

After lunch, you'll have some free time to explore the city. We suggest stopping by the local markets, finding an afternoon snack, and meeting a few of the locals!

In the evening, you'll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Accommodation: Selam Guesthouse or similar

Day 9: Addis Adaba, Ethiopia
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After breakfast, we’ll fly back to Addis Ababa. Once we arrive in Addis Ababa, you will have the rest of the day to relax or explore on your own. This is your last full day in Ethiopia, so we suggest making the most of it (exploring parts of the city you didn't see on your first two days) and finding ways to safeguard your new memories (journaling or going through your photos).

Accommodation: Revolution International Hotel or similar

Day 10: Addis Adaba, Ethiopia / USA
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After breakfast, you will head to Addis Ababa Airport where you will catch your flight home. (If you've opted to extend your trip and join us for a gorilla trek in Uganda, you'll fly to Rwanda, then transfer planes and depart for Uganda!)

Departure Airport: Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)

Extension to Rwanda and Uganda

Trip Inclusions

  • Travel Style: Local

  • Service Level: Simple (comfortable and clean accommodations; public and private transport)

  • Route: Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Axum, Lalibela

  • Accommodation: Hostels; overnight buses and trains

  • Transport: flights, motor vehicles

  • Meals Included: One meal per day

Expedition Route

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This Acanela Local Expedition © is the perfect fusion between comfort and adventure. Embark on this small group exploration and have hands-on encounters with local peoples and cultures, while experiencing all the historical and culinary highlights along the way.

Dates & Prices

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From $1,000 / person | Comprehensive package including accommodation for all nights; in-country transport by private bus, train, or flight; lecture and instruction materials from our expert guides; all activities; and one meal per day. *International airfare and visa fees are not included. 

+ Single Room Supplement: $200 / person

Please note: Solo travelers are required to choose a single room when they make their booking.

Single Room Supplements and Extension add-ons become available after you select Book Now and hit continue. *Extensions are not eligible for discounts or promotions.

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Frequently Asked Questions

+ What vaccinations should I get before my trip?

It's important that you receive the most accurate and up-to-date travel health information before departing for Africa. The only one qualified to provide you with this advice is your family physician or a specialist from a Travel Health clinic. We can provide some general guidance on what websites to check, but these websites are no substitute for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional.

+ Can you help arrange my Ethiopia travel visa?

If you are an American traveler joining this trip, you will need a visa to visit Ethiopia. You should obtain this visa before arriving in the country.

If you are not an American citizen, please use VisaHQ to verify the visa requirements for your travel plans.

+ Do your tours include international airfare?

Travelers arrive from all over the world to begin our tours, and it is not possible to include international airfare in our prices. We would be happy to help you arrange flights. Just ask for an air quote when making your booking.

+ I'm a solo traveler — will I be charged a single supplement?

We are happy to accommodate single travelers! You should be aware that we will add a single supplement charge to your trip cost. We look forward to putting together your dream trip!

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