Situated in the far north of the historic circuit, this fascinating town is Ethiopia's most ancient capital and the holiest city of…
Ethiopia’s landscape is magnificent, the people incredibly welcoming and the sense of history tangible. The old decorative art in the churches, the castles at Gondar, the rock-cut churches at Lalibela and the 1,700-year-old monolithic stelae at Axum are all inspiring.
Ethiopia is fascinating, both historically and culturally, a magical country to visit.
The focus of most holidays to Ethiopia is on the natural world, and there are parts of the country to delight any nature lover. The wildlife is truly unique with Ethiopian wolves, Gelada baboons and Walia ibex to be found in the Simien and Bale Mountains. A good starting point is our Highlights of Ethiopia itinerary.
If spas, luxury hotels and fine food are high on your list of priorities, then Ethiopia is probably not for you. The standard of accommodation has improved with the emergence of a few new and exciting properties, but a holiday to Ethiopia is about what surrounds you rather than the luxuries in life.
What you will find is a safe, delightfully friendly country of dignified people. A country that will smash all your preconceived ideas. Ethiopia is one of the most unusual countries in Africa, complete with myth, wonder, relics and stories of emperors and queens. It is said to be home to the Ark of the Covenant and Harar is the fourth most important haj city of Islam.
One of the first countries to adopt the Christian faith, northern Ethiopia tells a story of the persecution of Christians by the Arabs and dogged resolution. In the south, the roots of Africa dig deep into a remote and esoteric tribal wilderness.
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Visit the remote and deeply sacred church of Yemrehanna Kristos, which sits within a vast cavern. Here, the remains of more than 10,000 pilgrims are said to lie.
Visit the outlying Bet Giyorgis, arguably Lalibela’s most beautiful church. Carved into the shape of a Greek cross and perfectly preserved, this masterpiece is best appreciated in the late afternoon sunlight.
Visit the crocodile-hunting Dassenach people, staying at a mobile camp nearby, in the Omo Valley.
Meet the colourful Kara people of the Omo Valley, renowned for painting their bodies with a tapestry of colours.
Explore the Omo Delta by boat, visiting isolated and rarely encountered communities in this culturally rich and varied region.
Meet the local and tribes and spend time getting to know them, establishing a relationship with them. Then have the chance to photograph them in a respectful, non-exploitative fashion.
Explore Gondar, with its beautifully preserved medieval castles – which have led to it being dubbed the “Camelot of Africa”.
Visit Lalibela’s iconic rock-cut churches, which are hewn into the hillside. Built during the 12th and 13th century, these still-active religious edifices are cut into the red volcanic rock.
Visit Lalibela’s churches during the Orthodox Epiphany, Timkat, when religious fervour descends on the country. Parades, processions and baptism re-enactments all take place during this national celebration.
Visit palace ruins and burial grounds in Axum. Visit the legendary baths of the Queen of Sheba.
Our experts have created and curated these holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.
Every captivating tailor-made itinerary needs a perfect base. Our team has handpicked this collection of properties to give you luxury options in styles to suit any adventure.
Spread across a wide ridge in the Simien Mountains, this modern lodge looks out towards an undulating mishmash of vegetation-strewn valleys. It sits high above the surrounding landscape, affording spectacular views of the verdant lowlands. Designed…View Property
Located in the heart of the Historic Route, between Axum and Mekele, Gheralta Lodge is a comfortable and friendly base from which to explore this scenically beautiful area. The lodge has great views over the Gheralta…View Property
Set in a forest clearing, this Eco-lodge features 15 thatched mahogany and stone rooms made from sustainable wood and furnishings. With wood-burning fires and private terraces, all rooms will enjoy wonderful views. Views are taken advantage…View Property
Named after its owner, Lale, a proud local Kara, Lale’s Camp sits on the edge of a sweeping ox-bow bend of the River Omo. The camp comprises of four large tents each with a veranda and…View Property
A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.
Born in a small South African town, I have always followed my passion for nature and discovery. After studying Nature Conservation in Pretoria, I was one of the first women to complete a very tough cadetship in the Natal Parks Board. It was here where I cut my teeth in African wildlife management.
There are some buildings, most obviously monasteries, that women cannot enter. And there are others where each gender has their own entrance. However, the majority of sites can be visited by women and men alike, meaning that Ethiopia is still a rewarding destination for female travellers.
There are two seasons. The dry season prevails from October through to May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Road conditions are generally poor and the mountainous topography in the north will cut speed. The Omo region, in particular, presents different landscapes – from high rocky hills and sandy semi-desert to a stony basin. Some drives are long and the roads can be bumpy.
We were kept very well informed right up until we left for our trip. We were alerted to a better flight home and had all the documents we needed to take with us.
No words can accurately describe the service afforded by Bridget. She solved problems that weren't of her making which resulted in saving my holiday!
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