Why Choose Ethiopia?

As the only African country to have never been colonized, Ethiopia has a history of self-determination and deep pride. Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is quite often described as a “huge museum”  that few have discovered and many are yet to see. At Outposts Travel Africa, we want to change this!

Blessed with an abundance of historical wonders in the north including the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the obelisks of Axum and the Ark of the Covenant and some of Africa’s most enigmatic tribes in the south with distinct and impressive customs and traditions, travelling through Ethiopia is an adventure in which you’re never sure what is around the corner!

Its size is equivalent to Britain and France combined and has a cultural heritage that is unsurpassed by any other country on the continent. Visitors to this culturally and scenically distinct nation will feel warmly welcomed. Whether you want to trek through the Simien Mountains, discover unusual wildlife, explore ancient churches, castles and island monasteries or meet local tribes, one thing is for sure…it will be very different from anything you’ve seen before!

Places to visit

Addis

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city, is usually the start and end point for most trips and has a number of historical, cultural and archaeological attractions. It has international standard first class hotels and a variety of restaurants that serve delicious Ethiopian dishes.

Bale Mountains

The ultimate destination for hikers, wildlife watchers, culture and nature enthusiasts. The Bale Mountains are one of the best sites to spot the rare and endangered Ethiopian Wolf.

Lalibela

Named after King Lalibela, this town is famous for its breath taking monolithic rock-hewn churches. Each church boasts a unique architectural style and is superbly carved and decorated with well-preserved art.

Axum

Axum (or Aksum) is considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia. Located in the far north of the country its early history, like most Ethiopian history, is shrouded in such a fog of legend that the truth remains largely unknown. Axum is known mainly for its stellae – enormous stone obelisks standing up to 33m tall. These stand alongside the ruins of even more impressive structures including temples, fortresses, and rich palaces.

Danakil Depression

The Danakil Depression is a desert area in the Afar region of north-eastern Ethiopia. It is one of the remotest places in the world and the lowest part in unique land formation of the Great Rift Valley system. This inhospitable land has been home to the Afar (Danakil) people for at least two thousand years.

Omo Valley

The Omo Valley situated in the remote southwest corner of Ethiopia is known for its culture and diversity. It is home to some of Africa’s oldest and most fascinating tribes including Hamer, Mursi and Dasenech all of which have retained traditional lifestyles due to the remoteness of this area.

Bahir Dar & Lake Tana

Located on the shores of Lake Tana, Bahir Dar forms the major stop on the Historical Circuit in the north of Ethiopia. It is a short flight from Addis to visit the famous 13th century monastery Debre Libanos and the canyon cut into the landscape by the Blue Nile. Lake Tana is the highest and largest lake in Ethiopia and plays host to some of the most spectacular monasteries in Ethiopia. 37 islands scattered about the surface of Lake Tana shelter churches and monasteries of immense historical & cultural interest.

Gondar

The legendary city of Gondar lies in a bowl of hills where tall trees shelter tin-roofed stone houses. Named 'The African Camelot,' Gondar is famous for its ancient castles & palaces.

Simien Mountains

The Simien Mountains located in the north of Ethiopia are one of Africa’s most beautiful ranges. Thanks to the combination of spectacular scenery and remarkable wildlife, the park is a worthy World Heritage Site. Whether you spend a rewarding 10 days trekking along the ridge that falls sheer to the plains below or simply fancy a day strolling through the mountains spotting Gelada Monkeys & Walia Ibex, this area is certainly not to be missed on a visit to the north of Ethiopia.

When to visit Ethiopia

Throughout most of the country there are are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September. Temperate in the highlands; hot in the lowlands.

Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, comprising of 12 months of 30 days and the 13th month of five to six days. New Year starts on September 11th. The Ethiopian calendar is 7 years and 8 months behind the Gregorian calendar, so you can come to Ethiopia and be 7 years younger!

A Sample Of What You Can Experience

ETHIOPIA

START PLANNING YOUR ETHIOPIA HOLIDAY

Our team are on hand to help plan your tailor-made holiday to Ethiopia. Give us a call on +44 (0)1823 452160 or email us here.

We recommend Ethiopia for…

Adventure Holidays

Ethiopia is a land of surprises. It combines spectacular scenery and history with outstanding wildlife and a rich cultural heritage. From superb trekking in the Simien Mountains to exploring cultural and historic Christian sites, Ethiopia is an adventure packed holiday destination.

Escorted Tours

Scheduled departure tours are a perfect way to explore Ethiopia. You can choose to join a group which offers a cost-effective way to explore the country incorporating friendship, fun and adventure plus the security that group travel brings.

Special Interest

Religion plays such an important role in the Ethiopian society. Festivals and ceremonies provide many high points in the calendar and it is possible to arrange your holiday around one of the 150 festivities that take place each year.

14 Day Adventure Holiday | Northern Ethiopia

Moritz & Margarete contacted Outposts Travel Africa to help them organise a 2 week holiday to Ethiopia. As a relatively undiscovered destination, we were delighted to put together a programme for them together with our in-country experts to explore the historical wonders of the north. Ethiopia is a culturally and scenically distinct nation and you must be prepared to travel long distances and stay in mid-range accommodation in order to experience all it has to offer.

“We would absolutely recommend to visit Ethiopia. It is such an interesting and beautiful country with a religion that is on the one hand very similar with ours and on the other hand sometimes quite hard to understand with many pictures and stories. People are extraordinarily friendly and interested and everybody would talk to us and ask questions and we never felt any discomfort or even fear. All in all we learned so incredibly much about Ethiopia and we would love to travel there again to see more of the country. I am sure we will keep in contact with our new friend Bale, our driver.”

Moritz & Margarete

Germany, April

ETHIOPIA ACCOMMODATION

WHERE TO STAY IN ETHIOPIA

Until recently there was little luxury accommodation available in Ethiopia, and to a degree that’s still the case. Across the country, you will find a range of camps and safari lodges some of which remain both basic and primarily functional. However, particularly in areas such as Lalibela and in Addis Ababa, there are now an increasing number of lodges, villas and hotels that are of a very good standard.

See below for some of our favourite locations to stay in Ethiopia.

BALE MOUNTAIN LODGE, BALE MOUNTAINS

“A unique wilderness lodge in one of the most amazing places on earth.”

Bale Mountain Lodge is an eleven room boutique forest wilderness lodge located deep within the Bale Mountain National Park (BMNP) of south central Ethiopia. Each room at the Lodge has a wood-burning stove and private terrace, and enjoys exceptional views of the lovely surroundings. The central building, fashioned from local stone, nestles into the hillside, minimising its visual impact.

In keeping with its eco-credentials, electricity is generated by a nearby micro-hydro plant, and the lodge is committed to minimising non-biodegradable waste through various innovative methods. Larger groups or families can be accommodated in a three bedroomed, rustic house with its own sitting room.

No trip to Bale would be complete without spending time on the Sanetti Plateau. Most trips up to the heights result in a sighting of the rare Ethiopian Wolf but even those trips that do not get a sighting can be sure of amazing bird watching, stunning views and, at 4000m above sea level, a truly breath-taking experience.

MAYLEKO LODGE, GONDAR

Located just a couple of minutes from Gondar Airport, Mayleko Lodge offers comfortable rooms, a very warm welcome, great food and a refreshing pool. Twenty individual stone and thatch chalets are backdropped by Dilha Mountain and enjoy views of distant ridges, green valleys and small farms. Mayleko Lodge is the ideal base from which to visit the Royal Compound in Gondar.

The lodge puts great emphasis on engagement of the local community and sustainability as is apparent in the traditional construction design and the use of recycled hardwood, building material and locally crafted rustic furniture. All bungalows are en-suite and benefit from the privacy of their own verandahs. Other amenities include a restaurant with terrace and a swimming pool. An ideal base for trekking or horse-riding excursions, Mayleko Lodge is a great place to wind down and recharge your batteries.

MARIBELA HOTEL, LALIBELA

Maribela Hotel is located in the heart of the Lalibela Mountains in northern Ethiopia. It offers spacious and modern rooms all with breathtaking views of the Ethiopian Highlands.

Maribela has 20 well-appointed rooms with single, twin or double beds. Each room has an en-suite bathroom and a private balcony, ideal for admiring the panoramic views of the highlands and mountains. Other facilities in each room include a TV and Wi-Fi Internet access.

Lalibela is the medieval capital of Ethiopia, famous for its awe-inspiring rock-hewn churches; the seventh wonder of the world according to UNESCO world heritage records.

BUSKA LODGE, OMO VALLEY

Situated in the heart of Southern Ethiopia in the Omo Valley, Buska Lodge is a comfortable place from which to explore this stunning part of Ethiopia. Tucked away just outside the remote village of Turmi, Buska Lodge offers the rare opportunity to learn about and experience the culture and traditions of the local Hammer community offering a rare glimpse into the cultures of the Omo Valley.

Bedrooms are all found in individual rounded huts or “tukuls” as they are known locally. The beds are draped in full-length mosquito nets and fans are provided for guests’ comfort. The en-suite bathrooms have hot running water and flush loos, although the hot water is restricted to certain times of day. Each tukul has a small sun terrace at the front where guests can relax and watch the sunrise. There is a lovely restaurant at the lodge which serves a variety of local and international cuisine. The staff here are very friendly and the lodge works with a number of the local Hammer Villages to ensure that the locals benefit directly from the tourists that the lodge draws to the region. A great spot from which to explore Turmi.

X