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29 Days Tribal Experience tour itinerary for ethiopia: Visit Mercato Market, Meet Ethnic Groups & Sightsee Popular Landmarks

Addis Ababa, Aksum, Arba Minch, Awash National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Debarq, Gondar, Harar, Jinka, Lake Langano, Lalibela, Mago National Park, Ras Dashen, Simien Mountains National Park, Turmi, Yabelo

Camping
Camping Tour
Backpacking
Backpacking Tour
Tribal
Tribal Experience Tour

Get full experience of Ethiopia on this tour, which is a combination of 14 days to the north and 14 days to the south with a chance to see various landscapes, national parks and monuments. Blue Nile Gorge, Bezawit Hill, Fasilidas Bath,Yeha Temple, Debre Damo monastery etc. are major attractions.

DAY 01

Addis Ababa (Sa)

  • Get picked up at the airport and be taken to your hotel for check-in. 

  • Go on a half day or full day city tour depending on your time of arrival.

  • Visit some sites of your choice like the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Mercato (the largest market of Africa) or the Entoto Hills just outside Addis Ababa. The first day we spent in the fascinating capital of the country: Addis Ababa.

DAY 02

Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar, 553 km/ ~10,5 hr (Su)

  • Leave Addis Ababa after an early breakfast. Drive towards the north. The journey leads us through the rolling hills of the Ethiopian Highlands, where a lot of agricultural activity takes place. 

  • Enjoy the natural beauty of the Blue Nile Gorge on the way with your Ethiopian tour guide.

  • Arrive in Bahir Dar just before sunset.

DAY 03

Bahir Dar (mo)

  • Enjoy a full day boat trip on Lake Tana and explore some of the beautiful churches.

  • Go to the source of the Blue Nile where we find many water birds and maybe a hippo.

  • Reach the Zeghe Peninsula in about one hour. 

  • Visit the Uhre Kidane Mehret, a famous church with your Ethiopian tour guide. 

  • Enjoy a walk on the forested peninsula to the other churches and see monkeys and beautiful birds on the way.

  • Take the boat from the other side of the Peninsula. 

  • Go to Kibran Gabriel Island (unfortunately, women are not allowed).

  • Return to Bahir Dar in the later afternoon.

  • Witness the panoramic view and sunset from Bezawit Hill.

It is possible to visit churches further afield like on Dek Island.

DAY 04

Bahir Dar – Gondar, 174 km/ ~3 hr (tu)

  • After an early breakfast, drive for about one hour to reach the small village of Tissisat. 

  • Enjoy a lovely walk in the cool morning hours. 

  • Cross the Nile by the 17th century Portuguese Bridge.

  • Continue the walk to the falls, and meet local people on the way. 

  • After admiring the falls, cross the Nile in a small boat to find our car waiting for us. 

  • Head back to Bahir Dar for lunch.

  • Proceed to our next destination, Gondar.

DAY 05

Gondar – Simien Mountains, 122 km/ ~3 hr (we)

  • Spend the morning visiting the highlights of Gondar: the Royal Enclosure, Fasilidas Bath and Debre Birhan Selassie, the church with the angel faces painted on the ceiling. 

  • After lunch, proceed towards to Simien Mountains encountering spectacular scenery on the way as good preparation for tomorrow. 

  • Enjoy sunset views at our destination the Simien Lodge.

  • Budget/ tourist class accommodation is available in Debark, a 45 minutes drive outside the park.

DAY 06

simien mountains (th)

  • Experience a full day to enjoy the natural beauty of the Simien Mountains. There are several opportunities to explore the park, on foot or by car. Depending on your interest and fitness, we choose where to go. It is almost guaranteed that you see the gelada baboon. The Walia ibex and Ethiopian wolf are much more difficult to find.

It is possible to add any number of days for additional hiking in the Simien Mountains.

DAY 07

Simien Mountains – Axum, 274 km/ ~10 hr (fr)

  • Experience a long but spectacular day which takes us to Axum. 

  • Just outside Debark, start our first decent the Italian build Lima Limo road and the rest of the day goes up and down until we finally cross the Tekeze River gorge. The scenery is just awesome here!

DAY 08

axum (sa)

  • Explore Axum which is the place where facts and legends meet. Is the Ark of the Covenant found in Axum? We take you in the footsteps of the famous Queen of Sheba and Ezana, the emperor who converted to Christianity. 

  • See the spectacular stelae of Axum and visit the Maryam of Tsion churches (unfortunately, the old church is not open for women). Many more sites are available to visit or you might take a couple of hours at leisure to digest your overwhelming experiences of Ethiopia.

DAY 09

Axum – Mekele, 247 km/ ~5,5 hr (su)

  • Continue our journey through the breathtaking scenery of Tigray. 

  • On the way, visit the Yeha Temple, the oldest structure found in Ethiopia. 

  • En route to Mekele, take a small detour to the Abreha Atsheba Church, one of the best examples of the rock-hewn churches of Tigray.

  • Instead of one of these places, it is also possible to visit Debre Damo, the monastery on the top of a cliff. Only accessible by a 15 meter long rope and unfortunately for men only.

It is possible to add additional days to explore more of Tigray.

DAY 10

Mekele – Lalibela, 335 km/ ~7,5 hr (mo)

  • Experience a long but beautiful drive which takes us to the highlight of your visit to Ethiopia: Lalibela. If the day goes smoothly and you feel energetic, we might have time to visit Yemrehane Kristos church, en-route.

DAY 11

Lalibela (tu)

  • Spend a full day which is necessary to get a good impression of these truly amazing places of worship. The 12th century rock-hewn churches are the legacy of King Lalibela. It is said his visit to Jerusalem inspired him to build the 11 churches. 

DAY 12

lalibela (we)

  • There are quite a few options to spent the rest of our time. For example, a visit to the Yemrehane Kristos church or a hike to the Asheton Maryam church. On Saturday there is the weekly market in town. Maybe you want to have some time at leisure too.

  • It is possible to add additional days to explore more of Lalibela and the surrounding area and excellent hiking opportunities are available.

DAY 13

Lalibela – Harar (by plane to Dire Dawa), 75 km/ ~2 hr (th)

  • After a remarkable visit, leave Lalibela behind. 

  • Take two domestic flights to reach Harar. A transfer will take us to the airport, as our driver left already 2 days ago to be in time in Harar. A 45 minutes flight takes us to Addis Ababa and later that day a one hour flight takes us to Dire Dawa where our driver is waiting for us to take us to Harar. This 55 km journey will take close to 1.5 hr. 

  • Upon arrival in Harar, check-in in our hotel.

DAY 14

harar (fr)

  • Explore the fascinating walled city of Harar. 

  • Go around through the maze-like layout of this 4th holiest town of Islam. There are many mosques and shrines to discover and it is a lively town too. The Harari market is famous. 

  • In the evening, see the Hyena man, feeding the hyena by hand. Do you dare to give it a try?

DAY 15

Harar – Awash National Park, 315 km/ ~7 hr (sa)

  • Travel through the mountainous and fertile area famous for its coffee and qat.

  • Later this day, reach the plains of the Rift Valley and Awash National Park. 

  • Go for a game dive in the park in the late afternoon.

DAY 16

aswan national park (su)

  • Explore Awash National Park. Game drives and walks are available to encounter wildlife and enjoy the scenery. You are likely to see beisa oryx, kudu, defassa waterbuck, Soemmering’s gazelle, warthog and baboon. The park is also a great place for birdwatchers.

If you want to explore more of the park, you might add another day.

DAY 17

Awash national Park – Langano, 268 km/ ~4 hr (mo)

  • With the last game drive, leave the park behind for our next destination, Lake Langano. 

  • En-route, stop at Lake Ziway for some birdwatching. If you want we have the afternoon at leisure. However, we would like to take you to Shala-Abiata National Park. These twin lakes offer great scenery and abundant birdlife. Overgrazing by cattle seriously damaged the area and few larger mammals are found nowadays, but it is still worth to visit.

DAY 18

Langano – Arba Minch, 306 km/ ~6 hr (tu)

  • Leave our resort at the lake not too late to have some time available to visit Senkele Game Sanctuary en route. Here we have a good chance to see the endemic Swayne’s hartebeest and other animals.



DAY 19

Arba Minch (visit Dorze and Nech Sar NP) (we)

  • In about one hour, travel 28 km from Arba Minch at an altitude of 1400 m to the highland village of Dorze at 2600 m while enjoying beautiful views over Lake Abaya and Lake Chamo on the way. 

  • Visit the Dorze people in their famous beehive-like huts and see the preparation of their staple food made of false banana. Of course we try their food. 

  • After a relaxing lunch, depart for a boat trip on Lake Chamo and have a good chance to come up close with most probably the biggest crocodiles you have ever seen. Many (water) birds and hippopotamus are also easily found.

DAY 20

Arba Minch – Jinka, 241 km/ ~4,5 hr (th)

  • Travel further south and traverse the areas where Konso, Tsamay, Banna and Ari people are living. 

  • Visit the Thursday market of Key Afar, one of the biggest in the region. Banna, Ari and Tsamay people travel from far to attend the market. A wide selection of goods and (fresh) produce is sold here and there is a cattle market. 

  • After visiting the market, proceed to Jinka.

DAY 21

Jinka (visit Mursi and Ari people) (fr)

  • Explore more of the area around Jinka. 

  • In the morning, travel into the Mago National Park on our way to probably the most well-known people of the Omo Valley: the Mursi. Don’t expect much game on this brief visit to the park. 

  • After about a 2 hour drive, reach one of the villages where the Mursi people are living.  

  • Head back to Jinka for lunch.

  • Visit the Ari people in the afternoon. A big contrast with the morning, Ari people adopted a more ‘western’ lifestyle and live on a small compound where they grow a selection of crops.

DAY 22

Jinka – Turmi 125 km/ ~2,5 hr (sa)

  • Visit the museum at the South Omo Research Centre. 

  • Proceed to Dimeka where Saturday is market day. As at the other markets, it gets going from the end of the morning. At the market, Hamar people and also Karo, Bashada and Banna travel here. 

  • After visiting the market, proceed to Turmi. During our stay in Turmi, we might be lucky to witness an Evangadi dance or maybe even a Bull jumping ceremony.



DAY 23

Turmi (visit Dassanech and Hamar people) (su)

  • In the morning, drive 72 km/ 1.5 hr to Omorate at the east bank of the Omo River. This is the area where the Dassanech people are living.

  • Cross the Omo River by local canoe to visit one of their villages. 

  • In the afternoon, have another chance to experience the Evangadi dance or the Bull jumping ceremony.

DAY 24

Turmi – Yabelo, 296 km / ~5,5 hr (mo)

  • Before we depart for Yabello 

  • Enjoy a walk around Turmi to explore the area on foot. When there’s no water running in the Keske River (most of the time) we follow the riverbed and find almost certain the black and white colobus monkey and many birds. 

  • After the walk, start driving and visit an Arbore village on the way. 

  • After lunch, visit the Konso people with their maze-like villages and terraces for agriculture. They are also well known for their Waga stelae, grave markers for the brave and important men of people. The cultural landscape of Konso is the youngest World Heritage Site of Ethiopia.

DAY 25

Yabelo (visit ‘singing well’ and El Sod) (tu)

  • Explore Yabelo. We are now in the heartland of the Borana people. Pastoralist who travel around with their camels and cattle. They  live in semi-arid savanna and with their “singing wells” they provide water for the animals and themselves when water elsewhere is absent. You might be lucky to witness the chain of people bringing the water up, meanwhile singing to keep the spirits up. The crater of El Sod with a salt lake at the bottom offers great scenery and a challenging walk down (and up again) to see the harvesting process of the salt.


DAY 26

Yabelo – Yirgalem, 262 km/ ~5 hr (we)

  • Leave the semi-arid savanna and enter the green and fertile hills where a lot of the famous Ethiopian coffee is grown. 

  • Stay at the Aregash Lodge in Yirgalem situated at a coffee plantation. The lodge is a fine example of an eco-lodge. The huts are built in the same style as the surrounding Sidamo people. Delicious organic, home grown, food is served in the restaurant. It is a great place for a relaxing afternoon although short walks are available.

DAY 27

Yirgalem – Goba 274 km/ ~5 hr (th)

  • On our way to the Bale Mountains, pass Hawassa where we visit the fish market. 

  • Finalize the formalities at the headquarters of the Park is situated in Dinsho. Enjoy a beautiful walk in the surrounding area. Here, we have a very good chance to see the endemic mountain Nyala and Menelik’s bushbuck.

  • After the walk, proceed to Goba.

DAY 28

Goba (visit Bale Mountains NP) (fr)

  • Spend the whole day exploring the Bale Mountains. This is going to be a day of extraordinary scenery and of course, we continue our search for endemic species in this area. Among them the Ethiopian wolf and many birds.

It is possible to add additional days in the Bale Mountains. For example, visit the Sof Omar Caves. The area offers great hiking opportunities. 



DAY 29

Goba – Addis Ababa, 414 km/ ~8 hr (sa)

  • Leave the mountainous area behind and travel down to the bottom of the Rift Valley again by a different, very scenic road, via Asela. 

  • Head back to Addis Ababa. A hotel room for day-use is available in Addis. 

  • Say goodbye to dear friends.

  • Visit a cultural restaurant.

  • Enjoy great Ethiopian food together with traditional music and dance from all over this fascinating country. 

  • About 115 km (2.5 hr) before reaching Addis Ababa, we pass the hot spring resort of Sodore that can make for a nice relaxing overnight break if you have another day to spend.

  • 1200 USD Per Adult (* depending on the person how many.)
  • Hotel booking.

  • Domestic flights booking.

  • Dinner.

  • Entrance fees.

  • Ethiopian tour guide.

  • 4WD car or minibus 2018-9 models.

  • Other special interests on your request!

  • Breakfast. 

  • Lunch.

  • Alcoholic beverages. 

Our Tour Packages:

  • 4 Days Danakil Depression Itinerary.

  • 3 Days Danakil Depression Itinerary.

  • 2 days Danakil.

  • 1 day trip to Dalol Danakil depression.

  • 8 Days Omo Valley Itinerary.

  • 12 Days North including the Simien Mountains.

  • 11 days north and south Omo Valley.

  • 15 Days North & South Ethiopia by surface and air.

  • 17 Days Simien Mountains Itinerary.

  • 10 days Simien trekking.

  • 4 days Gheralta trekking.


  • Best of Ethiopia, 29 days with guide Abraham Molla (Ethiopian High Land Tours).

  • This is a fine example of combining some of our suggested itineraries to a ‘Best of Ethiopia’ tour. It is actually a combination of 14 days to the north and 14 days to the south, complemented with a visit to Harar and Awash National Park in the east. What more do you want?

Addis Ababa, Aksum, Arba Minch, Awash National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Debarq, Gondar, Harar, Jinka, Lake Langano, Lalibela, Mago National Park, Ras Dashen, Simien Mountains National Park, Turmi, Yabelo

Camping
Camping Tour
Backpacking
Backpacking Tour
Tribal
Tribal Experience Tour
abrham-addisababa-tour-guide

Contributed By

Abrham Molla

starting from
USD 1200
Type of Tour

Private Tour

Departures

This tour is offered throughout the year on the following days of the week.

  • Monday 07:30
  • Tuesday 07:30
  • Wednesday 07:30
  • Thursday 07:30
  • Friday 07:30
  • Saturday 07:30
  • Sunday
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