North & Central Ethiopia driving - 12 days
This driving tour includes Addis Ababa, Lalibela, Gondar, Lake Tana, Simen Mountains, Blue Nile Falls and more.
Arrive in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. You will visit the Trinity Cathedral, built by Emperor Haile Sillasse (who is also known as Ras Tafari). The church is also the burial place of Haile Sillasse and his family. You will also visit the National and Ethnographic Museums. The most famous collection of the National Museum is Lucy, the 3.2 million years old fossil. Stop for lunch at an Ethiopian Restaurant for your introduction to enjera (the Ethiopian staple food). Overnight hotel.
The National Museum in Addis Ababa houses the famous 3.2 million old fossil of Lucy, discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia
In the morning drive to Dessie across highland Ethiopian landscape. You will have stops on the way for views, photos and picnic lunch. Overnight hotel.
Drive to Lalibela across the land of the Amhara People with stops to view local life. Overnight hotel.
Carved out of a single sold rock, the 12th century rock-hewn church of Bete Gyorgis at Lalibela is likely to be the most photographed church in Ethiopia
This day is dedicated to the exploration of the famous 12th century rock-cut churches of Lalibela, regarded as one of the wonders of the world. Overnight hotel.
Drive to Gondar, the capital city of Ethiopia in the 17th and 18th century. Overnight hotel.
Today you will have excursion to the Simen Mountains National Park to appreciate its landscape and rare wildlife particularly the Gelada Baboons, endemic to Ethiopia. Overnight hotel.
The endemic Gelada Monkeys are one of flagship species of the Simen Mountains NP
In the morning visit the 17th and 18th century castles of Gondar and the church of Debre Birhan Sillasse, famous for its murals. Drive to Bahir Dar, a city on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the largest in Ethiopia. Overnight hotel.
In the morning drive to the Blue Nile Falls. In the afternoon you will have a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the church of Ura Kidane Mihret, famous for its murals. Overnight hotel.
Drive to Addis Ababa. The drive takes you across an important fertile teff growing part of Ethiopia and the deep Blue Nile Gorge. Overnight hotel.
The 17th century castle of Fasiledes at Gondar
The church of Debre Birhan Sillasse is known as the Sistine Chapel of Ethiopia
Drive into the Ethiopian Rift Valley to Hawassa, the capital of the ethnically diverse Southern State. On the way stop at Shashemene to visit Ras Tafarian community. Over half a century ago the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Sillasse (Ras Tafari) granted land for Rastafarians at Shashemene. Overnight hotel.
Lake Hawassa attracts fish lovers and incredible number of birds.
In the morning stop at the fish market at Lake Hawassa which is also one of the best birding sites in Ethiopia. Continue to Yirgalem to walk in coffee plantations of the Sidama people and have coffee with them. Overnight hotel.
Drive to Addis Ababa on a different route with stops at places like the 12th century graveyard of Tiya. Fly out of Addis this evening or the following day.
The 12th century Tiya grave marking stelae