Omo Valley People
Diverse culture of the Omo Valley
Adventure Is Worthwhile
Dive Into The Woods And Explore Thyself
Explore the Unique before it disappears
Witness The World Around You
Art Lies Everywhere Your Eyes Can Look
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Ethiopian's ancient orthodox Christianity has endowed the nation with thousands of churches and monasteries. A succession of empire and kingdoms added medieval forts, palaces and tombs like the Gondar citadel and the towering stone stelae of Axum. From Lake Tana and the Blue Nile to the red-rocked Gheralta Mountains, the arid Danakil Depression and the lush Omo Valley, the landscapes are astounding and incredibly varied.
Ethiopia's wildlife riches are also diverse, from typical African savannah animals in the south to unique indigenous species like the gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolf. Ethiopia is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Simien National Park. Ethiopia is also home to an active volcano (Erta Ale) and the most culturally fascinating and beautiful tribes on the planet.
PLACES TO VISIT!
Addis Ababa Sprawling across the southern slopes of the Entoto Hills, Addis Ababa (pop: constantly growing but estimated at 5 million), is Africa’s 4th largest city and its diplomatic center. For many visitors, the capital is the gateway to an ancient and mystical world of one of the world’s oldest Christian nations.Before departing on the Historic Route of Ethiopia to explore the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela or giant stelae of Axum, it is well-worth spending a day or two in Addis Ababa exploring cultural highlights like the National and Ethnological museums as well as the many churches scattered across the city. The bustling capital is also the best place to experience the famously delicious Ethiopian cuisine and unparalleled coffee culture.
Ethiopia Historic Route:
Many who experience Ethiopia for the first time do so along the well-trodden Historic Route. This fascinating tour highlights the ancient history, culture and natural resources of the country and takes the traveler back in time to explore the spectacular castles of Gondar, the ancient ruins of Axum, the architectural wonders of Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches, the island monasteries of Lake Tana and the imposing vistas of the beautiful Simien Mountain range.
Ethiopia Gondar Tour:
Gondar is a highlight not to be missed on your journey along the Historic Route. Nestled in the foothills of Simien National Park, the royal and ancient historical city of Gondar was once the seat of Ethiopian emperors. The numerous castles and palaces that remain within the walls of the Royal Enclosure (also known as Fasil Ghebbi) are a testament to the royal capital’s former splendor. This 70,000-sq meter UNESCO World Heritage site is easily accessible for visitors and a wonderful place to navigate on foot. A popular stop along the way is Fasiledes' Palace, which is the oldest and arguably the most impressive building in the Royal Enclosure.
With its domed towers the castle seems to have jumped straight off the pages of a fairytale. Another well-visited site in Gondar is the large rectangular pool known as Fasiledes' Bath, where religious ceremonies still take place today. Once a year, during the Timkat festival, the pool is filled with blessed water and devotees are invited to swim and frolic in the pool in a ceremonial replication of Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River.Finally, one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful churches, Debre Berhan Selassie, with its painted ceilings, is also a must-see.
Ethiopia Lalibela Tour:
Steeped in history and ancient Christianity the iconic monolithic rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are an architectural wonder. Situated in the mountainous region in northern Ethiopia are eleven churches that have been meticulously carved out of rock, some from the top down like subterranean monoliths, and others chiseled into cliff faces. The most iconic and visually stunning of the churches is Bet Giyorgis. The 15-meter high structure is carved out of rock, excavated externally and internally into the shape of a Greek cross.
It is worth visiting Bet Giyorgis several times, once in the early morning to witness mass being carried out, and once at sunset.Scholars’ date the churches back to King Lalibela’s reign (1181-1221) and today it is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, attracting pilgrims of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith. It was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978. The most exciting time to visit Lalibela is during one of the annual festivals. Spending a night vigil during one of the big religious festivals like Ledet (Ethiopian Christmas) or Timkat (Epiphany), watching hundreds of white-robed pilgrims proceed in and out of the churches is a remarkable sight.
Ethiopia Axum Tour:
The ruins of the ancient city of Axum, near the country’s northern border, are a testament to the city’s former historical and political significance. Lying in the heart of ancient Ethiopia, the ruins are remnants of a time when the Kingdom of Axum was one of the most powerful empires in the world, equal to Rome and Persia. The site, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1980, is a treasure trove for those who truly appreciate archeology. The remaining ruins, which date from between the 1st and 13th century A.D., include enormous stelae, monolithic obelisks, royal tombs, monasteries and the ruins of ancient palaces.
Axum is also famous for being the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant, which according to legend was given to Queen Sheba by King Solomon. For followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox faith, Axum is thus regarded as the holiest city in the country and every year thousands of devotees will make a pilgrimage to see this sacred artifact. For foreign visitors, the main attraction is the giant stelae which were erected by the Aksumite in the pre-Christian times, presumably for religious purposes. One of these granite structures, the Great Stelae, is the biggest monolith in the world, measuring over 33 meters. It fell over sometime in the 4th century and remains in pieces on the ground.
Ethiopia Bahir Dar:
Located on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the city of Bahir Dar is a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia and the starting point of several points of interest in the area, like the famous island monasteries and the Blue Nile falls. The scenic lake, the palm-tree-lined streets and the favorable climate makes it a popular destination for domestic tourists who describe it as the Ethiopian Riviera. While in Bahir Dar, join the bustle of the lively markets showcasing colorful woven cloth, beautifully crafted baskets and delicious coffee. There are also a variety of handicraft and weaving centers that are well-worth the visit.
Ethiopia Lake Tana:
Lake Tana forms the main reservoir for the Blue Nile river and is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Hiring a boat from Bahir Dar, on the southern side of the lake, visitors can take a scenic trip to see the dramatic Blue Nile falls and visit some of the thirty-seven islands scattered across the lake. Twenty of these are home to churches and monasteries dating back to the 14th century, many of which are decorated with beautiful paintings and house historically and culturally significant treasures.
Kebran Gabriel, for instance, is well known for its library of almost 200 old books, and Daga Istafanos is the resting place of the mummified remains of five former emperors of Ethiopia, Fasiledes, the founder of Gondar, being one of them. Surrounded by a forest of coffee trees, Ura Kidane Mehret with its magnificent frescos is regarded as the most beautiful of the churches. It is located on Zegge Peninsula, a one-hour boat ride from Bahir Dar. In some of these monasteries, women are not allowed to enter. To avoid disappointment, it is best to familiarize oneself with the traditions and rules of the monasteries before visiting.
Debark is a frontier town in northern Ethiopia along the highway between Gondar and Axum. It is best known for being a gateway to Simien Mountain National Park. With the park’s headquarters located in the town, it is the start of every trekking excursion. The town itself is rather charming with various street markets offering last minute supplies for trekkers heading up to the network of trails in the Simien mountain range.
Simien Mountain Ethiopia:
The Simien Mountain range is a rugged and remote chain of mountains stretching across northern Ethiopia. Home to Ethiopia’s tallest mountain, Ras Dashen (4,543 meters), the region is known for its unique and spectacularly wild landscape with breathtaking views of deep ravines and gorges, soaring rock spires and lush plateaus populated with wild flowers.
The high-altitude landscapes are home to exotic wildlife unique to the area, such as the ibex species, the Gelada baboon, several birds of prey and the extremely rare Ethiopian wolf, which has an estimated population of 50 in the Simien Mountains (out of 400 in the entire country). The rareness of the species residing in the Simien Mountains led to the formation of the National Park and its listing as a World Heritage site in 1978. The best way to explore the rich and diverse flora of the Simien Mountains, and spotting its wildlife, is by foot. Plodding along steep valley trails and up towering peaks makes for a memorable, yet challenging adventure.
The university city of Mekele is the capital of Tigray, the northern most region in Ethiopia. The city owes its significance to once having been the country’s capital under the reign of emperor Yohannes IV. Today Mekele is a starting point for tours to the Danakil Depression and excursions to the many rock-hewn churches dotted along the high-desert landscape of northern Tigray. Among the sites to see in the city itself is the stone palace which was once inhabited by emperor Yohannes IV. It has since been converted to an interesting museum.
Gheralta Mountains Ethiopia:
Raising from the Hawzien plains in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia are the sheer cliffs and vertical spires of the Gheralta Mountains. Perched high and hidden in the folds of these stunning mountains are some of the country’s least visited rock-hewn cave churches, some of which are over 1,000 years old.
Ethiopia Danakil Depression:
The Sun scorches the cracked earth, a wavering mirage confuses the eye, and dry air and dust suck the moisture from your mouth and eyes. Ethiopia's Danakil Depression is one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet. The area is located in the Afar Region of north-east Ethiopia near the border with Eritrea. The Danakil Depression is the northern part of the Afar Triangle, a geological depression caused by the Afar Triple Junction: a place where three tectonic plates join. Walking around the area you feel like you are on another planet. There are volcanoes with bubbling lava lakes, multi-coloured hydrothermal fields, and great salt pans that dazzle the eyes.
Debre Damo – Ethiopia.
The old adage that it is the journey and not the destination that matters certainly holds true for Debre Damo. Set on a flat-topped mountain in northern Ethiopia at an elevation of 2,216 meters, is a monastery dating from the 6th century. The only way to reach the site is by climbing a 15-metre rock face with the aid of a leather rope that has been lowered down from the top by a helpful monk. Having made that rather arduous ascent visitors are rewarded with panoramic views of the Tigray highlands and an opportunity to explore the monastery and its famous treasures, among them a collection of some of the country’s oldest illuminated manuscripts.
Debre Damo is known for being the home of the earliest existing church building in Ethiopia that is still in its original style, dating back to the 10th or 11th century. Thanks to extensive restorations during the mid 20th century the church is in good condition while retaining its ancient character. Don’t miss the beams and ceiling inside the church which have been decorated with carved wooden panels depicting Ethiopian wild animals. The mountain and its formidable cliffs are unfortunately off limits for the entire female species. Not even female animals are allowed on the mountain and the climbing rope is made of ox-leather rather than cow!
One of the most memorable sites in Eastern Ethiopia is the world heritage-listed city of Harar. Settled by Arabian immigrants in the 10th century, Harar grew into an important trading center connecting Africa, India and the Middle East. In contrast to a predominantly orthodox Christian nation, Harar is thought to be one of the oldest Islamic cities in East Africa and a gateway to the spread of Islam to the Horn. Over the centuries the city has managed to retain its traditions and Muslim cultural heritage.
The best way to explore the city is by getting lost in the 368 narrow alleyways that make up Harar. In this 1 square kilometer colorful maze visitors can explore lively markets and historic buildings. The highlight of the city is the old walled town known as Jugal. Surrounded by a 5-metre-high wall the ancient city is home to mosques, over 100 shrines and tombs and around 2000 traditional houses, painted in different colors. As the sun sets, head over to the city walls to witness Harar’s most curious tradition: the ritual feeding of hyenas!
Awash National Park- Ethiopia
Owing to its proximity to Addis Ababa (half-day drive), the Awash National Park is one of the most visited parks in Ethiopia. The park spans 765 square kilometers of acacia woodlands, grassland and volcanic landscapes. Its location on a major north-southern migratory route has resulted in an abundant birdlife. More than 460 species are known to have been recorded, among them the extremely rare yellow-throated seedeater and somber rock chat, both found only in and near Awash.
The plains to the south are excellent for viewing larger fauna. Soemmering’s gazelles and oryx frequent the grassy plains while waterbucks and baboons can be seen in the bushy river areas. Lions, leopards, caracals, servals and wildcats are known to reside in the park but tend to be elusive to the visitors’ eyes. Further south, the Awash River gorge displays dramatic waterfalls. In the far north of the park, nestled amid groves of palm trees, lie the Filwoha Hot Springs. Visitors can take a dip in the turquois pools with temperatures reaching as high as 45 °C. Toward the west, the main feature of the park, the dormant volcano Fantale (2007 meters), makes for an amazing trek.
Omo Valley – Ethiopia.
The Lower Omo Valley, located in south-western Ethiopia, is a truly unique part of the world known for its diverse ecosystems and rich tribal culture. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its geological significance, a drive through this region will be one of changing beauty, from dry, open savannah plains and grasslands to volcanic outcrops and highland forests.
Omo Valley Market Days- Ethiopia.
The weekly markets in Omo Valley are important social gatherings attracting hordes of people from the surrounding villages. For visitors, it is an opportunity to observe the local tribes interacting with each other in a lively atmosphere amongst livestock, displays of fruit and local crafts. If you are looking to shop, come armed with your best haggling skills!
Through the valley, the Omo River carves a 760km path from the highlands in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley to Lake Turkana in Kenya. The surrounding hills and banks are home to over 40 tribes, who live off the land according to the ancient traditions that they have followed for centuries. Visitors who come here can witness the unique cultures of the;
• Lip-plated Mursi people, • The body painted Karo and,
• The bull jumping Hamer.
Omo Valley Tribes Ethiopia:
The Omo Valley is an anthropologists dream destination. Scattered around Africa’s Great Rift Valley, in one of the most isolated and inhospitable regions in Ethiopia, are some of the last real tribes in Africa. For centuries the indigenous tribes (roughly 200,000 peoples in total) lived lives completely cut off from modern society, surviving off the land according to age-old traditions and customs. In recent time, however, development and modernity has slowly found its way south and there is now a web of asphalted roads connecting previously isolated villages and warriors are increasingly trading in their spears for mobile phones. For a while longer though, a trip to this southern region of Ethiopia will give a fascinating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and tribal traditions of the peoples of Omo Valley, from ceremonial rites of passage like the Hamer’s bull jumping ceremony, to the Karo’s stunning body adornment practices.
Lake Langano Ethiopia:
Lake Langano is one of a series of crater lakes scattered along the Ethiopian Rift Valley. Its proximity to the capital (200 kilometers south of Addis and a 3-hour drive) and the many holiday resorts dotted around the lake has made it a popular destination with tourists and a weekend retreat for urbanites. Owing to its bilharzia free status, swimming and water sports is a popular pastime on the lake. The mineral rich soil at the bottom of the lake has given Langano its characteristic copper color and fueled a belief that the water has special healing properties. The serene podocarpus and fig tree forests of Langano nature reserve spans the eastern shore of the lake and provides a lush shelter to monkeys, baboons, warthogs and a variety of birds that dwell there. The area can easily be explored by foot or on horseback.
Lake Hawassa –Ethiopia:
Idyllically situated on the eastern shore of lake Hawassa, the smallest of the Great Rift Valley crater lakes, lies the city of the same name. While the city of Hawassa boasts no major sights of its own, the city attracts city dwellers keen to swap concrete jungles for scenic lake views, lush hilly backdrops and modern resorts. Visitors enjoy strolling or cycling along the lakeshore paths, visiting the lively fish market or sampling the daily catch of tilapia from the many rustic restaurants along the lake. The lake is easily accessible by boat and bird watching excursions can be arrange as well as trips out to see the hippos at Black Water (Tikur Wuha). The gold domed St Gabriel Church is especially interesting to explore during one of the festivals; Timkat (January 19), Meskel (September 27) or the Feast of Gabriel (July 27 and December 27) when the space is dominated by lively processions.
One hour drive south of Hawassa, amidst forested hills of wild coffee trees and enset plantations, lies the town Yirga Alem. While the town itself is rather undistinguished, it is known by travelers as offering one of the best accommodation options in the country – Aregash Lodge. The lodge provides a comfortable base for travelers on the southern circuit en route to the Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary and the imposing Bale mountains to the west.
Mountains National Park- Ethiopia:
For trekkers, nature enthusiasts and bird and wildlife watchers, the Bale Mountains National Park (2,200 square kilometers) is a hidden treasure. Few visitors make it to the remote Bale mountain range, relative to the more accessible Simien Mountains in the north. Those who do embark on the 6-hour drive from Addis Ababa are rewarded with rugged landscapes complete with alpine lakes, deep gorges, plunging waterfalls, dense and damp forests and arid wind-swept plateaus.
The main draw of the park is the abundant wildlife with 300 species of bird and 78 known mammal species, including the endemic Nyala antelopes, Menelik bushbucks and the Ethiopian wolf which is the world’s rarest canid. Despites its rarity visitors are almost always guaranteed a sighting.The most popular way of exploring Bale Mountains National Park is by foot. There are plenty of trekking opportunities in the park ranging from one to seven days and the trails are not too demanding, following well-trodden paths at altitude ranges between 2,800-4,300 meters, with frequent sighting of bird and wildlife.
Ethiopia Wondo Genet:
Once a recreational get-away for the royal family, the resort town of Wondo Genet is best known for its hot springs and surrounding lush forests. The name Wondo Genet aptly translates to Green Heaven, in reference to the rich woodlands, wildlife, birdlife and water sources in the area.
The rural village of Dinsho in south-central Ethiopia is the gateway for excursions to Bale Mountains National Park with the park headquarters located in the town.
Ethiopia Arba Minch:
Bordered by the lush mountains of the Great Rift Valley and home to two of Ethiopia’s largest Rift Valley lakes, Arba Minch is a lovely stop on the southern circuit. The university town is known for its abundance of tropical fruits, excellent fish market and for being the gateway to Nechisar National Park. The park spans the narrow and mountainous stretch of land (referred to as “the Bridge of God”) that separates Lake Chamo in the south from lake Abaya in the north. The park is ranked as one of the most scenic in East Africa, notable for its diverse terrestrial habitats ranging from open savannah and acacia woodland to thick bush and shoreline forests.
Lake Chamo- Ethiopia:
Lake Chamo is located in the mountainous and verdant landscapes of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley, just south of Lake Abaya and the city of Arba Minch. The lake’s northern shores lie in Nechisar National Park contributing to the stunning panoramic views of open savannah plains and soaring mountain ranges. Besides wildlife like catfish, Nile perch and some hippos, the main showstopper at Chamo Lake is the large population of Nile Crocodiles. Visitors can get a close look at these impressive reptiles (some measure over 6 meters long!) on a boat trip (2-3 hours) to Crocodile Market, a stretch of sand where the crocodiles like to bask in the warm sun.
The small town of Yabelo in southern Ethiopia is the capital of the Borana people. Travelers rarely visit the town itself but use it as a base for excursions to Borana National Park - Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary. Originally created to protect Ethiopia’s endemic Swayne’s hartebeest, the 2,496 square kilometer wildlife sanctuary now draws keen birders hoping to catch a glimpse of the rare Stresemann’s bushcrow and white-tailed swallow, both endemic to the country and only to be found within a few kilometer radius of Yabelo.
On the border between Ethiopia and Kenya a black volcanic lake spans the inside of the crater El Sod. For centuries, the Borana people have harvested high quality salt from its depths, drawn up by abled bodied men and later sold across East Africa. The crater’s Amharic name is suitably Chew Bet, meaning “salt house”. The lake is a fascinating geological attraction situated in a stunning setting, offering beautiful views for those who are up for a strenuous hike. The trail follows well-trodden paths frequented by caravans of mules carrying the precious salt in their cargo. Hiking from the rim down to the lake takes roughly 3 hours round trip.
The Singing Wells in Borana land are a sight (and sound!) to behold. The pastoralist Borana people live in dry regions where water is a scarce commodity. For the livestock and people to survive during the dry season the Borana must dig deep wells (sometimes up to 30 meters) and perform the very dangerous work of bringing the water up manually with the aid of buckets. They are known as singing wells because when the Borana fetch the water they form a human chain on the lowered ladders and pass up buckets between them, all the while singing to keep the rhythm.
In a crossroads town in southern Ethiopia, deep in the stunning Rift Valley, lies a little slice of Jamaica. Here dreadlocked Rastafarian repatriates have created a spiritual community on land that was granted by the last emperor of Ethiopia in 1948. Today it is a place of pilgrimage for Rastafarians from far and wide who regard it as the Rastafari capital of Africa. For visitors interested in the Rastafarian culture, Shashemene is a convenient stop on the road south between Langano Lake to Hawassa.
Ethiopia Key Afer Village:
Key Afer is a fairly modern village situated on top of a mountain plateau on the Konso-Jinka road. It is famous for having one of the best weekly markets in the area running every Thursday. The colorful market attracts neighboring tribes like the Banna and Tsemay who sell tribe jewelry, skins and beautifully decorated gourds. While browsing the different craft stalls visitors can observe the unique headdresses, body paint and traditional dress of the local tribes.
Ethiopia Turmi Market:
This market town in south-western Ethiopia is home to the Hamer tribe and well-known for its traditional dances and gravity defying Jumping of the Bulls ceremony. The weekly Monday market is attended by many of the Hamer villages in the region and attracts its fair share of transiting tourists. Turmi is a convenient base from which to arrange day trips to Omorate.
Ethiopia Jinka Town:
Located in the hills near Mago National Park is Jinka, the biggest town in the region and well-known for its lively Saturday markets attracting various tribes like the Ari, Banna and Mursi. Besides being a convenient base for visiting the Mursi villages, the town also houses an Ethnographic Museum with an interesting exhibition on the various cultures and ways of life of the people living in and around Omo Valley. Combine a visit to the museum with an afternoon walk through the village to observe the daily life of the Ari people who live there.
Ethiopia Omorate- Near Omo River:
The small town of Omorate sits on the eastern banks of Omo River, near the border to Kenya. The highlight of the town is visiting the Dassanech villages located just across the river and accessed by dug-out canoes. The town has been described as one of the hottest and dustiest in the region, why many elect to visit in the mornings on a day trip out of Turmi (1-hour drive away).
ETHIOPIA HOTELS AND LODGES. We visit all the accommodation in Ethiopia ourselves to be able to select the best Accommodation for you and to give you advice from personal experience! Our selection criteria are focused on the view, service, location, style, and price of each lodge. We give options in different standards and budgets. On this platform, you will find our recommended selection of the best hotels and lodges Ethiopia has to offer.
Sheraton Hotel Addis
Sheraton Hotel Addis (High-end). Sheraton Addis Hotel is located in the center of Addis Ababa near the National Museum, United Nations Conference Centre, the UNECA headquarters, the Merkato and Bole International Airport (7km). The hotel is a sanctuary of Ethiopian grandeur, where a landscape of vibrant greens and colorful wildflowers meets the African sky. Experience an exceptional level of personal service.
The Safari Lodge
Arequ Guest House
Hilton Addis Ababa is your urban oasis in the capital and the perfect escape from the bustle of the city. Here you can unwind by the pool or treat yourself to the spa facilities after a busy day of exploring the city sights. The hotel is a convenient base to explore the many famous landmarks that Addis has to offer, such as the Ethiopian Ethnographical Museum, Menelik’s Imperial Palace and several notable churches.
Caravan Hotel is conveniently located in close proximity to the National Museum (5km), several historical sites and Bole International Airport (4km), making it an excellent base for exploring Addis Ababa. Visitors will enjoy the hotel’s friendly service, comfortable rooms and a buffet breakfast selection from the best of the continent.
Louvre Grand Hotel
The Louvre Grand Hotel is a little piece of Paris tucked away in a quiet neighborhood of Addis. The boutique hotel offers comfortable accommodation but is more well-known for its outstanding French bistro. With charming retro-themed décor collected in Paris by the owner over the years and a well-stocked wine cellar in the basement, the restaurant offers a lovely ambiance, delicious menu, and fantastic service.
The brand new three-story Haile Resort sits on a hill just outside Arba Minch with panoramic views of two of Ethiopia’s largest Rift Valley lakes; Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya. The resort is a convenient base for trips to the scenic Nechisar National Park as well as boat excursions on Lake Chamo to visit the famous Crocodile Market. While at the resort guests can enjoy the swimming pool, spa, gym, and a mini-golf yard.
The community-based eco-lodge Paradise Lodge, provides guests with unparalleled service and authentic experience while preserving the natural environment and strengthening the local culture. The lodge consists of individual bamboo thatched huts built in the traditional Gamo style, which have been richly decorated with handmade furniture made by local communities. Each hut has a private outdoor veranda with either a breathtaking view across the valley to Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya or set in the lush gardens of the lodge grounds. The lodge has an outdoor pool and swim bar set in natural surroundings and a spa in which to restore and relax.
Mora Heights Hotel
Awash Falls Lodge
Awash Falls Lodge is located in the southwestern limits of Awash National Park. The lodge has 32 tukuls (traditional huts) built with traditional materials and set in beautiful natural surroundings. Some of the tukuls are perched on top of a cliff with stunning views of Awash Gorge.
Hotel Genet is located in the city of Awash, a convenient 1-hour drive away from Awash National Park. Each room features AC, flat-screen TV, minibar and tea and coffee making facilities. Free wifi is available at this hotel and the in-house restaurant serves local and international dishes.
Sabean International Hotel
Located within proximity of Queen of Sheba’s Palace as well as the legendary Arc of the Covenant, the Sabean International Hotel is the perfect base from which to explore the history of Ethiopia’s holiest city. The 44 rooms present a welcoming blend of contemporary texture with subtle Ethiopian motifs, epitomizing a harmonious blend of luxury, aesthetics, and comfort.
Yared Zema International Hotel
Yared Zema International Hotel is located in the heart of the holy city of Axum, within walking distance of Axum Obelisk and a 10-minute drive from Axum Airport. The 60 elegant and spacious rooms offer luxurious accommodation with beautiful panoramic views of the city. The restaurant is located on the ground floor and provides exquisite food from a wide range of culinary sources. In the morning, guests are welcome to a full buffet breakfast, providing a perfect start to a day of exploring Axum.
Kuriftu Lodge (High-end) Picturesquely located on the shores of Lake Tana, Karifu Lodge is one of the best places to stay in the city of Bahir Dar. With its private boating dock, the lodge is a convenient starting point for exploring the island monasteries for which the lake is famous. The 28 rooms are furnished with Ethiopian furniture of dark wood and African artwork giving it an authentic atmosphere. The outdoor swimming pool and terrace overlooking the lake are some of the hotel’s prime features.
Abay Minch Lodge
Bale Mountain Lodge
Bale Mountain Lodge is an eleven-room boutique forest wilderness lodge, deep within the Harenna Forest in Bale Mountain National Park. The location of the lodge has been selected to provide an excellent opportunity for guests to experience a pristine wilderness environment and several walking trails lead from the lodge which enables guests to see wildlife on foot. All lodge ‘menyetta-bets’ (guest-rooms) are spacious and comfortable with a wood-burning stove in each room to provide warmth and a cozy atmosphere. Furniture has been crafted locally using sustainable wood, and all soft furnishings are locally sourced and are of the highest quality with an emphasis on comfort with Ethiopian style.
With perfectly breathtaking panoramas, Kuriftu Bishoftu is the ideal getaway where service is simultaneously warm and genuine. The resort is located in a peaceful area on the slope of a small crater lake called Kiroftu Lake, near the town of Bishoftu (Debre Zeit in Amheric). The resort offers spacious rooms (some with lake views), two restaurants, excellent spa services and activities such as kayaking, volleyball, fishing and a cinema.
Samrat Hotel is located in the heart of Dire Dawa, about an hour’s drive from the historic town of Harar. The hotel features a swimming pool, WiFi, a well-fitted gym and two fine-dining restaurants. There is also a café near the swimming pool and three well-stocked bars with 24-hour service.
Goha hotel in Gondar is ideally situated in the surrounding hills of the city and a short distance away from famous landmarks such as the Royal Enclosure. The hotel has over 82 rooms and suites that feature excellent amenities. There is also a swimming pool and an outdoor bar with a campfire where you can enjoy an evening under the stars.
Ideally situated against the backdrop of the Dilha Mountains, and a couple of minutes’ drive from Theodros Airport in Gondar, Mayleko is a luxury lodge surrounded by beautiful nature. The lodge has 17 bungalows and an additional 10 adjacent rooms all designed and styled to echo the area´s rich story. Mayleko Lodge blends traditional elegance with modern luxury and offers cuisine and service of an excellent high standards. The lodge also features a swimming pool and a fitness room.
Grand Gato Hotel
Ras Hotel Harar
Ras Hotel provides comfortable accommodation close to the city center and only a short walk from Jugol, the historic part of the city as well as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Hotel facilities include an in-house restaurant, bar, ATM and internet café.
Set on the shores of Lake Hawassa, surrounded by a private garden, Haile Resort is a modern and stylish complex with spacious rooms, tennis courts, wellness center, and excellent dining facilities. A sizeable pool is located in a gorgeous setting with views of the lake. The leafy grounds offer several outdoor lounge areas and guests can stroll along the lake or watch the sun setting from the terrace. From the private jetty the hotel offers boat excursion to the fish market and other nearby attractions.
Lewi Resort is situated in a forested setting along the shores of Lake Hawassa, within walking distance of the lively fish market. The resort features a swimming pool and a fitness center and offers boat excursions as well as facilities for several outdoor activities like mini-golf and mountain biking.
Tadesse Enjory Hotel
Tadesse Enjory Hotel is a budget-friendly hotel, located within walking distance of the scenic Lake Hawassa and surrounding shops and restaurants. The on-site restaurant serves a range of local and international dishes for lunch and dinner and a breakfast buffet is served every morning.
Eco-Omo Safari Lodge is located just outside the town of Jinka, in the heart of the Omo Valley. The lodge consists of 20 eco-friendly en-suite safari tents and bungalows constructed in harmony with its natural surroundings on the border of the Neri River. Guests can enjoy their meals in the restaurant which have been prepared with homegrown ingredients from the property’s vegetable and herb garden as well as the many fruit trees guaranteeing you the freshest of produce. In the afternoon's guests can take in the landscape from the terrace or enjoy a drink by the campfire.
Konso Korebta Lodge
Konso Korebta Lodge is a traditional and cultural lodge built mainly from local materials. The loge has an in-house restaurant and bar, and 10 spacious grass-roofed bungalows with 20 rooms. The food and service is excellent and the views of the surrounding landscape are unbeatable.
Perched on a hill overlooking the town of Konso Karat, Kanta Lodge offers comfortable accommodation in traditionally-built tukul huts. The spacious bedrooms are beautifully adorned local crafts and feature en-suite bathrooms and comfortable furnishings. Kanta Lodge is well-known for serving up the best cuisine in the area, with a menu offering both Ethiopian and International cuisine. Both the guest rooms and the restaurant offer beautiful views of the valley below.
Maribela Hotel is located in the heart of the Lalibela mountains. The design of the spacious and modern rooms is inspired by the rock-hewn churches that have made Lalibela famous, and all rooms have breathtaking views of the Ethiopian highlands. The rooms provide a quiet and restive environment with a private bathroom, balcony, and daybed. The in-house restaurant serves delicious continental and Ethiopian dishes in an ambient restaurant.
Top Twelve Hotel
This family-owned hotel is located within walking distance of some of Lalibela’s famous rock-hewn churches, such as Bet Golgotha and Debre Sina Mikael. The hotel itself has 12 guest rooms decorated with traditionally made crafts and featuring a private balcony with stunning views of the mountain range surrounding Lalibela.
Mountain View Hotel
Africa Vacation Club
The Africa Vacation Club (AVC) is set amidst beautiful gardens on the shore of Lake Langano, overlooking the lake and the mountains beyond. From private lakeside villas to the charming and traditional Tukuls, the AVC has a fine range of accommodation to choose from, all of which are spacious and beautifully decorated. The property also features swimming pools, a spa and white sand beaches just off your doorstep and water sport activities.
Simbo Langano Beach Resort
Simbo Lodge is situated in a lovely location right on the shore of Lake Langano. The grounds are well-kept and a birdwatcher’s haven with common sightings of Verreaux’s and Greyish Eagle Owls. The bungalows scattered along the beach are basic but feature comfortable beds, tiled floors, and neat bathrooms. The property has a bar and an on-site restaurant with lovely lake views.
Reputed to be the highest hotel in Africa at 3260 meters, Simien Lodge is a fantastic place to stay when exploring the Simien Mountains National Park. The 26 traditionally-built thatch-and-stone tukuls are spacious and feature an en-suite bathroom and a private balcony. The restaurant is a spacious area with a log fire centerpiece and Ethiopian décor, offering international and Ethiopian dishes. After dinner guests can go to the bar for a drink in the highest place in Africa. The lodge’s efforts in promoting sustainable tourism won them an award in 2016 and it also supports numerous local development projects.
Perched on the edge of an escarpment, the boutique lodge Limalimo combines simple luxury and elegant design in the outskirts of Simien Mountains National Park. From the lodge, guests can explore the unique flora and fauna of the Simiens, visit local communities or simply relax in the comfort of the lodge and its grounds. The guest rooms are incredibly comfortable featuring lovely daybeds and big windows with views of the surrounding mountains. Delicious meals are served in the restaurant and there are several activities on offer, including early-morning yoga, massages and nature walks.
Befiker Kossoye Ecology Lodge
Befiker Kossoye Ecology Lodge is an eco-lodge hidden away in the Kossoye hills, just 30 km outside Gondar. The lodge itself was built by the local community and guests are invited to take part in several traditional activities like learning how to make injera or take part in the evening coffee ceremony served around the campfire. One of the lodge’s best features is the panoramic views of the Simien Mountains. The lodge has several excellent walking trails leading from the property, which offer good chances of spotting the Gelada baboons.
Abeke Zeleke is a professionally managed hotel within Sodo town, offering a selection of cheerful rooms and friendly service. The hotel boasts a wine cellar with a selection of international wines as well as an on-site restaurant serving local and global delicacies. The surrounding lawns are dotted with gazebos that provide a relaxing space to enjoy a refreshing drink.
Turmi Lodge is located in a remote area of the Omo Valley, just outside the market town of Turmi. The guest rooms are simple and feature en-suite bathrooms with a shower, décor made by local tribes and a restaurant with an outdoor terrace. The lodge is ideally located for visits to some of the fascinating Omo Valley tribes, for instance, the Hamer, Karo, Dassenech, Bume and Benna.
Negash Resort is located in lush tropical surroundings in the town of Wolisso, just a 2-hour drive from Addis Ababa. From the Dorze beehive-shaped hut to the more modern “Addis Abbaba bungalows”, each guest room at the lodge has a unique design modeled after traditional housing in the region. The property features a pool, fed by a hot spring and beautiful gardens that are home to the Vervet and Colobus monkeys as well as several bird species.
Perched on top of a hill above the town of Wukro is the newly refurbished Wukro Lodge. The uniquely decorated rooms have been designed to resemble traditional Tigray homes using local building materials and masonry techniques. Guests can enjoy freshly brewed coffee in the outdoor dining area with sweeping panoramas of the town and surrounding valley. After exploring the rock-hewn churches in the area, take a refreshing dip in the large pool which resembles a map of Ethiopia.
Haile Resort sits on the shore of Ziway Lake, one of a series of crater lakes scattered along Ethiopia’s Central Rift Valley. The well-managed resort is surrounded by large manicured gardens and offers comfortable rooms, a modern restaurant, and a sizeable pool. The lake is home to a thriving bird population and a few hippos. Boat excursions can be arranged from the hotel to visit some of the volcanic islands within the lake.
Taye Belay Hotel
Located just across the street from Fasiladas’ castle and only a 7-minute walk from the entrance to Fasil Ghebbi, Taye Belay Hotel is the ideal accommodation in the heart of Gondar city. The hotel, whose design was inspired by the unique architecture of Fasiladas’ castle, has 79 modern yet cozy rooms all featuring a full-length window, private bathroom, flat-screen TV, mini bar, electric safe, fridge, and 24-hour room service. Some of the front-facing rooms have large balconies with great sunset views over the city. After a busy day exploring this former royal city guests can relax and unwind on the terrace or enjoy the spa & steam room available at the hotel.
Yabelo Motel is set in the remote part of southern Ethiopia just a few kilometers down the road from Yabelo town. Due to a lack of tourism facilities in this region, Yabelo Motel has become a base from which to explore Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary or visit the Borana people. The simple guest rooms at Yabelo Motel are dotted around a leafy garden and feature mosquito nets and en-suite bathrooms with a hot shower. The restaurant serves European and Ethiopian staples and there is a bar with a pool table.
Campsite Ahmed Ela
The desert hamlet Ahmed Ela acts as a base for excursions to the Danakil Depression as well as a stop-over for passing camel caravans hauling the salt to Mekelle. The camp is very basic, featuring Afar-style huts and wood-framed cots. Due to the legendary high temperatures in this region, most guests opt to drag their cots outdoors and sleep under the stars in hopes of catching a passing midnight breeze.
Campsite Erta Ale
Erta Ale campsite will likely be the most adventurous over-night lodging you will ever experience. You will approach the campsite by foot, in the dark, accompanied by camels carrying your camping and cooking equipment. At the camp, basic stone huts are scattered along the rim of the active volcano Erta Ale. Here you can watch a spectacular show as the bubbling lava breaches the rim of the crater, creating a fiery display against the night sky.
Regarded as one of the nicest hotels in the capital of Tigray region, Planet Hotel neighbors Mekelle Stadium and is located within walking distance of the Hawetti Marter Memorial Monument. Each guest room features a balcony or terrace from which to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. To further enrich your experience in Mekelle, Hotel Planet has a health club featuring a swimming pool, sauna, steam room, jacuzzi and gym facilities. The bar and lounge provide a nice space to unwind after a busy day.
Axum Hotel provides comfortable accommodation and professional service in central Mekelle. The hotel provides modern, en-suite guest rooms including standard amenities such as satellite TV, WiFi, 24-hour room service and laundry service. After a day of exploring the ancient ruins that Axum is famous for, guests can relax in the sauna or steam room or enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool.
Atse Yohannes Hotel
Atse Yohannes Hotel offers budget-friendly accommodation in the heart of Mekelle, close to several shops and restaurants. The hotel’s bar terrace overlooking the central roundabout is a popular spot for a drink and some people watching.
STANDARD: 4X4 SAFARI VAN
Our standard mode of transport is by road and we use 4×4 Safari Vans customized for game viewing and photography. Each safari van comes with a professionally trained driver guide and fuel for the whole safari.
Our Safari vans have viewing hatches and each client is entitled to a window seat. Our Vans can take up to eight people. We also have 4×4 Super Customs very comfortable and stable on the road. These carry up to 5 people with their luggage. We also have 4×4 RAV 4 for a group of two people
UPGRADE: 4X4 LUXURY SAFARI LANDCRUISER
We have luxury latest Land cruisers each driven by professionally trained driver guides and fuel. They have pop up roofs for proper game viewing and photography. They come with a small fridge for cooling your drinking water while on safari (which is always included while IN THE VEHICLE).
They have inverters for charging small gadgets such as your smart phones and cameras. They can seat five to a maximum of seven people and each client is guaranteed of a window seat.
This section gives some important information you might need before and during your trip to Ethiopia. Basic Information
Official Name: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Area: 1,104,300 sq km
Population: 102 million (July 2016 EST.) Capital: Addis Ababa
Largest Cities, with Population (2017)
Addis Ababa: 4,567,857 Dire Dawa: 1,274,869
Mekelle: 480,217 Gondar: 358,257
Ethiopian Orthodoxy 43.5% Islam 33.9%
Protestant 18.6% Traditional Faiths 2.6%
Even though weather conditions become increasingly hard to predict these days, we can divide Ethiopia into 5 global climatic zones, characterized by altitude and temperature. 1). The hot, arid zone; This covers the desert lowlands below 500 meters, where typical annual rainfall is less than 395 millimeters and typical annual temperatures vary between 26 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius or higher.
2). the warm to hot, semi-arid zone; This comprises areas with an altitude of 500 - 1,500 meters, typical annual rainfall of about 550 millimeters but in the western lowlands of Gambella can reach 1,600 millimeters and a typical annual temperature range of 22 - 29 degrees Celsius. 3). The warm to cool, semi-humid zone; This covers the mild highlands between 1,500 and 2,500 meters. Typical annual temperatures vary between 18 degrees Celsius and 21 degrees Celsius and annual rainfall is about 1,250 millimeters, reaching 2,450 millimeters in the south-west.
4). The cool to cold humid zone; This comprises the mild highlands between 2,500 and 3,200 meters where typical temperatures range between 11 degrees Celsius and 17 degrees Celsius, with an annual rainfall of 1,100 millimeters and up to 2,100 millimeters as the elevation increases. 5. The cold, moist mild zone: This covers the Afro-alpine areas on the highest plateaus between 3,200 and 3,500 m; typical temperatures are below 9 degrees Celsius and annual rainfall averages less than 900 mm.
In Ethiopia, the climate varies with altitude, going from the hot and arid climate of the lowlands to the cool climate of the plateau. Lying just north of the Equator, the country experiences little variation in temperature throughout the year. The south of Ethiopia is much lower, around 400 - 1600 meters and therefore holds a very different climate. The rains are caused by the southwest monsoon, which affects the country from June to September, but it only affects some areas, mainly the plateau and the mountain slopes exposed to the south-west, while in the south-east of the country there are two rainy periods. The first one generally starts beginning July and continues through August. The Simien Mountains are not accessible during this period.
Even though it rains daily, it never rains for a full day. There are also advantages to traveling in the rain season, depending on the route and the plans. The temperatures are still reasonably high further South but the landscape is greener. The second rainy season starts in December and ends at the beginning of January. In this period it does not rain as much as in the first season and in some years the rains don't occur at all, causing droughts. The Danakil Depression is dry all year round, but due to the extremely high temperatures in certain months, you can only visit this region from the end of September until the end of April when they are most bearable. In the rainy season, it is unfortunately not possible to visit the tribes. The temperature in the south is a lot higher because it is a maximum of 40 degrees, but in the evening it cools down to about 12 degrees. Addis Ababa has a fixed climate; the temperature is between 22 and 26 degrees.
Kindly pay attention to the following: you can apply for a visa for Ethiopia in several ways. It can be done through an online visa application. When you have gone through this (fairly simple) procedure online, you will receive an 'E-Visa'. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, a customs official will stamp the actual visa in your passport after showing your E-visa. You can also buy the visa at the actual airport in Ethiopia for US$ 50 but the waiting times are generally longer here and it is more efficient to get through the online process before departure. The visa is valid for 1 month. In case you like to stay in Ethiopia for longer than 30 days or if you want to continue your travels to another country, you can apply for a visa through the visa service at an Ethiopian Embassy/Consulate near you. Your passport must be valid at least 6 months beyond your arrival date. If this is not the case, it is possible that you are denied boarding on your international flight into the country.
Ethiopia Money /Cash:
The official currency of Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Birr (ETB). Many lodge and restaurant prices will be set in US dollars while outside of lodges (souvenirs, snacks, etc.) birr will be necessary. US dollars printed before 2006 are not accepted in the country. When you exchange money, use big notes (50 or 100 US dollars). The exchange rate of smaller notes is much lower. Make sure notes are not cut or damaged in any way. They will not be accepted. We advise that you budget your cash needs per person:
Ethiopia Exchange Rates:
The quickest way to exchange money in Addis is at a foreign-exchange bureau at Bole airport but the exchange rate here is often not as good. Therefore you can go to a bank with your driver/guide at the start of your trip to get this done first. Some high-class hotels also provide currency exchange service but the conversion rate may also not be as good as at the banks. The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) branch at Bole Airport is open every day of the week and there are now three ATMs in the terminal.
The Dashen and Wegagen banks have ATMs throughout Addis and in several other cities around the country. Always carry enough cash since finding working ATM machines is not reliable. It is worth knowing that many smaller towns have no bank, or if they do this bank may not be equipped to deal with foreign-exchange transactions and/or with traveler’s checks. You can have a maximum of 400 Birr on you when you leave the country! If you’re found to be carrying in excess of that amount the money will be seized and a prison sentence is possible. They are very strict about this so make sure you exchange the remaining Birr (or all you have left) before you go to the airport.
Ethiopia ATM & Credit Cards:
1). ATM: In many Ethiopian cities (including medium-sized ones) you can find ATMs where you can use both VISA cards and Mastercard, for example at Dashen Bank and Commercial Bank of Ethiopia. Please note, power failures are frequent and therefore cash withdrawals are not always possible. Therefore it is wise to bring sufficient cash with you to be prepared! If you still have to debit, do not wait until the moment you have almost no money left, because you might just have the misfortune that there is a power outage. We advise you - for safety reasons - not to use cash machines after sunset. Remember to activate your debit card for world-wide use before traveling.
2). Ethiopia Credit Card;
The use of credit cards in Ethiopia is limited! Credit cards are still fairly unusual although they become much more accepted in recent years in the fancy hotels and restaurants in the capital. However, you may expect about 5% to 10% bank surcharge on top of the total amount. In practice, you pay your bills in cash and we do NOT recommend using a credit card as a basic payment method.
Travelers Checks are increasingly difficult to exchange, we do not recommend for you to use them.
Tipping In Ethiopia:
In Ethiopia, it is customary to tip the local staff, such as the guides, rangers, porters, etc. Below you find a frame of reference for customary amounts in different tipping situations:
Guide: 200 Birr per travel party, per day. Driver: 250 Birr per car, per day
Restaurant waiters: 20 Birr per person. Maximum of 100 Birr per group Porter: 10 Birr per carried item
Room maid: Only when you see him/her you can offer a small amount but it is not customary to leave money behind in the room.
Ethiopia Plugs and voltage:
In Ethiopia, sockets have three pins as indicated on the picture à 220 V, 50 Hz. The purchase of a world plug can be useful depending on your country of origin but most European plugs fit perfectly here, they just miss the middle pin! There are frequent power failures and the voltages/frequencies can change, which can damage sensitive equipment. Spare batteries, and/or an adapter and power bank are recommended items to bring along.
It is not possible to use your own mobile with a local SIM card, as this has been restricted by the government. Your own SIM card usually works although this can be limited as to ‘when and wherein Ethiopia’ you are. Generally, the network is good and you get reception almost everywhere. The Internet is limited and not possible to use 3G or 4G on your phone. However, Wi-Fi is available regularly but the reception/strength of the signal is not equally strong in each accommodation. Lack of Wi-Fi is often due to frequent power outages. It is good to keep in mind that you might be offline a lot. Do prepare your family and further social network for this when you travel to ‘not so online’ Ethiopia. The country code of Ethiopia is 00251 or + 25.
Charging camera and phones In Ethiopia.
You can basically charge batteries in all accommodations you stay at during your tour. Exceptions are when you are really going to do hikes and staying at locals (in Lalibela Mountains for example) where families have no electricity. Or when you visit extreme areas such as the Danakil Depression. Another exception would be when there is a power failure but most accommodations have a functioning generator that will then be turned on for a specific amount of hours during the morning and/or evening (generally not at night). You generally charge your own devices in your room and sometimes the staff can direct you to a central point charging point. It is always advisable to bring an extra set of batteries and/or an external charger, especially if you want to charge several batteries.
We advise you to bring your luggage in soft travel bags instead of in suitcases. Hard suitcases are harder to get into the vehicle's trunk than the flexible travel bags. Also, suitcases can get damaged more easily on the bumpy roads. Sometimes hard suitcases are placed on the roof depending on the number of people in the card and how much space we need/have. You should hold on to the luggage tag which you receive with the boarding card as sometimes you can be asked for the luggage tag.
Although most airlines have a limit of 32 kilos (or even 2 x 23 kilos) per person on international flights, we kindly ask you to take less. If you are traveling in a group or with more than 4 people, we ask you to bring a maximum of 20 kg per person in a soft travel bag. On the local flights within Ethiopia, there is a baggage limit. For example on Ethiopian Airlines, you can take max. 20 kg (1 piece). NB: luggage restrictions can differ per flight depending on whether a larger or smaller aircraft is used. The allowed quantity is stated on your e-ticket.
It is not possible to use your own mobile with a local SIM card, as this has been restricted by the government. Your own SIM card usually works although this can be limited as to ‘when and wherein Ethiopia’ you are. The reception/strength of the signal is not equally strong in each accommodation. The country code of Ethiopia is 00251 or + 251
Homosexuality is still very far from being accepted in Ethiopia unfortunately. Homosexuality is severely condemned – traditionally, religiously and legally – and remains a topic of absolute taboo. Homosexual acts (applying to both sexes) are illegal and carry penalties of between 1 and 15 years imprisonment. Since your safety is our foremost priority, of course, homosexual couples will therefore always get two separate beds at accommodation. We strongly suggest that you always keep a low profile and behave with extreme discretion and caution when traveling with your partner of the same sex. Needless to say, Addis has no openly gay bars or other establishments either.
Ethiopia Health Tips:
Contact your general practitioner at least 8 weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices. Medical facilities in Ethiopia are limited, particularly outside major towns.
Medical help at the scene of an accident is likely to be limited. In the case of a serious accident or illness, evacuation by air ambulance may be required. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and/or repatriation. It is possible to purchase a short-term insurance policy with AMREF Flying Doctors program to cover the period of your tour. Make sure your Yellow Fever vaccination is up to date before arriving in Ethiopia as this is often asked for by immigration officials.
Ethiopia Safety and Risks:
Ethiopia is a relatively safe country. Only the isolated Afar Region (where the Danakil Depression lies) is politically unstable. You should, of course, be aware of anything suspicious to the same level as you would be anywhere else. A bit more care on your valuables is recommended around bus and taxi parks, markets and entertainment venues, where it is crowded, thus an effective playground for pickpockets. When walking down the street in the evenings (mainly in Addis), avoid visibly carrying valuables on you. Besides, do not leave your most valuable item (think of money, passport and credit card) unattended in the car or in your room. If you prefer not to take your belongings with you while on excursions either from a safety point of view or for the risk of losing it, make sure your most important valuables are stored in a safe in your hotel room or at the reception.
Ethiopia Air Ambulance Scheme:
Medical facilities in Ethiopia are limited. This is especially true for some of the remote places where your safari may take you. In case of a serious medical emergency, getting to the nearest full-service hospital may mean a long ground transfer over poor roads. Fortunately, for registered clients we can connect you to AMREF Flying Doctors will respond swiftly and without delay in the event of an incident and coordinate directly with work with the client’s overseas insurance company (though it is not necessary to have such insurance to qualify for the scheme).
OVERVIEW These Terms and Conditions apply to any tours booked with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. These Terms & Conditions govern the contractual relationship between Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd and yourself. Please read these Terms and Conditions carefully as by booking any tour with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd you acknowledge that you have read and understood these Terms and Conditions and you accept and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions. If you have confirmed a booking on any tours with more than one client named and booked
on such a booking, you shall be deemed to have accepted these Terms and Conditions on behalf of all clients named in the booking (including minors and those with a disability) and therefore all clients in that group indicate their acceptance and agreement to these Terms and Conditions. The client who confirmed the booking is considered to be the selected contact person for all other clients named in that booking.
1). DEPOSITS & FINAL PAYMENT
Upon booking a tour with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd, a 30% deposit is required to secure the tour and begin the necessary booking processes and ground preparations. An invoice will be sent to the client together with the payment instructions. Final balance payment of the tour booked is required no later than 21 days before the tour starts. Bookings made within 21 days of the tour start date should be paid in full. All payments made to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd should be free of bank charges and credit card transaction surcharges. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not responsible for any charges levied or charged by third parties and/or financial institutions and payable by the client as a result of credit card or other payment transactions in connection with the purchase of a tour and will not refund or return any fees charged by such third parties in connection with payments made by clients to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd.
2). BOOKING AGREEMENT
A booking is confirmed and these Terms and Conditions shall apply when Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd has received the applicable deposit from the client and the client has received written confirmation from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd of such booking. The client confirming the booking must be 18 years of age and above and agrees to provide full, complete and accurate information as requested by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd to confirm the booking.
Any client confirming a booking on any tours with more than one client named and booked on such booking represents and warrants to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd that:
a). They have all requisite consents and authority to make such a booking on behalf of all other clients named on the booking and have communicated all necessary information to the other clients in order for them to give free and fully informed authorization to do so. b). The information that they have provided regarding all clients is complete and accurate, and they have obtained all necessary consents and permissions to share such information with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd for the purposes of completing the booking.
3). CANCELLATION POLICY
A client may cancel their booking by notifying Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. The applicable cancellation fees shall be determined with reference to the date on which the request to cancel is received by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd and are expressed hereinafter as a percentage of the total price paid for the canceled tour. (i) Cancellation received 35 days or more before the tour starts: No Cancellation Fees will be charged
(ii) Cancellation received 11 - 34 days before the tour starts: 30% Cancellation Fee will be charged. (iii) Cancellation received 3 – 10 days before the tour starts: 50% Cancellation Fee will be charged
(iv) Cancellation received within 48hrs before the tours start: 100% Cancellation Fee will be charged (v) Tailor-made tours may be subject to alternative cancellation terms, which will be communicated to applicable clients at the time of booking.
4). TRAVEL INSURANCE
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd does not provide travel insurance, therefore, the client must obtain travel insurance from their home country with the minimum recommended medical, evacuation, and repatriation coverage covering all applicable dates of any travel with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd and this insurance must cover personal injury and emergency medical expenses. It is strongly recommended that clients also extend their coverage to include cancellation and all other expenses that might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience occurring to the client. The cost of the tour does not include any insurance coverage for the client, and that the client is required to obtain separate coverage at an additional cost to the tour price.
When obtaining travel insurance, the client must ensure the insurer is aware of the type of travel to be undertaken so that the insurer may properly cover travel on the applicable tour.
5). MEDICAL CONDITIONS
All clients are obligated to truthfully provide requested relevant medical information to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd upon booking their tour. Clients are responsible for assessing their own suitability and capability to participate in a tour with us. All clients should consult their physician regarding their fitness for taking part in the booked tour. Ultimate Safaris Ltd recommends all clients to seek their physician’s advice regarding necessary or advisable vaccinations, medical precautions, or other medical concerns regarding the entirety of the client’s travel with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd does not provide medical advice. Adventure tours provided by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd involve visiting remote or less developed regions of Africa, where medical facilities may not meet the standards of those found in a client’s home country.
The condition of medical facilities in these areas varies and Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd makes no representations and gives no warranties in relation to the standard of such facilities or medical treatment in those regions.
6). SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd will strive to accommodate the special requests of clients, including (without limitation) dietary and accommodation requests, but such requests do not form part of these Terms and Conditions or the contract between the client and Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not liable for any failure to accommodate or fulfill such requests.
7). PRICES, SURCHARGES AND TAXES
Due to the nature of the tourism industry in Africa the prices of the resources on which it depends, the published price of any tour product is subject to change at any time, before or after booking confirmation, up to 30 days before the departure of such a tour. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd reserves the right to impose surcharges on any tour products, but only for reasons arising from increases in accommodation costs, transportation costs, fuel costs, dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as third party supplier costs, currency and exchange fluctuations, park fees, increases in taxes, or government action which impacts the price of the applicable tours, but only where the increase in question is substantial enough to warrant the right to impose these surcharges. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd shall provide notice to the affected client as soon as reasonably possible upon learning of the necessity to impose a surcharge in accordance with this section.Upon receiving notification from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. the affected client(s) may elect to either: (i) cancel the applicable tour booking without incurring any penalty; or
(ii) accept the change in price. The client must notify Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. of their election within 14 days of receipt of notice of the increase, or they shall have been deemed to have accepted the price change and have accepted liability for payment of the increase. From time to time Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd may offer reduced pricing on selected tours. The reduced pricing applies strictly to new bookings. Bookings that have already been confirmed (which for these purposes shall mean bookings in respect of which payment of at least a deposit has been received by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd) are not entitled to the reduced pricing.
8). GUARANTEED DEPARTURES & CANCELLATION OF A TOUR BY ULTIMATE WILD SAFARIS LTD
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd guarantees all scheduled group tour departures that have been booked by a client shall depart as scheduled (subject to reasonable itinerary changes). Brochures and other printed materials displaying tour information and departure dates are subject to change, and such dates are excluded from this guarantee. A departure shall become guaranteed once at least one client has a confirmed booking. This guarantee is not applicable in Force Majeure situations.
If a tour is canceled by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd before the agreed date of departure for reasons not arising from Force Majeure or the fault or negligence of or within the reasonable control of the client, the client shall have the choice of: (i). accepting from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd a substitute tour product of equivalent or superior value, where such substitute is reasonably available; or
(ii). accepting from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd a substitute tour of lower value if no tour of equivalent or superior value is reasonably available, and to recover from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd the difference in price between the price of the tour originally purchased and that of the substitute tour; or (iii). accepting from Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd a full refund of all monies paid for the canceled tour.
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not responsible for any incidental expenses or consequential losses that the client may have incurred as a result of the canceled booking such as visas, vaccinations, non-refundable flights or rail, nonrefundable car parking or other fees, loss of earnings, or loss of enjoyment, etc. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd reserves the right to issue a full refund in lieu of the choices above, in its sole discretion. Where after departure a significant element of the tours as described cannot be provided, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd will make suitable alternative arrangements for the continuation of the tours.
If it is not possible to provide a suitable alternative or the client reasonably rejects any suitable alternatives, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd will provide the client with a refund of unused tour products or tour product portions.
9). CANCELLATION OF A TOUR BY THE CLIENT
If the client is prevented through reasons completely beyond such client’s control from proceeding with a tour as booked the client may, if possible, transfer his/her tour booking to a person who satisfies all the conditions applicable to the tour, provided that the client gives notice to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd of the client’s intention to transfer no less than 14 days before the date when the tour departure is due to take place. Where such a transfer is made, the transferring client and the transferee client shall be jointly and severally liable to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd for payment of the price of the tour (or, if part of the price has been paid, for payment of the balance) and for any additional costs arising from such transfer. For private tours, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd can also reserve the tour for a client should they decide to postpone the tour to a later date.
The client however will be responsible for paying cancellation fees as per the cancellation policy and also for any unforeseen extra costs which arise until the client does the tour at a later date (i.e. – accommodation costs, transportation costs, fuel costs, dues, taxes or fees chargeable for services such as third party supplier costs, currency and exchange fluctuations, park fees, increases in taxes, or government action which impacts the price of the applicable tours).
10). CANCELLATIONS AND CHANGES
The client acknowledges by booking a tour with Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd that the nature of adventure travel, especially in Africa, requires considerable flexibility and acknowledges that they will permit reasonable alterations to the tour and/or itinerary by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. The client acknowledges their understanding that the route, schedules, timings, accommodations, itineraries, amenities and mode of transport may be subject to change without prior notice due to circumstances or events, which may include sickness or mechanical breakdown, incidents in the location where the tour will be operated, flight cancellations, strikes, events emanating from political disputes, entry or border difficulties, extreme weather and other unpredictable or unforeseeable circumstances which are beyond the reasonable control of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd and that Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not liable to any client for such changes or amendments.
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd shall not be liable to pay any discounts or refunds for missed or unused services which were missed or unused by the client due to no fault of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd, its suppliers, or representatives, which shall include any termination of the client’s participation in the tour due to the client’s own fault, negligence or breach of these Terms and Conditions. Although Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd will strive to ensure that the tour you have booked goes as planned, we do not guarantee that we will abide by the agreed tour itinerary and we, therefore, reserve the right to amend the tour itinerary where doing so may be necessary or advantageous. We will strive to notify you of any changes prior to the tour departure. However, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not obligated to do so, nor shall not be liable to pay any refunds that may be claimed to result from such changes.
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not in control of the management of the accommodation providers we use on our tours. Therefore, in some circumstances, we may be notified by our accommodation providers that our reserved accommodation is no longer available, due to reasons that are beyond our control and not the fault or negligence of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. In such circumstances, we will provide alternative accommodation of at least the same standard or higher standard. Where it may be absolutely necessary to amend the tour itinerary during the tour, the tour guide will arrange the best available alternative. The decision to do so will rest on the tour guide and his/her decision is final. This is mainly applicable but not limited to mountain climbing products where the guide believes the client is not able to continue with the climb due to illness, injury, extreme weather, or other factors beyond the guide’s control.
The client acknowledges that the nature of our tour products is adventurous and may involve a significant amount of risk to clients’ health and/or safety. There are dangers inherent to adventure travel generally and the client acknowledges they have considered such risks to health and safety and are willing to assume it to the full extent legally possible, by confirming their booking of this tour.
The client hereby assumes all such risk and does hereby release Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd from all claims and causes of action arising from any losses, damages or injuries or death resulting from these risks inherent in travel, including adventure travel specifically, visiting wild and remote areas, and participating in adventurous activities such as those included in the tour itineraries.
Standards of hygiene, accommodation, and transport in some areas where the tours take place are often lower than comparable standards than what the client may reasonably expect in their home country or region. The client acknowledges that the degree and nature of personal risk involved depends on the nature of the tour booked or the location(s) in which such a tour is to operate, and that there may be a significant degree of personal risk involved in travel on the tour, particularly if such a tour involves physical activities, travel to remote locations, high altitude activities or other high-risk activities, or travel areas of Africa with under-developed infrastructure.
The client acknowledges they have considered the potential risks, dangers and challenges in light of their own personal capabilities and needs, and expressly assumes the risks attendant to travel under such conditions. The client acknowledges and agrees that Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd will provide, to the best of its ability, information or guidance to the client with respect to local customs, weather conditions, specific safety concerns, physical challenges or laws in effect in any locations where tours are operated, but will not be liable if the client does not act according to the information provided.
The client must at all times strictly comply with all applicable laws and regulations of the country and regions visited on the applicable tour. Should the client fail to comply with the above or commit any illegal act when on the tour or, if in the opinion of the Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd (acting reasonably), the client’s behavior is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress or material annoyance to others, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd may terminate that client’s travel arrangements on any tour immediately without any liability on Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd part and the client will not be entitled to any refund for unused or missed services or costs incurred resulting from the termination of the travel arrangements, including, without limitation, return travel, accommodations, meals, and/or incidentals.
Clients agree that they are responsible for any costs incurred by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd, as a result of damage, destruction, theft, or excess cleaning fees caused or occasioned by the client while on tour. Clients agree to immediately report any pre-existing damage of this kind to staff of the accommodation, transportation service, or facility (as appropriate) and/or an Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd representative as soon as possible upon discovery by the client.
Client agrees to take all prudent measures in relation to their own safety while on any Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd tour, including, but not limited to, the proper use of safety devices such as seatbelts, harnesses, and helmets, and obeying all posted signs and warnings in relation to client health and safety. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd, nor its Third Party Suppliers shall not be liable for any failure on the client’s part to comply safety instructions or recommendations of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd or its Third Party Suppliers.
Client agrees to bring any complaints regarding a tour to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd as soon as possible in order to provide Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd with the opportunity to address such complaint properly. Client agrees to inform the head guide or other designated Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd representative at the earliest opportunity. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd assumes no liability for complaints that are not properly brought to the attention of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd with sufficient notice for Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd to resolve or attempt to resolve any client complaints. Any complaint made after the completion of a tour must be received in writing by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd within 30 days of the end of the tour in question.
13). THIRD PARTY SUPPLIERS
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd makes arrangements with accommodation providers, activity providers, airlines, coach companies, transfer operators, shore excursion operators, tour and local guides, and other independent parties (“Third Party Suppliers”) to provide you with the travel services and other services you purchase or which form the component parts of your product Tour. Third Party Suppliers may also engage the services of local operators and/or sub-contractors for the provision of travel services that form part of the tour(s). Although Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd takes all reasonable care in selecting Third Party Suppliers, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is unable to control Third Party Suppliers and do not supervise Third Party Suppliers and therefore cannot be responsible for their acts or omissions.
The travel services and other services provided are subject to the conditions imposed by these suppliers and their liability is limited by their tariffs, conditions of carriage, tickets, and vouchers and international conventions and agreements that govern the provision of their services. These may limit or exclude the liability of the supplier. Client acknowledges that Third Party Suppliers operate in compliance with the applicable laws of that particular country visited and Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd does not warrant that any Third Party Supplier is in compliance with the laws of the client’s country of residence, or any other jurisdiction. To the fullest extent permissible by law, Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not liable and will not assume responsibility for any claims, losses, damages, costs or expenses arising out of inconvenience, loss of enjoyment, upset, disappointment, distress or frustration, whether physical or mental, resulting from the act or omission of any party other than Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd and its employees. For clarity, neither Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd nor any carrier is liable for the acts or omissions, whether negligent or otherwise, of Third Party Suppliers or any independent contractors.
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd is not responsible for any damages, expenses, losses, or claims which are attributable to the fault of any client, the unforeseeable or unavoidable act or omission of a third party unconnected with the provision of any services that form any part of the tours, or a force majeure event. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd shall have no liability for loss, theft of or damage to baggage or personal effects of Clients while participating in a tour. Clients should not leave personal belongings unattended in any public areas, on board any mode of transportation, or elsewhere, and are responsible at all times for their own effects and belongings. Ultimate Safaris Ltd cannot accept responsibility for and in no event shall be liable for loss or damage of valuables or other articles left in or on facilities used by Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd such as hotels, homestays, vessels, expedition vehicles, or any other mode of transportation.
In the event that any loss, death, injury or illness is caused by the negligent acts and/or omissions of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd or of the third-party suppliers of any services which form part of the Contract Then Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd limits its liability, where applicable by all applicable International Conventions.
15. FORCE MAJEURE
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd shall not be liable in any way to the client for death, bodily injury, illness, damage, delay or other loss or detriment to person or property, or financial costs both direct and indirect incurred, or for Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd failure to commence, perform and/ or complete any duty owed to the client if such death, delay, bodily injury (including emotional distress or injury), illness, damage or other loss or detriment to person or property is caused by Act of God, war or warlike operations, mechanical breakdowns, terrorist activities or threat thereof, civil commotions, labor difficulties, interference by authorities, political disturbance, howsoever and where so ever any of the same may arise or be caused, riot, insurrection and government restraint, fire, extreme weather or any other cause whatsoever beyond the reasonable control of Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd; or an event which Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd or the supplier of services, even with all due care, could not foresee.
16). IMAGES AND MARKETING
The client agrees that while participating in any Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd tour, images, photos or videos may be taken by other clients and/or Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd representatives or Guides that may contain or feature the client in part or in whole. The client acknowledges that they consent to any such images, photos and videos being taken and grants a perpetual, royalty-free, worldwide, irrevocable license to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd, its affiliates and assigns, to reproduce for any purpose whatsoever (including marketing and promotions), in any medium whatsoever, whether currently known or hereinafter devised, without any further obligation to the client or compensation payable to the client.
Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd reserves the right to update and/or alter these Terms and Conditions at any time and shall post the amended Terms and Conditions on the Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd Website. Any such amendment shall take effect 10 days following their posting to the Website. The latest Terms, as amended, may be accessed any time on the Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd website, or will be sent to clients upon their written request to Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd. Clients shall be deemed to have accepted any amendments to these Terms and Conditions on the date that is 10 days after their posting on the Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd website. Ultimate Wild Safaris Ltd recommends that all clients refer to the Terms and Conditions prior to their travel to familiarize themselves with the most up-to-date version of the Terms and Conditions.
FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT ETHIOPIA!
Diverse culture of the Omo Valley, for anthropologists and tourists alike, the Omo Valley is a rich kaleidoscope of tribal culture, a cross-road of early human migrations. Nowhere else on the planet is there such variety of cultures within such a small area.
The Simien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site often referred to as “God’s playground,” because of its unique formations, is a hiker’s paradise, gifted with wildlife like baboons, rare Walia Ibex and even the world’s rarest candid, the Simien wolf.
Africa is renowned for its wildlife, and Ethiopia is home to many of its more unique, lesser-known animal species, like the Gelada baboon, the mountain nyala, the Ethiopian wolf,the Walia ibex and an exceptional spot for birdwatchers with over 850 recorded bird species.
Blue Nile Falls also known as Tis Issat, One of the greatest falls in all of Africa can be found in the Ethiopian plateau, passing the Blue Nile River.
Ethiopia coffee, if you’re a coffee lover, visiting Ethiopia means you’ll be able to say you’ve been to the place where coffee was first discovered.