Highlights of Ethiopia
Join our small group tours to Ethiopia to uncover Lalibela’s monolithic rock-cut churches, delve into the hustle and bustle of Harar’s local markets and trek into the remote wilderness of the Simien Mountains. Here are a few of the highlights of our Ethiopia adventure holidays.
Constructed over 800 years ago, Lalibela boasts eleven medieval rock-cut churches, hand-carved entirely from the mountainside. Unlike other monolithic churches, these were excavated from a single block of granite and feature free-standing walls on all four sides. Join your local guide to learn about this incredible feat of engineering and scramble through a maze of tunnels around the wondrous chiselled structures. A trip to see the monolithic Ashetam Maryam Church high up in the mountains is a highlight of our Ethiopia Discovery tour. Hitch a ride on the back of a mule up the steep hillside tracks to discover far-reaching views of the verdant valley and Lalibela town below.
Keep a lookout for the native gelada monkey as you trek into the lush Simien Mountains on our Ethiopian tours. Sometimes called the ‘bleeding-heart monkey’ due to the pink hourglass-shaped patch of skin on their chest, these friendly baboons hang out in large groups and are often happy for us to join them. Observe elders grooming one another and ‘chatting’ as they rest or graze, while younger monkeys play together and whoop with excitement.
Explore paths less travelled to see the true culture of Ethiopia on our Blue Nile and Lalibela tour. Meander through Harar’s labyrinth of narrow alleyways crammed with eclectic market stalls and barter with local traders dressed in colourful robes for locally grown vegetables, handwoven baskets and patterned silks. Chat with local children who are keen to practise their English and visit a traditional Harai House to learn about local life. Widely considered as the fourth most sacred city in the Islamic world, Harar has over 82 mosques and hundreds of shrines dotted within its historic walls.
Solo Travel in Ethiopia
Our small group trips to Ethiopia are popular with couples, friends and solo travellers alike. Everyone who travels with us is looking for a fun-filled, authentic adventure, so whether you’re travelling alone, or with friends, you’re likely to make new acquaintances along the way. Your local tour leader will also look after all of the every-day logistics and ensure you see all of the must-see sights and well as the lesser-known hidden gems during your Ethiopia adventure.
Best time to go to Ethiopia
The best time to travel to Ethiopia is between September and April when you can expect warm, dry days with temperatures rarely dropping below 18°C.
To see the Simien Mountains in full bloom, travel to Ethiopia from September to November, just after the rainy season. The patchwork valleys and forested hillsides valleys will be glowing a vibrant green. Alternatively, book a trip in March or April for warmer temperatures and fewer tourists.
If you want to join in with the annual Timkat festivities, book a trip to Ethiopia to coincide with 19 January. A celebration of the Ethiopian Epiphany, pilgrims come together to sing, dance and pray, and the streets of Addis Ababa come alive with colourful decorations and celebrations.