Featured in The Daily Telegraph Travel Magazine, this unique trip guides you through Ethiopia from the north to south staying in brilliant mobile camps getting you off the beaten track and into remote Ethiopia.
A country full of colour and character with a wonderful variety of experiences on tap.
Beginning in the north where you will spend time exploring the sandstone cliffs and valleys of the Tigray region and visit the incredible ancient hillside churches of the area.
From Tigray head south to the town of Lalibela. Perched at an altitude of 2,600 metres among wild mountains and rocky escarpments you will immediately be in awe of its churches carved below ground level surrounded by trenches and courtyards. Each church is unique in shape and size and precisely carved creating a labyrinth of tunnels and passages.
After a short stopover in Addis Ababa, you’ll head to the Bale Mountains in the southern Ethiopian Highlands. Spectacularly scenic, the Bale Mountains lends itself to great exploration on foot, by horseback or vehicle. The mountain region has some great wildlife with twenty endemic animal species, including the Ethiopian Wolf, Bale Monkey and Giant Mole Rat.
For your final destination, you’ll find yourself deep into the Omo Valley, one of Africa’s last unexplored frontiers in the south of the country, right on the border with neighbouring Kenya. Travelling with your private guide you will spend time with ancient ethnic groups that have lived and thrived in this area for hundreds of years.
Thanks to Hattie Lamb for many of the wonderful photos taken on this extraordinary trip. Please note the price given above is based on four people travelling.
Tigray Region, Northern Ethiopia
Experience beautiful scenery and ancient churches carved into the sandstone cliffs, this is a must visit part of the country and is a great location to strike out on foot to explore the great walking trails.
Great location & wonderful views
During your time in the Tigray region, you’ll stay at a charming eco-lodge situated next to the village of Megab. The lodge is surrounded by the natural beauty of the Gheralta Mountains within easy reach of all the historical sites.
Sandstone cliffs & ancient churches
Visit ancient churches in the company of your private guide – scale the rock face to be rewarded with spectacular views before you explore the churches, some that house sacred medieval artefacts and paintings thousands of years old.
Day 5 – 7
Lalibela, Northern Ethiopia
Of Lalibela's 8,000 - 10,000 people, over 1,000 are priests. Religious ritual is central to the life of the town, with regular processions, extensive fasts, crowds of singing and dancing priests.
Explore the ancient churches
Home to one of the world's most astounding sacred sites: eleven rock-hewn churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of granite with its roof at ground level.
Astonishingly, the churches of Lalibela were not constructed, they were excavated. Each was created by carving a wide trench on all four sides of the rock, then painstakingly chiselling out the interior. The largest church is 40 feet high, and the labour required to complete such a task with only hammers and chisels is astonishing. The churches have been in continuous use since they were built in the 12th century.
The people and atmosphere
The religious architecture and simplicity of life gives the town of Lalibela a distinctively timeless, almost biblical atmosphere.
Day 8 – 11
Bale Mountains, South-east Ethiopia
The national park covers an area of approximately 2,150 square kilometres and rises to over 4,000 meters high to include the highest peak in the southern Ethiopian highlands. During your time in the mountains you will explore the many trails on foot with your private guide.
Private mobile camp
Staying in a private mobile camp with your guide and camp team, the time in the mountains will get you off the beaten track with some great walking in remote areas.
Wildlife & walking
The mountain range is home to many of Ethiopia’s endemic animals including the Ethiopian Wolf, Bale Monkey and Giant Mole Rat.
Day 12 – 15
The Omo Valley, Southern Ethiopia
On arrival in the Omo Valley you’ll be staying at the delightful Lale’s Camp, located on the banks of the Omo River. The camp named after its proud Kara tribesman owner, Lale, has created many jobs for the Kara community since its renovation.
The Omo Valley
Dancing in Duss
The Omo Valley is cohabited by a colourful mix of tribes practising a mixture of pastoralism, small scale cattle herding and subsistence agriculture. The Karo are expert body painters, using clays and locally available vegetable pigments. Hamar women wear their hair in dense ringlets smeared with mud and clarified butter and topped off with head-dresses of aluminium. The men mould extravagant ochre mud caps.
The lip-plate Mursi are some of Africa's remotest and original of tribes. This culture will not last forever as they are gradually becoming exposed to western values and materials. However, the Mursi are quite simply one of the most bizarre and fascinating of tribes, with their heavy clay lip plates worn by the women and colourful ochre paints and adornments.
The Omo Valley
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