Day 1 Addis Ababa
Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD).
There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. The rest of the day before this meeting will be free to explore Addis Ababa and visit the city's many museums - we recommend that you arrive early (or the night before) if you would like the chance to fully explore the sights of Addis Ababa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa.
In Addis Ababa we will stay in a comfortable hotel with good facilities. Hotel for the night: Sarem International Hotel
Sarem International Hotel
Belay Zeleke Street (around Semien Mazegaja)
Tel - +251 11 126 2088
Activity Approximate Cost
Visit "Lucy", one of the oldest complete hominid skeletons ever found, at the National Museum Included in Kitty
Stroll through the Addis Ababa Mercato, one of the largest markets in Africa Included in Kitty
Visit Africa Hall, a symbol of African independence and optimism Included in Kitty
Visit the St. George's Cathedral (Giorgis Cathedral), built to commemorate Ethiopia's victory over the Italians in 1896 Included in Kitty
Explore the fascinating Ethnological Museum, one of the best museums in Africa set in a former palace of Haile Selassie Included in Kitty
Visit the Menelik Mausoleum, built to serve as the tombs of emperors and princes Free
About Addis Ababa:
Referred to more commonly as simply "Addis", the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa lies amongst wooded hills at an altitude of about 2,300 metres, giving it a pleasant climate. Addis has many sights to offer visitors - get a fascinating glimpse into Ethiopia's many tribal groups at the Ethnological Museum, see the
stunning fossil collection at the National Museum, and don't miss the chaotic bustle of the Mercato, one of Africa's largest open-air markets. All manner of arts and crafts can be found in the souvenir shops on Churchill Avenue, and there is often some excellent live music to be found in the centre of the city!
Day 2 Addis Ababa
Today we have a free day in Addis Ababa and will organise an included guided tour of the city including visiting St. George's Cathrdral, The Menelik mausoleum, The national Museum and the colourful city market.
Day 3 Harar
Today we will leave Addis Ababa and we will have a long drive east through the mountains to the ancient trading city of Harar. We will stay in a charming small hotel in the old city inself. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours (please note that all drive times given here are the approximate number of hours that the truck will be
in motion only, and does not include any time taken for coffee or lunch stops, border crossings, photo stops, activities en route, comfort breaks, shopping stops, toilet stops, etc. The times given are approximate estimates only and whilst given with the best of intentions, the drive times are heavily dependent on traffic, road conditions, weather, police roadblocks, and many other factors - flexibility is essential on any overland trip!).
Activity Approximate Cost
Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic Included in Kitty
monastery on the island Take a guided tour for half of the day through the winding streets of this ancient
city. Included in Kitty
Witness Harar's tradition of feeding wild Hyenas by hand each evening just outside the city walls. Free
Harar is a walled city on a plateau in eastern Ethiopia. It is known for its winding alleyways and traditional houses with wooden balconies hanging over the street. The architecture in this city in wonderfully unique and unlike anywhere else in Ethiopia. The city has many mosques throughout as it is a Islamic city, 82 in total at the last count. Another incredible sight in Harar is the nightly feeding of Hyenas, an experience that has to be seen to be believed!
Day 4-5 Harar
Today we have a free day in ancient Harar and will have an included guided city tour of the walled city of Harar (Harar Jugol). Enjoy its colourful markets, mosques and shrines. In the evening you can visit the Hyena Men who feed the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city. On the following day we have a free day to explore this amazing city on your own. It is one of the most important historic sites in Ethiopia.
Day 6 Awash National Park
Today we will drive to Awash and overnight in the lovely Awash falls Lodge. Who said Luxury was not part of overlanding! This is a stunning place to experience this great little national park. Estimated Drive Time - 8-10 hours hours
Activity Approximate Cost
Follow the scout to explore the trails of this National Park. Who knows what wildlife you will encounter?! Included in Kitty
About Awash National Park:
Awash National Park is named after the Awash river which run along the southern boarder of the park. Along the river are many beautiful waterfalls that can be viewed in multiple locations. The park is over 700 kms squared and is a hive of birding activity ranging from the ostrich to the hornbill. The volcanic landscape is also a sight to behold.
Day 7-8 Lake Ziway
In the morning we will take a park scout out with us to explore the national park and to try to find game or just to enjoy the stunning scenery of this lovely national park. Then we will head to lake Ziway for the night. Estimated drive to lake Ziway 6 hours
On the following day, we will take an included boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, where we will have a short guided tour of the ancient monastery there and view some of the old religious manuscripts. In Ziway we will stay in a small local hotel.
Activity Approximate Cost
Take a boat trip across Lake Ziway to Tulu Gudo Island, and explore the old Coptic monastery on the island Free
About Lake Ziway:
Lake Ziway, about 100kms south of Addis Ababa, nurtures an array of wildlife. Birds, hippopotamuses and fish roam the lake, which is dotted with five islands. One of the islands, Tulo Gudo, is home to an atmospheric and colourful old Coptic Christian monastery which is said to have housed the Ark of the Covenant in the 9th Century CE.
Day 9-11 Bale Mountains National Park
Today we will leave Ziway and drive to the stunning Bale Mountains National Park. Estimated Drive Time - 5-7 hours. We will enjoy 2 full days to explore the National Park. We will keep one day completely free to head out for optional guided walks - there are several possibilities for routes, including highland routes up the hills and moorlands searching for mountain nyalas, or lowland walks through the forest areas to look for Bale monkeys! On the other day we will drive in the truck up to the Sanetti Plateau, all the way to the
fourth-highest point in Ethiopia (the 4359m summit of Tulu Dimtu) to explore the primeval landscape and search for Ethiopian wolves. In the Bale Mountains we will stay in dorms in a basic lodge near the entrance to the National Park.
Activity Approximate Cost
Horse/mule treks or guided hikes through Included in Kitty
Bale Mountain National Park Head up to the incredible Sanetti Plateau on a day trip with our overland truck, stopping to explore the area on foot and search for Ethiopian Wolves Included in Kitty
About Bale Mountains National Park:
The Bale Mountains National Park is situated on a high plateau surrounded by mountain peaks which soar to over 4,000 metres in height. As you climb into the hills the terrain changes from forest on the lower slopes, through junipers and heather, to the exotic moorlands of the plateau criss-crossed by fast-flowing streams. This beautiful park is home to three species unique to Ethiopia - the Ethiopian wolf, Menelik's bushbuck and the Mountain nyala. There are some 200 species of birds within the park, including 13 of Ethiopia's 23 endemic species.
There are many different trekking routes around the National Park, through the forests and mountains and up onto the moorlands. The high Sanetti Plateau is accessible to vehicles, so we can also explore this high moor in our overland truck.
Day 12 Wendo Genet, Awassa
Today we will head north to the small town of Awassa, where we can visit the local fish market. After our visit we will head to Wendo Genet, a small town in the hills above Awassa, where we will stay for the night.Estimated Drive Time - 4-6 hours.On the following day we will have a free day to explore the region, go on an optional walk to some nearby waterfalls, or take a dip in the nearby hot springs. In Wendo Genet we will camp in the grounds of a small local hotel.
Activity Approximate Cost
Relax in the Hot Springs at Wendo Genet Included in Kitty
Head out on a short walk to the waterfalls near Wendo Genet ETB 100
About Wendo Genet:
Wendo Genet is a resort town in Ethiopia located near Awassa. Wendo Genet is known for its hot springs and is surrounded by primary Ethiopian forests. The Wendo Genet hotel was established in 1964, on land used as recreation site for the royal family until 1975 - Emperor Haile Selassie bequeathed its name, meaning "Wendo Paradise", in reference to the beautiful panorama with a rich endowment of forests, wildlife and abundant water.
Awassa is a small town near the Ethiopian city of Shashemene, and was the capital of the former Sidamo Province. During our time in Awassa we will visit the Awassa Children's Project, which promotes sensible, culturally responsible relief work aimed at assisting children primarily orphaned by AIDS, educating people in Africa's Sub-Saharan region about AIDS prevention, and offering a proactive and immediate approach towards the resolution of serious health and social issues facing the region. The project runs a children's centre that provides housing, food and education for over 60 children orphaned by AIDS, the One Love
Theatre AIDS education theatre company, and the Awassa Youth Campus community centre in downtown Awassa. For further information on the project please go to http://www.awassachildrensproject.org/.
Day 13-14 Arba Minch
Today we will travel to the town of Arba Minch, a small town overlooking Lake Chamo. Estimated Drive Time - 7-9 hours On the following day we will have a free day to relax and explore the scenic area, or to take an optional boat trip on Lake Chamo to the view the crocodiles that reside there, known locally as the crocodile market. In Arba Minch we will stay in a basic local hotel.
About Arba Minch:
Meaning 'forty springs', Arba Minch takes its name from the streams found between the two Rift Valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo. The town has stunning views over the lakes and surrounding forested areas, and also has an excellent and vibrant market. Lake Chamo National Park is home to what the locals refer to as the 'crocodile market'. This is a place on the shores of the lake where vast numbers of crocs congregate, some of which reach over 7 metres in length. The lake is home to the Guji and Ganjule people who traditionally hunt hippos and are famed for their 'ambatch boats', which resemble the boats carved in the tombs of the ancient
Day 15 Arba Minch
If you are leaving in Arba Minch, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Arba Minch Airport (IATA code: AMH). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Arba Minch. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight
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