The following destinations feature in all our tours.
Established by the Emperor Menelik II in 1887, Addis is a thriving metropolis where century old traditions mingle with 21st century technologies. You’ll see people herding goats to market past grand hotels, people attending church in white robes, and shops with the latest fashion all in one location.
Attractions include the National Museum with “Lucy”, the oldest human fossil; the Ethnographic Museum, showcasing the customs of the 80 different ethnic groups of Ethiopia; Mount Entoto; and Mekarto – the largest market in Africa.
Axum was the first capital of the Abyssinian Empire – Africa’s oldest empire. The Kingdom of Axum lasted from 1 AD to 700 AD and was one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient world. Centrally located on an important trading route from Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea and onward to India, the Axumite society was rich, well organized and technically advanced. In this period Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia, bronze, silver and gold coins were produced, and amazing tombs and monoliths were constructed.
Axum is famous for its obelisks, carved from a single piece of granite, and often elaborately decorated. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 100 obelisks – the largest one measuring 33 metres and weighing 517 tones. It is worth visiting tombs of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel; the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s palace; and St Mary of Zion Church, the first built in sub-Saharan Africa, which is said to house the most fabled biblical relic in history – the Ark of the Covenant.
Lalibela, one of the world’s most isolated, yet significant, historical and religious cities, was the capital of the powerful Zagwie dynasty from the 10th-13th Century. Set 2500 meters above sea level in wild, craggy mountains, Lalibela’s remarkable rock-hewn churches, carved from single blocks of pink granite stone, are a must see. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries – there are 11 churches, a tomb, a chapel, and tunnels connecting many of them. The largest, Bet Medhane Alem, measures 33.5 metres by 23.5 metres, while Bet Giyorgis (St George’s), carved in the form of a cross is the most famous.
With rugged cliffs, majestic forests, and summits reaching heights of up to 4550 m, the Ethiopian highlands are a sight to behold. The Abune Joseph Mountains offer a fine blend of spectacular landscapes and unique flora and fauna. Forest of afro-alpine vegetation provides one of the few remaining refuges for many endemic and endangered species, including the Gelada Baboons, the Ethiopian red fox and many others. You will enjoy the magic of the mountain cliffs and ravines and watching the Lamagi (a huge vulture) and other birds and wildlife.