Travel through Ethiopia's dramatic countryside from Addis Ababa up to Aksum and back

A country that counts 13 months to the year, never came under the yoke of colonialism and boasts the Queen of Sheba's hometown. Ethiopia really is an African land like no other. Ancient rock-hewn churches pepper the landscape of Lalibela, elegant castles and palatial complexes stand guard over the city of Gonder and mysterious giant obelisks rise out of Aksum's dry and dusty terrain. Then there's the magnificent Blue Nile Falls, the deep gullies and peaks of the Simien Mountain Range, the secluded island monasteries of Lake Tana and the time-worn grandeur of Addis Ababa. No matter where you've been before, travel to Ethiopia makes for an adventure apart.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Overland, Wildlife
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 18
Group size
Min 6 Max 22
Carbon offset
1 161kg pp per trip


  • Cruise out by boat to visit Lake Tana's island monasteries
  • See Blue Nile Falls – 'The Smoke that Thunders'
  • Weave through the mystical churches of Lalibela
  • Hike through the spectacular Simien Mountains
  • Explore Gonder's ornate castles and palaces
  • Spend a night camped out in the bush near Woldiya
  • Marvel at the giant granite obelisks of Aksum


Make your acquaintance with Addis Ababa. Meaning 'new flower' in the local Amharic, the city blossoms with activities and attractions. Head to the Ethnological Museum for a fascinating insight into traditional culture and customs or indulge in spicy cuisine at a local restaurant or cafe.
Drive on to Debre Markos, stopping off for a gawk down the Blue Nile Gorge en route.
Board a reed boat bound for the ornately decorated monasteries on Lake Tana's isolated islands and peninsulas.
Nestled among the country's northern hill country, Lalibela is home to eleven myth-laden churches hewn from the surrounding rocks. Join a guided tour around these hallowed, World Heritage-listed structures and learn about the remarkable history behind their construction.
Travel through the Ethiopian countryside, stopping en route for an evening camped underneath expansive night skies.
Discover the once-mighty city of Aksum. With towering ancient obelisks, a network of underground tombs and the crumbling ruins of what is believed to be the Queen of Sheba's palace, this is the stuff legends are spun from.
Get ready for a rough but scenic travel day through the rugged Ethiopian landscape.
Home to a number of animals found nowhere else on the continent and some staggering natural scenery, the Simien Mountains are a true highlight of any visit to Ethiopia. Spend two spectacular days hiking across sheer mountain passes, deep ravines, eroded volcanic craters, raging rivers and tiny village hamlets.
Explore the castles, churches, palatial complexes and baths of Gonder, commonly referred to as 'Africa's Camelot'.
Travel across stark, remote countryside to Mersa.
Arrive back in vibrant and cosmopolitan Addis. Perhaps brave the hustle of Addis Merkato, Africa's biggest open-air market, or suss out the night scene for a final feast of flavoursome local fare.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


Overland vehicle
Bush camp (no facilities) (7 nights), Camping (with facilities) (2 nights), Hotel (13 nights)
Included activities
  • 1/2 Day Lake Tana boat trip
  • Castle Complex and Fasilidas' Bath
  • Church of Debre Berhan Sellassie
  • Entrance Blue Nile Falls
  • Entrance Simien Mountains National Park
  • Guided tour of Aksum
  • Guided tour of Gonder
  • Guided tour of rock churches & monastery
  • Palace and church ruins
  • Simien Mountains trek (2 days)
  • Tigray Rock-hewn Churches


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Important notes

Please note that this trip requires minimum numbers to depart, and may be cancelled up until 56 days prior to departure. The places showing on the dates and availability page are an indication only so please contact Intrepid to check if your preferred date will depart before making any final arrangements, such as booking non-changeable flights.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes


Our Ethiopia Uncovered trips score an average of 5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Ethiopia Uncovered , December 2015

Ethiopia Uncovered , June 2015