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Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive addis ababa

Enjoy the beautiful art of Addis AbabaEnjoy the beautiful art of Addis Ababa

Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be met and transferred to the Intercontinental Hotel, located in the heart of the city and an ideal base for exploring. 

Addis Ababa means “new flower” in Amharic, and it is Ethiopia’s largest city. Sitting at an elevation of about 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level, it enjoys an excellent climate all year, with an average temperature of 75˚F. Tonight you have a welcome dinner and an option to attend a New Year's Eve musical celebration, which usually starts about 8:00pm.  

For those who arrive early, the optional day tour today includes a vist to a local synagogue and St. Georges Cathedral, Tomoca's coffee house, lunch at Linda's at Juventus Club, and a visit to the Red Terror Martyr's Museum, a moving tribute to the suffering of Ethiopians during the 1970's Mengistu-era persecution of those opposed to his policies. Docents at this museum are all survivors of the political turmoil.  

For even earlier arrivals, there are additional optional tours. Please let us know if you are interested in arranging additional activities.

Meals
Dinner
Lodging
Intercontinental Hotel

Day 2: addis ababa sightseeing

Pick up some souvenirs at the marketPick up some souvenirs at the market

This morning, tour Haile Selassie’s former palace, which is now the home of the Ethnological Museum. Exhibits here represent the best arts and crafts of the country and give an in-depth view of the various peoples of Ethiopia. You may also be able to meet with one of the professors from the Ethiopian Studies department who will also be available for questions about what you’ve seen if his schedule that day permits.

Next, visit the Ba'ata Church (Menelik’s Mausoleum), one of the oldest churches in Addis Ababa. Observe its beautiful paintings and the royal tombs of past emperors. Finally, visit the National Museum, considered by many to be the best museum in Africa. Here, cultural and archaeological relics, including a plaster cast of "Lucy," the 3.2 million-year-old hominid, are displayed. 

At the end of the day, you have the opportunity to drive through the Mercato, which is said to be Africa’s largest open-air market. Rumor has it that you can bargain for anything, even a new soul! Time permitting, visit Churchill Street, known for its many curio shops selling traditional Ethiopian crafts and fine quality silver and cotton.  

Dinner will be eaten at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant.

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Intercontinental Hotel

Day 3: bahir dar / lake tana

Marvel at detailed wall paintings at Lake TanaMarvel at detailed wall paintings at Lake Tana

This morning you will fly to Bahir Dar, a pleasant city located 1,800 meters above sea level on the shores of Lake Tana (elevation 1,788 m / 5,866 ft, the largest lake in Ethiopia. Here you visit one of the country's oldest monasteries, Ura Kidane Mihret, at Zegie Peninsula on Lake Tana. The artistic details in the paintings and drawings found here are unparalleled. Of the 37 islands on Lake Tana, 30 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. 

Then, hop on a relaxing 4-hour boat ride of Lake Tana—look for hippos and birds during your ride! After, visit the Blue Nile Falls. Locally known as Tissat Falls, this 100-meter wide cascade, plunges 45 meters and gives rise to clouds of mist and rainbows. (The falls run seasonally, and not in January.)  Depending on interest, there might be an opportunity to learn to make injera this afternoon.

Time permitting, enjoy more touring in the city of Bahir Dar, including an exterior-only visit to the Bezawit Palace, built in 1965 by Emperor Haile Selassie I. The palace offer amazing panoramic views of the city.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Abay Minch Lodge

Day 4: gondar

Explore Gondar CastleExplore Gondar Castle

After breakfast, drive the 180 km to Gondar, Ethiopia's royal capital until 1868. Its position at the intersection of several caravan routes made it the perfect location for a capital city. Gondar was previously the home of the Falasha, the "Black Jews" of Ethiopia, most of whom left for Israel in 1991. Founded by Emperor Fasilides in 1635, it has been called the "Camelot of Africa" because of its churches and a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of almost 250 years. It is not known for certain who built the castles, but many surmise they are the work of Portuguese craftsmen.

The day will be spent touring the fascinating sights for which Gondar is famous. You will explore the Royal Enclosure, which lies in the heart of the city and is surrounded by high stone walls and Fasilides’ Palace. From the southwestern corner of the structure, there is a terrific view all the way to Lake Tana. You will also visit the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, famous for its ”winged angel” faces that decorate the entire ceiling. Called the “Trinity at the Mount of Light,” it is one of Ethiopia’s most renowned places to visit. The ceiling and wall paintings depict the life, wit and humanity of Ethiopia. Dinner and overnight in Gondar.

Elevation:  2,210 m / 7,249 ft

(Approx. 3.5-hours of driving, from Bahir Dar to Gondar)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Goha Hotel

Day 5: simien mountains (debark)

Watch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboonsWatch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboons

Today you drive two to three hours to Debark, the headquarters of the Simien Mountains National Park. Debark is a large village 3,000 meters above sea level, and the base for excursions into the park. 

After picking up a guard and a guide, you continue to Buit Ras, where you will spend the night at the Simien Lodge. The latter part of the day will be spent hiking and watching the Gelada Baboons, known for having bright red, hairless chests and throats. They live in groups of as many as 400 individuals, foraging in the alpine meadows during the day, retiring to the cliff ledges to sleep at night.

Six hundred million years ago, the mountains were an enormous volcanic mass; rain and ice have carved deep fissures into them and rivers have continued the work of erosion, creating one of the greatest sculptures on the planet: peaks, canyons, gorges, clefts and pointed amethyst-colored pinnacles like obelisks.

Though the day may be warm, the evening is very chilly, thanks to the altitude. It is a good time to spend an evening in the highest pub in Africa!

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Simien Lodge

Day 6: simien mountains (chenek)

Your friendly Simien guides will show you the sitesYour friendly Simien guides will show you the sites

Today head a bit further into the park to Chenek, where you look for the endemic Walia Ibex and hike the escarpments for a short while before heading back to Gondar for the evening.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Goha Hotel

Day 7: lalibela

Explore Church of St. George in LalibelaExplore Church of St. George in Lalibela

After an early breakfast, head to the airport for the flight to Lalibela. You will spend the next two nights in Lalibela visiting the area's rock-hewn churches and enjoying the incredible views. The area is quite beautiful and is a lovely place to enjoy a walk.

Spend your afternoon touring the area's famous churches. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, King Lalibela organized the construction of a series of churches hewn from pink granite, now classified as one of the ancient wonders of the world. Each church has a unique architectural style, all are superbly carved, and most of them are decorated with well-preserved paintings. The largest, Bete Medhani Alem, is 100 feet long, 70 feet wide, 35 feet high, and has walls that are up to six feet thick. 

Elevation:  2,630 m  / 8,626 ft

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountains View Hotel

Day 8: lalibela genna festival

A celebrant rests during the festivitiesA celebrant rests during the festivities

Early this morning, attend the Genna celebration at the St. Mary's Church before visiting the remaining churches you were not able to visit on the prior day. This afternoon is for resting and relaxing or visiting the village. 

Genna, Ethiopian Christmas, is one of the most colorful celebrations in Ethiopia (next to the Timkat Festival). As the story goes, when Christ was born, he was visited by the Three Wise Men, who presented him Gold, Franc Incense, and Myrrh. King Bazen (Baltazar)—the one who presented Franc Incense—was from Ethiopia.

Genna is celebrated in Ethiopian Orthodox churches in a different way. Priests and deacons spend the night chanting, dancing, singing and praising God. St. Mary is also highly praised for giving us Christ, the Son of God, and for saving the world. The combination of the drum, cestrum, and the prayer stick create a pleasant atmosphere. The head priest announces the birth of Christ at midnight and the masses light candles that are locally made from bee's wax and cotton (Tuaf). Women say "elulta" to express their happiness. The service will end around 5:30am, after the priest provides the Holy Communion to the mass. However, the celebration continues during the day in each celebrant's home.

In Lalibela, colorfully dressed priests sing and chant from atop the fences of Bete Mariam church at the service's end. The title of the show is called 'Beza Kulu Alem' (in Geez), meaning Savior of the World. The chanting resembles that of the Timkat celebration.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Mountain View Hotel

Day 9: axum / stelae

See 17th-century St. Mary of Zion Treasury in AxumSee 17th-century St. Mary of Zion Treasury in Axum

After breakfast, fly on to Axum, the ancient city of Ethiopia. The legends narrated in the Kebre Nagast (˜Book of Kings”) recount how, as early as the 10th century B.C., the city of Axum was already the city in which the Queen of Sheba resided. It is recounted that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum, where it remains to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires, and represented a crucial connecting point between Africa and Asia for almost 1,000 years.

Visit the stelae, granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times decorated with symbolic engravings, as well as a handful of other sites, including:

  • the church of Saint Mary of Zion and the the crowns of Ethiopian kings and other treasures.
  • the 6th-century tombs of King Kaleb and his son, Gebremeskal
  • the Queen Sheba Palace
  • the nearby archeological museum

Dinner is at the hotel.

Elevation:  2,131 m / 7,546 ft

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Sabean Hotel

Day 10: addis ababa / lake langano

See the Masked Weaver in LanganoSee the Masked Weaver in Langano

Today you will fly back to Addis Ababa and then drive approximately four hours to Lake Langano in the Oromia region, the starting point of your Omo Valley exploration. Not far from Addis Ababa, this popular holiday resort area has a splendid beach dotted with acacia trees and pinkish volcanic water ideal for swimming. The lake is full of inhabitants; there are many birds, monkeys, baboons, and (occasionally) hippos along the lakeside. 

This is a long travel day but there will be many stops along the way to birdwatch, eat and stretch your legs. Time permitting, you'll also stop at the Donkey Sanctuary to tour the facilities.

Dinner is at your hotel. 

Lake Langano Elevation:  1,585 m / 5,200 ft

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Sabana Beach Resort

Day 11: arba minch dorze region

Find beehive houses of the DorzeFind beehive houses of the Dorze

Omo River Valley is very special, because nowhere else in the world are there so many ethnic groups inhabiting such a small area. During your eight-hour drive from Langano to Arba Minch, you'll visit the Alaba tribes in their village and the Dorze people at Chencha. The Dorze people are famous for their textiles and their bamboo “beehive” houses, each surrounded by a small garden. Participate in a coffee ceremony with the Dorze, observe “enset,” a false banana tree used by the Dorze practically in its entirety from roots to leaves, and taste the local alcoholic drink, “areki.” 

You will continue to see many of these people over the next couple of days, all of whom have their own languages and, for the most part, have few interactions across cultures. 

While traveling to Arba Minch, you will cross fertile land planted with bananas, cereals, and tobacco. Once there you'll enjoy its delicious fish, fresh from Lake Chamo, and its spectacular wildlife in the Nechi Sar National Park.

Overnight stay and dinner in Arba Minch.

Arba Minch Elevation:  1,219 m / 3,999 ft

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Paradise Lodge or Swayne's Hotel (or similar)

Day 12: lake chamo / konso / turmi

Visit the Erbore tribesVisit the Erbore tribes

After breakfast, on your eight-hour trip to the small town of Turmi, you'll drive through the villages of the Konso and the Erbore tribes. The Konso boast a rich culture and a highly-specialized agricultural economy. Their beautifully-constructed buttressed stone terraces have allowed them to carve out a living from the dry and unyielding land around them. You may see totem poles erected on the tombs of their dead. A visit to the Konso village and the king's house is both fascinating and informative.

The Erbore are a group of about 4,000 who subsist as agropastoralists, growing maize and sorghum and practicing animal husbandry. Living along the River Woyto, they have developed an elaborate irrigation system for their crops and, during the annual dry season, are able to supply neighbors with grain in exchange for livestock, coffee, tobacco, honey, and pots.

To the southeast of the Konso village are the Borena, semi-nomadic shepherds. Their lives revolve around their cattle, and they take extraordinary steps to ensure a water supply for them during the dry season. (Note: the Borena Oromo Tribes cannot be visited on this day, as they live far from Konso, but will be seen on coming days.)

Dinner tonight is at your hotel in Turmi. 

Lake Chamo Elevation:  1,235 m / 4,052 ft

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Buska Lodge (or similar)

Day 13: omorate / hamer village

Sing with the Hamer peopleSing with the Hamer people

Today you will drive approximately four hours to Omorate, a town north of the Omo valley, where you will cross the Omo River on a wooden boat to visit the Dasanech people. Although they originally led an almost totally nomadic lifestyle, the abundant water frontage and fertile soil of their present territory has subsequently led them toward a more diverse agricultural economy.

Despite these changes, their nomadic roots are still clearly visible in their traditional villages comprised of small, domed huts, reminiscent of the impermanent structures of other nomadic peoples.

After, you'll drive back to Turmi for lunch and a visit to a Hamer village. The Hamer, one of the largest groups in the valley, cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco, and cotton, as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for their fine pottery and remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don after killing a fierce animal, something they then wear for 3-6 months at a time! The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms, and their skin is decorated with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman’s husband.  

Dinner tonight is at your hotel. 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Buska Lodge (or similar)

Day 14: korcho village / key afer market / jinka

Bumpy roads are worth enduring for what lies at their endsBumpy roads are worth enduring for what lies at their ends

In the morning, drive to Korcho village to visit the Karo people, with a trip to the weekly market in Key Afer before going on to Jinka. At the market you'll meet the Tsemei, Benna and Ari tribes, bedecked in beautiful jewelry.

The Karo are one of the most endangered tribes of the region, with only about 1,000 people who inhabit the eastern bank of the Omo. Formerly herders, they have since turned to agriculture because many of their cattle have been wiped out by disease. The villagers are masters at body decorating during festival time, using chalk to imitate the spotted plumage of the guinea fowl and making unique jewelry from everything they find.

Time permitting, visit the Ari village to meet the locals, especially the blacksmiths and potters, While there, visit the wonderful little museum at Jinka to learn more about the tribes of the Omo Valley. 

Dinner and overnight in Jinka.

(Approx. 5 hours of driving today, not including visits)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Eco-Omo Lodge (or similar)

Day 15: mursi tribe / mago national park / konso

Meet Mursi women and their tribes peopleMeet Mursi women and their tribes people

Today you will drive through the Mago National Park to meet the Mursi tribes. The Mursi are perhaps the best known of the tribal peoples in the Omo Valley due to the many documentaries made about them. They are nomadic pastoralists that move with the season and live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The most famous Mursi traditions include the lip and ear plates worn by the women, and the hairstyles and fierce stick fighting done by the men. 

Also while in the park, enjoy a picnic lunch while you search the resident birds and mammals.

This afternoon, drive on to Konso for dinner and overnight.

(Approx. 8 hours of driving, not including visits)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Kanta Lodge

Day 16: konso / yirgalem

Meet the Tsemai tribes peopleMeet the Tsemai tribes people

Today you visit the Konso village and then drive to Yirgalem via Fisha Genet, crossing through coffee plantations and Sidama villages. Enroute you'll visit the Tutu Fella stele field. 

(Approx. 8 hour drive Konso - Yirgalem ; road under construction, expect detours)

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Aregash Eco Lodge

Day 17: around the lodge / awassa

Wildlife abounds in this regionWildlife abounds in this region

This morning you'll enjoy a short hike in the nearby forest to look for the resident wildlife before making a visit to one of the Sidama Villages and coffee plantation. After lunch at the lodge, continue to Awassa, where you will overnight at the Haile Resort Hotel.

(Approx. 4 hours of driving today, not including visits)

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Haile Resort Hotel

Day 18: awassa / tiya stele / addis ababa

Chat with young villagers during your travelsChat with young villagers during your travels

Early in the morning, visit the Fish Market at Lake Awassa and then drive to Addis Ababa, passing through the Gurage villages. Here you'll visit the Tiya Stele (World Heritage site) in the afternoon, and then arrive in Addis Ababa around 5:00pm in time for dinner.

(Approx. 6.5 hours of driving today, not including visits).

Meals
Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging
Intercontinental Hotel

Day 19: addis ababa / timkat procession

Witness the Timkat processionWitness the Timkat procession

Today is Timkat Eve, so the city will be quite festive. Timkat is the most important festival in the Ethiopian calendar. Crowds of revelers, all dressed in white, dance and sing in the streets to the beating of drums. Priests, dressed in jewel encrusted velvet and satin robes, carry a replica of the Arc of the Covenant, known as a tabot, in a grand procession through the streets.

The morning is free to explore, and in the afternoon you will attend the Timkat procession. The procession arrives at a water source and events culminate around 2:00am when the priests perform mass and and bless the water. A communal baptism follows, with the most fervent Christians throwing themselves fully clothed into the water!

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Intercontinental Hotel

Day 20: addis ababa / timkat

See the Master of Timkat FestivitiesSee the Master of Timkat Festivities

In the morning, attend the Timkat celebration as today is the actual day of Timkat. The afternoon is free to rest or to continue exploring the city.

Tonight you have a farewell dinner at Yod Abyssinia, one of the best folkloric restaurants in Ethiopia, with traditional Ethiopian dishes, music, and dances from different regions of the country. 

For those leaving tonight, your room at the hotel will be available until you need to depart for the airport.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Intercontinental Hotel

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,495
- $6,795
3-4 travelers: $6,795 5-7: $6,495 Internal airfare: $347 - $615; Price subject to change $347 If international flights on Ethiopian Airlines (tickets must be booked through ET) $615 if using other international carrier
Single Supplement:
$1,625
Subject to availability
Custom & private on your dates
Dec 31, 2017-Jan 19, 2018

Need to Know

This is an exciting, but arduous trip on rough roads in remote areas. Be prepared to have changes made to the itinerary to accommodate conditions and other things beyond our control.

Duration:
20 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Small lodges & hotels
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Travel over rough roads
Group Size:
2-7
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Celebrate Ethiopian style: The Genna and Timkat Festivals

Think ahead to January 7, 2017 and imagine what you’ll be doing. It’s the first Saturday after the US wintertime holidays, school is back in session, and most adult schedules have …

Priests carry colorful umbrellas during Timkat
Priests carry colorful umbrellas during Timkat
Explore Gondar Castle
Explore Gondar Castle
A sea of white-robed worshippers at the Timkat Festival
A sea of white-robed worshippers at the Timkat Festival
Find beehive houses of the Dorze
Find beehive houses of the Dorze
Watch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboons
Watch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboons
Watch Dorze weavers, famous for their textiles
Watch Dorze weavers, famous for their textiles
Timkat Festival: A sight to behold
Timkat Festival: A sight to behold
Be wowed by the artwork at Ura Kidane Mihret
Be wowed by the artwork at Ura Kidane Mihret
Enjoy a sunset view from the Ben Abeba Terrace
Enjoy a sunset view from the Ben Abeba Terrace
Meet mothers and children along the way
Meet mothers and children along the way
Browse the colorful markets
Browse the colorful markets
Learn about body painting methods
Learn about body painting methods
See colorful art at St. George in Ura Kidane Mihret
See colorful art at St. George in Ura Kidane Mihret
The villagers can't wait to meet you
The villagers can't wait to meet you
You may see a wedding go by!
You may see a wedding go by!
See the Stellea in Axum
See the Stellea in Axum
A celebrant pauses during the Timkat Festival
A celebrant pauses during the Timkat Festival

Ethiopia Genna & Timkat Festivals

Axum, Gondar, Lalibela, Bahir Dar, Gelada baboons, and the Omo Valley

overview

This special departure starts on New Year's Eve in Addis Ababa, and includes both the Genna and Timkat Festivals! 

Visit Addis Ababa's fabulous museums and sites, and drive through Africa's largest open-air market before continuing on to Ethiopia's northern historic circuit. Once in the north, you'll experience awe-inspiring historical and spiritual sites, including the monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret in Bahir Dar, the castles of Gondar and the Treasury in Axum, fabled home to the Ark of the Covenant.  Looking for wildlife? The “bleeding heart” Gelada Baboons can be seen during your overnight stay in the Simien Mountains

Then you'll hit the highlights of the trip—the festivals. Join the excitement of the Genna Festival, Ethiopia’s Christmas celebration, in Lalibela, the site of the famous rock-hewn churches. After, make your way down to the Southern Omo Valley to visit with the indigenous peoples and markets of the area before heading back to Addis to experience the Timkat Festival, Ethiopia’s Epiphany celebration.

This trip in a broad overview of an amazing country, and is designed for the experienced and adventuresome traveler. Expect the unexpected and plan to revel in it. Parts of the trip will entail long drives over extremely bumpy, muddy roads and accommodations may be marginal at times. Vehicles may break down or roads may be closed.  Your reward for enduring the rigor is immersing yourself in and getting to know a land—and a people—of surprising beauty, richness, hospitality, and exuberance.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

This special departure starts on New Year's Eve in Addis Ababa, and includes both the Genna and Timkat Festivals! 

Visit Addis Ababa's fabulous museums and sites, and drive through Africa's largest open-air market before continuing on to Ethiopia's northern historic circuit. Once in the north, you'll experience awe-inspiring historical and spiritual sites, including the monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret in Bahir Dar, the castles of Gondar and the Treasury in Axum, fabled home to the Ark of the Covenant.  Looking for wildlife? The “bleeding heart” Gelada Baboons can be seen during your overnight stay in the Simien Mountains

Then you'll hit the highlights of the trip—the festivals. Join the excitement of the Genna Festival, Ethiopia’s Christmas celebration, in Lalibela, the site of the famous rock-hewn churches. After, make your way down to the Southern Omo Valley to visit with the indigenous peoples and markets of the area before heading back to Addis to experience the Timkat Festival, Ethiopia’s Epiphany celebration.

This trip in a broad overview of an amazing country, and is designed for the experienced and adventuresome traveler. Expect the unexpected and plan to revel in it. Parts of the trip will entail long drives over extremely bumpy, muddy roads and accommodations may be marginal at times. Vehicles may break down or roads may be closed.  Your reward for enduring the rigor is immersing yourself in and getting to know a land—and a people—of surprising beauty, richness, hospitality, and exuberance.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive addis ababa
    Enjoy the beautiful art of Addis AbabaEnjoy the beautiful art of Addis Ababa

    Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you will be met and transferred to the Intercontinental Hotel, located in the heart of the city and an ideal base for exploring. 

    Addis Ababa means “new flower” in Amharic, and it is Ethiopia’s largest city. Sitting at an elevation of about 8,200 feet (2,500 meters) above sea level, it enjoys an excellent climate all year, with an average temperature of 75˚F. Tonight you have a welcome dinner and an option to attend a New Year's Eve musical celebration, which usually starts about 8:00pm.  

    For those who arrive early, the optional day tour today includes a vist to a local synagogue and St. Georges Cathedral, Tomoca's coffee house, lunch at Linda's at Juventus Club, and a visit to the Red Terror Martyr's Museum, a moving tribute to the suffering of Ethiopians during the 1970's Mengistu-era persecution of those opposed to his policies. Docents at this museum are all survivors of the political turmoil.  

    For even earlier arrivals, there are additional optional tours. Please let us know if you are interested in arranging additional activities.

    Meals
    Dinner
    Lodging
    Intercontinental Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: addis ababa sightseeing
    Pick up some souvenirs at the marketPick up some souvenirs at the market

    This morning, tour Haile Selassie’s former palace, which is now the home of the Ethnological Museum. Exhibits here represent the best arts and crafts of the country and give an in-depth view of the various peoples of Ethiopia. You may also be able to meet with one of the professors from the Ethiopian Studies department who will also be available for questions about what you’ve seen if his schedule that day permits.

    Next, visit the Ba'ata Church (Menelik’s Mausoleum), one of the oldest churches in Addis Ababa. Observe its beautiful paintings and the royal tombs of past emperors. Finally, visit the National Museum, considered by many to be the best museum in Africa. Here, cultural and archaeological relics, including a plaster cast of "Lucy," the 3.2 million-year-old hominid, are displayed. 

    At the end of the day, you have the opportunity to drive through the Mercato, which is said to be Africa’s largest open-air market. Rumor has it that you can bargain for anything, even a new soul! Time permitting, visit Churchill Street, known for its many curio shops selling traditional Ethiopian crafts and fine quality silver and cotton.  

    Dinner will be eaten at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Intercontinental Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: bahir dar / lake tana
    Marvel at detailed wall paintings at Lake TanaMarvel at detailed wall paintings at Lake Tana

    This morning you will fly to Bahir Dar, a pleasant city located 1,800 meters above sea level on the shores of Lake Tana (elevation 1,788 m / 5,866 ft, the largest lake in Ethiopia. Here you visit one of the country's oldest monasteries, Ura Kidane Mihret, at Zegie Peninsula on Lake Tana. The artistic details in the paintings and drawings found here are unparalleled. Of the 37 islands on Lake Tana, 30 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. 

    Then, hop on a relaxing 4-hour boat ride of Lake Tana—look for hippos and birds during your ride! After, visit the Blue Nile Falls. Locally known as Tissat Falls, this 100-meter wide cascade, plunges 45 meters and gives rise to clouds of mist and rainbows. (The falls run seasonally, and not in January.)  Depending on interest, there might be an opportunity to learn to make injera this afternoon.

    Time permitting, enjoy more touring in the city of Bahir Dar, including an exterior-only visit to the Bezawit Palace, built in 1965 by Emperor Haile Selassie I. The palace offer amazing panoramic views of the city.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Abay Minch Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: gondar
    Explore Gondar CastleExplore Gondar Castle

    After breakfast, drive the 180 km to Gondar, Ethiopia's royal capital until 1868. Its position at the intersection of several caravan routes made it the perfect location for a capital city. Gondar was previously the home of the Falasha, the "Black Jews" of Ethiopia, most of whom left for Israel in 1991. Founded by Emperor Fasilides in 1635, it has been called the "Camelot of Africa" because of its churches and a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of almost 250 years. It is not known for certain who built the castles, but many surmise they are the work of Portuguese craftsmen.

    The day will be spent touring the fascinating sights for which Gondar is famous. You will explore the Royal Enclosure, which lies in the heart of the city and is surrounded by high stone walls and Fasilides’ Palace. From the southwestern corner of the structure, there is a terrific view all the way to Lake Tana. You will also visit the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, famous for its ”winged angel” faces that decorate the entire ceiling. Called the “Trinity at the Mount of Light,” it is one of Ethiopia’s most renowned places to visit. The ceiling and wall paintings depict the life, wit and humanity of Ethiopia. Dinner and overnight in Gondar.

    Elevation:  2,210 m / 7,249 ft

    (Approx. 3.5-hours of driving, from Bahir Dar to Gondar)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Goha Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: simien mountains (debark)
    Watch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboonsWatch the habits and activities of entertaining Gelada baboons

    Today you drive two to three hours to Debark, the headquarters of the Simien Mountains National Park. Debark is a large village 3,000 meters above sea level, and the base for excursions into the park. 

    After picking up a guard and a guide, you continue to Buit Ras, where you will spend the night at the Simien Lodge. The latter part of the day will be spent hiking and watching the Gelada Baboons, known for having bright red, hairless chests and throats. They live in groups of as many as 400 individuals, foraging in the alpine meadows during the day, retiring to the cliff ledges to sleep at night.

    Six hundred million years ago, the mountains were an enormous volcanic mass; rain and ice have carved deep fissures into them and rivers have continued the work of erosion, creating one of the greatest sculptures on the planet: peaks, canyons, gorges, clefts and pointed amethyst-colored pinnacles like obelisks.

    Though the day may be warm, the evening is very chilly, thanks to the altitude. It is a good time to spend an evening in the highest pub in Africa!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Simien Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: simien mountains (chenek)
    Your friendly Simien guides will show you the sitesYour friendly Simien guides will show you the sites

    Today head a bit further into the park to Chenek, where you look for the endemic Walia Ibex and hike the escarpments for a short while before heading back to Gondar for the evening.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Goha Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: lalibela
    Explore Church of St. George in LalibelaExplore Church of St. George in Lalibela

    After an early breakfast, head to the airport for the flight to Lalibela. You will spend the next two nights in Lalibela visiting the area's rock-hewn churches and enjoying the incredible views. The area is quite beautiful and is a lovely place to enjoy a walk.

    Spend your afternoon touring the area's famous churches. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, King Lalibela organized the construction of a series of churches hewn from pink granite, now classified as one of the ancient wonders of the world. Each church has a unique architectural style, all are superbly carved, and most of them are decorated with well-preserved paintings. The largest, Bete Medhani Alem, is 100 feet long, 70 feet wide, 35 feet high, and has walls that are up to six feet thick. 

    Elevation:  2,630 m  / 8,626 ft

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountains View Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: lalibela genna festival
    A celebrant rests during the festivitiesA celebrant rests during the festivities

    Early this morning, attend the Genna celebration at the St. Mary's Church before visiting the remaining churches you were not able to visit on the prior day. This afternoon is for resting and relaxing or visiting the village. 

    Genna, Ethiopian Christmas, is one of the most colorful celebrations in Ethiopia (next to the Timkat Festival). As the story goes, when Christ was born, he was visited by the Three Wise Men, who presented him Gold, Franc Incense, and Myrrh. King Bazen (Baltazar)—the one who presented Franc Incense—was from Ethiopia.

    Genna is celebrated in Ethiopian Orthodox churches in a different way. Priests and deacons spend the night chanting, dancing, singing and praising God. St. Mary is also highly praised for giving us Christ, the Son of God, and for saving the world. The combination of the drum, cestrum, and the prayer stick create a pleasant atmosphere. The head priest announces the birth of Christ at midnight and the masses light candles that are locally made from bee's wax and cotton (Tuaf). Women say "elulta" to express their happiness. The service will end around 5:30am, after the priest provides the Holy Communion to the mass. However, the celebration continues during the day in each celebrant's home.

    In Lalibela, colorfully dressed priests sing and chant from atop the fences of Bete Mariam church at the service's end. The title of the show is called 'Beza Kulu Alem' (in Geez), meaning Savior of the World. The chanting resembles that of the Timkat celebration.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Mountain View Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: axum / stelae
    See 17th-century St. Mary of Zion Treasury in AxumSee 17th-century St. Mary of Zion Treasury in Axum

    After breakfast, fly on to Axum, the ancient city of Ethiopia. The legends narrated in the Kebre Nagast (˜Book of Kings”) recount how, as early as the 10th century B.C., the city of Axum was already the city in which the Queen of Sheba resided. It is recounted that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum, where it remains to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires, and represented a crucial connecting point between Africa and Asia for almost 1,000 years.

    Visit the stelae, granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times decorated with symbolic engravings, as well as a handful of other sites, including:

    • the church of Saint Mary of Zion and the the crowns of Ethiopian kings and other treasures.
    • the 6th-century tombs of King Kaleb and his son, Gebremeskal
    • the Queen Sheba Palace
    • the nearby archeological museum

    Dinner is at the hotel.

    Elevation:  2,131 m / 7,546 ft

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Sabean Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 10: addis ababa / lake langano
    See the Masked Weaver in LanganoSee the Masked Weaver in Langano

    Today you will fly back to Addis Ababa and then drive approximately four hours to Lake Langano in the Oromia region, the starting point of your Omo Valley exploration. Not far from Addis Ababa, this popular holiday resort area has a splendid beach dotted with acacia trees and pinkish volcanic water ideal for swimming. The lake is full of inhabitants; there are many birds, monkeys, baboons, and (occasionally) hippos along the lakeside. 

    This is a long travel day but there will be many stops along the way to birdwatch, eat and stretch your legs. Time permitting, you'll also stop at the Donkey Sanctuary to tour the facilities.

    Dinner is at your hotel. 

    Lake Langano Elevation:  1,585 m / 5,200 ft

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Sabana Beach Resort
    Show on a map
  • Day 11: arba minch dorze region
    Find beehive houses of the DorzeFind beehive houses of the Dorze

    Omo River Valley is very special, because nowhere else in the world are there so many ethnic groups inhabiting such a small area. During your eight-hour drive from Langano to Arba Minch, you'll visit the Alaba tribes in their village and the Dorze people at Chencha. The Dorze people are famous for their textiles and their bamboo “beehive” houses, each surrounded by a small garden. Participate in a coffee ceremony with the Dorze, observe “enset,” a false banana tree used by the Dorze practically in its entirety from roots to leaves, and taste the local alcoholic drink, “areki.” 

    You will continue to see many of these people over the next couple of days, all of whom have their own languages and, for the most part, have few interactions across cultures. 

    While traveling to Arba Minch, you will cross fertile land planted with bananas, cereals, and tobacco. Once there you'll enjoy its delicious fish, fresh from Lake Chamo, and its spectacular wildlife in the Nechi Sar National Park.

    Overnight stay and dinner in Arba Minch.

    Arba Minch Elevation:  1,219 m / 3,999 ft

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Paradise Lodge or Swayne's Hotel (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 12: lake chamo / konso / turmi
    Visit the Erbore tribesVisit the Erbore tribes

    After breakfast, on your eight-hour trip to the small town of Turmi, you'll drive through the villages of the Konso and the Erbore tribes. The Konso boast a rich culture and a highly-specialized agricultural economy. Their beautifully-constructed buttressed stone terraces have allowed them to carve out a living from the dry and unyielding land around them. You may see totem poles erected on the tombs of their dead. A visit to the Konso village and the king's house is both fascinating and informative.

    The Erbore are a group of about 4,000 who subsist as agropastoralists, growing maize and sorghum and practicing animal husbandry. Living along the River Woyto, they have developed an elaborate irrigation system for their crops and, during the annual dry season, are able to supply neighbors with grain in exchange for livestock, coffee, tobacco, honey, and pots.

    To the southeast of the Konso village are the Borena, semi-nomadic shepherds. Their lives revolve around their cattle, and they take extraordinary steps to ensure a water supply for them during the dry season. (Note: the Borena Oromo Tribes cannot be visited on this day, as they live far from Konso, but will be seen on coming days.)

    Dinner tonight is at your hotel in Turmi. 

    Lake Chamo Elevation:  1,235 m / 4,052 ft

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Buska Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 13: omorate / hamer village
    Sing with the Hamer peopleSing with the Hamer people

    Today you will drive approximately four hours to Omorate, a town north of the Omo valley, where you will cross the Omo River on a wooden boat to visit the Dasanech people. Although they originally led an almost totally nomadic lifestyle, the abundant water frontage and fertile soil of their present territory has subsequently led them toward a more diverse agricultural economy.

    Despite these changes, their nomadic roots are still clearly visible in their traditional villages comprised of small, domed huts, reminiscent of the impermanent structures of other nomadic peoples.

    After, you'll drive back to Turmi for lunch and a visit to a Hamer village. The Hamer, one of the largest groups in the valley, cultivate millet, vegetables, tobacco, and cotton, as well as raising cattle and goats. They are known for their fine pottery and remarkable hairstyling. Most dramatic of all are the clay hair buns with ostrich feathers that the men don after killing a fierce animal, something they then wear for 3-6 months at a time! The women wear beaded necklaces and iron coils around their arms, and their skin is decorated with cowry shells. These decorations indicate the wealth and prestige of a woman’s husband.  

    Dinner tonight is at your hotel. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Buska Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 14: korcho village / key afer market / jinka
    Bumpy roads are worth enduring for what lies at their endsBumpy roads are worth enduring for what lies at their ends

    In the morning, drive to Korcho village to visit the Karo people, with a trip to the weekly market in Key Afer before going on to Jinka. At the market you'll meet the Tsemei, Benna and Ari tribes, bedecked in beautiful jewelry.

    The Karo are one of the most endangered tribes of the region, with only about 1,000 people who inhabit the eastern bank of the Omo. Formerly herders, they have since turned to agriculture because many of their cattle have been wiped out by disease. The villagers are masters at body decorating during festival time, using chalk to imitate the spotted plumage of the guinea fowl and making unique jewelry from everything they find.

    Time permitting, visit the Ari village to meet the locals, especially the blacksmiths and potters, While there, visit the wonderful little museum at Jinka to learn more about the tribes of the Omo Valley. 

    Dinner and overnight in Jinka.

    (Approx. 5 hours of driving today, not including visits)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Eco-Omo Lodge (or similar)
    Show on a map
  • Day 15: mursi tribe / mago national park / konso
    Meet Mursi women and their tribes peopleMeet Mursi women and their tribes people

    Today you will drive through the Mago National Park to meet the Mursi tribes. The Mursi are perhaps the best known of the tribal peoples in the Omo Valley due to the many documentaries made about them. They are nomadic pastoralists that move with the season and live in very low huts made of straw leaves. The most famous Mursi traditions include the lip and ear plates worn by the women, and the hairstyles and fierce stick fighting done by the men. 

    Also while in the park, enjoy a picnic lunch while you search the resident birds and mammals.

    This afternoon, drive on to Konso for dinner and overnight.

    (Approx. 8 hours of driving, not including visits)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Kanta Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 16: konso / yirgalem
    Meet the Tsemai tribes peopleMeet the Tsemai tribes people

    Today you visit the Konso village and then drive to Yirgalem via Fisha Genet, crossing through coffee plantations and Sidama villages. Enroute you'll visit the Tutu Fella stele field. 

    (Approx. 8 hour drive Konso - Yirgalem ; road under construction, expect detours)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Aregash Eco Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 17: around the lodge / awassa
    Wildlife abounds in this regionWildlife abounds in this region

    This morning you'll enjoy a short hike in the nearby forest to look for the resident wildlife before making a visit to one of the Sidama Villages and coffee plantation. After lunch at the lodge, continue to Awassa, where you will overnight at the Haile Resort Hotel.

    (Approx. 4 hours of driving today, not including visits)

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Haile Resort Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 18: awassa / tiya stele / addis ababa
    Chat with young villagers during your travelsChat with young villagers during your travels

    Early in the morning, visit the Fish Market at Lake Awassa and then drive to Addis Ababa, passing through the Gurage villages. Here you'll visit the Tiya Stele (World Heritage site) in the afternoon, and then arrive in Addis Ababa around 5:00pm in time for dinner.

    (Approx. 6.5 hours of driving today, not including visits).

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Intercontinental Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 19: addis ababa / timkat procession
    Witness the Timkat processionWitness the Timkat procession

    Today is Timkat Eve, so the city will be quite festive. Timkat is the most important festival in the Ethiopian calendar. Crowds of revelers, all dressed in white, dance and sing in the streets to the beating of drums. Priests, dressed in jewel encrusted velvet and satin robes, carry a replica of the Arc of the Covenant, known as a tabot, in a grand procession through the streets.

    The morning is free to explore, and in the afternoon you will attend the Timkat procession. The procession arrives at a water source and events culminate around 2:00am when the priests perform mass and and bless the water. A communal baptism follows, with the most fervent Christians throwing themselves fully clothed into the water!

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Intercontinental Hotel
    Show on a map
  • Day 20: addis ababa / timkat
    See the Master of Timkat FestivitiesSee the Master of Timkat Festivities

    In the morning, attend the Timkat celebration as today is the actual day of Timkat. The afternoon is free to rest or to continue exploring the city.

    Tonight you have a farewell dinner at Yod Abyssinia, one of the best folkloric restaurants in Ethiopia, with traditional Ethiopian dishes, music, and dances from different regions of the country. 

    For those leaving tonight, your room at the hotel will be available until you need to depart for the airport.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Intercontinental Hotel
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
$6,495
- $6,795
3-4 travelers: $6,795 5-7: $6,495 Internal airfare: $347 - $615; Price subject to change $347 If international flights on Ethiopian Airlines (tickets must be booked through ET) $615 if using other international carrier
Single Supplement:
$1,625
Subject to availability
Custom & private on your dates
Dec 31, 2017-Jan 19, 2018

Need to Know

This is an exciting, but arduous trip on rough roads in remote areas. Be prepared to have changes made to the itinerary to accommodate conditions and other things beyond our control.

Duration:
20 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Small lodges & hotels
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Travel over rough roads
Group Size:
2-7
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

There are currently no suggested extensions for this itinerary. Please ask the Destination Specialist if you'd like to customize one.

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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