For friendly, expert advice call: +44 (0) 1962 733051

Ethiopia's Highlights

Tour Code: ETH09

A 16-day wildlife holiday to Ethiopia, including time in both the Simien and Bale Mountains, focusing on the country's abundant birdlife, fascinating mammals and spectacular landscapes.

16 days from £5295(inc flights) Land Only Price: £4800 SRS: £695


This holiday is centred around three comfortable eco-lodges in the Simien Mountains, Rift Valley and Bale Mountains. We begin in the dramatic Simien Mountains National Park in search of three of Ethiopia’s most iconic endemic mammals: Gelada Baboon, Ethiopian Wolf and Walia Ibex. We then drive to Gondar where we will enjoy some sightseeing before driving along the Great Rift Valley to Lake Awassa. A wealth of waterbirds awaits us here including whistling-ducks, and herons such as Black and Goliath. From Lake Awassa, we travel east to the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park where we’ll search for Ethiopian Wolf and its prey, the Giant Mole Rat. We end our tour with a 3-night stay on the shores of Lake Langano which will provide a relaxing end to our holiday.

  • 3 nights in the Simien Mountains
  • Look for Gelada Baboon, Ethiopian Wolf & Walia Ibex, Simien Mts
  • Lammergeier, Augur Buzzard & Thick-billed Ravens, Simien Mts
  • African Jacana & White-winged Terns plus Pied & Malachite Kingfishers, Lake Awassa
  • Marabou Stork, Hamerkop & Hadeda Ibis among special waterbirds
  • 3nights in the fabulous Bale Mountain Lodge situated deep within the Harenna Forest
  • Look for Ethiopian Wolf on the Senetti Plateau, Bale Mountains
  • 14 endemic bird species plus a rich flora to enjoy in the Bale Mountains
  • 3 nights at a delightful eco-lodge on the shores of Lake Langano
  • Led by expert naturalist guide

Food

All included in the price.

Accommodation

Comfortable eco-lodges and hotels; all rooms have private facilities.

Outline Itinerary Download

Day 1 Depart London

Day 2 Arrive Addis, afternoon city tour

Day 3/5 Simien Mountains

Day 6 Gondar

Day 7/8 Lake Awassa

Day 9/11 Bale Mountains

Day 12/14 Lake Langano

Day 15 Addis Ababa

Day 16 Depart Addis, arrive London

This exciting new tour aims to showcase the best of Ethiopia’s stunning scenery and wildlife, and is centred around three comfortable ecolodges located in the Simien Mountains, Rift Valley and Bale Mountains. Home to over 830 species of birds and a host of endemic mammals — including huge troops of Gelada Baboons and packs of rare Ethiopian Wolves — Ethiopia has an enormous amount to offer the wildlife enthusiast. It has, however, long been regarded as a challenging destination to visit and, until recently, the region’s hotels and tourism infrastructure have been limited and basic. Whilst not luxurious, the lodges on this new holiday are all of a comfortable standard, and this latest Ethiopia tour offers a more relaxed, slowerpaced exploration of this remarkable and beautiful country than our other itineraries do.

We begin with a flight to the capital, Addis Ababa, where we will enjoy a tour of the city and have the opportunity to visit the National Museum where the famous 3.5- million-year-old skeleton of the early hominid ‘Lucy’ is exhibited. The following morning we fly to Gondar before driving north to the dramatic Simien Mountains National Park, one of Africa’s most extensive and rugged mountain ranges. We will be based for three nights at Simien Lodge which gives us ample time to explore the surrounding area in search of three of Ethiopia’s most iconic endemic mammals: Gelada Baboon, Ethiopian Wolf and Walia Ibex. The Simien Mountains are home to a population of about 4,500 Gelada Baboons and this is the primate’s main stronghold. The baboons live in troops that can number 400 individuals, and sitting amongst these fascinating animals, listening to their constant chatter and observing their playful bickering, is likely to be a highlight of the holiday. We also have a good chance of seeing the endangered Walia Ibex here and, in addition, we will be hoping to encounter the rare Ethiopian Wolf. Unfortunately, the Simien population of Ethiopian Wolf is declining, which means that finding these elegant canids here poses a tough proposition. However, a supporting cast of other wildlife, including Lammergeier, Augur Buzzard and the mischievous Thick-billed Raven, as well as the breathtaking views around us, ensure that there is never a dull moment when exploring the Simiens!

After three fabulous days in the mountains we return south to Gondar, where we will enjoy an afternoon tour of the city’s 17th century castles and the elaborately decorated church of Debre Birhan Selassie. The following morning we fly back to Addis Ababa from where we drive south, following the Great Rift Valley, to the luxuriant shores of Lake Awassa. Amongst the lilies and reedbeds that fringe the lake we should find a wide variety of waterbirds, including Black, Goliath and other herons, Marabou Stork, the extraordinary-looking Hamerkop, Hadeda Ibis, a variety of egrets, dainty African Pygmy Geese, Fulvous and Whitefaced Whistling Ducks, Knob-billed Duck, Black Crake, African Jacana, Three-banded Plover, Whiskered and White-winged Terns and both Pied and Malachite Kingfishers.

From Lake Awassa, we travel east to the beautiful Bale Mountains National Park for a 3-night stay in the fabulous Bale Mountain Lodge, tucked deep within the Harenna Forest. The forest clings to the south-western slopes of the national park and is home to Giant Forest Hogs and rarely seen ‘black-maned Lions’. Above the forest lie the grassy uplands and towering rocky outcrops of the Senetti Plateau, where amongst the Giant Lobelias and stands of Red Hot Pokers we have our best chance of seeing the magnificent Ethiopian Wolf and its favourite prey, the enigmatic Giant Mole-rat. With luck, we will have the chance to observe both predator and prey alongside a host of commoner mammal species such as Klipspringer, Bohor Reedbuck and Warthog, as well as a rich flora and special range of birds which includes a staggering 14 endemics!

Finally, we transfer our focus back to the beautiful Rift Valley Lakes, where a 3-night stay at a delightful eco-lodge on the shores of Lake Langano will provide a relaxing end to our holiday. We will have ample time to enjoy the lodge’s tranquil surroundings, take leisurely walks in search of the area’s rich birdlife and visit the neighbouring lakes of Shalla and Abiata. The latter is a vast, shallow soda lake and is often referred to as ‘Ethiopia’s Nakuru’ as its margins teem with flamingoes, pelicans, cormorants, storks, herons and waders.

After three nights at our peaceful retreat it will be time to return once more to the bustle of Addis Ababa where we will enjoy a final farewell meal before catching our flight to London in the early hours of the morning.

Ruppell's Weaver (Tim Melling)Dusky Turtle Dove (Tim Melling)Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Tim Melling)Rüppell's Robin-chat (Tim Melling)Augur Buzzard (Tim Melling)Pallid Harrier (Tim Melling)Lanner Falcon (Tim Melling)Thick-billed Raven (Tim Melling)Gelada Baboon (Tim Melling)Gelada Baboons (Tim Melling)Speckled Pigeon (Tim Melling)Walia Ibex (Tim Melling)Ethiopian Klipspringer (Tim Melling)Olive Baboon (Tim Melling)Mountain Nyala (Tim Melling)Ethiopian Wolf (Tim Melling)Giant Mole-rat (Tim Melling)Malachite Kingfisher (Tim Melling)Abyssinian Roller (Tim Melling)Yellow-billed Kite at Sunset (Tim Melling)Lammergeier (Tim Melling)Simien Mountains (Tim Melling)Citrus Swallowtail (Tim Melling)African Fish Eagle (Helen Pinchin)African Fish Eagles (Helen Pinchin)Augur Buzzard (Helen Pinchin)Ethiopian Hare (Helen Pinchin)Ethiopian Wolf (Helen Pinchin)Ethiopian Wolf(Helen Pinchin)Gelada Baboon (Helen Pinchin)Gelada Baboon adult and young (Helen Pinchin)Gelada Baboons (Helen Pinchin)Giant Mole-rat (Helen Pinchin)Hartebeest (Helen Pitchin)Mantled Guereza (Helen Pinchin)Marabou Stork (Helen Pinchin)Mountain Nyala (Helen Pinchin)Simien Mountains (Helen Pinchin)Simien Mountains with Gelada Baboons (Helen Pinchin)Verreaux's Eagle Owl (Helen Pinchin)White-headed Buffalo Weaver (Helen Pinchin)
E.SC
London
Our accompanying naturalist, Nick, is brilliant at his job. He was knowledgeable not only about the wildlife but also the flora; he was solicitous of his 'flock' and always made sure anyone feeling unwell was taken care of; he made sure that everyone saw the mammal or bird on their wish list if this was in any way possible; and last but certainly not least his diplomacy is impressive. He must be exhausted at the end of a trip! We were fortunate in that our group got on very well together and the trip was fun, in no small part due to Nick's sense of humour.
Show all details | Hide all details

DeparturesAvailableCost

Fri 16th February 2018 - Sat 3rd March 2018

YES

£5295

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £4800 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Ethiopia

View tour reports +

Can I help You?

Kerrie Porteous
Operations Manager

Email Kerrie

01962 733051

Tour Focus

BirdsMammalsCulture

Tour Leaders

Tour Reviews

Our accompanying naturalist, Nick, is brilliant at his job. He was knowledgeable not only about the wildlife but also the flora; he was solicitous of his 'flock' and always made sure anyone feeling unwell was taken care of; he made sure that everyone saw the mammal or bird on their wish list if this was in any way possible; and last but certainly not least his diplomacy is impressive. He must be exhausted at the end of a trip! We were fortunate in that our group got on very well together and the trip was fun, in no small part due to Nick's sense of humour.
E.SC, London