Experience Ethiopia
from $8341
Duration: 14 Days
For an incredible look back into the history of the earth and humankind, venture no further than Ethiopia. From 3 million-year-old fossilised hominid remains in Addis Ababa to incredible rock-hewn churches, hidden crypts and grottoes in Lalibela, no other country provides a more perfect combination of history, tradition, culture and nature. Uncover the 500-year-old monastery islands of Bahir Dar, witness the majestic geological formations of the Simien mountains, meet a fascinating range of distinct tribal groups in the Omo Valley and discover the rumoured home of the Ark of the Covenant. Witness expansive views of the Blue Nile, taste the famous coffee and delectable cuisine and be warmed by the genuine and friendly people along the way, as you embark on this all-encompassing experience of Ethiopia – an adventure like no other.
  • Enjoy an afternoon tour of Addis Ababa, including the National Museum and Holy Trinity Cathedral followed by a traditional Ethiopian dinner.
  • Uncover the eight distinct tribes that call the Omo Valley home, and gain a deeper understanding and respect for their lifestyle and traditions.
  • Learn about the importance of scarification and hair grooming for the Hamer people in the market town of Turmi.
  • Take a cruise around Lake Tana – Ethiopia's largest body of water and a source of the Nile – before enjoying an on-deck sundowner
  • Walk through the Simien Mountains National Park, before staying at our feature stay – the architecturally designed Limalimo Lodge.
  • Addis Ababa - Afternoon City Tour
  • Jinka - Research Centre Museum
  • Jinka - Ari villages
  • Turmi - Hamer village
  • Turmi - Market Visit
  • Konso - Local Music & Sundowner
  • Konso - Village Visit
  • Bahir Dar - Blue Nile Falls
  • Lake Tana- Sundowner Boat Drinks
  • Lake Tana - Boat Cruise
  • Gondar - Church & Castles tour
  • Simien Mountains National Park - Walk
  • Axum - Full Day Tour
  • Lalibela - Morning & Afternoon Churches Tour
  • Lalibela - Morning & Afternoon Churches Tour
  • Lalibela - Sunset drinks
  • Lalibela - Yimrehane Kristos cave church
  • Day 1 Location: Addis Ababa
    Begin this Ethiopian adventure in the capital of Addis Ababa with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Upon arrival you will be met and transferred to your Jupiter Hotel (approximately 30 minutes). In the afternoon you’ll take a tour of this bustling city, dotted with Italian architecture, interesting churches and friendly inhabitants. This relatively new city, established by the Emperor Menelik II in 1887, is one of contrasts – the Addis Sheraton, with its ‘singing fountain’, is one of the most luxurious in all of Africa, yet you only need to travel a few streets away to find yourself among busy markets, dirt roads and the odd goat or two wandering the street. Although Ethiopia was the only African nation never to be colonised, the Italians briefly occupied parts of it, including Addis, in the twentieth century. In many parts of the city the Italian’s legacy lives on in the form of old art deco buildings and coffee shops, particularly in the area known as the Piazza Addis can seem daunting at times, but even the briefest foray into the busy streets can reveal interesting new insights. Your tour will include the National Museum, Holy Trinity Cathedral and drive around the main public squares of the capital. The museum contains the remains of the fossilised hominids ‘Lucy’, a female hominoid that lived some 3.2 million years ago and who is a key discovery on the origin of early mankind. The cathedral houses impressive stained-glass windows, beautifully carved imperial thrones, and is also the final resting place for Emperor Haile Selassie and his family.
    Day 2 Location: Jinka
    Head back to the airport to take a flight to the South Omo region and the administrative capital of Jinka. Jinka is a small mountain town virtually isolated from the rest of the country. It’s remote and rustic, yet its cling to the rest of the county is accentuated by the grass airstrip in the middle of town. People come from across South Omo to visit the local market in Jinka, particularly Ari, Bana, Besheda and Besketo people. In the afternoon, visit South Omo Research Centre Museum, where a small but illuminating collection of instruments, tools and information from a variety of tribes that occupy the Omo valley. You'll spend the night here in Jinka.
    Day 3 Location: Turmi
    In the morning, pay a visit to one of the Ari villages around Jinka. The Ari people are not inundated with tourists in the manner of similar communities, though their style of dress and houses are frequently colourful and eye-catching. Their villages are typically verdant because of the enset - known colloquially as the Ethiopian banana, or false banana – they are known for cultivating. While you’re there, watch the locals prepare Ethiopian staple enjera (sourdough-risen flatbread). In the afternoon drive south (approximately 4 hours) to the town of Turmi, an important market town. The two main tribes that live in the area are the Karo and the Hamer, both of whom practise elaborate body decoration.
    Day 4 Location: Turmi
    Today you’ll visit a nearby Hamer village and learn more about this tribe. The women roll their hair into dreads called goscha using fat and dark red ochre, and their arms are wrapped in beads and copper bracelets. The tribe practise scarification, with women having scars cut into their arms or shoulders to make themselves more beautiful and as a display of their strength. They wear beaded goatskin frocks over their upper body, and married women wear thick copper necklaces. The men are also adorned with scars for beauty, or traditionally representing the number of enemies they have killed, and courageous men wear clay hair buns on their heads. The Hamer also have a similar annual ceremony to the Mursi’s stick fighting – here a young man must jump back and forth on the backs of bulls to prove himself worthy of the family's pride and of a wife, while women are ritualistically whipped in voluntary support of the initiate. Later, depending on the day you might be able shop at a vibrant local market, savouring the smells and tastes while bumping shoulders with the Karo, Homer and Benna people. You will spend the night in an eco-lodge in Turmi.
    Day 5 Location: Konso
    Head northeast on a drive (approximately 6 hours) that offers spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding scenery, including the terraced hills of Konso. Along the way, you may be lucky enough to see the small dik-dik antelope and the impressively-horned lesser kudu. All roads into South Omo pass through Konso, and this unprepossessing small town of 3000 inhabitants is a good base for exploring the unique and complex culture of the hillside villages in the surrounding countryside. The Konso people, who historically had little contact with the rest of Ethiopia and so retain a traditionalist character, live in walled hilltop settlements with maze-like stone fences. Each village is made up of sub-compounds, and there is a central communal building called a mora, the ground floor of which is used by the men, boys and girls as a social area – adult women are excluded. Each village will have important poles or stones erected to mark special events like the initiation of a new generation or victories over enemies. Famous are the carved wooden grave markers, or waga, erected over the burial place of an important warrior. The deceased's facial features are carved into the waga and enhanced by using teeth made from animal bones. This evening you will enjoy sundower drinks, local music and dancing on the terrace of your accommodation.
    Day 6 Location: Bahir Dar
    Drive to Arba Minch in the morning and take a flight to Bahir Dar, via Addis Ababa. Drive the short distance to your hotel, lying on the shores of the lush setting of Lake Tana. Check into your hotel and relax with views of the lake.
    Day 7 Location: Bahir Dar
    After breakfast you will leave for the Blue Nile Falls. Located 32 kilometres south of Bahir Dar, the Blue Nile Falls measure over 400 metres wide and descends 48 metres in full flood. These falls are known locally as Tis Isat (Smoking Water) and are a spectacular sight when in full flood. New hydro-electrical plants and dams have somewhat impacted on their magnificence, but the sight is still a memorable one. You can take a longer scenic walk past the main viewpoint (1.5 kilometres) or a shorter walk to reach the foot of the falls. You will then cross the Nile River by boat to reach your vehicle. In the afternoon, board a sightseeing boat for a cruise around the lake. Covering over 3500 square kilometres, this is Ethiopia’s largest lake and is home to 37 islands, 20 of which house some of Ethiopia’s most venerated monasteries. Many of these monasteries are believed to date back to the 13th and 14th centuries and feature superb ecclesiastical art. Legend has it that the Ark of Covenant was hidden here for protection during the times when Muslim forces invaded from the east. Your boat trip will take you to the monastery of URA-Kidane Mehret, which dates from between the 16th and 18th centuries. It is renowned for its collection of crosses and crowns and its incredible painted walls that offer up a virtual 'who’s who' of Ethiopian saints. End the day with a sundowner drink on the boat as you float across Lake Tana.
    Day 8 Location: Gondar
    Travel north around the edge of Lake Tana this morning and head for the regal city of Gondar. This drive will take approximately 4 hours, including stops for photos along the way. Gondar was the 17th and 18th century capital of Ethiopia and is famed for its medieval castles and churches. The city's unique Royal Enclosure is a World Heritage site, home to dramatic Emperor-built castles unlike any other in Africa. The architecture shows the richness of Axumite traditions as well as the prosperity of Ethiopia in those two centuries. Spend the afternoon visiting these medieval castles and stop by the famous church of Debre Berhan Selassie. The church is one of the finest in Ethiopia, with walls and ceilings covered stunning in ancient murals. Later, if there is time, perhaps visit Project Ploughshare, which helps disadvantaged women rekindle the area’s once famous pottery craft.
    Day 9 Location: Simien Mountains National Park
    Continue North in the morning, making a 2-hour drive to your lodge, before another hour into the Simien Mountains. Enjoy a scenic walk within the Simien Mountains National Park. The park is a majestic series of undulating amethyst peaks, including Ethiopia’s highest point – Ras Dejen. The peaks have been eroded over millions of years and have left strange and wonderful geological formations behind. The park is home to some of the world’s most elusive animals, and while you're here you might encounter troops of the endemic Gelada monkey. Found exclusively in Ethiopia, Gelada are often referred to as the ‘bleeding heart baboon’ or the 'lion monkey’ as their coat is shaggy and their chest has a marked ‘red heart’ patch. Gelada monkeys have no natural enemies, so they can be found in good numbers and are quite easy to approach. Enjoy a pack lunch and then take a scenic walk along a dramatic escarpment. Afterwards take the short drive to your hilltop lodgings. Perched on the edge of the Ethiopia’s Simien Escarpment our feature stay; Limalimo Lodge is a beautiful place to experience Ethiopia's Simien Mountains National Park. The bar and restaurant are perched on top of the hill with views along the dramatic escarpment and onto the lowlands below. The 12 rooms are scattered around the site among the trees with views over wooded hillsides. Enjoy the spectacular views over Ethiopia's Simien Mountain landscape while staying warm around the fire pit or curling up in front of the log fire.
    Day 10 Location: Axum
    Take the asphalt but winding road up to the fabled city of Axum, crossing the lowlands of the Simien Mountains and the Tekeze River gorge (approximately 9 hours including breaks). Though this is a long and winding journey, the spectacular views of the mountains makes the time slide away. You’ll arrive in Axum in the late afternoon. Axum was once the capital of Africa’s oldest empire – the Kingdom of Axum lasted from 1 AD to 700 AD and grew to rank among the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient world. It was positioned at the centre of an important trading route that stretched from Egypt to the Mediterranean Sea and all the way to India and Sri Lanka. Axumite society was rich, well organized and technically advanced. In this period, bronze, silver and gold coins were produced, amazing tombs and monoliths constructed, and Christianity was introduced to Ethiopia.
    Day 11 Location: Axum
    Today you will tour the incredible historical sites of Axum. Visit the stele fields, several tombs, the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s palace and an archaeological museum. The field is home to over 100 stele – the largest one measuring 33 metres and weighing an incredible 517 tones. Stele (or monoliths) are carved from a single piece of granite and are often elaborately decorated to resemble a multi-story house complete with windows, doors, locks and structural beams. Their scale reflects Axum’s once great importance, and they were probably transported by elephants from a nearby quarry. The mausoleums in this area include the tomb of the false door and the tombs of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel, while the archaeological museum gives you further insights into this incredible society. An unimposing building with a green picket fence is the St Mary of Zion Church, the first built in sub-Saharan Africa. This holds the crowns of various former Ethiopian emperors and is even said to house the most fabled biblical relic in history – the Ark of the Covenant.
    Day 12 Location: Lalibela
    Take an early morning flight from Axum to Lalibela (approximately 40 minutes), where you will stay for two nights. Despite the town of Lalibela being isolated in the Lasta Mountains at 2630 metres above sea level, it is still the home of Ethiopia’s top sight, and one of the world's greatest historical and religious sites. Between 1137 and 1270, several astounding rock-hewn churches were constructed in Lalibela – astonishing because most are not built from carved freestanding rocks, but instead created from huge single blocks of stone unearthed by the digging of enormous pits. You will spend two afternoons exploring the extraordinary churches that look like they've been dropped down from the sky. The Northern Group contains seven churches, a tomb, a chapel and a sunken chapel. At the centre of the group is Bet Medhane Alem, measuring 33.5 metres by 23.5 metres and said to be the largest rock-hewn church in the world. A tunnel connects three of the churches in a courtyard to the east, whilst another tunnel connects two other churches to the west of Bet Medhane Alem. However, it is Bet Giyorgis (St George's), carved in the form of a Greek cross and lying slightly apart from the main northern cluster, which is the most famous and frequently photographed. This church is exceptionally well-preserved and is probably the most visually perfect. The Eastern group of five churches includes the only hypogenous church, where only the roof remains attached to the overhead rock.
    Day 13 Location: Lalibela
    This morning visit the 11th century cave church of Yimrehane Kristos before returning to the hotel for lunch. Depending on which church group you visited yesterday (North or East cluster), you will spend this afternoon exploring the other, absorbing the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and taking plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within. This evening you will enjoy sundowner drinks and a special dinner at Ben Ababa restaurant.
    Day 14 Location: Addis Ababa
    A flight (approximately 1 hour) takes you back to the Addis Ababa. Your tour will end on arrival at the Addis Ababa hotel in the afternoon. If departing from Ethiopia today, you can choose to end the tour on arrival at the airport however your flight out of Addis Ababa should not be booked to depart before 7 pm. Additional post tour accommodation is also available in Addis Ababa (at an additional cost).
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    Last modified (date)

    27 Mar 2020

    Trip title

    Experience Ethiopia

    Trip code



    Validity: 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020


    For an incredible look back into the history of the earth and humankind, venture no further than Ethiopia. From 3 million-year-old fossilised hominid remains in Addis Ababa to incredible rock-hewn churches, hidden crypts and grottoes in Lalibela, no other country provides a more perfect combination of history, tradition, culture and nature. Uncover the 500-year-old monastery islands of Bahir Dar, witness the majestic geological formations of the Simien mountains, meet a fascinating range of distinct tribal groups in the Omo Valley and discover the rumoured home of the Ark of the Covenant. Witness expansive views of the Blue Nile, taste the famous coffee and delectable cuisine and be warmed by the genuine and friendly people along the way, as you embark on this all-encompassing experience of Ethiopia – an adventure like no other.




    Private vehicle,4WD vehicle,Boat,Plane

    Physical Rating


    Joining point

    Jupiter International Hotel, Cazanchise

    Tito S

    Addis Ababa


    Phone: +251 11 552 7333

    Joining point instructions

    The Jupiter International Hotel, Cazanchise is located just 5kms from Addis Ababa International Airport. Despite the proximity, we recommend you arrange a private arrival transfer. Transfers are available for pre-booking through Peregrine. Please speak to your booking agent for more information. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer, please ensure you have provided Peregrine with your arrival flight details at least 15 days before the departure of your Peregrine trip. On arrival, please proceed outside the arrival terminal building to the entrance of the carpark and look for your transfer representative, likely in standing in the shade, holding a board with your name. They will not be waiting inside the arrivals hall as there are strict safety restriction in place that prevent transfer drivers from waiting inside. If you cannot locate them, please call our local operator, Journeys Ethiopia on +251 (911) 457 196.

    Finish point

    Jupiter International Hotel, Cazanchise

    Tito S

    Addis Ababa


    Phone: +251 11 552 7333

    Important information

    1. There is a city tour of Addis Ababa at approximately 2pm on Day 1. Please ensure flights arrive prior to midday. 2. On day 14 there is an included flight back to Addis Ababa international airport. Please do not book any international flights until after 7pm. 3. Accommodation on this trip is twin share unless otherwise stated. An optional single supplement is available on all nights of this trip (subject to availability) 4.We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Ethiopia before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - https://www.intrepidtravel.com/travel-alerts

    Group leader

    On this trip you will have the services of a Peregrine trip leader, a driver, and specialised tour guides during some of the city and historical site tours.


    Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's travel alerts page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trip. PERSONAL BELONGINGS: We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, air tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. FREE TIME: Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns.

    FIRE PRECAUTIONS Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms. BALCONIES Some hotel balconies don't meet western standards in terms of the width of the balcony fence being narrower than 10cm. TRAFFIC AND DRIVING ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD Depending on where you come from please note that drivers in this part of the world may drive on the opposite side of the road from what you are used to. Look both ways before crossing any road. Traffic can be a little more chaotic than you might be used to at home. Be aware! SEAT BELTS Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts. PICK POCKETING & PERSONAL SAFETY While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking at night and encourage you to walk in groups and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing. WATER SAFETY Please take care when taking part in any activities in the ocean, river or open water, where waves and currents can be unpredictable. It's expected that anyone taking part in water activities is able to swim and have experience in open water. All swimmers should seek local advice before entering the water. TRAVEL ADVICE & TRAVEL INSURANCE We recommend that you check your government's advice in relation to the areas you will be visiting for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers.


    PASSPORT As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and leave another copy at home with family or friends. VISAS Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Your consultant will also be happy to point you in the right direction with acquiring visas. Visas can take several weeks to process, so familiarise yourself with any requirements as soon as you have booked your trip to allow for processing time. ETHIOPIA: All nationalities require a visa for entry to Ethiopia. If you are flying into Addis Ababa you can obtain a 90-day visa can be purchased on arrival. You will need two passport photos and approximately USD50 in cash. You may be asked for proof of a return ticket - please carry your Essential Trip Information if you are leaving overland. If you are entering at any border other than Addis Ababa airport you MUST obtain your visa in advance. For more information, please contact your closest Ethiopian embassy or consulate as this information may change. Alternatively refer to https://www.evisa.gov.et/client/visadescription/TouristVisaOnline

    Why we love it

    Enjoy an afternoon tour of Addis Ababa, including the National Museum and Holy Trinity Cathedral followed by a traditional Ethiopian dinner.

    Uncover the eight distinct tribes that call the Omo Valley home, and gain a deeper understanding and respect for their lifestyle and traditions.

    Learn about the importance of scarification and hair grooming for the Hamer people in the market town of Turmi.

    Take a cruise around Lake Tana – Ethiopia's largest body of water and a source of the Nile – before enjoying an on-deck sundowner

    Walk through the Simien Mountains National Park, before staying at our feature stay – the architecturally designed Limalimo Lodge.

    Is this trip right for you

    Part of Southern Ethiopia’s appeal is that it’s less frequented by tourists, which means that accommodation in this region may not be at the level of comfort which you will have become accustomed to during your Peregrine journey. We have organised the best available within this region and believe that this provides you with an authentic experience, and a wonderful opportunity to experience the local lifestyle. Festivals and markets are a big part of Ethiopian culture and are a fascinating sight. Sometimes we will amend the order of the Jinka to Konso portion of the itinerary to allow for the group to partake in markets or local festivities.


    All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund. You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. YELLOW FEVER: A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries if you are arriving from a country with risk of yellow fever (eg. Kenya). You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting. DRINKING WATER As a rule we recommend you don't drink tap water, even in hotels, as it may contain much higher levels of different minerals than the water you are used to at home. For local people this is not a problem as their bodies are used to this and can cope, but for visitors drinking the tap water can result in illness. Generally this isn't serious, an upset stomach being the only symptom, but it's enough to spoil a day or two of your holiday. Many hotels and lodges provide safe drinking water, while bottled water is another alternative. Water consumption should be about two litres a day. Rehydration salts, motion sickness tablets, and diarrhoea blockers are available from many pharmacies. ALTITUDE SICKNESS: Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor. During your trip. While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

    Food and dietary requirements

    Your group leader will endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements where possible, and vegetarianism and gluten intolerance will be catered for in most instances. Please notify your group leader of any dietary requirements in your group meeting at the start of the trip. For those suffering from particular food allergies, your group leader will endeavour to disclose to their fullest knowledge the main ingredients in dishes being consumed. It is, however, your personal responsibility to ensure that you do not ingest any foods to which you are allergic. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages are not part of included meals.

    Money matters

    When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). Please note: all recommendations for additional costs are in USD. You will need to convert these into the relevant local currency. MEALS NOT INCLUDED Breakfast, dinner and most lunches are included while on our overland safaris and/or lodge based trips. For lunches not included, a budget of USD10 to USD15 per meal will be more than sufficient. For dinners not included, your leader will normally recommend options and restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main. These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget or are happy to try local food, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries. TIPPING Gratuities for all services are included in the cost of your trip. Although not compulsory, if you feel you have received outstanding services throughout your trip, you may also consider tipping your leader and crew (if applicable) as these are not included. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline USD2 to USD4 per staff member, per day can be used. Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service. EMERGENCY FUNDS We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you bring an extra USD500 for emergencies (e.g. natural disasters or civil unrest). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to our itineraries, and we can’t guarantee there won’t be some extra costs involved. CREDIT CARDS, ATMS AND MONEY EXCHANGE: Credit cards are generally accepted in tourist shops and some restaurants across Africa. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only. Foreign currency is easily changed at exchange bureaus and they generally offer the best rates. With ATMs being increasingly available in the many major towns and cities, credit or debit cards are a convenient way to access money. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. Throughout Africa, cards with the Visa logo are most readily recognised, although MasterCard is also accepted in most places. A charge is made for each international transaction - please check with your bank how much this fee will be. Check with your bank before leaving home that your card can be used as a debit card in Africa. You may also want to notify your bank that you are visiting Africa as it's not unknown for banks to freeze cards which show sudden transactions in other countries. If you're on a multi-country tour, your tour leader will be able to give you an approximate idea of how much money you may need for your stay in each country. PLEASE NOTE: Many businesses and banks in Africa, especially East Africa, do not accept US dollar notes older than 2006. If you are bringing USD, we strongly recommend large bills in good condition, 2006 series onwards only. Any old or damaged notes may not be accepted. PHOTOS IN VILLAGES Villages in the south of Ethiopia usually charge for photos. They can do this by either asking for a per person amount fee to take as many photos as you like or they will charge per photo. We do ask that travellers leave their cameras in the vehicle upon arrival at the villages to create a bond before taking photos at a later stage.

    What to take

    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you are able to carry and lift your own luggage, and walk with it for short distances. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip. ESSENTIALS: - Closed in shoes. As most of our trips include some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment. - Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Clothes should be easy to wash and dry. Some people like to take jeans for evenings out but they can be tough to dry and should not be used for trekking. Avoid nylon and other synthetics, which can be very uncomfortable in hot weather. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is NOT recommended. - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses RECOMMENDED: - A good quality, high-beam headlamp or torch for around the lodges and permanent tented sites at night. Some of these properties have limited lighting and are powered by generators that switch off at a certain time. - Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening activities when it can be cool. - Warm fleece and beanie for morning and evening activities including game drives where applicable. - Personal medical kit. Large kits will be on hand at the lodges and from your leader (on trips that have a dedicated trip leader) but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids. - Insect repellent. - Water bottle. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments. - Camera with spare battery or power bank. - Binoculars OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a snoring room-mate. - A good book, a journal or smart phone with music player. LUGGAGE LIMIT: Please keep your luggage to a minimum. One small soft-sided bag plus a day pack (no more than 15-20kgs in total per person) is essential.We recommend against bringing hard/externally framed suitcases as they are difficult to store and can damage equipment and other travellers' belongings. If your trip is beginning and ending at the same location, excess luggage can usually be stored at your arrival/departure hotel and can be collected after your trip. VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. We strongly recommend that you photocopy all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a photocopy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary. BATTERIES/POWER: Our trips have access to power to recharge batteries for phones and cameras every couple of days. We always recommend that you carry an extra battery or powerbank just in case. CONSERVATIVE DRESS FOR WOMEN: In many parts of Africa women travelers should dress modestly as there is a wide range of cultural differences. Wear skirts or shorts that reach just above the knee and tops that cover shoulders at a minimum. If visiting coastal areas wear a cover-up when you step off the beaches.

    PLASTIC BAG BANS ACROSS AFRICA While Namibia holds people liable to a fine of N$500 or imprisonment for entering Game Parks with a plastic bag, Botswana has announced a countrywide ban on plastic bags to come into effect on 1 November 2018. The ban will make the importing, trading and commercial use of plastic bags a criminal offence. Exceptions will be made for plastics that are essential for health and hygiene. With these announcements, Botswana and Namibia join other African countries such as Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Tunisia, Morocco, Rwanda, Uganda, Somalia and Eritrea that have banned plastic bags. South Africa imposed a levy on plastic bags in 2004 but they have not yet been banned. Many countries are strictly enforcing this and have been searching luggage at border points. Camping stores are good for obtaining waterproof reusable bags, for dirty laundry etc, prior to departure.

    Climate and seasonal

    We only travel in Ethiopia in the dry season, however in the event of unseasonal heavy rains, the section of the itinerary that visits the tribes of Mursi & Karo may be affected as the roads leading to villages are unsealed. Festivals and markets are a big part of Ethiopian culture and are a fascinating sight. Sometimes we will amend the order of the Arba Minch to Turmi portion of the itinerary to allow for the group to partake in markets or local festivities. The 26 September departure will be amended and will run as follows: 06 Oct (Sunday): Drive to Arbaminch. Accommodation in Arba Minch 07 Oct (Monday): Early morning start to Turmi and attend the colourful Hamer market at Turmi. We will check if there is bull jumping ceremony ceremony in the area. Accommodation in Turmi 08 Oct (Tuesday): Accommodation in Turmi. 09 Oct (Wednesday): Drive to Jinka. Accommodation in Jinka 10 Oct (Thursday): Visit Mursi and Ari villages. Accommodation in Jinka 11 Oct (Friday): Visit Konso village. Accommodation in Konso. 12 Oct (Saturday): Visit Nech Sar National park and Lake Chamo. Accommodation in Arba Minch 13 Oct (Sunday): Fly back to Addis Ababa

    A couple of rules

    Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption. The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips. By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund. If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.


    Can’t stop thinking about your adventure? Tell us all about it! We read each piece of feedback carefully and use it to make improvements for travellers like you. Share your experience with us at: https://www.peregrineadventures.com/feedback

    Pre-departure checklist

    Before you travel please download our pre-departure checklist to make sure you are fully prepared for your trip: http://www.peregrineadventures.com/pre-departure-travel-checklist

    Emergency contact

    ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP: While we always endeavor to provide you the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader/specialist guide or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem. We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader/guide to speak to their direct manager. BOOKING ENQUIRIES / ISSUES For general enquiries or questions about your booking, please contact your agent or adventure specialist, or visit us at: www.peregrineadventures.com/contact-us CRISIS AND EMERGENCIES In case of a genuine crisis or emergency please contact our local ground representative on the number below: Peregrine's Local Operator: +251 ( 911) 457 196

    Responsible travel

    Travelling responsibly is all about making good choices. It's about ensuring you have an incredible trip while also having a positive impact on the local environment, community and economy you're travelling in. How can you be a Responsible Traveller? See our tips below: - Choose to travel with a responsible travel company like us! We've already offset the main carbon emissions of your trip, so your footprint is already lighter. - Consider offsetting your flights when you book your trip/flights with us or your travel agent. - Bring a refillable water bottle and some water purification tablets (or a Steripen) to cut down on plastic bottle waste. - Be an animal-friendly traveller. Only go to venues that respect animals by allowing them to live normally in their natural environment. Steer clear of venues that use animals for entertainment or abnormal activities and/or keep animals in poor and unnatural conditions. - Eat at local restaurants, buy from regional artists and support social enterprises so you can contribute directly to locals and their economy. - Always be respectful of local customs and ask permission if you want to take a photo of someone. - Learn a few words of the local language and engage with the people around you. - Carry a cloth or re-usable bag so you can avoid plastic bags. - Give back by making a donation to a local project via The Intrepid Foundation. Share your thoughts with us by completing your feedback form after your trip. This helps us to continue to improve our commitment to responsible travel. In Lalibela we have an optional trek to rock church of Asheten Mariam. You may notice businesses offering the use of donkeys instead of walking. We ask all Intrepid travellers to avoid this activity as it is contrary to our Responsible Travel policy. For more information on animal welfare and some of the reasons why we have chosen not to ride these particular donkeys please visit http://www.intrepidtravel.com/animal-welfare

    The Intrepid Foundation

    Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Peregrine Adventures, a brand of the Intrepid Group, and works with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed more than AU $6 million to over 100 community organisations since 2002. Did you know that tourism is one of the biggest contributors to the global economy, making up 1 out of every 10 jobs? That’s why we support local projects that create meaningful jobs and give people the skills they need to work in the destinations we take you to. And it’s why we exist – to make it easy for travellers to give back to the communities and places they’ve been in an effective and meaningful way. Intrepid Group covers all administration costs, every cent goes directly to the projects. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your leader for information about the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or visit our website: http://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/

    Accommodation notes

    Limalimo Lodge is perched on the edge of the Ethiopia's Simien Escarpment and is a beautiful place to experience the Simien Mountains. As a developing nation hot water is not always available at the accommodations.

    Travel insurance

    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader. If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

    Your fellow travellers

    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part. Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure.

    Itinerary disclaimer

    ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour.


    Comfortable Hotel (8 nights),Tourist Lodge (4 nights),Feature Stay Lodge (1 night)

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