Mysteries of Ethiopia

  • Trip Type: Journeys
  • 13 Days | Round-trip Addis Ababa
  • Group Size: Max 15

Trip Details


Ethiopia stands at the cultural crossroads of Africa and the Middle East. Discover its dramatic landscapes and diverse cultures on a 13-day adventure. Trek into the stunning Simien Mountains, explore the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and introduce yourself to the residents of the progressive village of Awra Amba. In this unique country, surprises await around every turn of the dusty road.

Trip Highlights

    • Explore the incredible ancient sites of Lalibela and Axum, see the royal monuments of Gonder, and cruise Lake Tana.
    • Visit artisans at a women’s cooperative, and make (and eat!) local dishes in a rural community supported by
      G Adventures.
    • Hike into the gorgeous Simien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Itinerary - 13 Days

Day 1 — Addis Ababa

Arrive at any time. Arrival transfer is included.

Days 2 & 3 — Bahir Dar

Fly to Bahir Dar for an excursion to the Blue Nile Falls. Take a boat trip on Lake Tana to enjoy stunning views. Visit lakeside monasteries and wander through the lively markets of Bahir Dar. (2B)

Days 4 & 5 — Gonder

Drive north, stopping in the unique egalitarian community of Awra Amba, founded as a progressive social experiment more than 40 years ago. Then spend time exploring the ancient capital of Gonder, including Debre Birhan Selassie Church and the castles of the Royal Enclosure, built by a succession of emperors in the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit Ploughshare Women’s Crafts Training Center and then the Kossoye community to learn about the staples of Ethiopian food, with a demonstration and traditional dinner. (2B, 1D)

Days 6 & 7 — Simien Mountains National Park

Travel to Debark, our base for visiting the Simien Mountains. Head out on guided hiking excursions amid the remarkable eroded landscapes that have earned these mountains World Heritage status. (2B)

Days 8 & 9 — Axum

Travel to Axum, one of Ethiopia’s oldest and holiest cities and thought to be the home of the Queen of Sheba. Enjoy guided tours of the city’s archaeological sites and the ancient church of St. Mary of Zion. (2B)

Days 10 & 11 — Lalibela

Take an early morning flight to Lalibela and enjoy two incredible days discovering this World Heritage site. Venture into a subterranean maze of passageways and rock-hewn churches that have drawn worshippers for centuries. (2B)

Day 12 — Addis Ababa

Take a morning flight to Addis Ababa. Opt to enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. (1B)

Day 13 — Addis Ababa

Depart at any time. (1B)

Related Trips

Offered in partnership with G Adventures, our National Geographic Journeys line blends fun, hands-on exploration, meaningful encounters with people and cultures, and more free time and choices—with the structure and security of traveling in a small group.


This expedition is not currently being offered.

Activity Level


Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives, or easy hikes, with options for more physical activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling and biking.

Click here for a description of all activity levels.

Contact Us: 1-800-281-2354

Call to speak with a specialist about this trip.

Cost Details

All trip prices are per person based on double occupancy. If you're traveling on your own, we'll pair you up with a roommate of the same gender so that you can pay the same rate as other travelers. Prices are subject to change without notice and do not include airfare. All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars.

My Own Room

During your trip, sometimes it's just more convenient and comfortable to have your own room. That's why we offer the "My Own Room" option - a single room all to yourself.

My Own Room Option: From $1,569

What's Included

Arrival transfer, internal flights, transport between destinations and to/ from included activities, and activities as listed in the itinerary. The optional farewell dinner is at an additional cost.

Comfortable, mid-range hotels that reflect the local character (12 nights)

Meals Included
12 breakfasts, 1 dinner. Allow an additional $285–370 for meals not included.

Plane, minivan/bus, boat, hiking

Optional Experience

You can do whatever you wish during your free time on tour, but if you're in need of suggestions, we've got them. Details about any optional experiences for this trip will be available during the booking process. Please note, these are at an additional cost.