6 - 12
This adventure takes in all the very best that Central Ethiopia has to offer! From thriving Addis to the C16th walled city of Harar; be guided around the stunning 13th Century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela; walk in the peerless Simien Mountains alongside Gelada Baboons and Walia Ibex and spot the endangered Ethiopian wolf in the striking Bale Mountain national park. All the while taking opportunities to visit local villages and people, learning about their history, culture, and trying their delicious cuisine.
Grounding ourselves on arrival with a fascinating tour around Addis Ababa, including the Ethnological and Red Terror Museums, and the panoramic views from Entoto Mountain, on this adventure we also have an opportunity to learn about obstacles faced by pregnant women in some of the more remote communities we pass through. We offer a highly recommended but optional visit to Hamlin Fistula Hospital in Addis, run by the worthwhile and life changing charity; HamlinFistulaEthiopia.
This cultural adventure is for those who wish to enjoy a variety of striking African landscapes plentiful with wildlife, and to glimpse into and begin to understand, the religious, political and historical factors that have helped shape modern Ethiopia. It is for travellers who will relish the chance to meet with local villagers to learn how they perform activities such as the famous coffee ceremony or to watch how they make the Ethiopian staple, injera, from the superfood grain ‘teff’, with it's weight loss and blood pressure benefits.
You will travel home with a piece of Ethiopia in your heart, having been welcomed by communities who are vibrant, warm and proud of their heritage and culture.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is only available for part of the trip.
We fully believe in, and practice Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. We put time and effort into building our relationship with them to ensure you have a a great trip.
We choose hotels based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel), and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Some hotels will be basic, and in modern buildings and or in towns. Wherever we can, we will choose smaller more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, this may not be available.
An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things which are exciting and memorable, and reflects the countries we are visiting.
This is adventure travel and on occasion the advertised services at a hotel (eg wifi, or hot showers!) may not be functional on our arrival. This tends to occur in the smaller, more remote hotels. Very rarely a hotel lets us down and we are required to find alternative suitable accommodation that might not be our first choice.
This trip involves primarily hotel accommodation (3 or 4*) in Addis, Lalibela & Axum, plus one nights supported camping under a giant sycamore in the Gheralta Mountains.
The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Addis Adaba (Day 1,2 & 14): Caravan Hotel Tel: +251 116612297. 3* city centre hotel with comfortable ensuite rooms, wifi & restaurant/bar. Shuttle service to Bole International airport.
Simien Mountains (Day 3 & 4): Simien Lodge, Nigist Towers, 2nd floor, Kazanchis Addis Ababa, Tel: +251 115524758. Traditional Tukel Lodge accommodation
Gondar (Day 5): Gondar Hills Tel: +251(0) 588113286 (Luxery mountain top hotel with ensuite rooms, restaurant/Bar, wifi, wellness centre & swimming pool)
Lalibela (Day 6 & 7): Sora Lodge. Mountain top, family run, lodge hotel with far reaching views, gardens. Ensuite rooms with verandas. Tel: +251 333 36 02 55 (Wifi & Pool)
Harar (Day 8 & 9): Ras Hotel. Tel: +251 256660027. Basic but friendly and clean locally run hotel with ensuite rooms and warm customer service.
Awash (Day 10): Awash Falls Lodge Tel: +251 228992222 Rustic African Lodge accommodation in fabulous surroundings within the National Park.
Hawassa (Day 11): Lewi Resort. Tel: +251 916313131 Comfortable resort hotel with many amenities including fitness centre, swimming pool, restaurant / bar, and Wifi
Bale Mountains (Day 12 & 13): Bale Mountain Lodge. Tel: +251 912790802. Boutique forest wilderness eco-lodge in magnificent surroundings. Simple, rustic and African style accommodation.
We enjoy a full range of accommodation on this 2 week adventure, from rustic African wilderness lodges, to the luxury of the newly completed Gondar Hills Resort. Please note that hotels generally do not have heat or air conditioning. As nights can be chilly, please bring appropriate sleepwear if needed.
In areas where malaria is a problem, hotel rooms come with mosquito nets.
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you throughout your holiday will be an experienced, approachable, knowledgeable and fluently English speaking professional guide from our local partner agency. They offer us qualified, experienced and excellently reviewed guides.
This ensures you have the right information and support on your trip, with your Ethiopian guide offering insight into local life, history and customs, as well as routes during walk etc. Should you have any concerns during your adventure, you will be able to contact our local partner agency direct, or come through to the UK YellowWood office.
Your group guide will be joined by additional tour guides in each area, including Tesafaye in Addis, Fikru in Lalibela and Ayuba in the Bale Mountains.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
Our thinking behind this itinerary is to offer you the opportunity to explore the cultural jewels of Ethiopia but whilst limiting the hiking element of the adventure. You are visiting a couple of mountainous areas in Central Ethiopia and so some of the gently paced, guided walking, will be on uneven terrain, and at altitude. There will be options to do shorter walks, or opt out of hiking if you wish, but all walks will be at a steady pace with frequent stops. You will not be required to carry anything except for your water and you will want your camera / binoculars! Guides will accompany the group.
To get the most of out of this adventure, you therefore need to be confident walking on rough paths, and be in good physical condition to take on short climbs at a very steady pace.
As with all active holidays, the fitter you are the more you can relax and enjoy the stunning route, and the better you can cope with challenges such as the outside elements, and unfamiliar terrain. Clients are therefore advised to get in as much regular walking before the trip as convenient.
NB: If you have bought new hiking boots for this adventure, this is the right time to wear them in, not on the trip itself.
Your YellowWood adventure starts at the airport in Addis Ababa. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be very daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool when searching for flights, such as skyscanner. Or www.momondo.co.uk. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
You will be needing to purchase national flights operated by Ethiopian Airlines for this adventure - see the section on Domestic Flights below.
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. As the situation in our destination countries can change, please do ensure you check regularly before your adventure. We also receive notifications direct from the FCDO so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa) has reassuringly tight security measures and for this reason they do not allow any non-passengers into the airport.
The Caravan Hotel, where we stay in Addis, has a shuttle service to/from the airport which is free to use should you wish to. The Caravan Hotel has a small booth inside the airport so all you need to do is head to the booth and tell them you are a hotel guest with YellowWood, and they will organise your shuttle transfer straight to the hotel (transfer of under 20 mins).
Should you, for any reason, prefer an independent transfer, then this can be arranged for you and the cost will be around £30 or $40.
Before you take your transfer however, you have a couple of jobs to do!
Toilets can be found in the arrivals lounge.
On arrival at the hotel, you should head to reception, who will be expecting you. You are welcome to settle into your room before choosing to rest or explore (depending on your arrival time.
You will be heading to a the cultural show this evening, as a group, and with your guide for a welcome dinner and a trip briefing, and we will let you know final details of where to meet your guide, the week before your adventure, when we have finalised the individual logistics.
Domestic flights are not included in the cost of the holiday as we are wanting to avoid any additional charges on top of the flight costs. All domestic flights are operated by Ethiopian Airlines (EA). Please note that Ethiopian Airlines offer a 50% discount on national flights if you have travelled with them for your international flight. We will provide you with further information on your Flight Information Sheet. The approximate total cost of flights for this adventure (without the 50% discount from EA) will be 28,000 ETB ($660 / £490)
This trip involves Internal flights as follows (not included):
Domestic flight baggage allowance is as follows:
For Domestic arrivals, again, we are not permitted inside the terminal so our rep will be outside in the car park.
Not sure which adventure is best for you? Dates or itinerary not quite fit?
+44 207 846 0197
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Select dates & add any extras or 'Add on' adventures. Complete our Booking Form
'Make Booking': You will be redirected to secure WorldPay to make your deposit (£200/$250/person) payment (receipted), if booking >56 days before your adventure or full payment if <56 days before your adventure. Your monies are held securely by the Travel Trust Association.
Your booking will show as 'pending' in your YellowWood online account.
Enter booking information for all guests in your party.
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to confirm your booking or discuss any availability limitations. Do not book transport/flights until we have emailed you to confirm your booking (receipt of your booking form is not confirmation). We will change the status of your final invoice from 'Pending Approval' to 'Outstanding', when it becomes payable online.
This payment is due 56 days before departure date (we send reminders).
Contact us with any questions about your adventure or booking.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
Complete our Enquiry Form; contact details, additional requirements (eg diet or health requirements) & questions you may have. Include as much information as you are able to, so we can help you with the detail you are looking for
Click on 'Send Enquiry' (receipted).
We will be in touch as soon as we are able, to answer your questions and help you plan your adventure.
+44 207 846 0197