ITINERARY Departure Day: Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum
The Bale Mountains of south-central Ethiopia support the most extensive area of Afro alpine and sub alpine Ericaceous vegetation in Africa. They have the highest rate of animal endemicity of any terrestrial habitat in the world, which was the principal reason for the creation of the Bale Mountains National Park in 1970.This trek starts and ends at the head quarter of the park at Dinsho. Book this trip to enjoy the stunning scenery, the endemic mammals and birds of Ethiopia. Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa, city tour of Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Ambassador Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight Ambassador Hotel Day 2: Bale Mountains - Dinsho Lodge
After breakfast, we start a full day's drive to the Bale Mt. National Park, traveling thorough the southeast part of the capital, where fertile land is cultivated by the Oromo people. We arrive at Dinsho, Park head quarter, in the afternoon, in time for a walk around to see three of the endemic mammals: Menelik's Bushbuck, and Mountain Nyala. And birds Blue-winged goose, Spot-breasted lapwing, Abyssinian long claw, Wattled ibis, Black-headed siskin, Rouget’s rail, and of course other species, too. Overnight at Dinsho Lodge Day 3: In Dinsho and Geysay Valley
The whole day visit around Dinsho and Geysay Valley. In time hike to see three of the endemic mammals: Menelik's Bushbuck, Mountain Nyala and Ethiopian wolf. The rest of the day arranges the trekking staff. Overnight Dinsho lodge Day 4: Mararo
Accompanied by your guide and packhorses we trek 5-6 hrs through the lush highland vegetation to our first campsite, Mararo. The air here is clean and crisp and the scenery utterly stunning. En route you will see a number of birds like Wattled ibis*, Rouget’s rail*, black-winged lovebird*, thick-billed raven*, white-collared pigeon*, Abyssinian long claw*, Abyssinian catbird*, white-backed black tit*, black-headed forest oriole*, black kite, augur-buzzard and lammergeyer. Overnight Camping at Mararo Day 5: Wasema Valley
After breakfast we resume trek that will last for about 7- 8 hrs. The trek offers the chance to see Ethiopia's endemic Abyssinian Wolf. Around Worgona mineral spring, Giant Mole rat can easily be seen. Overnight camping at Wasema Valley. Day 6: Gebre Guracha
Today you trek through the highlands ascending Senate Plateau and crossing Batu Mountain, 4200 meters. Here you have a great opportunity t see Ethiopian wolf*. You will also see a number of birds of pray such as Lammergeyer, Vereaux’s eagle and harrier hawk. Overnight camping at the base of the valley, viewing Lake Gebre Guracha Day 7: Little Batu
Today you trek towards little Batu Mountain, this trek is the day you face back to the head quarter of Bale Mountains. The trek will take for about 6- 7 hrs. Overnight camping at the base of Little Batu Mountain. Day 8: Dinsho Loge
After breakfast trek to Dinsho Loge. This last trekking day will take for about 5 - 6 hrs. Overnight Dinsho lodge. Day 9: Drive back to Addis evening Departure:
Drive back to Addis Ababa with stops on the way at rift valley Lakes. Evening a fare well dinner party in one of the traditional Ethiopian restaurant with dances from different ethnic groups. Then transfer to The Airport for your flight back home. Price displayed is per person based on 2 persons traveling Price includes:
• Meet and greet at airport
• All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
• Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
• Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
• All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
• All transfers and visits according to the itinerary.
• All Ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver.
• Professional English speaking Tour Guide accompanying through out the trip.
• Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
• Camping gears; tents, mattresses, sleeping bags and cooking utensils for camping.
• Cook who prepare meals while camping
• All mule and muleteer expenses
• Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
• A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
• Government taxes Price doesn’t include
• International flights
• Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
• Alcoholic drinks
• Video filming and photography fees
• Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
• Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
• All what is not included in the list above
Gisele and Michel - from Canada
It has been too long since we wrote you to tell you how much we enjoyed our three weeks in Ethiopia last April, and how we appreciate how you contributed to the quality of our entire holiday. The Africa Guide informed and advised us, and assisted in the e-mail exchanges with Abebe when communications were poor. Abebe was most flexible in setting out the itinerary, to accommodate all our concerns and preferences. And Dawood was the perfect guide – infinitely patient, always friendly and helpful, and most knowledgeable about Ethiopian history, architecture, culture and natural wonders. The drivers, especially Yessu, who was with us most, were all excellent, as were the vehicles. Accommodation varied from reasonable to excellent (we mentioned certain minor weaknesses to Dawood and Abebe as we went along, mostly, in our opinion, due to insufficient attention to service and training of staff on the part of managers/owners).
Ethiopa is like no other country we have lived in or visited – and between us, my husband and I have covered over half the countries of Africa over our years working in cooperation for development. And yet, Ethiopia boasts the oldest known human beings, the source of the Blue Nile, the beginning of the Great Rift Valley, as well as some of the most fascinating historical and architectural monuments and diverse cultures, landscapes, vegetation and birdlife. The visits to the villages of Dorze and Konso in the South afforded us a small insight into the traditiional culture of that area and how people are adapting to change. We were amazed and enchanted by the number of birds we saw, and excited – albeit a bit alarmed—by our boat trip among the hippopotami and crocodiles on Lake Chamo. The National Museum, particularly the section on archaeology and pre-history, is a jewel in Addis Abeba. The various markets, churches and small museums we visited all contributed to give us a better feel for the country and its people. And my husband remembers his evening listening to jazz with Yessu as one of the highlights of his trip.
Overall, a memorable trip, and our congratulations, thanks and best wishes to everyone who contributed to making it unforgettable.
Cilla dÉlbee - from Zambia
)ur Timkat tour was wonderful. Our dedicated driver, Abdi, and guide, Measho, took very good care of us throughout our 14-day excursion and their combined knowledge of their country and customs (Abdi is a Moslem and Measho is an Orthodox Christian) gave us a fascinating insight to ancient and modern Ethiopia. Mr. Abebe was reachable by cell phone throughout our trip and dealt swiftly and efficiently with the few glitches we encountered en route. We felt throughout that we were in safe hands.
Our overall impression of Ethiopia is that it is a very old country and very rich in culture and history. This was why we chose to travel there in the first place and we were not disappointed! We were also amazed by the beauty of the landscape – always dramatic! – and we often wondered why the “outside world” knows so little about this country and still only associates it with famine, deserts and war. The Ethiopian government and the nascent tourism industry need to do more together to promote the more positive aspects of Ethiopia via the international media. The road network in Ethiopia is being almost entirely rebuilt by the Chinese. This is a good thing as many of the roads are in a poor state of repair and for an itinerary like ours – which took us some 2000 kms around the country – can be a bit bone-shaking... Some of the hotels we stayed in need to improve their housekeeping and service standards – that is if they sincerely wish to attract upmarket, international tourists. One gets the impression that many of the hotels in Ethiopia are/were para-statal operations – poorly managed and maintained. Some have now apparently been bought over by private investors who, one hopes will inject new ideas, new standards of service and a better attitude towards customers along with new capital investment and facilities. By far the nicest hotel we stayed in en route was The Tukul in Lalibela which combines local architecture with overseas know-how – a winning combination!
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Glen Miller - from Canada
What a great trip we had! . I was very pleased with the services provided. I had many questions for Abebe, and we had many emails back and forth before we arrived. Abebe answered our questions quickly and clearly.
We toured the northern part of Ethiopia, including Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum, and the southern part of Ethiopia including visits to the Arba Minch, Jinka, Turmi and Yabello. The sites we saw and the people we met were amazing.
Ethiopia is one of the most interesting countries we have visited, and we have done quite a bit of travelling over the years. Abebe and his guides and drivers were all very good at identifying the birds of Ethiopia as well, and they turned me into an avid birdwatcher!
In all our touring, Abebe ensured that we were well looked after. Our hotels were all very comfortable, our guides were very knowledgeable and fun to travel with, and our drivers drove carefully and safely. We became fans of the national dish, injera, and of course we love buna, Ethiopian coffee. We were also happy to discover that Ethiopia has delicious pasta as well!
We were 110% satisfied with our tour, and would recommend Ethiopia and this operator for anyone interested in African travel.