Ethiopia Hiking Tours
Join us for a Hiking Tour in Ethiopia!
November 6th - 18th, 2022
November 5th - 17th, 2023
Registration: OPEN (Max 16 participants)
(This itinerary is designed for group travel, but may be modified for private groups. Please contact us if you want to arrange for separate dates for your private group)
Arrive-Depart Addis (airport designation ADD).
Travel: This is a 14-day (14 nights inclusive) hiking tour in Ethiopia, focused on the northern highland regions where we will visit national parks and UNESCO heritage sites. Travel is overland, combined with 4 domestic flights.
Visas: obtained online ($52 for US passport holders)
Group Size: maximum 14 guests (only a deposit secures a place in this small-group tour)
Tour Leaders: Christian Sefrin, plus local guides, drivers, scouts, and porters
Contact us for the invitational tour brochure and registration form. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submit registration form
Send deposit of $1000 to secure your place (details in registration form)
Accommodation will be in the best available hotels and lodges. Ethiopia is not renowned for its accommodation, but we will stay in comfortable 3-star hotels and lodges with ensuite facilities. The locations include Addis, Gondar, Simien national park, Lalibela, Gheralta. Request brochure for details.
Travel will be overland only locally around cities. Otherwise we travel by short domestic flights between regional centers.
See brochure for details including domestic flights, single supplements, and extension tours
Gold: 5% discount
Silver: 5% discount
Add a 3-day extension trip to the medieval Islamic city of Harar! Details in the brochure.
Add a 5-day extension trip to the federation of indigenous people's region in southern Ethiopia! Details in the brochure.
Accommodation in high quality best-available boutique hotels specially vetted for comfort and location
All ground transportation including airport transfers
All meals with wine/beer as noted in itinerary
Entertainment (traditional singers)
Water on the bus, snacks (we pamper our guests!)
Tips for primary guides and driver
Personal services (laundry)
Standard: 8/10 on the mobility scale (10 being the most demanding).
This tour is organized for people of reasonable fitness level to be able to accomplish all hikes. A typical hike is 3-4 hours round trip (though a couple will be 6 hours round trip), with frequent stops, with support vehicles not far away and easier alternatives for those that do not feel up for the longer walk.
Participants should feel comfortable walking 5-6 miles in a day, and going up/down 1500 feet. The hikes on this itinerary are relatively flat, but altitude will be a factor: we will be above 7,000 feet for the duration of the tour, with most of the hikes happening between 7,500-9,000 feet altitude. Since we are this altitude for the whole trip, it will not feel too extreme as we allow several days after arrival before attempting any serious walking. In the Simien national park, the optional walks are at higher elevations (see brochure for details).
All hikes are described in detail in the brochure.
Flagship itinerary, most popular destinations
This will be dry season, expect lots of sunshine
Best available hotels
Lots of arts and music on this itinerary
Plenty of walks. Optional vigorous walks.
We will expect dry season weather. Lots of sunshine! The mountains will be green after the summer rainy season has drenched the land. In general, prepare for temperatures between 65-85F, dropping to 60F at night. In the Simien National Park, where we spend three nights, the temperatures will be similar during the day time but drop to 40F at night because of the altitude.
Tour Videos (Ethiopia hiking trips)
Our tour begins and ends in Addis, the thriving cultural and business capital city of Ethiopia. During our brief time in Addis, we will tour two fascinating museums and visit one of the sprawling marketplaces where the commerce of the city is conducted.
Ethiopia Wildlife videos
+ Addis, the capital city of Ethiopia, is a 20th century city situated in the center of the country at an altitude of 7,700 feet. In addition to being home to some four million Ethiopians, it is the headquarters for the African National Assembly and many international organizations working in the African continent. Our visit here will focus on two of the more important museums, as well as one of the large marketplaces.
+ Gondar is an ancient city with both a Jewish and Christian heritage. It became an important capital city in the early 1600s, when Christian kings forced out of their northeastern provinces by Ottoman-backed Muslim invaders established their residency in Gondar. To this day, the center of the city is dominated by an impressive array of medieval-looking fortresses.
Simien National Park
+ We will spend three days hiking in the Simien National Park, dubbed the "Roof of Africa" because of its peaks that rise to almost 15,000 feet. Here we will marvel at the spectacular views as the land drops away to the north several thousand feet over the 'escarpment.' On our walk in the region, we will look to find the "red-hearted" Gelada monkeys, ibex, and the Ethiopian wolf which can sometimes be spotted with binoculars.
+ One of the Christian kings declared Lalibela a "new Jerusalem" in the 10th century, and proceeded to sponsor increasingly ambitious construction projects building a series of magnificent churches that are now UNESCO heritage sights. Only, these churches are not built above ground, but dug straight down into the sandstone bedrock. Our visit will coincide with the largest celebration of the year, Nativity ("Genna"), which is celebrated on January 7th. There we will intermingle with thousands of white-clad pilgrims who have traveled from far and wide to witness the important dawn celebration at the iconic Church of St. George. We will explore the UNESCO sites, and spend a full day hiking the high ridge-lines above Lalibela, offering spectacular views in all directions.
+ This region of rolling hills is on the rim of the Great African Rift Valley. The predominant agricultural is coffee cultivation, which means lots of shade forests! There are many lakes and national parks in the region, with abundant wildlife.
+ Further south, we enter the lush sub-tropical region of Arba Minch in order to visit the wildlife refuge at Lake Chamo. We will also spend an afternoon with the Dorze tribe interacting with their local guides, learning about their traditional architecture, cuisine, song, dance, and famous loom textile art.