You are invited to join AWF on a unique trip to the Horn of Africa! Designed only for our supporters, this tour will explore the best of Ethiopia’s wild places and cultural sites. Highlights include visiting Simien Mountains National Park to sit amongst enormous troops of gelada monkeys and traversing Bale Mountains National Park to see Africa’s most endangered large carnivore, the Ethiopian wolf. In addition to these outstanding landscapes, you will visit the World Heritage holy city of Lalibela, famous for its monolithic rock-hewn churches. You will also visit Bahir Dar, touring the vibrant monastery islands of Zégé and Kebran Gabriel.
Throughout the journey, you will be joined by some of AWF’s leading conservation experts, who will provide insight into the compelling conservation issues facing both the wildlife and people of Ethiopia. This trip is geared toward the traveler who has experienced Africa’s traditional safari destinations and is looking to enjoy more of Africa’s abundant bio and cultural diversity.
Arrive at Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa International Airport. You will be met at the terminal and privately transferred to the Sheraton Addis Hotel. Meet your AWF safari leader and review your adventure ahead.
After a leisurely morning, you will venture into the city to visit national sites, including the Holy Trinity Church and the National Museum. You’ll also visit a local market and enjoy a traditional coffee ceremony. There will be ample opportunities to shop and enjoy Ethiopian food on this first full day.
After breakfast in Addis, take a private charter flight to the southern town of Goba. From Goba, enjoy a scenic drive through the national park and ultimately arrive at Bale Mountain Lodge, one of AWF’s conservation enterprises. Bale Mountains National Park is a premiere destination for wildlife enthusiasts, hikers, bird watchers and cultural explorers. You will spend the next few days enjoying a mixture of activities, including: hiking the local hagenia forest and driving over the high plateau in search of the Ethiopian wolf. With fewer than 400 of these carnivores remaining, they are the most endangered carnivore in all of Africa.
After an early breakfast, return to Goba and take your private charter flight to the historic city of Gondar. After a brief city tour, overland in your vehicles to the breathtaking Simien Mountains National Park, often compared to the Grand Canyon on steroids. While in the area, your home will be AWF’s own Limalimo Lodge. The Simiens consist of precipitous cliffs and deep, canyon-style gorges. Besides taking hundreds, if not thousands of photos, you will spend days here looking for the critically endangered walia ibex. Most excitingly, you will have many opportunities to meander through enormous troops of gelada monkeys, certainly a highlight of this trip. Sometime groups of gelada can number in excess of 200 individuals, and you will be able to casually photograph them as you walk through the troop as one of their own. In addition to the spectacular wildlife, you will also visit an AWF conservation school, which provides access to primary education for the local children.
Departing from Gondar, you will arrive into Bahir Dar in time for a lunch on the shores of Lake Tana. In the afternoon, take a boat tour to visit the local monasteries of Lake Tana, taking in their vibrant colors and learning of their rich history.
On your final full day, you will take a private charter into Lalibela, home to one of the world’s most astounding sacred sites. Nearly a dozen churches, each carved entirely out of a single block of stone, continue to be in use today. Religious ritual is central to life in this town, where there are nearly 10,000 people—with more than 1,000 of them being priests. Enjoy lunch at Ben Abeba before flying onward to Addis.
After breakfast, the day is at your leisure before being transferred to the airport for your international flight home.
For more information or to reserve your spot, contact:
Craig Sholley, Safari Leader
Phone: +1 202 939 3339