Luxury Holidays in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the most fascinating countries on the African continent. It is an intriguing mixture of culture, religion, peoples and landscapes - what more could you want from an intrepid African adventure?

Image of Ra D'Arcy Clark
Image of Amelia Stewart

Amelia and Ra are here to help give you the inside track.

Why we think you’ll love it

  • The diversity - the north is all about history and culture, whilst the south is all about tribes and landscapes. Combine the two and you're onto a winner
  • The Tigrayan highlands in the north east of the country boast a spectacular landscape, as well as colourful endemic bird species and rare wildlife, including the black maned lion
  • Ethiopians love to celebrate, dance and sing, so be sure to travel over a festival period for the ultimate Ethiopian experience - the people are happy, smiling, and some of the most beautiful you'll ever see

Ethiopia Holidays: The Detail

Ethiopia is a country of contrasting landscapes and an absorbing cultural heritage. Northern Ethiopia is a treasure trove of historical capitals where religious customs from the Middle Ages continue to thrive - the Queen of Sheba's Axum, Lalibela with its 13th century rock-hewn churches, and Gondar, capital in the 17th and 18th centuries. Here too is Lake Tana, home for hundreds of years to several island monasteries and also the source of the Blue Nile, which makes its way over the nearby Tissisat Falls and all the way to the White Nile at Khartoum.

Did you know

  • More than 70% of Africa's Mountains are found in Ethiopia
  • 84 languages are spoken in Ethiopia
  • It is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites - more than any other African country
  • Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia
  • The Ethiopian national dish is called 'wat' and is a hot, spicy stew served with injera (a large spongy pancake)

The Original Travel team has extensive travel experience of the country and can arrange guided treks into the habitat of the gelada baboon in the Simien Mountains (nicknamed God's chess set for their weather eroded shapes), or through the Bale Mountains to the south, home to the endangered Ethiopian wolf.

South of Addis Ababa, the Rift Valley is punctuated with a series of lakes (many bordered pink with thousands of flamingos), and descends to Kenya via the territories of tribes whose way of life has not changed for centuries.

Ethiopia is home to some of the most spectacular, beguiling and beautiful landscapes in the world - and many of them are considered sacred.


Top picks for Ethiopia

Simien Mountain Lodge

Simien Mountain Lodge

Simien Mountains

Acclaimed as the highest hotel in Africa, Simien Mountain Lodge has 20 en-suite bedrooms and is situated on the edge of the Simien National Park.

Where to stay

Gelada Baboon in the Siemen Mountains

Simien Mountains

Ethiopia

Once described as the ‘chess pieces of the Gods’, the towering spires, volcanic pinnacles, huge gorges and gullies and vast rock formations of the Simien Mountains in Ethiopia’s northern highlands form part of one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain ranges.

Where to go

Bale Mountain Lodge

Bale Mountain Lodge

Southern Ethiopia

Bale Mountain Lodge is an Eco-lodge well, well off the beaten track, in the heart of central Ethiopia in the Bale Mountain National Park.

Where to stay

Ethiopian Festivals

Ethiopian Festivals

Ethiopia

Enkutatash, Ledet, Meskel, Timkat, Hidar Tsion, Faskia, Debra Damo… the list of Ethiopian festivals is endless, so plan your trip to coincide with one of the many vibrant and colourful celebrations and experience this wonderfully hospitable country.

What to do

South Hamer People in Ethiopia

Southern Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Bale Mountains Nation Park (Bale is pronounced ‘bali’) is often over-looked in favour of the Simien Mountains in the north, but a new lodge means this beautiful region – home to 60% of the world’s rarest carnivore, the Ethiopian wolf - is now firmly on the map.

Where to go

North Fasilades Bath Gonder in Ethiopia

Historic Northern Ethiopia

Ethiopia

Northern Ethiopia is a treasure trove of historical capitals where religious customs from the Middle Ages continue to thrive in the Queen of Sheba's Axum, Lalibela with its 13th century rock-hewn churches, and Gondar, capital in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Where to go

The whole time no-one was anything but happy

Hilary

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