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Home to some of Africa’s most striking mountain scenery, such as the rugged peaks of the Simien Mountains and the multicoloured landscapes of the Danakil Depression, not many countries can impress visitors the way Ethiopia does. Often an understated destination, holidays in Ethiopia offer natural beauty, diverse culture, soulful people, delicious cuisine, and indigenous wildlife.

With such an abundance of rugged terrain, Ethiopia beckons hiking and trekking enthusiasts. The Simien Mountains, also known as the Roof of Africa, is a UNESCO world heritage site with cliffs that tower over 1,500 meters. Home to the endemic wildlife such as the Simien Fox and the Ethiopian Wolf, the Simien Mountains offers a mystical world of bizarre plants and exotic creatures awaiting to be discovered by intrepid-explorers.

Travel back in time

Lake Tana is home to thirty-seven islands, twenty of which, shelter churches of significant historical and cultural interest. Take an exciting boat trip to see the island monasteries of Ura-KidaneMihret and Azwa-Mariam and admire treasures and paintings of biblical lore. The monasteries are located on Zeghe Peninsula where you can also see the wild coffee plantation thought to be planted by monks who used to live here. Fasil Ghebbi, a fortress-city within Gondar, is a must see. Founded in the 17th and 18th centuries by Emperor Fasilides (Fasil) this fortress lay home to Ethiopia's finest emperors. Its unique architecture shows diverse influences, including Nubian styles. You’ll also find the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with its gorgeously painted ceiling of angels, a particular highlight.

With so much to see and do in Ethiopia, it can be difficult to know where to start, so give our Destination Specialists a call today to organise an unforgettable tailor-made Ethiopia holiday.

Destination Highlights

  • Wander through the eerie and distinctive rock-cut churches of Lalibela, the 8th Wonder of the World
  • Visit World Heritage Sites such as the old fortress-city in Gondar, Fasil Ghebbi, or the ancient Kingdom of Axum
  • Sample some of the finest Coffee in the world with a tour around one of Ethiopia’s coffee plantations
  • Immerse yourself in the beauty of Ethiopia’s untouched nature and breathtaking landscapes at Simien Mountains National Park

Great sample itineraries


We’ve created an inspiring itinerary to Ethiopia that can be included in your Ethiopia holiday package. Almost anything is possible so please give us a call to discuss all your options.

Atlas Mountains

Lalibela Tour From Addis Ababa

  • 9 Days
  • Guide Price £4,399 PP
From the medieval city of Lalibela to the peaks of the Simien Mountains, our Discover Ethiopia tour takes you on...
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Escorted tours holidays
a view of a canyon with Mafate in the background

Ethiopia Wildlife Tour

  • 5 Days
  • Guide Price £2,899 PP
Spend five days exploring the fascinating landscape and endemic species of Bale Mountain National Park on this five-day Ethiopia Wildlife...
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Safari holidays

Explore Ethiopia

Time Zone

Ethiopia Standard Time is 3 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time ( GMT+3 )

Flight Time

Flights to Addis Ababa are under 8 hours

Currency

Ethiopian Birr (ETB)

Visa Information

British citizens require visas for Ethiopia. Check the FCO for the latest information.

Language

Amharic is the official national language. English, Arabic, Italian and French are widely spoken.

Health Info

Always consult your doctor before travelling abroad.

Best time to visit Ethiopia

Generally the best time to visit is in the dry season between October and June. Rain tends to stop in early October, leaving the highlands lush, green and perfect for sightseeing tours. Morning and night can get a little chilly due to Ethiopia's elevation, so be sure to bring a sweater regardless of seasons.

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Christie, Destination Executive

“Considered by many as one of the most spectacular falls in Africa, the Blue Nile Falls is a must see while on holiday in Ethiopia. When in full flood the falls are quite impressive at 400 m wide and 45 m high. The falls are still an interesting site with some nice bird watching on the easy 30-min walk to the viewpoint.”

Christie
Destination Executive
a person wearing glasses

“Extend your holiday to the Rift Valley and Bale Mountains to see some of Ethiopia's unique wildlife including the Abyssinian Wolves and Mountain Nyala.”

Sue
Customer Experience Executive

Events & Festivals

Ethiopia offers a wide variety of fun events held throughout the year that can be enjoyed by everyone. Here are a few of our top suggestions.

Timkat Feast

Timkat is the Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of Epiphany. It is celebrated on January 19th, corresponding to the 10th day of Terr in the Ethiopian calendar. Timkat celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River. This festival is best known for its ritual reenactment of baptism. 

Local Cuisine

Ethiopian food is both distinctive and delicious, and yet remains one of the world's best-kept secrets. Be ready to get messy fingers as the vast majority of Ethiopian meals are eaten without cutlery and contain the country’s most popular food injera, which is a spongy sourdough flatbread that serves as a “spoon” for lentil, beans, meat, and vegetable sauces piled on top.

Injera

Injera is a sourdough-risen flatbread with a slightly spongy texture, originating from Eritrea and Ethiopia. Traditionally made out of teff flour, it is the national dish of Ethiopia and Eritrea.

Beyainatu

The name of this popular vegetarian dish translates to "a bit of every type” - this dish arrives with an injera blanketed in piles of tasty and colorful vegetables, potatoes, curries, lentil stews and more, creating a melting pot of colors and tastes.

Kitfo

Similar to French steak tartare, Kitfo consists of meat minced and warmed in a pan with a little butter, mitmita and sometimes thyme.

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