Location of Adventure
Approximately 10 Travelers
A very important feature of our Ethiopian adventure is the limited group size, as nature encounters are best experienced away from crowds within the intimate setting of a small group.
- Trip price includes: Accommodations, services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leader(s), local guides and lodge staff, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on final day, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, all activities and entrance fees, all taxes, permits and service fees.
- Internal air cost includes: Scheduled and/or private charter flights within the itinerary.
Travel to and from the start and end point of your trip, alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees, optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry and internet, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes (if any), required medical evacuation insurance, optional travel protection insurance.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
Moderate to Difficult
This adventure is suited for fit, healthy guests who will not be limited by mobility restrictions or altitude. Travelers must be able to walk unassisted (without the use of walking aids) for a minimum of two miles at a steady pace over uneven terrain, including participating in hikes and walks lasting two to three hours at elevations between 10,000 and 14,500 feet above sea level--the lowest altitude on the trip is approximately 5,200 feet. We highly recommend arriving in Addis Ababa, which sits at 7,700 feet, at least one day early in order to acclimate to the elevation and be ready to participate in all activities.
Wildlife drives travel roads that are sometimes very rough with potentially dusty conditions. Participants should be prepared for some long and bumpy rides in 4x4 vehicles, which are not typically designed as well for rugged terrain as custom vehicles used for safaris in other areas of Africa. Those with back problems or other health issues that could be exacerbated by such circumstances should take this into consideration. Our longest drive is approximately five hours, but there are no organized toilet facilities on our more rural road journeys. We will still be able to make stops for guests who are comfortable using a private spot behind a bush. Guests must be able to climb into and out of 4x4 vehicles unaided. They must also be able to negotiate steep, uneven steps without handrails, especially in Lalibela. In Lalibela, some of the churches lie almost completely concealed within deep trenches, while others hide in the open mouths of quarried caves. Touring the churches involves easy climbing over rocks and maneuvering through a maze of tunnels. The trip also involves many very early morning starts and long, full days of activities with little downtime. Travelers with a sense of adventure and willingness to be flexible will get the most enjoyment out of this distinctive adventure.
Important Information About This Trip
This itinerary surveys the Ethiopian Highlands, often called the "Roof of Africa," comprising the largest continuous area at this altitude on the African continent. Rather than focusing primarily on Ethiopia's cultural history and popular festivals, as many trips do, we concentrate on its natural history and unique wildlife, exploring by vehicle and on foot during the country's dry season. Wildlife viewing happens at high altitudes, typically ranging between 7,000 and 15,000 feet, in habitats where endemic plant and animal species thrive. Most activities involve walking or light hiking to access scenery and key wildlife viewing areas. While not a typical African wildlife safari, our Ethiopia adventure offers frequent sightings of the rare and endangered Ethiopian wolf, photogenic gelada baboons, walia ibex, and other species not seen elsewhere, in the context of stunning scenery. Ethiopia's national parks tend to border farming areas and are generally closer to civilization than many other African nature reserves, but we have included a rare opportunity to visit Bale Mountains National Park, one of Ethiopia's largest unfragmented wilderness areas that is visited by very few tourists. We will also sample iconic cultural heritage sites such as the churches of Lalibela and the castles of Gondar.
Since the areas you will travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for this program. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat Adventures (NHA), we require that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage. Please note that we will add the cost of NHA's medical evacuation policy (currently $48 per person) to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, phone number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
To protect your investment and to provide peace of mind while you travel, we also strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance. Plans may cover everything from medical treatment to trip cancellations and delays and lost luggage. Please contact our office if you would like more information about the medical evacuation and comprehensive travel insurance policies we offer by calling 800-543-8917.
Getting There & Getting Home
Arrive in Addis Ababa by 4 pm on Day 1 in order to join your group for an orientation and welcome dinner beginning at 6:30 pm. You are free to depart Addis Ababa after 7 pm on the final day. We can best serve you if our Natural Habitat Adventures Travel Desk makes your reservations, as we are intimately familiar with the special requirements of this program and can arrange the most efficient travel. Please call us at 800-543-8917. Note that while we offer you the best possible rates available to us on airfare and additional nights' accommodations, you may find special web rates or better fares online.