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Join in a very diverse tour that will take you from Addis Ababa to the Rift Valley lakes of Ethiopia, passing through and visiting the famous Chebera Churchura National Park, the Bale Mountains National Park and many other wild nature places.
You will overnight in various accommodations along the way, as follows:
Welcome to Ethiopia! You will be met upon arrival and transferred to your hotel. Refresh and begin your sightseeing of Addis with a drive up to mount Entoto for a panoramic view of Addis. Descend down and drive to the National Museum where you will have a chance to spot the oldest hominids of ‘Lucy’ fossil. Visit and proceed to the Holy Trinity built during the WWII. Then proceed to the Ethnographic Museum, which used to be the palace of Emperor Hailesellase. To wrap up you drive to merkato, the biggest market in East Africa.
Depart Addis Ababa in the morning via either the Addis-Jima- Ameya road or Addis-Shashemene-Sodo-Waka-Tocha, and have your lunch on your way. You will arrive in Chebera Churchura National Park in the late afternoon. Enjoy the scenery of the park from the park headquarters and the campsites where you will stay overnight.
Morning expedition to the national park where you will walk to the two sites namely Meka and Erka Forests. Here the mammals that inhabit the area are the African elephant, hippopotamus, Cape buffalo, lion, leopard, and birding watching activities are also common. You will be back for lunch and after a break, you will go walk to the hot springs and the waterfall. The schedule also includes a small lake visit for birding and to other interesting birding sites. You will stay overnight in the camp.
In the morning, you will depart to the other part of the park namely heading to Borbo Falls and Bulo Lake. Activities include seeing different animals and birds. Then you will have a lunch break. On the afternoon, you will continue to the other sites, visitors can explore 80 kilometers rough dry weather road crossing the western sides of the park and see the entire park or it is also possible to trek inside the park following the footpaths available. Overnight will be in the camp.
You will have a morning drive to Maze National Park. Explore the wildlife and the landscape features of the area. Maze is notably known for the endangered Swayne’s hartebeest. Overnight will be in Bekele Mola Hotel.
Drive to Arba Minch. Visit the Rift Valley lakes area, namely lake Chamo and the crocodile farm. You will also visit the Dorze village to witness their traditions. Overnight stay will be at Paradise Lodge.
After breakfast you will start heading to Awassa. Visit Lake Awassa and the colorful Fish Market. The bird life on the lakeshore is amazing. Overnight will be at Haile Resort.
You will drive from Awassa to Bale Mountains National Park. In the afternoon, you will visit the Gezzay area and the park headquarters Dinsho. There you will be able to see a number of Ethiopian endemic mammals and birds. You will stay overnight in Bale Mountains Lodge or Wabi Shebelle Hotel.
You will have a morning drive for full day excursion at the Sanetti Plateau fauna and flora. The endemic Ethiopian wolf is the target of the day, bird life, and amazing landscape including the second highest mountain in Ethiopia, Mount Tulu Dimtu. Overnight will be in Hotel Bale Mountains Lodge or Wabi Shebelle Hotel.
Drive to Langano through the Rift Valley lakes. You will be watching aquatic birds and hot springs there. Overnight will be at Sabana Beach Resort.
There will be a morning drive and visit the Lake Ziway on the way to Addis Ababa. You will have a cultural dinner party before your departure.
Ethiopia is an ancient country whose unique cultural heritage, rich history, and remarkable biodiversity are reflected in a tally of nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites - more than any other country in Africa. Within its borders, you'll find the world's fourth-holiest Islamic city, along with the oldest continuously-occupied town south of the Sahara. Compelling antiquities include the mediaeval rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and Gheralta, ruined palaces and temples dating back 3,000 years, the magnificent 17th century castles of Gondar, and the oldest human fossils unearthed anywhere on the planet. Add to this the beautiful Simien and Bale Mountains, the spectacular volcanic landscapes of the Danakil Depression, and a wealth of mammals and birds found nowhere else in the world, and it's little wonder that Ethiopia has become the most attractive and popular emergent tourist destination in Africa.
Ethiopia’s fascinating and enigmatic recorded history stretches back 3,000 years to the reign of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Ethiopia's rich biodiversity is reflected in a varied flora and fauna embracing more than 50 endemic species of mammals and birds, ranging from the iconic Ethiopian wolf to the spectacular Raspoli’s turaco.
A stable and peaceful democracy since 1994, Ethiopia of today is a federal state whose progressive economic policies are reflected in a post-millennial average annual growth rate of around 10 percent.
A unique musical heritage and cuisine, together with an ancient coffee culture and thriving arts and crafts scene, ensure that the Ethiopian lifestyle has much to offer curious visitors.
Chebera Churchura National Park is located in Konta Woreda, Dawro Zone. It is 480 kilometers south of Addis on the Addis - Jimma -Chida - Ameya road. It has a total area of 11,900 hectares and elevations range from 500 - 2000 meters. This park used to be part of the Kulo Konta Controlled Hunting Area specifically set to hunt elephants. The decline of elephants in Africa and the need to conserve a representative area where this species could be protected in Ethiopia is a leading objective for its establishment. This park is one of the relatively untouched, recently discovered and rich wilderness areas but the list visited and known park in the country.
The park comprises unique and attractive mountain closed forest, closed tall-grassed savannah habitat, thick woodland forest. The landscape very fascinating highly rugged, undulating to rolling plains there a number of hilly and mountainous land which the whole year covered by vegetations. You can find here a number of cold and hot springs, historical caves, the Meka Forest (which is always inhabited by African elephants). The park is the best site to see the African elephants, and buffalos.
Ethiopia has a unique cuisine, one that will appeal particularly to vegans and those with a taste for spice, but tourist-orientated hotels also serve a varied selection of international dishes catering to less adventurous palates.
The main Ethiopia staple is injera, a type of foam-textured pancake that comes in three different cultured varieties: white, brown, and red. The dough for injera is fermented for three days before it is cooked, hence the texture and a slightly sour taste.
The best injera is made with tef, a nutritious fiber-rich gluten-free germ that comprises 15% protein, and contains many times more calcium and iron than other grains. Unique to Ethiopia, tef is also the only grain to contain symbiotic yeast, which means that no other yeast needs to be added to prepare injera.
A variety of different stew-like sauces are eaten with injera. These include tibs (spicy fried meat mixed with onions and peppers), shiro (spicy puréed chickpeas) and kai wot (a hot stew usually made with fish, beef, goat, or chicken meat).
It is customary to eat with your hands in Ethiopia, and for a party of diners to eat from the same plate, tearing off pieces of injera and using them to scoop up the accompaniment.
Vegans are well catered for in Ethiopia, since the Orthodox Church recognises around 200 fasting days, when it is forbidden to eat any food containing animal products. Wednesday and Friday are always fasting days, as are the 40 days of Ethiopian Lent (most of March and April) and various other religious holidays. A common dish on fasting days is a kind of vegetable buffet called atkilt bayinetu, which comprises dollops of several vegan dishes placed on a plate of injera.
Bread - known locally as dabo - can usually be served in place of injera. Another popular staple, especially in the south, is enset (false banana). Most restaurants catering to tourists will also serve as selection of international dishes, known locally as ‘faranji food’.
Popular drinks include locally brewed beer called tella and a kind of honey wine know as tej. Several varieties of chilled lager-type bottled beer are also available, while red and white Rift Valley Wine is produced by the French-owned Castel Winery in Ziway. Locally bottled Ambo sparkling mineral water is available almost everywhere, along with several brands of still water.
Addis Ababa has several wonderful cultural restaurants where a wide range of Ethiopian specialties is served in traditional tukul-style buildings, accompanied by colorful traditional music and dance.
The origin and history of coffee dates back to the 10th century, and possibly earlier with a number of reports and legends surrounding its first use. The native (undomesticated) origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia. Ethiopia, is the original home of the coffee (Arabica) plant. Kaffa, the province in the south-western highlands where they first blossomed, gave its name to coffee. The formal cultivation and use of coffee as a beverage began early in the 9th century. Prior to that, coffee trees grew wild in the forests of Kaffa. According to Ethiopia’s ancient history, an Abyssinian goatherd, Kaldi, who lived around 850 AD, discovered coffee. He observed his goats prancing excitedly and bleating loudly after chewing the bright red berries that grew on some green bushes nearby. Kaldi tried a few berries himself, and soon felt a sense of elation. He filled his pockets with the berries and ran home to announce his discovery. At his wife’s suggestion, he took the berries to the monks in the monastery near Lake Tana, at the source of the Blue Nile River.
A lively culture of traditional hand-worked craftsmanship and a plethora of markets all over the country make Ethiopia a wonderful destination for connoisseurs of high quality traditional hand woven cloths and other handicrafts.
Ethiopia is renowned for its traditional crosses, which are usually made from wood, silver or other metals. Small crosses are worn as necklaces by individual Orthodox Christians, while larger ones are used for ceremonial purposes. Hundreds of designs are available, with different styles being associated with the main northern centres of Aksum, Lalibela, or Gondar.
Locally woven white or off-white cotton cloths are typical of highland Ethiopia. The shama is the ubiquitous cloth of the male, wrapped around the heads and shoulders on cold mornings, while women use a more elaborate version with a colorful border to make dresses. The country’s finest weavers are the Dorze, who live in the highlands above Arba Minch, but their produce can also be bought at Addis Ababa’s Shiro Meda market.
Hand woven items such as scarves, shawls, table clothes and cotton towels designed for the export market can also be bought directly from some specialized workshops in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia is also recognised for its leather products and it is possible to find a range of good quality leather jackets and bags.
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