Adventure Associates

Ethiopia ancient north is a journey of discovery to the lands once traversed by caravans of the Queen of Sheba. Few nations, if any, can boast the historic splendour of Ethiopia. From its rock-hewn churches, still places of living worship, to the ancient historical traditions and magnificent cultures.

Ethiopia, is a nation of surprises, full of diversity and contrast, from the ancient to the modern. Legend has it that Emperor Menelik I, the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Aksum, where he settled and established one of the world’s longest known, uninterrupted monarchical dynasties

Our journey is one of ease and comfort and full of fascinating cultural legacies. It is a tour offering superb value and over and above the extensive sightseeing programme, we have included virtually all meals, leaving little additional expenditure throughout the tour. Your camera will capture images never to be forgotten.

***Due to the uncertainty of the past conflict that happened in the Northern Tigary region during the pandemic we decided for the safety of our guests to modify the itinerary and not visit this Tigary region of Gheralta and Aksum in 2024.

  • Discovering all the clusters of  rock-hewn churches in and around Lalibela 
  • Sitting in the breathtaking Simien Mountains surrounded by Gelada (bleeding heart baboons)
  • Walking the grounds of Gondors ancient castles
  • Admiring the monasteries of Lake Tana and The Blue Nile Falls


24 September 2024 to 6 October 2024

24 September 2025 to 6 October 2025

DURATION 13 days/12 nights
PRICES per person

Seize the day and save US$750 on our captivating 2024 departure if you book before 30 June 2024 (only applies to new bookings)

US$6,240 twin share rate  //  Now US$5,490

US$7,080 single rate  // Now US$6,330

GROUP SIZE 4 to 12 Guests
Adventure Associates Escort
local English speaking guide
All Accommodation
Meals as specified
Transfers, sightseeing, boat trips, domestic flights and touring as indicated
Bottled water
Entrance fees sightseeing tours/park entry fees
All currently applicable service charges and taxes
Guides & Drivers gratuities/tips
International air-tickets and taxes
Excess baggage on any flight
Vaccination costs
Passport or Visa fees
Travel Insurance
Personal items, drinks and laundry
Any other meals or sightseeing not specified in the detailed itinerary

Additional information


Day 1

Join Addis Ababa (altitude 2355m)

On arrival in Addis Ababa you will be met at the airport by a representative of Adventure Associates and transferred to the group hotel. You will spend the day in Addis Ababa and experience an authentic Ethiopian cooking class and coffee ceremony. L,D


Day 2

Addis Ababa

Today we experience a city tour of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling capital in the highlands is the country’s commercial and cultural hub. Its National Museum exhibits Ethiopian art, traditional crafts and fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid, ‘Lucy’. We also visit the burial place of the 20th-century emperor Haile Selassie and the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, a neo-baroque architectural landmark. After lunch we will visit Fistula Hospital. B,L,D

Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital (also known as “Hamlin Fistula Hospital“) and its regional Hamlin Fistula Centres provide comprehensive care for women who suffer from incontinence, physical impairment, shame and marginalisation as a result of an obstetric fistula. The hospital was created by the Australian obstetrician and gynaecologists Catherine Hamlin and her husband Reginald Hamlin to care for women with childbirth injuries and has been in operation since 1974.



Day 3

Addis Ababa – Lalibela

In the morning we will take a flight to Lalibela. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, and a centre of pilgrimage.
The population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. Ethiopia was one of the earliest nations to adopt Christianity in the first half of the fourth century, and its historical roots date to the time of the Apostles. The churches themselves date from the seventh to thirteenth centuries, and are traditionally dated to the reign of the Zagwe dynasty King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela. We plan to visit the Southern cluster of the rock-hewn churches – Lalibela was the 3rd capital city of Ethiopia from 11th to 13th century and it was during this period that King Lalibela excavated the magnificent rock-hewn churches an official 8th Wonder of the World. B,L,D


Day 4

Lalibela – Yemrehanne Kirstos Monastery

Following breakfast we visit the northern cluster of rock churches, here we find the famous church of Saint George. After lunch, we drive through the picturesque Lasta Mountains to the monastery of Yemrehanne Kirstos. This ‘cave church’ predates the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, and is one of the most beautiful and colourful of its kind. Built from marble and wood, it is beautifully decorated both inside and out with remarkable architectural skill. The cave also contains many mummified bodies of pilgrims from centuries past. B,L,D



Day 5

Lalibela – Gondar – Debark (2950m)

Today we fly to Gondar and continue driving to Debark, the head quarter to the Simien Mountains National Park and where we will spend the next 3 nights at Lima Limo Lodge. B,L,D



Days 6-7

Simien Mountains (highest peak 4550m)

During these two days we spend our time exploring and viewing the endemic fauna and flora of the Simien Mountains National Park at over 3200 metres. The Simien Mountains National Park is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site with exceptional mountainous scenery. It is here that the Gelada Baboon (bleeding heart Baboon) is found. B,L,D



Day 8

Debark – Gondar (2133m)

Today we drive back to Gondar through the beautiful countryside. Before we get to Gondar, we will stop at Ploushare Women’s Craft Centre where single mothers practice pottery, weaving and other textiles. We will then have our lunch at the famous Four Sisters restaurant before checking into our Lodging. B,L,D


Day 9


Today will be spent visiting the castle compound of Fasil Ghebbi UNESCO World Heritage Sites and Debre Birhan Sellassie church (Light of the Trinity) with its 16th century paintings and frescoes. Gondar was the first capital city of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632 with the reign of King Fasilledes. In Gondar there are dozens of castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Our time in Gondar includes visits to the palaces, residences and open-air baths of King Fusillades. B,L,D


Day 10

Gondar – Bahir Dar

Today we drive to Bahir Dar. Along the way we will stop at the Bezawit Palace area for vast views of the Blue Nile River and Lake Tana. B,L,D


Day 11

Bahir Dar – Blue Nile Falls 

In the morning we visit the Blue Nile Falls a 32 km drive southwest of Bahir Dar, to the small town of Tiss Abay and then walk for about 30 minutes to a viewpoint of the falls – estimated to be between 37m and 45m high, consisting of four streams that originally vary from a trickle in the dry season to over 400m wide in the rainy season. B,L,D


Day 12

Bahar Dar – Lake Tana – Addis Ababa

Today we will take a boat excursion in Ethiopia’s largest water body, Lake Tana (3,600 sq. km) to visit the monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam, which are found on the largest peninsula of the lake. These monasteries are known for the colourful frescoes of religious scenes, various ancient crosses, paintings, murals and an impressive display of illuminated Bibles written in Ge’ez, Ethiopia’s oldest language. In the afternoon we fly back to Addis Ababa and enjoy a final group dinner. B,L,D


Day 13

Depart Addis Ababa

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for onward flights home or continuing adventures. B


Please note: The proposed itinerary is just a guide and changes could be made due to domestic flight schedule changes and hotel availability.

Daniel Ademe Tire

Daniel is the Managing Director of our partner company in Ethiopia and will be our guide on tour, he is also passionate about delivering a quality travel experience. Daniel has a vast knowledge of all aspects of Ethiopia, having been a high school teacher prior to developing an interest in tourism. The combination of his knowledge as a teacher, travel consultant and a naturally gregarious personality, makes him the ideal tour guide. Daniel has travelled widely, attending workshops and training sessions in Africa and other parts of the world, as well as obtaining his MA degree in Social Anthropology at Addis Ababa University, deepening his knowledge of the diverse cultures and peoples of Ethiopia. Daniel’s vision is to provide an authentic experience of his country, conserve the fragile environment, and to help boost the income of local communities through sustainable travel practices.


Sue Werner

Sue graduated as a veterinary nurse before embarking on a more adventurous life as a professional outdoor guide. Over the past 25 years she has worked as an expedition leader, photographer and tour guide. Throughout that time she has been at the cutting edge of developments in adventure travel, mainly specialising in Antarctica and the High Arctic. Her enthusiasm has taken her to many remote corners of the world, including Ethiopia, Madagascar, the Amazon, Africa and the Himalaya. Spending three months living in Grytviken, working for the South Georgia Heritage Trust and was a highlight of Sue’s career. In January, 2015, Sue purchased Adventure Associates and continues to plan even more exciting journeys to remote destinations.

How to Book

To ensure your place on this exciting adventure, please contact us to reserve a place 02 6355 2022 or , then complete the Adventure Associates Booking Form and return to us with your USD 1000 per person deposit.

Deposit required per person: US$1000 per person
Balance due: 75 days prior to departure
If booking within 74 days of departure: Full payment must be made.

Reservations are established when you receive written confirmation and acceptance of the deposit and Booking Form. Travel insurance is strongly recommended at the time of booking.


Cancellations must be advised in writing to Adventure Associates. Cancellation charges are subject to regulations of airlines, coach and tour operators, hotels and other principals involved. If it is necessary to cancel your arrangements, the following non-refundable charges will apply.

More than 100 days prior to departure US$250 per person
Between 99 and 75 days prior to departure Full loss of deposit per person
Between 74 and 31 days prior to departure 75% of tour cost per person
On or within 30 days prior to departure No Refund

If the cancellation charge is more than your advance payment you remain liable for the difference. For these and other reasons mentioned above you are strongly recommended to take out Travel Insurance. Once the Land Tour has departed there will be no refund for any unused portions of the trip.

Ethiopia Ancient North
Ethiopia Southern Highlights
 Ethiopia Ancient Abyssinia
Ethiopia Tailor-Made

Tour Reviews

5.00 based on 2 reviews
September 7, 2019

Ethiopia is unlike any other African country I have ever visited and full of surprises. Sues comprehensive coverage gave us a window into the lives of the local people as well as the fascinating history that shaped the country. According to Daniel our gentle and knowledgeable guide, September was a great time to see the country, as it was lush and green at the tail end of the wet season. I was especially glad to have travelled on both trips Adventure Associates offered. There was so much to learn about the mountain wildlife, the tribal peoples and their traditions in the south and the ancient history of remarkable rock-hewn churches and religious festivals of the north.
Our driver Solomon was exceptional and safe, we had several flights to ease the distances. Sue chose delightful accommodation in all the places we stayed and mostly all meals were included. One of the secrets of the itinerary was that in many cases we had 2 to 3 nights in the one place which is a huge bonus in my opinion.
Truly an extraordinary adventure, thank you Sue, Daniel and Solomon.

October 21, 2019

Travelled with Daniel & Sue in September 2019 through Ethiopia. I had memories of seeing an National Geographic article on Ethiopia/Abyssinia as a child and when the opportunity arose I jumped at it. The trip was outstanding- scenery/wildlife/people/culture/accommodation/food/company. When one can only complain about the perforations in the toilet paper – one knows it was an outstanding Journey. I can only congratulate Sue for finding Daniel and her organisation of the whole journey. Best parts were possibly seeing Ethiopian Wolves/walking with bands of Geladas/ viewing the Meskel ceremony in Bahir Dar, the numerous church paintings, Gondar castles and the lalibela chuches. Thanks Sue for this wonderful opportunity.

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