ETHIOPIA

THE CRADLE OF MANKIND

 OCT 2020  •  16 GUESTS

 

Archeological finds dating back over 3 million years, ancient cities with churches cut out of the rock face, and bountiful wildlife all combined with a colourful and diverse culture. Ethiopia is an incredible and very unique destination. With lush highlands, stirring deserts, sweeping savannah, vast lakes and high plateaus, all host to an abundance of diverse wildlife. Let us take you on a mind-blowing journey from the majestic Simien mountains in the northern highlands, to the southern Omo Valley with its rich mosaic of ethnic tribes. Join us for the ultimate adventure in what is said to be the origin of mankind, the beautiful forgotten world of Ethiopia.

Visit the fortified city of Gondar, known as Africa’s Camelot as you head to the Simien Mountains National Park, with its spectacular jagged landscapes and plains of Giant Lobelias often called ‘God’s playground’ due to its unique formations. Get close to all the endemic wildlife that Ethiopia has to offer, including grass grazing Gelada baboons, Walia Ibex and the elusive ‘Abyssinian fox’ otherwise known as the Ethiopian Wolf, with an unrivaled combination of animals and dramatic landscapes. Head south to Bahir Dar and the peaceful waters of Lake Tana, explore the scattered islands on this vast lake, visit hidden, ancient monasteries, enjoy the dance of white pelicans, black-crowned cranes and hippopotamus bathing in the shallows as fisherman gently paddle past in their traditional ‘tankwa’ papyrus boats. 

Venture to the small hillside town of Lalibela, one of the holiest towns in the heart of Ethiopia and visit the awe-inspiring rock-cut churches, their impressive architecture now a UNESCO world heritage site.

From the valleys and escarpments of the Northern Highlands, head south via Addis Ababa to the Great Rift Valley, overnighting on the shores of one of Ethiopia’s most beautiful rift valley lakes, Lake Awassa. Drive south through the countryside dotted with ethnic dwellings and nomadic tribes, into the heart of the Omo Valley, and visit the towns of Jinka, Turmi and Konso. Witness the diverse tribal cultures of this region, one of the few places in the world where you can still find indigenous people that have had minimal influence from the outside world. Arba Minch is known for the Dorze people, famed for their huge beehive shaped huts and weaving skills, Jinka is where we find the Hamar people, recognizable by their, muddy ochre-tinted hair.  Around Turmi live the cattle-herding Dassanech tribes and the Mursi tribe, whose women wear clay plates in their lower lips or ear lobes and wear unique head dresses. From the ethnic heartland head north to the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia’s most scenic park with one of the highest numbers of endemic animal species in the world, ranging from 1800ft(600m) - 12000 ft (4000m). Keeping a watch for the Mountain Nyala, giant mole rats and the elusive Bale monkeys. An unmissable adventure into a forgotten world.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit the indigenous tribes of the Omu Valley
  • Journey through the Simien Mountains & Bale Mountains
  • Enjoy diverse and unique landscapes
  • See bountiful wildlife including Giant Mole rats, Mountain Nyala, Gelada baboons, Walia Ibex, white pelicans, black-crowned cranes and hippopotamus
  • Enjoy an authentic meal and evening in a traditional Ethiopian home
  • Travel to Lalibela a UNESCO world heritage site with its gravity defying churches carved into the rock face

PLEASE NOTE THIS EXPEDITION IS STILL IN THE PLANNING PHASE. THE FULL CONFIRMED ITINERARY WILL BE ANNOUNCED IN THE COMING MONTHS


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Pre Extension - Rock Churches of Tigray & The Gheralta Mountains

OCT 2020 ● 4 DAYS ● 16 GUESTS

Our pre-extension takes us into the heart of Ethiopia’s northern region of Tigray, to the Gheralta mountains to visit some of the most inaccessible places of worship on earth, the Stone Churches of Tigray. These churches are famous for their extremely well-preserved frescoes, ancient paintings and manuscripts, and for their unique architecture and magnificent views. Visit Miryam Korkor, one of the extraordinary Christian churches carved into the sandstone, with exquisite views across the rugged landscape; and Abuna Yemat Guh, a church literally carved into the side of a 900ft (300m) high freestanding rock only accessible via narrow ledges and rickety bridges. From Gheralta, head north to a UNESCO World Heritage site, the town of Axum, heart of an ancient empire, known for its tall, carved obelisks and the mystery of the Ark of the Covenant. Marvel at the massive pieces of solid stone that has been carved into obelisks and then raised upright.  Wander the cobbled streets, have coffee with the locals, and enjoy an authentic Ethiopian dinner and hospitality in one of the traditional houses.

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Pre Pre Extension - The Danakil Depression

OCT 2020 ● 5 DAYS ● 16 GUESTS

Take a journey to one of the lowest places on earth The Danakil Depression. Home to the Afar people, a semi-nomadic group who ‘mine’ salt by hand in one of the toughest, driest and hottest places on earth.  Climb the Erta Ale Volcano to see the bubbling, hissing, steaming lava.  At Dallol, wander in awe at the outlandish active geysers and surreal acid lakes, with boiling gases and rich minerals creating a kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours. Explore salt canyons with crusty towers and pinnacles and the mythical Lake Afrera at 300ft (100m) below sea-level. Finally, head out to the salt flats and follow an endless caravan of camels, donkeys and mules transporting salt ‘mined’ by the Afar people. Said to be one of the most visually stunning places in the world an epic and rewarding adventure unlike any other.

This will truly take you to the center of the Earth, so be prepared for the extremes, this is not for the faint hearted and you need to be mentally and physically prepared to participate in this extension. You can expect basic facilities, remote locations, energetic hikes, hot days and cool nights.


ADVANCED BOOKINGS & ENQUIRIES

Our trips are designed for small groups which maximises our experience and the flexibility we have on the trip but it does also mean our trip fill quickly. Contact us and let us know if you'd like us to hold a space for you with an Advanced Booking of $500, fully transferable until we announce the expedition.  



WILD EARTH LEADERS

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Thomas Baechtold

CEO / Founder, Expedition Leader & Dive Instructor

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TRAVEL WITH THOMAS

2018 PAPUA NEW GUINEA

2018 INDONESIA (Private Expedition)

2019 EGYPT & RED SEA

2019 AUSTRALIA

2019 FRENCH POLYNESIA

2020 INDONESIA (Private Expedition)

2020 INDONESIA

2020 SVALBARD

2020 ETHIOPIA

2020 SEYCHELLES

 

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Geraldine 'JD' Massyn

Trip Designer & Expedition Leader

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TRAVEL WITH GERALDINE

2020 ETHIOPIA

2020 SEYCHELLES

 

 

PHOTO CREDIT © Thomas & Natalia Baechtold, Adobe Stock