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Northern Ethiopia Wildlife Safari Tour - 7 Days

Northern Ethiopia Wildlife Safari Tour

Wildlife Safari Tour in Ethiopia

This 7-day Wildlife Safari Tour in Ethiopia is a fast-paced tour where you can expect to see a variety of wildlife and birds including about 20 mammals, including 3 endemic animals of Ethiopia. The tour covers both mammals and birds and is designed to be comfortable from both the hotel and transportation aspect. The tour travels to the highlands of Ethiopia.

The tour includes the Lake Tana area, Gonder and the Simien Mountains. It includes a domestic flight to Bahir Dar to get to the area quickly and a return flight from Gonder a the north end of Lake Tana having visited the Simiens. Included in the tour is the possibility of seeing all the Simien Mountain wildlife and in particular, the Gelada mountain monkey which is considered to be the 2nd best primate experience in the world after gorillas.

Our Special Vehicles for Wildlife:

Ethiopian Adventures are the only company in Ethiopia that has vehicles that are specially adapted for Birdwatching and wildlife viewing. The seating behind the driver’s seat is staggered so the clients look over the driver’s head. There is a special higher windscreen too for better forward vision thereby avoiding those frustrating situations when the guide sees the bird but the clients do not. The side windows slide open so that long lenses can quickly be focused before a bird or animal disappears.

vehicle - Ethiopian adventures Eth-adv - vehicle vehicle - Ethiopian adventures

Each seat is an individual armchair rather than a bench seat so that everybody sits close to a window. The two middle seats fully recline whilst the rear seats recline 20°. This is important because there are some long distances, especially on our 16-day and 25-days tours. Every seat has a 230 volt and USB port for battery charging. Of course, the vehicles are fully four-wheel drive but they have improved suspension for real off-road driving.

Ethiopian Adventures is the tour operating division of Simien Lodge, ready to take you to all corners of the country for birding and wildlife tours in Ethiopia including conservation, photography, trekking, animal and bird safaris as well as the possibility of visiting the incredible cultural and geographic sites that the country has to offer. 

Ethiopian wildlife and birding tourism is still in its infancy despite having one of the most varied numbers of birds and endemic animals on the continent. The wildlife is never fenced or caged - it is truly wild. This makes it a little more difficult to see sometimes but the experience is genuine. All of our Ethiopian wildlife tours are conservation-based and we are activists in ensuring that the destinations are protected by a long-term vision. Ethiopian Adventures are so far the only Ethiopian company to win conservation awards. (Skal Gold award for Rural Accommodation and Silver African Responsible Tourism Award for our community support).

The comfort and safety of our clients are of primary concern. We only use good quality accommodation with approved standards.

© Copyright Ethiopian Adventures. This tour is unique to Ethiopian Adventures and has been carefully planned. The text and photos may not be copied for competitive purposes.

Day 1
Day 1 - Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar

Arrive in Addis Ababa International Airport in the morning. You will meet be greeted by your guide and transferred to the city for breakfast. After refreshment, you will transfer back to the domestic airport for your flight to Bahir Dar.

Bahir Dar is a resort town located in the northwestern part of Ethiopia 578 Km from the capital city. At an elevation of 1,840 meters, it possesses tropical ambient weather along the southern shore of Lake Tana. It is the first popular stopover for the northern highland historical circuit tour of Ethiopia.

On your arrival in Bahir Dar you will transfer to your hotel. You will have lunch in your hotel and then in the afternoon, you will take a half-day city tour and a short walk around Lake Tana. On the lakeshore, meet the local people and visit the market where you can find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes and Woito Basket market. Later you can enjoy the sunset at a viewing point over the point where the Blue Nile.

Accommodation: Kuriftu Resort, Bahir dar Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 2
Day 2 - Bahirdar - Private Boat For a Trip On Lake Tana

In the morning, you will transfer to a private boat for a trip on Lake Tana. This will be a full-day excursion.

Lake Tana is known for its spectacular scenery and ancient cultural heritage. But what many people don't realise is that it is also home to a wealth of wildlife.

Take a short cruise on the lake, and you will immediately realise the spectacular biodiversity that the lake has to offer. Hippopotamus are one of the most eye-catching species. They can best be spotted where the Blue Nile flows out of Lake Tana either defending their territory in shallow waters of the lake or as night falls, on the river bank. Under the surface, more than 28 unique fish species have prospered, with an astounding 21 endemic fish species found in the lake.

Enter the dense forest groves on the islands and you will discover another world. Listen to the sounds of the beautiful black and white Colobus Monkeys as they leap from tree to tree, gliding through the air with their long hair and tails billowing out like a parachute behind them. The luxuriant vegetation found on the islands and small forest patches provides excellent habitat for butterflies and dragonflies such as the Black-tailed Skimmer and the Dancing Jewel damselfly.

You will want to see the prickly Crested Porcupine, but watch out for those spines! The shy Duiker is a small antelope that loves dense forest undergrowth and the curious Genet, with its handsome spotted coat and long strip tail. It is of the cat species and related to the civet.

Lake Tana also has its fair share of reptiles. Observer metre-long Nile Monitor lizards peeking their heads up from behind rocks and flicking their long forked tongues, tasting the air around the shores of the lake, especially where there is adequate vegetation cover such as from papyrus.

Accommodation: Kuriftu Resort, Bahir dar Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 3
Day 3 - Drive from Bahir Dar – Gonder

In the morning you will drive from Bahir dar to Gonder. On the way you will enjoy the rural landscape of Northern Ethiopia. The drive from Bahir dar to Gonder is 180 km and will take around 3 hours.

Gondar is often called 'the African Camelot' and famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration. It was the first capital of Abyssinia Empire founder by Emperor Fasilades of 16th Century. Travel back in times by visiting the royal enclosure and the impressive castles.

On your arrival at Gonder Airport, you will transfer to your hotel in the centre of the Gonder town, after check-in your hotel and have lunch. Later you will begin to visit of the impressive ancient castles of Gondar include the royal Compound of Fasil named after the city founder Emperor Fasiledas and inscribed as UNESCO heritage sites in 1979. The half dozen stone castles are protected within the tall compound walls, built over the 17th Centuries, have given rise to the description as the Camelot of Africa. Additionally, you will visit the church of DeberBirharnSillase near the centre of the city, known for its unique church design and highly decorated with mural paintings of portraits of angles and another biblical history.

Accommodation: Goha Hotel, Gonder Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 4
Day 4 - Drive to Simien Mountains

In the morning after breakfast, you will drive to Simien Mountains, the only UNESCO World Natural Heritage site in Ethiopia. At the same time, you will enjoy and appreciate the landscape of Northern Ethiopia.

The Simien Mountains National Park is Ethiopia's most popular hiking destination and its highest peak Ras Dashen 4,543 Mts (14,900feet) above sea level makes it the fourth-highest mountains in Africa. The Simien Mountains were recognised as a UNESCO world heritage site for two reasons; firstly the incredible views and also for being the home of the three incredible endemic mammals. The Walia Ibex, the Gelada monkeys and Ethiopia Wolves.

The drive from Gonder to Simien Mountains is 122 km. After driving the first 100km, there will be a short stop at Debark town for National Park Head office for an entrance fee and Guide and scout/Ranger appointment. Then drive to the lodge for 22km in a gravel road.

After check-in at the lodge, you will have lunch & drive to Chenkwanit viewing points and then trek for 2 hours to a Sankaber campsite area. Sankaber campsite is the first Campsite where you can enjoy the views over the escarpment.

After spending time with the Gelada Monkeys and enjoying the spectacular scenery of the mountains in selected viewpoints, you will return to the lodge for a stayover.

In the evening, you will have the chance to see a documentary movie about the mountains in the lodge's cinema room while enjoying the fire in the new bar at the lodge.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 5
Day 5 - Simien Mountains

In the morning, the car will drop you around Sankaber Campsite and you will walk along the escarpment to spot larger groups of the Gelada monkey.

It is possible to get very close to the Gelada monkeys but since the Covid pandemic, we advise keeping a distance because the monkeys can catch the virus too. Chenkwanit is the best place to spot the Lammergeyer Vulture gilding over the cliffs looking for food. The Sankaber campsite area is covered with Afro-montane forest dominated by Juniper, Haginiaabyssinica, St John's wort, giant heather and the like.

The Gelada Monkeys (Thempithecus gelada) also called 'The Bleeding Heart Baboon', as a result of the distinctive, bright red, heart-shaped patch on its chest. The Gelada are endemic to Ethiopia, found on the highland plateaux of the Simien Mountains, inside and outside the park. Their total number is estimated at more than 3000 animals. The gelada social system consists of a hierarchy of social groupings. A primary group is a reproductive unit of the breeding male and up to 8 females and their dependant young.

The population is currently stable. Whilst they have fewer predators such as hyena and leopard, their numbers are controlled by human encroachment. The monkeys live in bands, (the collective noun for monkeys) of 100 to 200 animals, and they are found right up to 4000 metres altitude. The Gelada feed predominantly on the fresh grass shoots and to a lesser extent on grassroots and seeds. The Gelada Monkeys are not shy and are easy to approach. The main diet of the Gelada baboon consists of grasses and roots. The overlap with farming areas has led to conflicts with peasants who fear extensive destruction of their crops.

Then you will trek for an hour to the Jinbar waterfall area where you will have a picnic lunch and one-hour break. While enjoying the scenery, you will spend more time to photography the Geladas before nightfall and driving back to the lodge.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 6
Day 6 - Simien Mountains

In the morning, you will drive to the Chennek camps site area (3,620m). At Chennek there are again excellent views of the mountains and you should see more Gelada monkeys wither amazing scenery of this high point of the mountain range.

Then you will drive from Chennek to BwahitPass 4,200mt, the second Summit in Ethiopia. The Bwahit pass provides good views of the impressive rock formation of ImetGogo and Inatiye and more chances to see the Walia Ibex ( Capra ibex Walia) which is endemic to the Simien Mountains and the Ethiopian Wolf, one of the most endangered mammal species in the world.

The Ethiopian wolf (Canissimensissimensis) is the rarest canid in the world and Africa's most threatened carnivore. The closest living relatives of the Ethiopian wolf are grey wolves and coyotes. The Ethiopian wolf ancestor crossed over from Eurasia during the Pleistocene period less than 100,000 years ago, when sea levels were lower, and Africa and the Middle East were connected. At the time, the highlands of Ethiopia were predominately Afroalpine grasslands and heathlands, and these habitats were ideal for many small mammals, particularly grass rats and mole rats.

Walia ibex (Capra ibex wake) has become a national symbol, it is endemic to the Simien Mountains, and is one of the most endangered mammal species in the world. Walya ibex live on the steep slopes and grassy ledges of the escarpment towards the eastern parts of the park and beyond.

Accommodation: Simien Lodge, Simien Mountains National Park Meal Plan: Full Board

Day 7
Day 7 - Drive back to Gonder and Fly To Addis Ababa

In the morning after relaxed breakfast drive back to Gonder and transfer to Gonder Airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. In the late afternoon, you will have time for shopping for souvenirs.

Finally, you will be taken to a farewell dinner tradition Ethiopia food and enjoy live Folklore music and dance, then you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.

Meal Plan: Full Board

Some of the wildlife expected to see on this trip are:

Walya ibex, Ethiopian wolf, Gelada mountain monkey, Menelik’s bushbuck, Klipspringer, Grey duiker, Golden (common) jackal, Spotted hyena, Serval, Rock hyrax, Vervet monkey, Hamadryas baboon, Olive baboon, Hippopotamuses, Black and White Colobus Monkeys, Crested Porcupine, Civet, African openbill, Black-crowned crane, Copper Sunbird, Grey-headed Gull, Kingfisher, Wattled Crane, White-throated Seedeater, Yellow-crowned Bishops, Yellow-fronted Parrot, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Moorland Chat, Chestnut–naped Francolin, Lammergeyer, Black-headed Siskin, Red-billed Chough, Wattled Ibis, White-collared pigeon, Nyanza Swift and many more.

What is included?

  • Full board Hotel accommodation at best-available hotels on double /Twin room basis.
  • All transfers in and transfer out services from airports.
  • All ground transportation with New Brand Toyota Land cruiser 4WD Safari Car 2020 model.
  • Private Boat trip on Lake Tana.
  • Experienced English speaking Wildlife Expert Guide
  • Domestic flight for Wildlife Expert Guide
  • All activities as specified in the itinerary
  • Experienced driver & driver allowance.
  • All fuel expenses.
  • Local guide's fee and scout fee where required.
  • Village Visit fee
  • All entrance fees
  • 15 % Government VAT tax

What is not included?

  • Domestic & International Flight
  • Travel Insurance and Visa fee
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Any video camera fee
  • Optional safari extensions
  • Laundry service
  • Tips and any expense of Personal items, internet, telephone
  • Anything else not mentioned in “What is included”

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Why book with Ethiopian Adventures?

Ethiopian Adventures is an original tour operator that stands out unlike no other. This is because the origins of the company lie in the award-winning Simien Lodge, the only lodge in the country to win genuine tourism awards. Quality is our hallmark. African conservation is our desire. Sustainability is our future. We are a sister company of Simien Lodge, reputed for its community philanthropy. Ethiopian Adventures do just what the name suggests. We make your tour into an experience and not simply a day-to-day drive around the sites. We adapt the journey according to the wishes of our clients by listening attentively to their wishes.

What sort of Vehicles do you supply?

Ethiopian Adventures is the only incoming tour operator to own purpose built safari car in Ethiopia. Every client gets an individual reclining seat with electrical charging points for recharging cameras and phones. Vision is also improved by a larger windscreen giving better forward visibility and larger side windows for photography. A fridge is a nice touch for cool drinks. The Car seat capacity is for a maximum four clients, each gets individual seats at the back and two front seating spaces next to the driver for guide and Scout. The tour programmed is designed based on the new safari Cars but an advance booking is requires to secure the cars for the program since we have three cars.

What sort of accommodation do you supply?

The Hotel standard in Ethiopia has shown great progress in the last ten years. For this tour, we carfully select the best and comfortable accommodation located ideally near to the attractions.

Do you provide a Guide?

Yes, we will provide a Guide for this Tour. This tour program is designed based on experienced, professional and knowledgeable Local Guide at each destination. The local tour guides are not only responsible for the Guiding service at the site but also responsible for the welfare of clients at the destination, from scheduled of client’s arrival at the destination to the scheduled of Client’s departure. However, if Clients prefer to have one escort Guide service for their entire trip we can assign one escort Guide form Addis Ababa to accompanied the clients with additional cost, that includes Escort-Guide per dime and domestic flights cost as well.

When is the best Time to travel?

All year round is the best time to travel in Northern part Ethiopian, but from October to the end of January is busy and peak tourist season. Please note that the above price not applicable on Jan 19th for Epiphany celebration in Gonder. June, July and August is the rainy season.

What to Bring?

During the month of October to end of April it will be warm and sunny during the day hence a hat, sunscreen, lip salve are essential to avoid sunburn. In the evening a temperature can drop dramatically, so warm clothes are essential. In addition to regular packing, here is a Checklist for Simien Mountain Trekking: Good walking boots and socks, Comfortable shoes, Trekking pants During June, July & August it will be d rainy season hence it is recommended bring Rainy clothes and warm closes

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

7 Days

Price & Availability

USD1,880 / per person
Based on twin/double room
This tour is operated by: Ethiopian Adventures

Quick Enquiry Form

Tour Facts

  • North Ethiopia
  • On Request
  • Private Tour
  • Wildlife
  • 1 to 6 pax
  • 7 Days
  • Sep to May
  • +15 Years
  • English, French, German & Spanish
  • Addis Ababa Bole Airport
  • Addis Ababa Bole Airport