- See the magnificent Awash falls and gorge
- Trek to the top of the Fantale Volcano Crater
- Brave the crocodiles to bathe at the beautiful Filwoha hot springs
- Spot oryx, gazelles, warthogs, colobus monkeys and other wildlife
- Explore the ancient walled city of Harar, with its maze of narrow streets and alleyways
- Experience the spectacle of the "hyena men" of Harar who feed spotted hyenas by hand (or sometimes mouth) near the city walls each night
This tour combines the natural beauty and wildlife of Awash National Park and the lakes of eastern Ethiopia, with the rich culture and history of the city of Harar. Eastern Ethiopia is dominated by arid low-lying plains and volcanic landscapes which have been inhabited by the semi-nomadic Afar people for thousands of years. The city of Harar, however, as the spiritual centre of Ethiopia's Muslim population, has a very different character. The ancient walled city, with its maze of narrow streets and alleyways, contains 83 mosques and 102 shrines, and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 1: Addis Ababa to Awash National Park
In the morning, you will depart Addis Ababa for Awash National Park, stopping for lunch on the way. In the afternoon, there will be the chance to explore the birds and wildlife of the park. Around 80 species of mammals have been recorded in the park and you are likely to see Hamadryas and Anubis baboons, Beisa oryx, Soemmerring;s gazelle and Salt's dik-dik. If you are lucky, you may also spot lesser and greater kudu, Defassa waterbuck, warthog, vervet and guereza monkeys and spotted hyenas. The park is also home to over 460 bird species including the endemic Ethiopian cliff swallow and yellow-throated serin.
Day 2: Awash National Park to Harar
Day 2 starts with and early morning game drive through Awash National park, as this is the best time of day to see many of the park's mammal species. Afterwards, you will continue the journey eastwards to Harar through a landscape of dry, scarcely-populated acacia scrub, and then the cooler, more scenic Chercher Mountains. Arriving at Harar, you'll take a walk through the narrow winding streets of the old town, admire the ancient city walls which have hardly changed since their construction in the 1560s, and visit the lively and colourful Islamic market.
Day 3: Harar
A fully day of sightseeing in Harar. You'll visit museums including the Abdela Sherif Harari City Museum and the Arthur Rimbaud Museum. The Abdela Sherif Museum is housed in the former palace of Ras Mekennen (Emperor Haile Selassie's father) and is reputedly where the young emperor spent much of his childhood. The museum houses more than 300 ancient manuscripts relating to the city, as well as a collection of 18th and 19th century Harari coins, traditional costumes, household items, weapons and musical instruments. Highlights of the Arthur Rimbaud Museum include an exhibition about the poet's life and a collection of photos taken in Harar around 1900 from which you can see how the city and its inhabitants have changed over the last 100 or so years. In the evening, you will have to chance to see another of Harar's famous attractions - the "hyena men". Nobody knows exactly how or when this tradition of feeding hyenas started, but the people of Harar have long believed that hyenas play an important role in keeping away evil spirits.
Day 4: Harar to Addis Ababa
Completing the trip, you will travel back from Harar to Addis Ababa - a journey that will take most of the day.
An experienced professional English-speaking guide
All meals from lunch on day 1 to lunch day 4
All land transport involved in the itinerary
3 nights accommodation in hotel/lodge/guesthouse
Entrance fees and local guides for all excursions described
Services Not Included
Tips for staff
Miscellaneous expenses – alcoholic drinks, souvenirs etc.
What to Bring
- Comfortable shoes or boots with good grip (for Awash National Park)
- Sun screen, hat, and sunglasses
- Insect repellent
- Light waterproof jacket
- Camera and binoculars
This trip includes 3 nights' accommodation in tourist class hotels/lodges/guest-houses. The exact accommodation used will be dependant on availability but please remember that Ethiopia is a developing country and that accommodation can be basic in comparison to European standards. All accommodation is based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same gender. Depending on availability, it may be possible to book a single room, although an additional charge may apply.
Group Leader & Support Staff
The group will be accompanied by an experienced English-speaking guide plus a driver and local support staff, as required.
Guidance On Tipping
Tipping should not be seen as something you have to do but in Ethiopia, as in many parts of the world, it is an appropriate way of saying thank you for a service well done. For each of your drivers on this trip we would recommend around £5 per day from the group, and for each of your guides around £10 per day from the group.
Upcoming group tour dates:
- Monday 25th - Thursday 28th November 2019 (open for bookings)
- Saturday 21st - Tuesday 24th December 2019 (open for bookings)
Interested in this tour but can't make those dates? We can arrange dates to suit you so please contact us.
The cost of this tour is 15,667 ETB (570 USD / 484 EUR / 423 GBP) per person for groups of 3 or more people.
It is possible to arrange this tour for 1 or 2 people, but a surcharge may apply. Please contact us to find out more.
Please see the further details tab for information about services included.