Want to discover a lost world? A place of hidden wonders, ancient kingdoms, strange animals and breathtaking views. This 20 day adventure will take you to some of Ethiopia’s many undiscovered attractions, including Four UNESCO Heritage Sites. It will immerse you into community, culture, dance, food and language. When you join this adventure, you will also be helping to fight poverty and 50% of our profits go to keeping disadvantaged children in school. You will also get a chance to meet the students we sponsor and visit the charity we support during your adventure.
We are a social enterprise. This means we place the same emphasis on doing the right thing and making a positive impact in the communities we travel to, as we do on making a profit. To prove it, we’ve graphed how your fee will be spent during this adventure.
We are proud to report that 47% of your fee will be spent in Ethiopia, stimulating local business, creating local jobs and supporting local communities. Another 7%, which is 50% of our profit, is invested back into local initiatives and grass-roots charities.
Adventure Out Loud to meet you at the Gondar airport and transfer you to our guest house/hotel. In the evening, meet your fellow adventurers and the head guide for a traditional Ethiopian celebration filled with great food, lively music and local dancing.
If your flight arrives early, you can jump right into the action with a walk around town, a swim and a few sundowners at Goha Hotel.
Once the capital of the Ethiopian Empire, Gondar is home to the remains of many royal castles and palaces, including those in Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure). Today we will be exploring these 400 year old masterpieces with our personal guide, Belete.
Built in 1636, the main castle has survived many wars, including World War II when it was occupied by Italy and bombed by Britain. Today, the entire compound is UNESCO listed and many of the buildings have been restored.
Opened in 2014, the school of St George aims to educate the most vulnerable children in Ethiopia. Today, St George provides a high-quality, free education to more than 300 disadvantaged children and in just 4 years, the organisation has already achieved outstanding results.
In 2018, the school’s academic results were four times higher than the national
average, and in a country where half of all children leave school by the age of eight, St George’s retention rate of 100% is extraordinary.
Our partnership with St George offers you a unique opportunity to immerse in to this life-changing school and their community. Assist their dedicated teachers with their lessons, teach the students and teachers English, visit the home of one of our sponsor students and make a difference in the fight against poverty by keeping disadvantaged students in school.
Regarded as one of the most stunning national parks in the world, the Simien Mountains offer panoramic views, stunning wildlife and challenging treks. You will be trekking the Buyit Ras – Chenek Route.
This is a challenging 4 day trek that will see you cover approximately 55km and reach an altitude of 4,430m. This is a classic Simien Mountains trek that will give you a fantastic opportunity to spot some exotic wildlife, including the infamous Gelada, a baboon-type monkey with a large red hour glass on it’s chest (featured in our photos above), the endangered Ethiopian Wolf and the Walia, a large deer like Ibex.
We will be camping during the trek and guides, porters, tents and mats will be provided as part of your fee. A summary of the trek is below:
Day 1: Buyit Ras – Sankaber (10km)
Day 2: Sankaber – Gich (13km)
Day 3: Gich – Chenek via Imet Gogo (20km)
Day 4: Chenek – Bwahit (4,430m – 12km return)
Between 110 – 940 AD, Aksum was one of the four world super powers and it was a major player on the commercial route between the Roman Empire and Ancient India. At it’s peak, the Aksumite Empire controlled large parts of Northern Africa and Southern Arabia.
The empire’s decline began in the middle of the 6th Century, leaving behind many historic archaeological ruins which we will explore over the next 2 days. Wander through the Queen of Sheba’s 10,000 year old palace, marvel at the giant obelisks that mark the tombs of ancient rulers and visit Our Lady Mary of Zion, one of the oldest churches in the world, and home to the original Ark of the Covenant.
Aksum is a very holy town and a sort-of mecca to Christian Orthodox Ethiopians. Christianity came to Ethiopia around the 3rd Century when the Aksumite Empire converted from Paganism to Christianity and it plays a huge role in the lives of Ethiopians to this day.
Tomorrow we will drive to a small town called Wukro where we will explore some of the many churches built into cliffs hundreds of metres above the ground during the crusades. These churches will blow your mind and the best part is you’ll likely be the only tourists to visit the church that day.
To get to Aksum from Gondar, we will be flying with Ethiopian Airlines who are a very reputable and safe airline (flights included).
Today we drive to a small town in the Northern Tigray region called Wukro. Wukro is the departure point for our Danakil Depression and Erta Ale tour. It is a sleepy little town and in the afternoon you will have time to explore the market and eat dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at the incredible Wukro Eco Lodge, a medieval-style castle lodge with stunning 360 degree views.
Built into cliffs hundreds of metres above the ground, are more than 120 hidden churches that date back as far as the 4th Century. These churches were built in these remote areas to protect them during the crusades and today many of them are still in pristine condition. We will visit 2 – 3 churches during the day, including one for sunset. There is quite a lot of trekking today and you will pass through some stunning scenery as you walk up the winding, little goat-trails that take you to the churches.
Over the next three days, we will be driving for many hours through some of the most inhabitable landscapes on the planet.
The 3 – 4 hour trek in to Erta Ale’s rim is not particularly steep but it is challenging and due to the extreme heat, all of the trekking will be done in the dark when it is cooler. The path is very uneven and it is recommended that you do not attempt this section of the tour if you are not ok with being uncomfortable and challenged.
If this doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, we will substitute these three days for hiking through the stunning Gheralta Mountains, where you will immerse in local villages and visit more of the regions hidden churches. You will join us for a 1 day Danakil Depression tour on day 17.
At 48 metres below sea level, Dallol is the lowest land volcano in the world. Last erupting in 1926, Dallol’s craters contain hot springs that boast a range of otherworldly colours; dynamic oranges, fluorescent greens and neon yellows.
These colours, are a result of the hot magma bubbling below the surface. This magma heats the groundwater that flows into the area from the nearby highlands, and as the heated groundwater moves up towards the surface, it dissolves salt, sulfur, potash and other minerals and deposits them in the Dallol craters. You will be blown away by the beauty of this natural phenomenon and on the way we will also visit the surrounding salt lakes to meet the Afar people who mine salt here. We will aslo stop at a secluded saltwater swimming hole.
Today is a relaxing day where you will have time to chill by the pool or do some last minute shopping in town. In the afternoon, we fly to Addis Ababa and check into our hotel.
In Addis, you’ll have an option to visit one of Ethiopia’s many Ethio-Jazz bars to listen to live music and experience Ethiopian night life. You are also welcome to stay in if you are feeling tired or would prefer to relax.
Addis Ababa is home to many good museums, including the Ethiopian National Museum where Lucy, the first known homosapean can be seen. This archaic fossil is estimated to date back 3.3 million years and is surprisingly small compared to humans today.
You can also visit the Red Terror Museum to learn about Ethiopia’s dark past and there are a number of nice art museums and markets in town.
Depart Addis Ababa with a lifetime of memories and a bag full of unbelievable, unforgettable stories.
Gondar Airport (GDQ)
Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD)
For just $11/week, you can empower a child by keeping them in school. With 76% of Ethiopian children missing out on their chance to finish their schooling, why not sponsor a student today and transform a life forever?
Tap water is unsafe for drinking. Bottled and boiled water will be available throughout the adventure.
A 10% deposit is required to secure your booking. The remaining balance is due 60 days before departure.
Adventure Out Loud connect you with our charity partner who sends you a student profile with sponsorship details. You pay weekly, monthly or annually directly to the charity.
Malaria is a low risk in the areas you will be travelling because most are above 2,000m. To further minimise the risk:
1. Discuss malaria prevention medication with your travel doctor
2. Sleep under a mosquito net (provided) and wear long clothing and mosquito repellent.
You should visit a travel doctor at least 3 months before departure. At a minimum, you will need proof of your Yellow Fever vaccine to enter Ethiopia and to re-enter Australia.
Please discuss medications with your travel doctor at least 3 months before departure. At a minimum, we recommend you bring medication for malaria and travellers diarrhoea. If you occasionally use specific medication, you should also bring that.
Travel medicine is very specific and we highly recommend you see a specialised travel doctor. If you don’t have a travel doctor, you can find on the Travel Medicine Alliance website – https://www.travelmedicine.com.au.
No. Many of our adventurers have allergies. Meals are freshly prepared and our team takes every precaution to ensure food is not cross-contaminated. If you are anaphylactic, we recommend booking on a tour like this one that is led by our Founder, Nate. He has experience with allergies and can take care of everything to ensure you have a hassle-free holiday.
Adventure Out Loud will provide you with a full information kit once you book. This kit gives you step-by-step instructions on what you need to do prior to your adventure.
“Every dollar was worth it. I could have done every single day two times over.”
“Going on a holiday that makes a difference is something truly special. To meet the young person that I sponsored, to visit their home, family and friends, and to create some amazing life long memories with them is just another level.”
“I was so amazed by how friendly the people were. Having Monk show us around his country was definitely a highlight and the temples were incredible.”
“AOL’s style of holiday is less about ticking off the bucket list, and more about immersion in a different culture – it left me with memories more poignant than any selfie-opportunity!”