Lungo Local Tour Ethiopia
Duration: 20 days 19 nights
Arrive at Bole International Airport. A Lungo Local Tour Ethiopia representative will meet you and take you to your Hotel in Addis Abba.
Today, we start our trip to northern Ethiopia’s natural and cultural sites. We cross panoramic views of the Blue Nile River, which drains into the Mediterranean Sea through Sudan and Egypt.
Leaving early, we drive up to the Sululta Plain, an important short grassland with a seasonal wetland that is home to unique birds such as Blue-winged Goose, Wattled Ibis, Ethiopian Black-headed Siskin, and White-collared Pigeon. We stop at the Jemmu Valley escarpment and pilgrimage center established in the 13th century with magnificent artistic murals and apostils. The nearby gorge attracts such birds as: Lammergeier, Egyptian Vulture, Thick-billed Raven, Little Rock Thrush, Banded Barbet and Vareaux’s Eagle. We will stop at the so called “Portuguese Bridge,” similar to an old fortified stone bridge that is next to Blue Nile Waterfalls. We will look for White-winged Cliff-chat, Ruppell’s Black-chat, Erckel’s Francolin and more. Overnight Hotel in Debre Markos.
Driving to the town of Bahir-Dar, one of the main tourist destinations in the northwestern part of the country, which is situated on the southern bank of Lake Tana (3600 km area). It is famous for its islands holding ancient churches with their treasures and manuscripts dating back to the thirteenth century. Lake Tana itself is home to water birds such as Pelicans, Darters, Egrets, Herons, Kingfishers and Grebes. Overnight hotel in Bahir Dar.
We will take a boat excursion to the famous Kibran Gabreal and Ura Kidanemihret island monasteries, and in the afternoon we will drive to the Blue Nile Waterfalls with its scenery and birds in route.
Tis-issat Waterfalls on the Blue Nile and its islands supports Ethiopian Oriole, White-billed Starling, Bruce’s Green Pigeon and many woodland birds. Overnight hotel or lodge.
Driving further north to Gondar, we visit the Fassiladas Castles and Debre-Birhan Sillasie(Light of the Trinity) church built during King Fassiledas reign with its painted angels and frescoes on the ceiling and walls. Overnight hotel or lodge in Gondar.
Today we drive to the jagged panorama of the Simien Mountains National Park, famed for its exclusive landscape, afro-alpine vegetation and unique wildlife. You may spot the endemic Walya Ibex, Ghwelada Baboon troops, Bushbuck, Klipspringer. Chestnut-napped Francolin, Mountain Thrush, Thick-billed Raven, Lammergeyer, White-collared Pigeon and Ankober Serin just to name a few. Overnight camp or lodge.
Continuing on to Axum, the capital of the Axumite Kingdom, which accepted Christianity at the beginning of 4th century, and where the Moses’ Ark of Covenant is found. Driving the zigzag roads to Adaarkay village leading into the Tacazze Valley with its Baobab trees, we will hope to see birds such as: Hunter’s Sunbird, Nile Valley Sunbird, Rock Buntings, Superb Starling and more. Overnight hotel in Axum.
You will have a whole day for excursions to the Axum Stelae sites, Church of Saint Mary of Tsion, Queen Sheba’s ruined palaces, underground cavern burials of the kings of the Axumite dynasty with its inscription, bronze and crafts displayed. Overnight hotel in Axum.
Today we drive to Mekele, the capital of the province of Tigray, stopping on the way at Adwa historic mountains, Debredamo Monastery, Adigrat, Abreha-Woatsibaha Rock Hewn church and the Negashi Mosque, oldest and considered the first in Ethiopia. At Myshinkurti it may be possible to spot the endemic Harwood’s Francolin, Erlanger’s Lark, Cisticolas, Fiscals and more. Overnight Hotel in Mekele.
We drive to Lalibela to visit its famous Rock-Hewn Churches via the towns of Korem and Alamat. Lalibela churches are among the “Eight Wonders of the World” and one can add other equally important monasteries including Asheten Mariam, Yimrahane Christos and Na’akutole’ab churches if you are prepared to add an extra day to this tour. Overnight hotel or lodge in Lalibella.
We will start the morning with visits to the first part of the Lalibela rock-hewn churches including Bet Medihane Alem, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskal, Bet Michael, Bet Denagle and Bet Golgolta. We will also visit the remarkable church of Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant of all the Lallibela structures. In the afternoon we visit the remaining second part including Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufael. Overnight hotel or lodge in Lalibela.
Driving southwards to Kombolcha town via the Weldia and Dessie scenic mountainous countryside, while birding along the route. We will stop at the Hike Estifanos Monastery, which earlier was used by scholars of the other monasteries and religious leaders in the country. Overnight hotel in Kombolcha.
Returning to Addis through Kemise and Senbete, the local towns where Ammhara, Oromo and Afar people get together on market days. We will also explore the underground tunnels of the Debresina Mountains and stop at Tarmaber viewpoint to locate the endemic Ankober Serin, Brown-rumped Seedeater, Stripe-breasted Seedeater and Yellow-crowned Canary. Overnight hotel in Addis Abba.
Leaving Addis early morning, we drive east towards the Great Rift Valley via Bushoftu Crate Lakes and Nazaret town to visit Awash Park with its volcano landscapes and savannah grassland habitat for a variety of bird species. On the way we detour to Lake Basaka’s saline water which is good habitat for water birds such as Flamingoes, Pelicans, Storks, Herons, Plovers, Lapwings, Sandpipers and Stints. Overnight hotel or lodge in Awash.
Full day excursion in the park including Ilala Sala Plain (Oryx Plain), Awash River Waterfalls and acacia thickets for birds such as Grey Hornbill, Somali Fiscal, Helmeted Guineafowl, Blue-napped Mousebird, Kori Bustard, Yellow-necked Francolin, Drongo, Red-winged Lark, Woodland and Striped Kingfishers, Robins and birds of prey such as Tawny Eagle, Long-crested Eagle, Yellow-billed Kite and Dark Chanting Goshawk. Awash National Park is also home to mammals such as Oryx, Lesser Kudu, Hammadryas Baboon and Olive Baboon, Vervet Monkey, Salt’s Dick-dick and more. Overnight lodge or hotel at Awash.
Today we drive to Lake Langano and Abiata with stop at Koka/Awash Bridge and Ziway. Spectacular Rift scenery, stunning view of colorful birdlife such as; Banded Barbet, Masked Weaver, Spur-winged Plover, Malachite and Pygmy Kingfishers, Little Bee-eater, Ruppell’s and Superb Starlings, Seed-eaters, Sunbirds and many birds of prey. Overnight Hotel or lodge on the bank of Lake Langano.
Dawn birding and after breakfast proceed to ‘Bishangari’ meaning “Blessed water,” located on the eastern bank of Lake Langano. Adjacent to the Chilalo chain of mountains on the southern edge of the Great Rift Valley with it’s tropical rain forest. Enroute we search the secondary forest for Silvery-cheeked Hornbill, Nubian Woodpecker, Speckled Mousebird, Blue-breasted Bee-eater, African Mourning Dove and many more colorful forest birds. Overnight lodge or hotel on the banks of Lake Langano.
Today we explore the riverine forest and adjacent lake for birds such as Yellow-Fronted Parrot, White Cheeked Turaco, Orange-bellied Parrot, African Paradise Flycatcher, Bare-faced Go-Away Bird, African Fish-eagle, Cuckoo Shrikes, Kingfishers, Weavers and water birds including Egrets, Herons, Cormorants, Gulls, Geese, Ducks and Shanks. Overnight hotel or lodge at Lake Langano.
Today we drive to Lake Awassa. On arrival we search the grounds for Spotted Creeper, Senegal Coucal, Dusky Flycatcher, Grey-headed Kingfisher, Ruppell’s Starling and numbers of Marabous Storks and Pelicans. Overnight hotel or lodge in Awassa.
We walk around Lake Awassa’s shoreline looking for African Pygmy Goose, Hottentot Teal, Black Crake, African Fish-eagle, Hadeda Ibis, Purple Heron, Common Sandpiper, White-backed Duck, Reed and Sedge Warblers, African Jacana. We end at the traditional fish market, where many birds feed on fish left-over. Then we drive to Wendogenet with birding en route. On arrival we search the grounds for Bruce’s Green Pigeon, Slender-billed Starling, Abyssinian Woodpecker, Hooded Vulture.
In the afternoon, we drive back to Addis Ababa to the airport for your flight home.