- Lalibela's rock-hewn churches
Explore the medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem'.
- Ancient Aksum
See the giant stelae, monolithic obelisks and royal tombs of this UNESCO-protected site.
- Simien Mountains National Park
Admire the rugged beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, home to rare animals such as the Gelada baboon and Ethiopian wolf.
- The fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi
UNESCO-protected Fasil Ghebbi is surrounded by a 900-metre-long wall enclosing palaces, churches and monasteries.
- Solo Travellers
- Small Group 16 or less
Unravel the mysteries of Ethiopia…
Join a small group of solo travellers on this fascinating 12-night escorted tour holiday, uncovering the timeless mysteries of Ethiopia. Explore Ethiopia’s unique cultural heritage, breathtaking natural beauty and ancient ruins including four UNESCO-listed sites in the company of your tour manager, who will also act as your solos host during your holiday.
There will be included visits to ensure you get the most out of your holiday, as well as specially selected activities designed with single travellers in mind.. When you’re not out exploring, relax and enjoy convivial company. There will be a drinks party during your holiday – the perfect opportunity for socialising, as well as welcome and farewell dinners to herald the beginning and conclusion of this fascinating adventure.
11 nights in hotels and 1 in flight
33 meals: 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches and 11 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Porterage at all hotels
- Fast track security and airport lounge UK
- Welcome drink and dinner
- Drinks party
- Farewell dinner
- Meet and greet at the airport
- Social activities
Excursions and visits
- City tour of Addis Ababa
- The Blue Nile Gorge area
- Tour of Bahir Dar
- Boat trip on Lake Tana
- Gondar and Fasil Ghebbi
- Simien Mountains National Park
- Tour Axum and its Stelae Field
- The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
- Visit a local guest house in Lalibela
- Addis Ababa market
Day 1 UK-Addis Ababa
After taking Saga’s UK included door-to-door travel service to the airport, enjoy fast track security, airport lounge facilities and meet and greet at your airport before departing in the evening for your overnight flight to Addis Ababa.
Day 2 Addis Ababa
After arrival, enjoy an afternoon tour of Ethiopia's capital where you'll visit Holy Trinity Cathedral and the National Museum, home to the famous three-million-year-old skeleton known as 'Lucy'. Stay two nights at the locally rated 5-star Capital Hotel and Spa or the locally rated 4-star Golden Tulip. This evening look forward to enjoying a welcome drink and welcome dinner – the perfect opportunities to get to know your fellow solo travellers. L, D
Day 3 The Blue Nile Gorge area
Spectacular scenery awaits on an included visit to the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge area. En route you'll visit the ancient monastery of Debre Libanos. Look forward to your included drinks party at a botanical gardens today. B, L, D
Day 4 Addis Ababa-Bahir Dar
Take a morning flight to the lakeside city of Bahir Dar where an afternoon tour reveals a colourful market with stalls selling coffee beans, local handicrafts and fragrant spices. Stay two nights at either the locally rated 3-star Avanti Blue Nile Resort or the locally rated 4-star Kuriftu Resort and Spa. B, L, D
Day 5 Bahir Dar
This morning you'll discover the Blue Nile Falls, nicknamed 'smoking water', on an included excursion. Later perhaps join an excursion to visit some local villages, or simply relax beside the lake. B, L, D
Day 6 Bahir Dar-Gondar
Take a morning boat cruise on Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile, looking out for a variety of birdlife. You'll leave from Bahir Dar and visit the island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam. After lunch at Bahir Dar, drive to Gondar, visiting local villages en route. Stay for three nights at the the locally rated 3-star Goha Hotel or the locally rated 4-star Mayleko Lodge. B, L, D
Day 7 Gondar
Enjoy a leisurely sightseeing tour of Gondar and the fortress-city of Fasil Ghebbi, where ancient palaces, churches and monasteries are encircled by a vast, crumbling wall. B, L, D
Day 8 Simien Mountains
Today an included full-day excursion visits the spectacular UNESCO-listed Simien Mountains National Park, where you may be lucky enough to spot the extremely rare Gelada baboon and Walia ibex, a goat found nowhere else on earth! B, L, D
Day 9 Gondar-Axum
Fly to Axum, where an included tour reveals the 20th-century Church of St Mary of Zion and the 17th-century church of the same name, next door to which is the chapel that supposedly houses the Ark of the Covenant. Later explore the Stelae Field with its huge granite obelisks before heading to the locally rated 3-star Sabean Hotel or the locally rated 3-star Yared Zema Hotel for an overnight stay. B, L, D
Day 10 Axum-Lalibela
Fly to Lalibela where an included afternoon tour reveals one of Africa's most important religious and historic sites, the medieval rock-hewn churches of Lalibela including the cross-shaped church of Bete Giyorgis (St George). Stay two nights at the locally rated 3-star Maribela Hotel or at the locally rated 2-star Mountain View Hotel. B, L, D
Day 11 Lalibela
This morning you visit more of Lalibela's monolithic cave churches. This afternoon you'll experience traditional Ethiopian hospitality and cuisine during an included visit to a local guest house. B, L, D
Day 12 Lalibela-Addis Ababa
Fly back to the capital and explore the vibrant open-air market of Merkato, one of the largest in Africa. Spend the rest of the day at leisure, staying overnight at the locally rated 5-star Capital Hotel and Spa or the locally rated 4-star Golden Tulip. Enjoy a farewell dinner this evening. B, L, D
Day 13 Addis Ababa-UK
Travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK and your included UK door-to-door travel service home. B
The Rift Valley and Bale Mountains
Pre-holiday extension - full-board
Before your tour, travel from Addis Ababa via the Rift Valley to Langano, for an overnight stay beside Lake Langano. Continue to the Bale Mountains National Park for two nights in a mountain lodge, followed by an overnight stay in Awassa, before starting your main tour. Enjoy included excursions to Bale Mountain National Park to go in search of the rare Ethiopian Wolf and a variety of birds including raptors, drive on Africa's highest road and visit Awassa fish market.
The high altitudes are something to be aware of on this tour and most of the time you will be above 2,000 metres. The included excursion to Simien Mountain takes you up to 3,400 metres, while the optional trip to Bale Mountain National Park reaches up to 4,400 metres.
At most of the sites visited – and even around some accommodation – the ground and pathways are generally rocky and uneven, and there will be a few challenging walks.
Tourism in Ethiopia is still in its infancy and accommodation outside of Addis Ababa is comfortable but can be fairly basic.