Holidays in the Ethiopian Highlands

Ethiopia is a place of wonder: dramatic mountains dissected by great rivers; escarpment-top communities with sensational views across a timeless landscape, where birds of prey soar in thermals and gelada baboons scamper down cliffs. The Simien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are incomparable for their landscapes, history and culture. With craggy, flat-topped mountains and startling pinnacles dissected by sweeping river valley gorges, the Simiens are like no other place on earth, and quite rightly are renowned as one of Africa's most rewarding experiences.

To the north of the Simiens, the rock-hewn churches of Tigray remain one of the worlds 'best-kept secrets', described by some as the greatest of the historical cultural heritages of the Ethiopian people. Set these incredible, almost inaccessible rock buildings in their context of the sweeping Tigraian Highlands and you are confronted with a beautiful, unique landscape to explore.

 

Inspiring walks, with your own private guide

Enjoy thrilling walks across two dramatic provinces and stay in little-visited corners of this beautiful landscape, in round thatched 'tukul' guesthouses newly built by the communities in the Simiens, or in traditional-style 'hedamo' guesthouses in Tigray, where you are welcomed by hospitable villagers.

The rugged walking takes you from escarpment-top to valley-bottom, across dramatic ridges and through sprawling farmland, at altitudes of over 3,000 metres, with immense vistas from the high plateaux. Your own guide brings everything to life, and helps you spot the surprising array of wildlife that makes its home in this rugged landscape. With a balance of walking and rest days you have time to explore the wonderful village communities. Choose to explore Tigray, with dramatic landscapes and astonishing rock-churches, or the Simien Mountains, with the National Park and its southern fringe communities - or combine the two for the ultimate adventure.

 

New holiday for 2016

Simply Simien, 8 night holiday, from $1,086

 

After a stay in the ancient city of Gondar, head into the magnificent Simien mountains. With dramatic landscapes and wonderful wildlife, enjoy thrilling walks in this spectacular part of Ethiopia. Stay in the heart of traditional villages and discover this fascinating land, for the adventure of a lifetime.

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Timeless Tigray, 10 night holiday, from $1,631

 

Combine a stay in the wonderful escarpment-top villages of Tigray with a visit to the historic towns of Axum and Lalibela. Discover hidden rock-churches amid the sweeping mountainous landscape and discover the traditional way of life with the Tigray communities.

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The Roof of Africa, 18 night holiday from $2,706

 

Take in the wonders of highland Ethiopia with fantastic walking in both the Simien National Park and the dramatic escarpents of Tigray. Enjoy a unique insight into village life amid the highlands and discover the hidden rock-churches of Tigray and Lalibela and the castles and palaces of Gondar. A remarkable journey through the Roof of Africa.

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