I took a 2.5 week excursion-vacation with Arada Tours. All in all, I visited the Castles of Gondar, the historic Monasteries off Lake Tana in Bahir Dar, Trekked up the... read more Semiens Mountains, explored the 11 Rock Churches of Lalibela, and I topped things off with a city tour of Addis. The Arada Tours team was so helpful and accommodating to my needs. Being this was my first time in Africa I had a LOT of questions from what to pack, medical shots, and visa applications. The team was amazing and answered all my questions without issue. I enjoyed how customizable my tour was. I traveled through most of the Northern Region which was quite the journey. I appreciated the willingness to modify the tour to the attractions I had at the top of my list to make the best of my experience. I’m a history buff so I will admit I can spend hours in museums, the team adjusted accordingly and allowed me to explore without feeling rushed. The best part if this trip was the Trek. I have never trekked before, and given I have a host of allergies, I was nervous to say the least. As breathtaking as the views were, the Arada Tours team had everything I needed to make the trek with ease keeping in mind all allergies, and asthmatic concerns I had. If I could offer any advice about visiting Ethiopia, I’d say bring Binoculars, hiking boots, and get ready for the adventure you’ll never forget.
Trekking up the Semien Mountains – the Gelada Monkeys were a sight to see
Hippo Sightings while boating across Lake Tana
Rock Churches Lalibela –
Addis City Tour – the National Museum is the current home of “LUCY”, oldest humanoid species
Northern Ethiopian tours are by far the most popular attractions in Ethiopia. Immerse yourself in 1500 years of history jammed into 5 days. Explore the source of the famous Nile River and Lake Tana. Enjoy breath taking views of Africa’s Camelot….the castles of Gondar! Take a leap back in time and view the world renowned UNESCO World Heritage Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela. This one of a kind northern Ethiopia tour adventure is only available from Arada Tours!
After arrival in Bahir Dar, enjoy an early morning breakfast before beginning the journey to the Blue Nile Gorge. Begin the short trek to the Blue Nile Falls at the historic Portuguese bridge. Proceed along the lush trail before arriving at the spectacular Blue Nile Waterfall. Following Lunch, enjoy a scenic boat ride on Lake Tana. While travelling via a medium sized power boat be sure to soak in all the animal wild life including various birds, monkeys, and even hippos. Visit isolated monasteries such as Kibran Gabriel. They will open your eyes to the colorful culture of 14th century Ethiopia. A dramatic sunset view on Lake Tana brings the boating adventure to an end. Proceed to the hotel and dinner.
After breakfast, continue northward to Gondar. The 4 hour drive will take you through rural villages, providing a wonderful insight into the culture of the Amhara people. Following hotel check-in, explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure. Six castles, Fasilidas’s Pool, the Debre Birhan Selassie church and other buildings are all included on this royal tour. Fasilidas’s Pool is still currently used for Timket celebrations today. Proceed to dinner. We recommend the fish goulash, our secret restaurant has the best in all of Ethiopia!
After a short early morning domestic flight totaling an hour, arrive in the beautiful city of Lalibela, Ethiopia. Following the hotel transfer and check-in, proceed to a mid-day lunch exploring the famous Ethiopian culinary scene. In Lalibela, guest will enjoy a delicious traditional Ethiopian meal at one of the best local spots in town. Lalibela is well known for its unique preserved and still active rock hewn churches. This tour starts the adventure by visiting the northwestern cluster of churches. This cluster consist of Biete Golgotha Mikael, Biete Mariam, Biete Denagel, Biete Maskal and Biete Medhani Alem. Be amazed with a detailed focused local tour guide explaining the complexity of architecture, history, and overall existence of the structures. Dinner will follow an action packed day!
Enjoy an early morning breakfast. Followed by a journey in a 4×4 vehicle to the historic sites of Yemrehanna Kristos and Na’akuto La’ab monastery. Following the journey back to Lalibela, relax with a delicious lunch and a sip of Ethiopian coffee. Continuing sightseeing Lalibela with your expert local guide. Guests will visit the southeastern cluster of rock hewn churches. This cluster consists of Biete Lehem, Biete Gabreil Rafael, Biete Abba Libanos, Biete Amanuel, and Biete Qeddis Mercoreus. The final church of Biete Ghiorgis which is located west of the southern group will also be explored. St. George is well known for its top view resembling a cross. Journey back to the hotel to prepare for a dinner at one of Ethiopia’s most picturesque restaurants
Coffee connoisseur or elegant tea consumer, wake up to a beautiful cup to energize the day. Breakfast will feature delicious courses as a farewell to Lalibela. Scenic views during a transfer from the hotel to the airport will bring a close to the adventure. Returning to Addis Ababa on a quick flight totaling one hour will leave plenty of time in the day for more adventure.
My cousin and I spent a week with Muley traveling around to different cities. Muley was very organized and made our experience seamless. He made it feel like we were traveling with a friend, but at the same time gave us our space when we needed it. He was very flexible and willing to accommodate any spontaneous requests we had. We would highly recommend Muley and Arada Tours to anyone traveling to Ethiopia.