Some pictures from my recent trip to Ethiopia (Nov 2018)

Ethiopia 10 Days / 9 Nights - "The Big Five": Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum


This program is designed to introduce you to Ethiopia's remarkable history and beautiful natural landscapes. Please contact Scopia LLC for up-to-date prices and bookings. Any program can be modified to fit your specific interests and budget. You can also check out other programs to Ethiopia: 16 Days to the north and south (Omo Valley) as well as 9 Days to the south (Omo Valley).

Program Prices:


Participants: ---->             2             4              6

Program A:                         $5,063       $4,056     $3,720

Program B:                         $4,487       $3,440     $3,090


Program A: Sheraton Addis Ababa and Kuriftu Lodge in Bahir Dar

Program B: Golden Tulip Addis Ababa and Abay Minch Lodge in Bahir Dar

* All other hotels in both programs are the same.


  • Prices are per person sharing a double room and do not include international flights to/from Ethiopia.
  • Single room supplements or triple room reductions, if any, will be quoted separately.
  • Prices are applicable during all of 2019, with the exception of January, during which prices rise considerably for the hotels. Best months to visit: October through April (June through August is the rainy season).
  • Prices are based on rates provided in December of 2018, should be seen as an estimate only and are subject to change without notice. Each new request will be priced for applicable rates.
  • Please see important information about flight costs below.

Daily Itinerary


The itinerary is subject to change according to several factors.

Meals included in the tour cost are indicated as B, L, D.


Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa.

  • Meet our representative at the airport.
  • Transfer to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure.
    • Overnight in Addis Ababa (D)


Day 2: City Tour of Addis Ababa:

  • Trinity Cathedral
  • National and Ethnographic museums
  • lunch at Dashen Ethiopian Restaurant (your introduction to Injera
    Entoto view point from high above the city
  • Time for shopping in the Merkato (largest open-air market in Africa).
    • Overnight in Addis Ababa (B, L, D)


Day 3: Bahir Dar

  • Private transfer from your hotel to the Addis Ababa Airport
  • Fly to Bahir Dar, on the shores of Lake Tana
  • Private boat trip on Lake Tana. Visit the church of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Maryam, and stop at the outlet of the Blue Nile river. 
  • Check in at your hotel, the rest of the day is at leisure.
  • Note: At Kuriftu Lodge you get one free massage per night. Enjoy!
    • Overnight - Bahir Dar (B, D)


Day 4: Bahir Dar / Blue Nile Falls

  • Drive to the Blue Nile Falls with stops on the way for local life including Injera making.
  • Return to Bahir Dar to visit the market and Bezawit view point, across the Blue Nile River.  
  • Optional: Evening out to a local bar to enjoy live Ethiopian music. This is what you might call "where the locals go".
  • Note: At Kuriftu Lodge you get one free massage per night. Enjoy!
    • Overnight Bahir Dar (B, D)


Day 5: Gondar

  • Check out of your lodge and drive to Gondar.
  • Visit the 17th and 18th century castles, the bath of Fasiledes and the church of Debre Birhan Sillasse, famous for its murals.
  • Along the way, visit the former Ethiopian Jewish Village at Woleka.
    • Overnight at Mayleko Lodge - Gondar (B, D).


Day 6: Simien Mountains National Park

  • Full day excursion  to the Simien Mountains National Park (known as "the Grand Canyon of Ethiopia") with breathtaking landscapes and rare wildlife, particularly the Gelada Baboons, endemic to Ethiopia.
  • Return to Gondar.
    • Overnight Mayleko Lodge - Gondar (B, D).


Day 7: Lalibela

  • Check out of your lodge and drive to the local airport.
  • Fly from Gondar to Lalibela and drive 45 minutes into town, stopping along the way for scenery and local life.
  • Visit the famous 12th century churches of Lalibela, carved out of the rock. The site is regarded as one of the wonders of the ancient world.
    • Overnight Sora Lodge - Lalibela (B, D)


Day 8: Lalibela

  • In the morning, choose between seeing the second group of churches in Lalibela, or simply taking a morning to relax from the touring.
  • In the afternoon, enjoy a coffee ceremony and some Ethiopian cooking in a private home. 
    • Overnight Sora Lodge - Lalibela (B, D) 


Day 9: Axum and Back to Addis Ababa

  • Check out of your lodge in Lalibela and drive to the airport.
  • Fly from Lalibela to Axum and transfer into the city.
  • After lunch in a private home, visit its archaeological sites and the church of Maryam Tsion, which houses the Ark of the Covenant.
  • In the evening, return to the airport for your flight from Axum to Addis Ababa.
  • Arrive in Addis and transfer to your hotel.
    • Overnight - Addis Ababa (B, L, D)

Day 10: Departure from Ethiopia
  • According to your flight time, check out of your hotel.
  • Private transfer to the airport and check in for your flight.

What's included in the package price?


  • Hotels (in standard rooms):
  • Meals:
    • Full buffet breakfast and dinner daily at hotels
    • 1 Injera lunch at a local restaurant in Addis Ababa
    • 1 Lunch and home hospitality with a local family in Axum
    • A private coffee ceremony with a local family in Lalibela
    • Bottled water on the van
  • Touring and Transportation:
    • Domestic flights with Ethiopian Airlines (please see important note below):
      • Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar
      • Gondar to Lalibela
      • Lalibela to Axum
      • Axum to Addis Ababa
    • All private airport transfers on arrival and departure in Ethiopia and for the domestic flights.
    • 9 Days of touring in air conditioned vehicles (vans) with private drivers and continual services from an expert, English-speaking guide who also handles all the logistics.
    • Vetted local guides where necessary (such as Simien Mountains National Park).
    • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary.
    • All guide's expenses - lodging outside of Addis Ababa, meals, etc.
  • Others:
    • VAT (currently 15%)


What's not included in the package price?

  • Visa to Ethiopia. For US citizens, this can be arranged online or at the airport ($50).
  • International flights to/from Addis Ababa (see important note below).
  • Tips to guides, drivers, hotels and other service providers.
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended, with medical evacuation)
  • Vaccinations and medications required/recommended for Ethiopia (see CDC website)
  • Any other expenses of a personal nature and which are not listed as included above. This refers to (but is not limited to): Any touring, transportation or meals that are not part of the itinerary, drinks (alcoholic or soft drinks) consumed during meals at hotels, gifts or souvenirs, hotel incidentals, phone expenses (data, calling plans), passport costs and any other expense of a personal nature.


A note about costs of domestic flights:
Ethiopian Airlines offers deep discounts (as high as 50%) on domestic flights for travelers that arrive in, or depart from, Ethiopia aboard Ethiopian Airlines. The tour costs presented here are based on regular (non-discounted) airfare for the domestic flights and will be recalculated based on the actual airline you fly internationally.