On this multi-themed safari, emphasizing natural history with strong measures of geology, archaeology and culture, you will observe much of the wildlife unique to the Rift Valley and northern Africa. The great natural and ecological diversity of Ethiopia from regions below sea level to the highest alpine plateaus in Africa rivals that of African nations better known for wildlife tourism.
Many of the birds and animals you will see are only found here and not farther south in East Africa. Your expert local safari guide will offer knowledgeable interpretation and insight to make this one of your best wildlife safaris in Africa. Visit Awash National Park and the Simien and Bale Mountains to explore three of the premier parks in Ethiopia for endemic species.
This safari is designed for full days covering extensive sites thoroughly and at a reasonable pace, but expect early morning starts and sunset finishes to maximize photographic opportunities and wildlife viewing.
The core itinerary is ideal for trips September through May.
Time your trip to coincide with one of the many festivals in the area and you can join the celebratory spirit and culture of a nation known for their colorful and dramatic religious and secular gatherings. Festivals to consider include:
The Timkat Festival - Ethiopia's celebration of the Ephiphany - occurs in January and affords the traveler the opportunity to witness this uplifting event in Lalibela, Axum, Gondar and Addis Ababa. (Jan 18 - 20)
Meskel Demera - The Finding of the True Cross - is celebrated with much revelery into the late evening around giant bonfires, followed with evening visits to the houses of friends and family. (Sep 26/27)
Erecha Festival - a celebration of Oromo people on the first Sunday after Meskel
Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day - Celebrated in different locations, this festival brings together peoples representing all ethnicities the share their culture, dress and experiences with one another. (Dec 8/9)
St. Gabriel's Day (Kulbi Gabrel in Harar) - This is one of the most important religious holiday's in Ethiopia, celebrating one of their most important patron saints, St. Gabriel (Dec 28/29).
Dire Sheick Hussien - twice a year (beginning of August & In February or March)
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