January 24 – Arrive to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. Meet Village Experience representative and transfer to hotel.
January 25 – Today, we tour the stunning city of Addis Ababa. We will visit the National Museum to see Lucy – one of the oldest hominid fossils on Earth – dating back over 3.2 million years old! We will then visit Mount Entoto, the highest peak above Addis Ababa to see the beautiful and historical monasteries and churches there. We will then head over to The Holy Trinity Cathedral – the most important Ethiopian Orthodox cathedral in all of Addis Ababa. We will end our day at the largest open air market in Africa – the Mercato. Return to hotel for overnight. (B)
January 26 – This morning we drive to Arba Minch in the famous Great Rift Valley. On the way, we will stop at the UNESCO World Heritage archeological sites of Tiya Steele and Melka Kunture. Upon arrival to Arba Minch, we will check into our community-based eco-lodge. We love this place as it boasts furniture, décor, and linens from artisans representing over 54 ethnic groups from Southern Ethiopia – awesome! Construction materials and the design of the lodge were all sourced locally, employees come from surrounding villages, and there is a huge commitment to maintaining and preserving the local environment. You will love your stay this evening! (B)
January 27 – Today we will drive into the local bamboo forest to Chencha Village to interact with the Dorze Tribe known for their traditional weaving and towering huts. Visit with local families, learn about their handicrafts, and support the village by buying lots of souvenirs! Return to eco-lodge in the evening. (B)
January 28 – After breakfast, we will drive through Mago National Park to Jinka Village to visit with the Mursi Tribe. We will learn all about their traditional customs and culture and leave behind some much needed supplies. We then proceed to visit with the Ari Tribe. We’ll have time to interact one-on-one with local families, share stories, and try the traditional food and drink. This tribe likes to use painting, scarring, and piercing as adornment – they are a beautiful people that will leave you mesmerized. This will be a highlight of the trip! Proceed on to Konso for overnight. (B)
January 29 – Coffee Day! Today, we drive to the world famous Yirgachefe Coffee plantation to explore the coffee forest and learn all about the coffee making process…and what makes this region so famous for coffee on the international scene. We continue on to our lodge for lunch and a traditional coffee ceremony. Our rooms for the evening will be traditional Sidama style bamboo thatched tukals – so much fun! (B)
January 30 – Today we will visit the Rastafari Village of Shashamane. This land was donated in 1948 by Emperor Haile Selassie I as a permanent settlement for those wanting to “come home” from the Caribbean, specifically Jamaica. Enjoy a tour of this community and then chill out and relax in the evening. (B)
January 31 – In the morning, drive through the Ziwa Valley and stop in town to learn about the wines produced in the region – Condé Nast Traveler says this is a new hotspot for wine production! Enjoy a wine tasting before returning to Addis Ababa in the afternoon. Farewell dinner and traditional dance in the evening. Transfers to international flights throughout the day. (B,D)
Visit the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date requirements (www.cdc.gov) and/or speak with a local travel doctor regarding vaccinations.
We also advise that you speak with your doctor regarding a prescription for an antibiotic to combat food and water borne illnesses.
Recommendations for Ethiopia include: