Destinations

Ethiopia safari trips

Think isolated regions undisturbed by man, outstanding natural beauty and mythical historic
architecture to rival anywhere else in the world. This is Africa at its most intrepid.

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Currency

ETB (Ethiopian Birr)
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Language

Oromo, Amharic and English
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Time Difference

UTC+03:00
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Capital

Addis Ababa

Ethiopia highlights

Ethiopia may be one of Africa’s largest countries, but it is still one of the world’s off-the-beaten-track destinations. Adventurous travellers will be treated to bustling cities with historic neighbourhoods as old as time, towering mountain ranges shrouded by thick clouds, and rare endemic wildlife native to Ethiopia. Ker & Downey® Africa organises unforgettable travels to Ethiopia, taking in all that makes this country so special. Think isolated regions undisturbed by man, outstanding natural beauty and mythical historic architecture to rival anywhere else in the world. This is Africa at its most intrepid.

Location

Ethiopia is a huge landlocked country in the Horn of Africa, surrounded by Eritrea and Sudan to the north, Djibouti and Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south and South Sudan to the west. This east African country covers an area of 1.1 million kilometres squared, and its capital and largest city is the ancient city of Addis Ababa.

What can you expect of the terrain?

The terrain of Ethiopia is as varied as its ancient culture. Towering rocky mountains dominate the landscape and the cliffs of the Great Rift Valley divide the country from southwest to northeast. There are extensive lowland areas, semi-deserts, hilly steppes and forested regions that are home to countless endemic animal and bird species unique to Ethiopia.

What type of wildlife will we see?

Ethiopia is a vast country and as a result it has no shortage of wildlife to discover. Whilst the larger and more well-known game animals such as ferocious prides of lions, huge herds of elephants and hyenas are abundant, it is Ethiopia’s rarer wildlife that attracts most visitors to the country. More than 242 mammals are listed as living in Ethiopia, including fox, ibex, bushbuck, nyala, hartebeest and wild foxes. Gelada baboons roam the mountainous regions, as do 30 bird species that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Best time to visit

Best time to go and why?

Ethiopia has something to offer throughout the year with a temperate climate in most areas. The major highland destinations across the Northern Circuit, including Addis Ababa and Harar, enjoy daytime temperatures between 22˚C and 28˚C with cool nights. The southern Rift Valley and South Omo are warmer and can get seriously hot in the summer months between June and August.

When is high season?

Ethiopia doesn’t really have a high season, but most travellers visit during the dry season between October and June.

When is low season?

The rainy season between late June and September brings flooding to the lowland areas. Hiking routes and safaris are less busy at this time of year.

When is the best weather?

The so-called Green Season in September and October is when the forests and mountain areas are at their most lush.

Parks & regions in Ethiopia

Omo National Park

We understand that travellers want to visit hard to access parks to experience the undisturbed wildlife living there. Omo National Park is Ethiopia’s largest national park and it is a vast wilderness with large herds of eland, buffalo, elephants, giraffe, prides of lions and solitary cheetahs prowling their territory along the Omo River.

Simien Mountains National Park

This rugged mountainous area is northern Ethiopia comprises deep ravines and high plateaus, home to rare Gelada baboons, Walia ibex, and, if you are lucky enough a glimpse of the sleek Simien fox. Hiking trails wind through the mountains, offering countless panoramic views of sheer drops and wildlife-rich lowlands.

Gambella National Park

Ethiopia’s largest national park bears witness to one of the world’s greatest natural events. Huge herds of antelope migrate across the park each year, making the savannah plains, thick woodland and river floodplains a haven for photographers.

Bale Mountains National Park

Due to its special types of habitats, this park – stretching across the Bale Mountains and the Sanetti Plateau – has one of the largest numbers of endemic species. A good place to spot the Simien Fox, the endangered Ethiopian wolf (only about 400 left), the big-headed mole-rat, the vervet-Bale monkey, and the majestic mountain Nyala. The critically endangered painted hunting dog called this home but packs haven’t been significantly counted since the 1990s. Bale Mountains National Park was also selected as number four birding site in Africa by the African Bird Club.

Yangudi Rassa National Park

Yangudi Rassa National Park is an area of semi-desert and thick woodland, home to rare Beisa oryx, gazelle, zebra and huge groups of baboons. Migrant birds visit the park throughout the year, making this a nature-lovers paradise.

Addis Ababa

The sprawling capital of Addis Ababa has existed since humans migrated north. Ancient religious ruins, towering Christian spires and extensive townships, each with their own culture, ensures that Addis is an unforgettable experience like no other.

Amhara region

The northern region of Amhara is famous for being the home of the 12-13th century carved rock churches and pilgrimage sites of Coptic Christians at Lalibela. Tall churches dominate the skyline and countless cave trenches make this Ethiopia’s most popular UNESCO site.

Danakil Depression

Officially one of the driest and hottest regions in the world, with average daily temperatures of 50°C, the Danakil Depression is a destination for only the adventurous travellers. Arid deserts littered with stones, active volcanoes, hot springs and lava lakes can only be explored on camelback.

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