Tribes & Churches
Ethiopia encompasses time. Forty thousand years of history in seven days? That will bring some perspective.
Walk among the tribes of the Rift Valley, where our story as humans began. Travel through the ages and see the holy cities of Axum and Lalibela.
Read about your itinerary: The First of Ethiopia’s Many Layers
This is a journey through the ages. So arriving in Addis Ababa is the perfect place to start. It is a bustling, modern city. The capital of Ethiopia has a rich history that is often commemorated by dramatic architecture. So much you gather from your visit to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a building so entangled in Ethiopian history, that you begin to discover that this country hides much more than meets the eye. The time jumps are enormous: from epic battles in modern wars, to the resting place of Lucy, one of the first hominids to be discovered. After all, you are about to embark in a journey to the cradle of humanity.Read more
A Quick Return to the Garden of Eden
The Rift Valley is where it all began. The lush vegetation and the diverse wildlife bring to mind stories from a very distant past, this is a tale of Paradise. After a couple of hippopotamus sightings, it is time to travel to the Omo Valley, home to some of the most ancient tribes in the world. Their cultures have so many unique features, that they might seem strange at first. You look closer, you share their meals, and go into their homes. Then you see that we are all the same. The only real difference is that your hosts have kept the memory of the farthest past alive.
The Last of the Ancients
The Dorze welcome you into their bee-hive shaped huts, and show you their skill at cotton weaving. The Mursi women modify their lips to accommodate large wooden plates. You learn that in this way, they can connect to the greater spiritual forces around them. In their stories, you find a wisdom that has been preserved through the ages. The Hamar have a very interesting rite of passage: boys have to jump over a line of cattle. It is not only a great feat of athleticism, but a crucial moment in the life of both the boys and of the tribe. The Konso delight in beauty, and they are some of the best looking people in the world. They highlight their features through scarification and body paint. You decide to try on the paint, but not the scars. When you meet the Konso, the spiritual world that surrounds these cultures becomes apparent to you. Their wooden totems are a connection with mysterious forces.
The Secret Cities of Emperors and Queens
After a few days in southern Ethiopia, you have learned that in this country, the spiritual is very near to the surface. Gondar only confirms your hypothesis. This city comes as such a surprise! The castles and churches that it harbours seem to come right out of a fairytale. And, speaking of ancient tales, Axum is believed to be the ancient home of the Queen of Sheba. It remains the holiest city in Ethiopia. This beautiful country always seems to offer more, because the rock-cut churches of Lalibela are simply something out of a legend. Experiencing this is something you will treasure forever.
And then Nature Becomes the Tour Guide
Life seems to come full-circle in Ethiopia. But no trip to East Africa can be complete without a visit to the Nile. Embark on a relaxing cruise and let nature do the rest. The Blue Nile Falls are quite a sight. Here, the Great River is born, and so is all of human history. You came to Ethiopia for perspective, and you are about to find it. A hike in the Semien Mountains, let’s you ponder things from above. This country has opened for you the book of History, from the earliest tribes, through biblical times, and then through the Medieval Age. It’s time to go back home, and see straight into the future.