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Ethiopian Odyssey (22nd Dec – 3rd Jan 2018)

KSh 86,000
Posted at
22. May, 17:01
Travel Package Type
Westlands Nairobi

Ethiopia is one of the oldest Civilizations in the world. The country is divided into the southern and northern Sector. This trip basically takes you through the best of both sides in a few days. This is a trip flexible in that you can reduce the number of days easily at will to suit your demand to 10 days or even 8. Talk to us.

The Highlights
A road trip via the Great North road to Moyale and into Ethiopia.
Optional flight from Nairobi to join the trip in Ethiopia.
Visit to ancient churches in Lalibella and Castles in Gondar.
A trip to the beautiful lake towns of Hawassa and Bahir Dar (Lake Tana).
A trip to the Blue Niles.
A trip to one of the lowest place on earth with burning lava and sulphur – Danakil Depression.
A trip to the world famous Simien Mountains and an attempt for Ethiopia’s highest peak, Ras Dashen.
Day 1: Nairobi – Marsabit (22nd December)
Transit through the unexploited lands of Northern Kenya which offer the most beautiful and scenic part of this country. The vast unoccupied land makes you realize just how big Kenya is. On the way we pass the Buffalo Springs, Shaba, Losai and Samburu, National reserves as well as Marsabit National park. Our first night is spent camping in Marsabittown.

With an early arrival plan for a trip extra to Lake Paradise in Marsabit National Park.

Day 2: Marsabit – Yabelo (23rd December)

Further north we drive through the inhospitable and unforgiving Dida Galgallo desert that was for many years a treacherous stretch to the overland travelers between Cairo and Nairobi before the road was tarmacked. Leaving the semi-arid northern Kenya we drive up the Moyale hills and cross into Ethiopia driving through the panoramic Oromia region to Yabelo where we put up for the night at our hotel and get our first experience of an Ethiopian night experience.

Day 3: Yabelo – Turmi (24th December)

Head west from Yabelo and drive through the Stephanie wildlife sanctuary to arrive at Turmi in the heart of the Omo Valley .Overnight camping at Keske or Mago campsite.

Day 4: Christmas in Omo Valley Turmi (25th December)

On this day, Visit the market of Turmi on Monday morning. If cultural artefacts and crafts are you thing, then this is a great place to get some sourvenirs. Stay in campsite of Mango. On a lucky day some ceremonies like bull jumping happen at the market. At night the day is called off after a colorful party with a tribal dance (night dance).

Day 5: Turmi – Arba Minch (26th December)

On this day drive from Turmi to Arba minch a vibrant town to the North. The town is right near Chamo Lake and Nechisar National park.

Enjoy the vibrant night life and settle for the night in the town.

Day 6: Arba Minch to Shashamane to Lake Awassa (27th December)

Driving north we arrive at the vibrant Shashemene town, home to the repatriated Rastafarian community mainly from the Caribbean islands, USA and the UK. The 1955 Land grant by His Imperial Majesty Haile Sellassie 1 was given to the Ethiopian World Federation (EWF) offering 500 Hectares of land for those Black people who wish to come back home to Africa and settle back. The EWF formed in New York by black people in Diasporas had been a fundraiser organization for Haile Sellassie’s war against the Italian invasion. Here in Shashamene we learn of this great Rastafarian culture.We will also have a special visit to the home of Teddy Dan and his private art gallery, an international Reggae artiste and friend who repatriated back to Africa and lives in Shashamane. Teddy Dan’s most popular song is “United States of Africa” and he also runs a local children’s sports foundation that we will also visit. Our Ethiopian guide, Biruk will also arrange for a family meal at his parent’s house in the outskirts of the city so we can get the real local experience.

Later in the evening drive south to Awassa for the night.

Awassa or Hawassa is home to Lake Awassa and is the biggest city south of Addis full of vibrant night life.

Day 7: Awassa to Addis Ababa (28th December)

In the morning we explore Awassa. A very welcoming city with beautiful Ethiopian people who are friendly to visitors and you can enjoy a walk in the city and do shopping as well as a walk along the paved walkways of Lake Awassa shores. We also have a boat ride excursion here as an optional activity, where you’ll see the beauty of Awassa from the lake as well as assorted water birds and hippos during the ride.

Leaving Awassa later in the day we drive to Wendognt for Natural Hotsprings water and swim at the Hot Springs and then drive 250kms to Addis, with the last 60 kms of a toll gated Expressway that is the only real highway in East Africa with no speed humps, Zebra crossings or animals on the road. We therefore have a very fast and comfy drive on this stretch to Addis where we will enjoy traditional song and dance as well as the nightclubs.

Days 8: Addis Ababa (29th December)

Addis Ababa is known as the capital of Africa due to it hosting the headquarters of the African Union, of which all but 1 country in Africa is a part of. During the day we have historical city tour of the 18th Century palace of King Menelik the Second and the beautiful church of Saint Mariam and the museum all at the same place and after we visit the beautiful market of Shiromeda and shop amazing Ethiopian Traditional Clothes.

Days 9: Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar (30th December)

This morning we begin the Historical route to the North and see what Ethiopia’s 3,000 years of history has to offer. In the Morning we depart north to Debre Markos and continue to do a long day drive to Bahir Dar with a late arrival. On the way we visit the Monastery of Debre Libanos and the Portuguese bridge, said to have been the first bridge in Ethiopia. Afterwards, you will pass through the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge. The gorge extends nearly 400km and reaches depths up to 1500m. Bahir Dar is Ethiopia’s 3rd largest city gives you access to Lake Tana which feeds the Nile and one thing you should see is the Blue Nile Falls which are a bit smaller than Niagara Falls, but very scenic.

Day 10: Bahir Dar (Lake Tana) (31st December)

In the morning, embark on a boat trip on the Blue Nile or take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar (hotel).

Day 11: Bahir Dar – Gondar to Lalibella (1st January)

Early in the morning, embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. We drive via Gondar city and visit the old Castles before banking east towards Lalibella. Depending on the time we sleep a a short distance out of Lalibella. Lalibela is a must see attraction in Ethiopia and a UNESCO world heritage site. This is a city designed and built to be the 2nd Jerusalem, many Ethiopians from the city still claim that fact.It is home to an extremely impressive array of churches that are carved out of stone including the famous St. Georges Cathedral you see above. There is also a variety of monasteries in the region that you will visit. Camp overnight on the Gondar Lalibella stretch.

Day 12: Lalibella (2nd January)

In the morning, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. After lunch, continue with the Northwestern Cluster of churches – Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, and Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).Trip ends in Lalibella on a nice setting.

Day 13: Lalibella to Dessie (or Nairobi) 3rd January

Driving from Lalibella to Dessie and spend the night in the town.

PS: If flying out then Depart early for Addis Ababa and connect onwards to Nairobi to arrive in the evening.

Day 14: 3rd Dessie to Addis Ababa 4th January

Drive from Dessie to Addis Ababa to arrive later in the day.

Day 15: Addis Ababa to Yirgachefe/ Nairobi (5th January)

Fly out to Nairobi in the morning or otherwise proceed by road south to Yirgachefe the Home of Ethiopian Coffee. Do a coffee ceremony and then also buy original the best Ethiopian Coffee.

Day 16: Yirgachefe to Moyale (6th January)

Drive south via the mountains to Moyale border, if time allows onwards to Marsabit.

Day 17: Moyale to Nairobi (7th January)

Drive down to Nairobi to arrive late in the night.


Day 13: Lalibella to Mekele to Danakil (3rd January)

Start of your tour into the DANAKIL to ERTA ALE, the famous volcano with it’s bubbling lava lake and the rare possibility of experiencing the nomadic tribe living in this desert- the AFAR people, survivors and warriors in the hottest and one of the lowest places on earth! Today we drive from Mekele to LAKE AFDERA. The Danakil Depression can be said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most spectacular and also absolutely inhospitable regions of the world! Today it is a 4 hours drive on an asphalt road (220km), with a few stops for instance having a coffee with the locals and lunch, prepared by our own cook. The landscape starts to become more and more drier and less and less inhabited; we will be passing the odd local on the way, but not many people are to be seen. We reach the local village Afdera, a 15 min walk from the Lake Afdera, around 4:30pm, have a stop there to explore it and yet another coffee or coke with the inhabitants. After that we continue our journey to the ending point of today: Lake Afdera, where is also our campsite. Meanwhile the sun is setting we go for a swim, floating on the surface of the saltlake and enjoying the nearby hot springs, experiencing an incredible view. Dinner and a campfire before falling asleep right underneath a starful nightly sky with thousands and thousands of stars will brightening up your dreams.

Day 14: Erta Ale Volcano (4th January)

Todays aim is first DODOM (‘tree planting’) -the base of the ERTA ALE volcano and later, at night, Erta Ale itself. After a breakfast at 10am at the lake, it is a 70 km drive on sandy ground and over cold lava rocks. On the way we visit the salt miners which are local Afar people. They pump salt water over the surface and let it evaporate to create a salt crust. Lunch will be served in Dodom village, surrounded by many local people. Here we also have to show our permission to climb ERTA ALE (‘the smoking mountain’), get the needed camels for transporting the goods, more scouts.. Dinner time is already at 5-ish since we have to start trekking up to the volcano around 6-7pm. Dodom is approximately 8.5km away from Erta Ale and this stretch will take about 3 hours of trekking. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic actions of the boiling lava. The Volcano is 613 meters high, the lava lake contains actually 2 caters, one of them, the northern one, is inactive with no Magma. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake on this planet. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia, it is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. The volcano contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. We set our camp a little bit away from the rim, on the other side of the wind so we wont have to inhale the toxic gases. After enjoying this great, special, sometimes smelly, sometimes loud and hot experience we overnight in our camp, again with a brilliantly shining night sky.

Day 15: Lake Asale (5th January)

Erta Ale- Dodom-Hamed Ela, from here we descend around early morning in the direction Dodom, which we will reach after 2hours. Here breakfast will be served and you have some time to relax. We start our drive to HAMED ALE, our next destination= 100 km/7 hours Lunch is served en route, we reach Hamed Ale around 4:30pm, a bigger village with a total population about 500. LAKE ASALE (lake ‘Red Mountain’) a huge salt lake-is in walking distance, where we take a deep breath and a wine or beer for sunset, taking in the many reflections. Our tonight camp is in Hamed Ale.

Day 16: Hamed Ale- Dallol- Mekele (6th January)

You get served an early breakfast at 6, around 7we start driving the short distance (approx 30 min) to Dallol (‘a colorful place’) via Asebo (‘the salt desert’), where- you can guess it- they mine salt. btw: 1,200 km2 of the Afar Depression is covered by salt. You can watch the workers breaking the salt from the ground, cutting it into rectangular pieces and loading it onto camels. The caravans start from here. This is also the lowest point of the Danakil – 116 meters! We continue driving ahead to Dallol and stroll through the different landscapes formed by volcanic activities. Incredible, moon-like, colorful creations of the sulfur and huge salt mountains are to be found here. From here we proceed to Mekele (180 km, around 4 hours), leaving the lowland and make our way up (Mekele is situated at 2100m!), having wonderful mountains on our side, reaching civilization at around 5pm.

Day 17: Mekele to Addis Ababa (7th January)

Fly out to Mekele and onwards to Nairobi to arrive late in the evening.

Inclusions on Danakil Trip (Cost USD 375)

4WD land cruisers with AC and 4 clients in one car
All fuel expenses and drivers allowances
3 meals per day
All needed Entrance fees and licenses
Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour
Plenty bottles of water and coffee or tea with meals
Local guide service for the Afar region -Cooking, camping equipment
Experienced cook throughout the whole tour
What You Need for Danakil

Light/Headlamps (walking in the night)
Small backpack for the trek to the top of the volcano
Closed, comfortable shoes (trekking shoes)
Sun protection like sun cream, hat
Jacket for the night on the volcano
Sleeping bag, pillow or blanket (can also be provided by the agency for free
Community Gifts: If you want be friendly and helpful to the people in the Danakil, you can bring to them old closes, sun glasses, school materials for the kids, aye drop and simple medicines, then you are the kings and queens of the dessert.



We want you enjoy your trip to the fullest extent possible, so we ask that you take some time before departing to fully consider the nature of your trip and your physical abilities to enjoy it. Please take time to fill the attached self-assessment form.


To make your trip more comfortable, please use the following checklist.

Passport, Visa if Non East African and International Yellow Fever Certificate
Head lamp, Flash light
Sleeping Bag,
Personal effects (wash kit, sun-screen, slippers, soap, tissue paper, tooth brush + paste)
Small day pack (bag) for day trips and excursions
Swimming costume
Camera, spare batteries and film
Warm clothing and jacket for night at volcano
A hat and shades to shield from the sun
Insect repellent
Cash for personal use (see section on currency)
Anti Malaria tablets
Any other personal items you may deem necessary.

PS: Heavy suitcases discouraged for bush trips.

Dates: 22nd Dec 2017-4th Jan 2018

Road Package KES 86, 450
Flight : Lalibella to Addis to Nairobi
Addis to Nairobi Option

KES 35,000
KES 29,000

Activities As per Choice
Dates: 22nd Dec 2017- 7th Jan 2018

Road Package KES 86, 450
Accommodation & Meals on Return KES 12,500
Activities As per Choice
Dates: 27th Dec 2017 –4th Jan 2018

Flight to Addis &
Flight from Addis to Nairobi

KES 34,000 Road Package KES 76, 000
Activities As per Choice
Dates: 22nd Dec 2016-7th Jan 2017

Road Package KES 86, 450
Danakil Trip USD 375
Flights : Lalibella to Mekele & Mekele to Addis to Nairobi Road Return by PSV

KES 37,900


PS: Flight costs vary with the time of booking. This must be confirmed at the time of booking.


Please refer to Bucketlist Travel Club Booking Terms and conditions. A deposit of 15% is required to secure the trip. This is a 20 guest’s trip.

The following is the recommended payment chart. You may contact us for a more flexible arrangement. The early payments allow you to use your December Christmas budgets for activities and extra pocket monies.

Date September October November December : Final Install
Amount 15000 15,000 20,000 36, 000
% of Total Investment 17% 17%
Flight Booking fees


With the above payment chart you will enjoy the flexibility of installments.

Please make all payments payable to:-

KES Payments

A/c Name: Bucketlist Adventures

A/c No: 1005055788

Branch Name: The Mall Westlands.

Postal Address: – 44599,00100- Nairobi Kenya.

Branch code: 105

Bank Code: 41

Swift Code: NINCKENA

For MPESA or card payments please contact our bookings team.

USD Payments

A/c Name: Bucketlist Adventures

A/c No: 105055853

Branch Name: The Mall Westlands.

Postal Address: – 44599,00100- Nairobi Kenya.

Branch code: 105

Bank Code: 41

Swift Code: NINCKENA

For More Details on this Trip Download the Detailed package here : Ethiopian Odyssey Trip Package 2017

RSVP : Munyaka Njiru

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