Ethiopia vacation, tailormade

“Our most popular Ethiopia tour is fully customised to your interests and budget by a local expert - and as the sparkling reviews reveal, he really knows his stuff.”


Addis Ababa | Bahir Dar | Blue Nile Falls | Gondar | Lalibela | Rock hewn churches | Aksum | 2,000-year-old stelae | Dorze villages | Netch Sar National Park | Laka Abaya | Jinka | Omo Valley markets | Mursi and Hamer tribes | Yabelo Wildlife Sanctuary | Lake Langano | Wondo Genet | Rift Valley lakes

Departure information

This trip can be tailor made at a time to suit you and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary. Minimum 2 people
Our top tip:
Travel with an open mind. Ethiopia is wonderfully different - but this often means having to leave Western expectations behind!
Trip type:
Tailor made. Min. 2 people, min. age 5.
Activity level:
Locally owned where possible. Tailored to your preferences and budget.
Accomm., private transport and transfers, tour leader throughout, local guides for specific activities, driver, listed activities. Meals not included.
Vacation type

Traveling with a local operator

This vacation is operated by a company based in the vacation destination and they will be able to provide expert local knowledge. They will be able to tailor make your vacation to suit your requirements not only concerning the dates of travel but also typically the standard of accommodation, and thus price. It is rare for local operators to be able to help with the booking of your flights.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Ethiopia vacation, tailormade

If you book this trip you will give many local people a chance to support themselves and their family dependants. Our guides are locals and well trained in all disciplines and the scouts are hired from the parks. You will also be staying in locally owned accommodations which have a direct impact on the communities their respective environment. They will get most of their material and man-power needs from the local markets and resources. The income they will earn as a result of your booking will support many grass-root economies. As we also purchase most of the necessities for the trip like food, water, coffee, soft papers etc. from locally owned shops and restaurants; they will be benefited.

Accommodations have put in place policies of environmental conservation, water and energy usage. They also have economic policies to employ their staff from the local communities and to use the local resources and markets for the services they provide.

For you to have better knowledge of the trip we will provide you an accurate pre-trip information before the start of the tour. And in order for you to have a good understanding of the places, the environment, and the local community we will supply you with our Travelers' Code of Conduct which is also supplied to our staff and local suppliers.

As part of environmental conservation efforts, almost all of our destination suppliers are actively involved in initiatives like '2 trees for 2000'. It is a campaign against Ethiopia's environmental hazard caused by deforestation and is mainly sponsored by the Millennium Secretariat. Also as an effort to reduce pollution, accommodations help protect the environment by giving away some materials like plastic bags to recycling agencies. After completing the cultural tour and if time allows, we will arrange a short trip to visit an initiative in Yabello-Borena which works on improving the livelihood of the pastoral and agro-pastoral communities.

Much of the country was devastated by both man-made and natural disasters. An increased demand for fuel has resulted in the practice of reckless tree felling. Also at Borena, large areas are inhabited by nomadic pastoralists who move over large expanses of land with large herds of livestock. Environmental degradation in this area has caused serious hardship to these pastoralist groups. You may wish to exchange ideas with the community on issues like the use of natural resources, spring development, land rehabilitation, and irrigation works which would be of great importance.

Reviews of Ethiopia vacation, tailormade

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 21 Mar 2016 by

Great trip! We loved the country and everything it has to offer! We couldn't recommend it more! Eskinder organised the tour perfectly and it all ran very smoothly. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Feb 2016 by

It was a splendid vacation very well organised by the operator. The company is run by Eskinder Hailu Senebata who is a delightful man, who answered all our questions most professionally and on meeting turned out to be a most interesting man. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2016 by

Experiencing the people and culture was the most memorable part of my trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Dec 2015 by

We had a wonderful time. Our guide was brilliant and gave us so much of his time. Fantastic guide and driver for 7 days in the south. We loved the contrast of the north and the south. Such a beautiful country. An excellent trip, fascinating and well organised which I would recommend to anyone wanting to see Ethiopia. And we felt perfectly safe! Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Dec 2015 by

Absolutely brilliant. Every day over the 3 weeks something very special or exciting happened. Read full review

Reviewed on 23 Mar 2015 by

Beat all our expectations! We cannot thank you enough for making our time in Ethiopia so memorable, you have certainly gone the extra mile to ensure that our whole trip ran smoothly. All the guides and drivers are so proud of their country and their heritage. They all have a fantastic knowledge of the history of Ethiopia. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Dec 2015 by

I guess if I had to pick out three highlights they would be: the extraordinary beauty of the Simien Mountains and the chance to see the gelada baboons at such close quarters; the amazing rock-hewn churches of Lalibela; and the opportunity to see the way of life of the different tribes in the Omo valley. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 Nov 2015 by

It was a combination of history, culture and nature - a wonderful and interesting trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Sep 2015 by

I loved the time I spent in Ethiopia. It was made even better by the fact that we were in the hands of such a competent and capable bunch of people. Everybody we came across, from guides to drivers to staff at the pre- arranged accommodations gave us a super service. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Mar 2015 by

'Most memorable' is a hard call - I lost count of the number of times we said, 'Isn't that amazing!' Read full review

Reviewed on 17 Mar 2015 by

I observed 7 of the endemic wolves that I have been wanting to see for ages. The landscape is particularly beautiful and the birdlife tremendous. The local guides in each area were really good and went out of their way to help and explain. We felt they enabled us to meet local people which we like very much. Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Oct 2014 by

Almost every day in Ethiopia was a memorable day. The people of Ethiopia are fantastic, never once did we feel threatened or unsafe. We believe it was one of the best vacations we have experienced. Some of the most wonderful and welcoming people on the planet. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 May 2014 by

Every single day was memorable, and virtually every day was exciting...we returned home having had not just a wonderful and exciting vacation but also some understanding, and huge respect, for all things Ethiopian and especially its people. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2014 by

Our guide was excellent. Very caring, very conscientious, very knowledgeable and always available. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Jul 2014 by

Seeing the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela was the impetus for booking the journey and they certainly did not disappoint...The country is so unique in many ways. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Mar 2014 by

The most memorable part of the vacation was going to a wedding in Gonder which would not have been possible without the local guide, the churches in Lalibela, trip to the Simian mountains, having coffee, local markets in the south. Read full review

Reviewed on 19 Jan 2014 by

Every day was a new experience. Ethiopia is a beautiful country with lovely people. The deprivation was startling and one had to remind oneself this is how so many people live. Mixing with the locals at markets and villages was very real and exciting. The local guides were generally very sincere. Read full review

Reviewed on 05 Jan 2014 by

Excellent...Lalibela and the South Omo Valley were the highlights. Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Oct 2013 by will have nothing to do but enjoy the experience. The company took the stress out of traveling by having everything super organized. Read full review

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2013 by

Excellent vacation - great variety of experiences....Simien Mountains were breath taking. Nights are very cold there, but it's worthwhile. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2013 by

Overall the service we received was excellent and we would have no hesitation in recommending or using this company again. The guides - local to each location - were all excellent: knowledgeable and informative Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2013 by

The Simien Mts are beautiful...Other parts are really special and were blazing with wild flowers. October is the perfect time to see this place. It is botanically interesting and scenically splendid. Read full review

Reviewed on 21 Oct 2013 by

The views in the Simien Mountains was the most memorable part Read full review

Reviewed on 27 Aug 2013 by

Excellent...The gorgeous paintings in the island monasteries of Lake Tana were fantastic - amazingly preserved and coloured and funny and charming Read full review

Reviewed on 26 Feb 2013 by

It's difficult to pick out a highlight from such a trip. The stone churches at Lalibela and the stellae at Axum were extraordinary, but the most memorable bits for me were seeing and meeting the Konso, Hamar and Mursi tribes in the south. Read full review

Reviewed on 31 Jan 2013 by

History, culture, scenery, meeting the people - deliberately or accidentally - were highlights and if one person has to be named then it must be Eskinder, the master mind behind the whole operation. Read full review

Reviewed on 28 Jan 2013 by

Very well organised...A pleasure to travel with this company. We'll be back...The Timkat celebrations and trekking were the most memorable parts. Read full review

Reviewed on 02 May 2012 by

One of the most memorable parts was the fantastic scenery, especially in the north. Read full review

Reviewed on 18 Feb 2012 by

Lots of wonderful memories. Excellent trip, efficiently organised by Eskinder. The itinerary was well planned and adapted to our specific requirements. There was a good selection of hotels including the outstanding Gheralta Lodge and Rowda Webr Guesthouse in Harar. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Jan 2012 by

What impressed me most was that these churches were not simply empty museums, but active sites of worship. When I was there, pilgrims were already arriving from all over Ethiopia to celebrate Christmas. It was a wonderful sight. Read full review

Reviewed on 13 Nov 2011 by

It is hard to choose one particular part, as the whole trip was really special. On my list of favourites are Lake Tana, the Blue Nile Falls, the Simien mountains, of course Lalibela (truly astonishing!!!) Read full review

Reviewed on 22 Apr 2011 by

Excellent in all respects. Eskinder and his team were very helpful, courteous and generous throughout and the trip ran without a hitch, even though we covered a huge amount of the country. Ethiopian people are friendly and charming and we learnt a lot about the country and its people. Read full review

Reviewed on 07 Mar 2011 by

All of it was wonderful, the most amazing part was the tribes in the Omo Valley, it was like being transported to another world & time...We are hoping to return again if possible in the not too distant future. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Nov 2011 by

The whole trip was really fantastic. One of the most interesting things in Ethiopia is diversity. There were four main destinations. Each one worth a travel: Nile Blue falls, Simien Mountains, Lalibela, and Omo Valley. Read full review

Reviewed on 01 Nov 2011 by

We are in love with Ethiopia! We decided to go there for various reasons with unclear expectations or none, but the whole experience was beyond any thought. From the very first day in Addis we felt so touched by its gentle people, the colourful landscape of the city. Read full review

Reviewed on 06 May 2011 by

Easter Saturday night in Lalibela churches was the most memorable part...A must for the ones that want to discover different cultures, people and places. Read full review

Reviewed on 12 Feb 2011 by

We rate this vacation very highly. Eskinder is a wonderful tour operator - he worked very hard for us, doing his best to make the vacation as memorable (for the right reasons!) as possible... He is everything that we were hoping for, and more. He looked after us very well. Read full review

Reviewed on 04 Jan 2011 by

By booking through this operator (speak to Eskinder) we avoided a middleman and the whole cost of our vacation went to Ethiopians. The service offered was of a very high standard and he (Eskinder) clearly cares hugely about all aspects of the trip. Read full review

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2010 by

Every day was exciting and I would not have wanted to miss out any of the places visited. Read full review

Reviewed on 09 Feb 2010 by

Excellent. We would highly recommend using Eskinder because he was so considerate and attentive. He provided us with a tailor made tour and virtually everything went according to plan. Read full review

Reviewed on 15 Dec 2009 by

The most memorable part of our vacation was when Eskinder, head of the tour company, surprised me and my husband with T-shirts and enrolment in the World Food Walk. The tour operator really took the time to specifically organize something that me and my husband spoke of. Read full review

Reviewed on 11 May 2009 by

The two places that stood out were Lalibela and the Simien Mountains. The rock-hewn churches around Lalibela are not only outstandingly beautiful but a stunning human achievement which has stood the test of time. Read full review

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2008 by

The highlights were definitely Gonder and Lalibela, and all the beautiful landscapes we drove through. The local guide at Gonder was particularly helpful and interesting. Read full review

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