Adventures in Ethiopia, at a glance
The sheer diversity of experiences available in Ethiopia sets it apart from the rest of East Africa.
Ethiopia isn't about safari vehicles and game drives, it's a land of infinite variety. From cultural encounters with indigenous tribes in the remote Omo Valley, to the brutal, alien landscapes of the Danakil Depression.
The possibility for adventure in Ethiopia is endless, and that's why no two itineraries are ever the same.
Adventure Tours in Ethiopia
The tours below showcase just some of what is possible. Use these itineraries as starting points, or to draw inspiration. Then get in touch, and let our expert team help craft the perfect itinerary for you.
5 Epic Adventure Activities in Ethiopia
1. Hiking in the Simien Mountains
Often referred to as the Roof of Africa, the Simien Mountains have some of the country's most impressive hiking routes.
The proliferation of indigenous wildlife, including the famous Gelada Monkeys and rare Walia Ibex, not to mention the variety of unique flowers, trees and plants, make hiking in this part of the country an absolute joy.
The first national park in the country, formed in 1969, the Simiens sit firmly along the northern circuit of Ethiopia, and are often the focal point of many itineraries.
Trekking in the Simien Mountains is one of the most popular adventures in Ethiopia, with routes ranging from day hikes to multi-week expeditions.
2. Exploring Danakil Depression
Known as the gateway to hell, the Danakil Depression is one of the most unique environments in the world.
Sitting over 400 feet below sea level, it is both one of the lowest lying and hottest places on earth, with average temperatures reaching as high as 50°C. Aside for the hardy Afar people who inhabit this seemingly inhospitable desert, only 3 types of people flock to this region: salt miners, scientists and adventurers.
The sulphur springs of Dallol are one of the biggest attractions in the area, with its psychedelic-tinged shades of neon green morphing into vibrant yellows and reds and acid spraying from the rocky terrain. Ethiopia’s most active volcano, Erta Ale (which means “Smoking Mountain” in the local Afar language) is one of only eight lava lakes in the world.
3. Fly Camping in the Omo Valley
Sleep under the stars, and spend your days trekking through the unending expanse. Spend time with the various tribes of the Omo Valley, and immerse yourself in centuries of culture and history. Eight different tribes live in this remote pocket of Ethiopia, with combined population numbers around 200,000. They live here now as they have done for over 10,000 years.
Fly camping in the heart of the Omo Valley, on the banks of the Omo River, is Ethiopia's answer to glamping. Sleep under the stars, in gazebo-type tents, with a shared area that includes a dining area and seating.
Lale's Camp is the flagship camp in the Omo Valley, and offers exclusive access into the country's most remote regions.
4. Rock Climbing in Tigray
The towering Gheralta Mountains, and the rock churches found within, were for centuries only visited by the most stoically loyal practitioners, with their lofty location making them easily defensible, but barely reachable.
Over the years the rock-hewn temples were hidden behind small shack-like doors, far from prying eyes. Today however, this stunning landscape has become a popular spot for the adventure traveller.
Quite a different experience than the rock churches in Lalibela, these churches require scaling a sheer cliff face, following the centuries-old handholds carved out by pilgrims, centuries ago.
Abuna Yemata Guh is the most famous church in the Tigray region, but there are many others that wait to be explored.
5. Helicopter Safaris in Gambella
In the rugged, wild west of Ethiopia lies Gambella National Park. An untamed wilderness where few dare to travel, but those do can spend their nights under the stars in a remote camp - with the sound of buffalo stomping in the distance - miles and miles from anywhere.
Access to this remote region is only possible via helicopter, and only few operators are able to run trips here. We work closely with those that can, and a trip like this is the definition of a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
Ready to plan your Ethiopia adventure?
We'll spend some time listening to your aspirations, then discuss the kind of experience that might suit you.
Next we'll discuss the options, shortlist the best trips for you and present you our impartial recommendations.
We'll place a 24 hour hold on your preferred option - without obligation - whilst we talk through the details.