Lake Tana, Blue Nile and Lalibela Churches

This tour includes besides the capital Addis Ababa 2 highlights of Northern Ethiopia which are so different one from each other. The tropical Bahir Dar with the famous Blue Nile Falls and the biggest lake of the country, Lake Tana, and the historical and religious highlight Lalibela with the world-famous rock hewn churches.

Accompanied by one of our experienced SimienEcoTours guides (English, Italian, Spanish, French & German available) the tour begins with a visit of the capital city on your arrival day. After visiting around green city of Bahir Dar on Lake Tana you’ll discover the countryside by travelling to Lalibela to see the mythical rock-hewn churches.

Overnights are spent in wisely selected and mainly beautifully located mid-range to high-range hotels and lodges.

Tour code: CU39

Operator: SimienEcoTours



Day 1

Discover the capital Addis Ababa

After your arrival & immigration you will meet with your guide at the airport and you will be transferred to your hotel/lodge for some refreshment. Depending on your arrival time your guide will go on a city tour through Ethiopia’s vibrant and lively capital. In the National Museum you can discover the cradle of mankind where the skeleton of “Lucy” is kept. Entoto Mountain with its Eucalyptus forest is a nice short escape out of town to see Mariyam Church and Menelik Palace the place where the Emperors resided. Others might enjoy one of the city’s weekly markets. You can choose your itinerary with your guide.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Hotel Heyday or similar hotel in ,Addis Ababa

Day 2

Coffee forests & historic monasteries at Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve

A domestic flight will bring you to the lake town of Bahir Dar. Lake Tana is the biggest lake of the country and its tropical setting is the perfect escape to start you boat cruise, do some bird watching to finally reach Zeghe Peninsula, where 700 years old monasteries are hidden in the coffee forest. Discover this nature’s beauty and its cultural heritage before you return back by boat to town to your lodge.


AccommodationShimela Lodge or similar, Bahir Dar

Day 3

The impressive waterfalls on the Blue Nile

Today we drive to Tissabay just outside of Bahir Dar where the Blue Nile Falls are situated. Directly at the waterfalls we take a 2-3 hours hike and there we  have the opportunity to experience the falls from different perspectives. Then we cross over two bridges (the historical Portuguese bridge) by boat on the Blue Nile and see the sugarcane plantations. In the afternoon we reach a viewpoint where former emperor Haile Selassie built his summer residential palace.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Shimela Lodge or similar, Bahir Dar

Day 4

The Awura Amba Community - a moving experience

This morning we drive to Lalibela with a stopover in the Awura Amba Community Project. About 500 people live here in a community that has renounced their faith in order to be happy together. You will get to know Zumra Nuru,the founder of the community, and visit the old people's home, the weaving mill, the library and the school of the village. Awura Amba is a cooperative project with a moving and poor past, which has now worked its way up to a certain level of prosperity. A prosperity that is not always viewed kindly by the neighbouring villages. An exciting stopover that will raise many questions. Along the Ethiopian highlights, you will see local farmers harvesting and working on their fields.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: Lalibela Lodge or similar, Lalibela

Day 5

The masterpieces of Lalibela - its eleven rock hewn churches

Today you are entering the heart of the holy city. with your personal tour guide you walk through the labyrinths of trenches and tunnels to discover the eleven rock hewn churches of Lalibela.Bete Medahinealem and Bete Giyorgis (“St. George Church”) are architectural masterpieces counting among the biggest rock churches in Ethiopia. Beta Mariam (“Church of St. Mary”) with its beautiful painted interior and its frescoes is not less impressive as the churches of the southern cluster which used to be an old fortress with narrow confusing pathways. You will have a full day to discover these churches in detail. Before dinner you will have a chance to see the beautiful  sunset in the Lasta Mountains.

Meals. B/L/D

Accommodation: Lalibela Lodge or similar, Lalibela

Day 6

Flight back to Addis Ababa and departure

After a relaxed breakfast in the hotel the driver will transfer you to Lalibela airport in the late morning for the flight to Addis Ababa. If there is enough time before your departure, you will visit a market or shops in Addis Ababa to buy souvenirs. Finally, there is a traditional Ethiopian dinner with music and dance performance. End of the trip and departure depending on flight times.

Meals: B/L/D

Accommodation: ---------


Our services include:
  • All accommodations in double rooms with private toilet/shower in hotels or lodges (5x mid-range).
  • All transfers and travels in Ethiopia with private car (minivan & 4x4).
  • Full board (1 drink per meal included, alcoholic drinks excluded).
  • Boat cruise on Lake Tana.
  • All entrance fees and permissions at tourist attractions, churches, museums and national parks.
  • All persons for safety and security (when prescribed).
  • All (mandatory) local guides in the single destinations.
  • All taxes and administrative fees.
  • 24/7 emergency assistance.
  • Experienced SimienEcoTours Tour Guide (fluently English & Amharic speaking), other language guide on request with surcharge.


Our services do not include:
  • International flights.
  • Travel insurance.
  • visa for Ethiopia (currently US$ 82);
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Tipping.
  • Photo and video fees (if applicable).
  • All extras and personal expenses.