Where Will You Trek in 2023?World's Best Mountain RangesView Top 10

17 Days$12995USD

  • Photography
  • Adventure Touring
  • Day walks
  • 11 nights hotel
  • 5 nights camping
  • 16 Dinners
  • 15 Lunches
  • 16 Breakfasts
Adventure touring

Traveller Rating



Trip highlights

  • Photograph the amazing rock-hewn churches of Lalibela often referred to as one of the living wonders of the world
  • Witness the ancient Christian Timkat Festival at Gondar
  • Experience the impressive Danakil Depression, one of the most remote places on the planet
  • Visit colourful tribal markets and attend rituals and ceremonies
  • Camp beside an active lava lake
  • Spot unique wildlife such as the Walia Ibex and Gelada Baboon on the spectacular Simien Mountain escarpment

Why Book With Us

  • Learn from acclaimed travel photographer and Canon Master, Richard I'Anson
  • Use of extra internal flights, rather than lengthy driving days, so you can maximise your time behind the lens

Ethiopia is an African enigma, combining a rich history, mosaic of cultures and incredible geographic diversity. On this specially designed itinerary with acclaimed photographer and Canon Master, Richard I'Anson you'll have a chance to explore and photograph centuries old ethnic traditions, colorful festivals, ancient African civilizations, natural wonders and unique wildlife. Staying in well appointed hotels or campsites, this trip to Ethiopia is not to be missed.

We hope you can join Richard on this extraordinary journey!

Trip Code: RIE

Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Addis Ababa is one of Africa’s fastest growing cities and the fifth highest capital in the world; the altitude may fatigue you easily so we will take it easy today. Another point to note is that, being relatively close to the equator, there are almost twelve hours of constant daylight no matter what time of year you visit. In the afternoon you will visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including Mount Entoto (3200m) which offers panoramic views of the city. Overnight at Radisson Blu Hotel

Meals:  D

This morning we fly from Addis Ababa to Gondar (approx 55 minutes). On arrival we'll head to the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles. We'll visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie and in the late afternoon, you will attend Ketera, the Timket Eve ceremony. During Ketera, the priests take out the Tabots — replicas of the original Ark of the Covenant — from each church and bless the water of the pool where the next day's celebration will take place. Overnight at Lodge de Chateau, Gondar.

Meals:  B,L,D

Early this morning we'll walk to the Tabot Maderia to witness the baptism ceremony. The water, which symbolizes the Jordan River, is blessed by the priest and the patriarch then a golden cross is dipped in the water and a burning consecrated candle is extinguished in the alter. Water is then sprinkled on the assembled congregation in commemoration of Christ's baptism. Following the baptism, the procession of the Tabots to their respective rock churches begins as the people feast, sing and dance. Overnight at Lodge de Chateau, Gondar

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we will drive to Simien Mountains National Park. En-route we will visit a Black Jewish village, or 'Falasha'. The Simien Mountains consist of many high altitude plateau formed by volcanic activity and lava flows, the northern and western flanks of which were subsequently eroded by large rivers forming an incredible landscape of rugged peaks and valleys. This afternoon we'll undertake a walk along the edge of the escarpment for our first views over the dramatic Simien mountain range. Our aim is to find and photograph the Gelada Baboons playing on the slopes. (2.5 hours drive) Overnight at Limalimo Lodge

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we have an excursion to Chenek. En-route we will visit Jinbar River waterfalls falling into the Geech Abyss. Continuing along to Chenek we'll witness the endangered endemic mammal, Walya Ibex. We'll return to Ras Buyit in the evening. (4 hours drive) Overnight at Limolima Lodge.

Meals:  B,L,D

We'll set off after an early breakfast and begin the drive towards to Gondar airport for the flight to Lalibela(2600m). Lalibela contains 11 monolithic churches that were built in the 12th century and are carved out of the local pink basaltic scoriae rock. The churches have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each church has a unique architectural style and all are superbly carved. This afternoon we begin our visits of Rock Hewn churches (there are 6 in total, Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mika'el also known as Bet Debre Sina-Bet Golgotha and Bet Giyorgis.(2.5 hours’ drive and 30 minutes flight to Lalibela). Overnight at Mezena Lodge, Lalibela.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we drive to Yemrehanna Kristos (42km, 1 hour drive), a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. Following our morning exploration, we'll continue with our tour of Lalibela’s churches. Overnight at Mezena Lodge, Lalibela

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast we drive to the town of Mekele. We’ll take our time as the rough road makes things slow going, though we’ll have plenty of opportunities to take in and photograph the beautiful scenery along the way. Overnight at Planet Hotel, Mekele

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we drive to Hamedela via Berhale (639m). The Danakil Depression is said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular. Numerous sulfur springs, volcanoes, geysers, acidic pools, vast salt pans, and colorful mineral-laden lakes dot the area, which formed above the divergence of three tectonic plates. Volcanic activity heats spring water, bringing sulfur and iron to the surface, leaving behind yellow, green, and orange deposits. The desert has several points lying more than 100m below sea level. We’ll pass through the small town of Berhale where camel caravans stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En-route we’ll also see many long caravans going to the salt mines and others coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. We will also visit the Dallol Depression, one of the lowest places on earth (116m below sea level). Overnight Camping at Hamedela

Meals:  B,L,D

We return to Dallol Depression for sunrise & then after breakfast, drive on to Erta Ale (approx 4 hours). Erta Ale means “smoking mountain” in the local Afar language and its southernmost pit is known locally as “the gateway to Hell”. The 613m high volcano holds one, or sometimes two active lava lakes which occasionally overflow on the south side. It is noteworthy for holding the longest-existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century. Volcanoes with lava lakes are very rare: there are only eight in the world. This afternoon we’ll hike up and camp near the crater rim (approx 40 minute walk). Here we’ll witness the colourful eruptions and active lava flows, with the chance for some breathtaking night time photography. Overnight camp on Erta Ale.

Meals:  B,L,D

After an early breakfast, we’ll descend the volcano and drive to Mekele to take a charter flight to Murulle/ Dus. (6 hour drive and 2.5 hours flight). Overnight Camping at Dus.

Meals:  B,L,D

Morning visit to Karo Village to visit the Kara tribe who reside on the shore of the Omo River. The Kara are the masters in body and face painting, which they practice on a daily basis. Before their rituals and dances they carefully paint their faces and body as well as the faces of their friends using various-colored soil, minerals, plant pigments, flowers, white chalk, and black charcoal. Men are decorated with red clay hair buns they have prepared for days. We will then drive to Kangate (approx 2.5 hours). The Bume are also known as the Nyangatom. The Bume live west of the Dasenech people, south-west of the Karo people, south of the Surma people and North of the Ethio- Kenyan boundary. They occasionally migrate into the lower regions of the Omo National Park when water or grazing is scare. Overnight Camping at Dus

Meals:  B,L,D

Today we will drive to Turmi (2 hours) with a stop at the Dimeka Market to attend the weekly colourful market of the Hamer tribe. Later in the afternoon we will visit the beautiful nomadic Hamer tribe living beside the Keske River. The Hamer display an elaborate and diverse selection of body decorations. They are also identifiable for their high cheekbones, custom of elaborate beads, cowries, leather, and thick copper necklaces. The Hamar women are striking with their beautiful colorful beaded skins, ornate necklaces, and metal bangles around their wrist and ankles. Overnight at Buska Lodge, Turmi.

Meals:  B,L,D

Early this morning we'll drive west (approx 75km) to visit the Dassench/Geleb people who live on the banks of Omo River. We cross the Omo River by locally made boat to see the village. We return to Turmi for the evening. (4 hours’ drive and 10 minutes boat trip). Overnight at Buska Lodge, Turmi.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we'll depart early (around 6am) and drive to Mursi via Jinka. On arrival at Mursi we'll visit the weekly market of Hana Mursi (approx 4.5 hours drive). Overnight Camping at Mursi Village.

Meals:  B,L,D

This morning we'll visit one of the Mursi Villages in the Mago National Park. The Mursi are known for their lower lip and earlobe plates. We'll then drive to Jinka airport to take a flight to Addis Ababa. In the evening, there will be a special Ethiopian farewell dinner party with traditional buffet and local drinks. (1 hour drive to Jinka/1 hour flight to Addis Ababa) Overnight at Radisson Blue hotel, Addis Ababa

Meals:  B,L,D

Your tour concludes after breakfast today. Transfers will be provided to the airport for onward flight.

Meals:  B


  • Trip escorted by acclaimed photographer and Canon Master, Richard I'Anson
  • 11 nights in 3-4 star hotels on a twinshare basis
  • 5 nights camping
  • 16 breakfasts, 15 lunches and 16 dinners
  • airport transfer Day 1 and Day 17
  • private road transport
  • 3 x commercial domestic flights: Addis Ababa/Gondar and Jinka/Addis Ababa
  • 1 x Charter flight Merkele/Murulle/Dus
  • site entrance and National Park fees
  • English speaking local guide throughout
  • Boat trip on the Omo River
  • Government Tax

  • international flights
  • bottled water, aerated and alcoholic drinks
  • items of a personal nature such as phone calls, internet, laundry, etc.
  • travel insurance
  • visa
  • tips

About Your Leader

Richard I'Anson

This photography adventure will be led by one of the world’s most acclaimed travel photographers, and a good friend of ours for over 25 years, Richard I’Anson. Richard represents Canon Australia as a Canon Master Photographer, has published thirteen books, including five editions of the best-selling Lonely Planet Guide to Travel Photography, and was featured in the first series of the documentary series Tales by Light, now screening on Netflix. He has built an enviable career on his twin passions for travel and photography and over the past 35 years has travelled the world, amassing a substantial and compelling collection of images of people and places – in more than 90 countries on all seven continents. Richard has a Master of Photography awarded by the Australian Institute of Professional Photography (AIPP), is an Ambassador for the Australian Himalayan Foundation and we’re honoured to have his amazing images featuring in our brochures since the early 90’s. For more inspiration, visit, head to his Instagram page @richianson or watch the videos on this page to gain an insight into the knowledge you will tap into if you join him on this fantastic trip.


Departure dates

* Guaranteed status denotes minimum trip numbers have been met, however the trips operation will be subject to there being no COVID-19 restrictions or other government travel advisories. Please contact us for further information.

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  • Single SupplementUSD$1030
*Prices listed are per person

Essential Information

Ready to book? Make sure you download and read the detailed Ethiopia with Richard I'Anson trip notes which contains all the essential information you need to know before booking. Once you’ve booked, we will supply you with a Pre-Departure document which contains a detailed gear list and other important information to help you prepare for your adventure ahead.

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Why travel with us

Award Winning Adventures

Enhancing your journey with authentic experiences, genuine cultural exchange and real exploration are the focal points on all of our adventures. In 2019, we were crowned by our peers as the best in adventure travel at The Travel Awards in Sydney.

Thoughtful Travel

Our vision is to leave the world a better place by following our sustainable active outdoor travel charter. All our adventures are 100% carbon offset and our Regenerative 2030 Project aims to integrate ‘regenerative’ projects into every one of our global operations by 2030.

Ultimate Value

 When you book one of our adventures, you will receive quality services at the best prices with plenty of inclusions. There are no hidden costs, single travellers don’t pay more and you’ll enjoy many ‘extra touches’ that ensure your holiday is excellent value for money.

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