We've pre-picked the best hotels, hostels and bed and breakfasts to
make your stay as enjoyable as possible.
After meeting, drive 160 km south of Addis Ababa enjoying the great scenery of the Ethiopian Rift Valley. We will make the first stop at one of the five crater lakes of Bishoftu famous for the picturesque view which is found 45 km south east of Addis. Then, leaving the highway to Djibouti, drive south to Lake Ziway with a stop at the man made Lake of Koka where you will spot birds like Hammerkop, sacred ibis, etcAfter lunch stop at one of the best restaurants by Lake Ziway, have a boat trip of about one hour to ride to a small island called "Birds' Island". Here you will test your bird identification skills by visiting birds like Marabou Stork, Great White Pelicans, Plovers , Saddle Billed Stork, African Fish Eagle, Cormorants, and many more. Then, ride to a spot where you will see families of African Hippos. We will take the road back to Addis via the town of Butajira. This allows you to have more views of the surrounding landscape. Before reaching Butajira, stop at a local family of the Oromo people to experience the local life and enjoy attending a typical Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony. Visits of the Steles of Tiya is an additional treat of the tour. The Steles of Tiya are about 40 big slabs of beautifully decorated caved stones erected in memory of important people of the area. This cemetery site was founded in the 14th Century AD and is one of the sites of Ethiopia which are registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage. Price of the tour is a group price up to 6 participants. Tour price includes hotel pickup/drop off, a comfortable private Toyota minivan of 2014 Model of 8 seats capacity which is equipped with air conditioning & seat belts, fuel (gasoline), admission (entrance) fees, driver's allowance, boat rent, local family visiting fee, and professional experienced English speaking guide.Price does not include meals, admission fees, and other expenses which are not mentioned above.
Day 1 – Addis Ababa – Butajira – Ziway – Awassa
Be met and welcomed by your tour guide at your hotel lobby at 7:30 AM and take your private comfortable air conditioned Toyota Minivan for the drive of 275 km south of Addis Ababa to Awassa with interesting stops along the way.
The first stop today is at an outlook to enjoy the great scenery of the Ethiopian part of the Great East African Rift Valley. It is best known for its beautiful lakes and abundant birdlife. The Rift Valley is where Africa is in its early stage of breaking apart.
Then crossing the Awash River and driving 12 km on dirt road, visit the ancient and still in service church of Adadi Mariam which is chiseled out of a single piece of rock in the 13th Century AD. Adadi Mariam rock church is believed to have been founded by King Lalibela who carved 11 more beautiful and elaborate rock churches in the Northern Ethiopia.
Following will be visiting the Steles of Tiya located 45 km away from Adadi Mariam rock church. The Steles of Tiya is one of Ethiopia’s sites listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here you will visit beautiful carved stone grave markers erected between the 12th and 14th Century AD in honor of important local heroes (warriors).
After lunch at the town of Butajira, and another stop to see the Rift Valley of Ethiopia from another angle, enjoy a boat trip of about an hour on the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway to see families of hippos and a number of birds such as Great white pelicans, Marabou Storks, African Fish Eagle, Sacred Ibis, Hammer Kops, etc
Finally, drive 115 km south to the Rift Valley Lake of Awassa. If the weather is good, enjoy the beautiful sun set over the lake.
Day 2 – Awassa – Abiyatta Shalla Lakes National Park – Bishoftu – Addis Ababa
After breakfast head to Amora Gedel found by the shores of Lake Awassa. It is where locals come to have breakfast of fresh catch Tilapia fish and spot a number of birds gathered looking for leftover fish. Here you will see the rare Colobus Monkey (Black and White Monkey).
Then, head north to the Abiyatta Shalla Lakes National Park with a stop at Shashemene to visit the Jamaican Rastafarian Community.
At Abiyatta Shalla Lakes NP walk for half an hour to see Ostriches, Gazelles, Warthogs, and different lowland bird species. If the weather is good (September – June), continue driving farther to visit the Natural Hot Spring waters where locals use the waters to get healed from skin diseases.
The tour price includes professional experienced English speaking tour guide, comfortable private air conditioned Toyota Minivan with fuel (gasoline), family visits, Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony Attendance, Coffee, Small Snacks, boat rent on Lake Ziway, and all related government taxes, AND price does NOT include Accommodations, Meals, entrance (admission) fees to places of visits, and any expense not mentioned above.