Pack your hiking boots. On this visit to Ethiopia, you’ll spend 22 hours trekking through the spectacular, wildlife-filled landscapes of the Bale Mountains. Don’t worry, though, there’ll be plenty of time to soak your feet when you arrive back to Addis Ababa. Once you’ve experienced the fascinating Timket Festival and topped Mount Entoto, of course. It’s worth every single step.

Day 1 Arrival
You’ll arrive in Addis Ababa, a city whose name in Amharic means ‘new flower’. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is one of the highest parts of the Entoto Mountains and has an average temperature of 25°C year round. Addis has wide avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa.
Overnight: Jupiter International Hotel
Day 2 Langano
Travel to Wendo Genet, known for its natural hot springs and forests. Along the way, you’ll visit the Rift Valley lakes of Ziway, Abiyatta, Shalla, and Langano, renowned for their abundant birdlife. Once you reach Wendo Genet, enjoy swimming in the natural hot spring pool.
Overnight: Wabishebele Hotel or similar
Day 3 Dinsho
Today you’ll drive to Dinsho and the headquarters of Bale Mountains National Park. Around Dinsho watch out for some of the endemic mammals of Ethiopia, including the mountain nyala, a type of antelope.
Overnight: camping with first-class camping gear with private cook
Day 4 Meraro
It is time to head off on foot. Only 200 people each year trek through this landscape, which is dotted with giant lobelia plants that stand guard over the undulating plateau and its numerous glacial lakes and swamps. You’ll be surrounded on all sides by volcanic ridges and peaks. After five to six hours, you’ll arrive at the beautiful campsite of Meraro.
Overnight: camping with first-class camping gear with private cook
Day 5 Shiya Valley
Trek beneath the peaks before making a steep ascent out of the head of the valley onto the Sanetti Plateau, which is covered by Afro-alpine moorland making for some incredible wild scenery. Again, today’s trek will take five to six hours.
Overnight: camping with first-class camping gear with private cook
Day 6 Garba Guracha
Today you’ll climb Mount Batu, one of the highest peaks in Ethiopia, then trek across the arms of the Batu horseshoe to a campsite beside Garba Guracha. This lake is set beneath towering cliffs at the head of the Tegona Valley. Trekking time: six to seven hours.
Overnight: camping with first-class camping gear with private cook
Day 7 Goba
It’s a shorter day on the trail, with just two to three hours of hiking as you continue your trek. Ethiopia is one of the best bird-watching destinations in the world and the highland lakes you trek past today are frequented by more than 10 endemic species. At the end of the hike, you’ll be met by a vehicle at Goba.
Overnight: Wabe Shebele Hotel or similar
Day 8 Nazareth
On the three-hour drive to Nazareth, you’ll visit the Arsi Mountains and the famous barley plantations of the Oromo people.
Overnight Kuriftu Adama Hotel or similar
Day 9 Addis
After a two-hour drive, you’ll arrive back in Addis Ababa on the eve of Timket, the biggest religious festival in Ethiopia, which marks the epiphany or baptism of Christ. Local priests carry tabots (replicas of the Ark of the Covenant) from their churches where they’ve been guarded overnight. The baths, empty for the rest of the year, have been filled with water for the occasion.
Overnight: Jupiter Hotel or similar
Day 10 Addis
The main celebration day for the Timket Festival is 19 January and is marked by a public holiday. It is a very early start this morning to make your way to where priests and Christians have conducted an all-night vigil watching over the tabots. You’ll witness the baptism ceremony, which includes the spectacle of thousands of white-robed faithful following a procession of colourful and elaborately dressed priests. Continue on for sightseeing around Addis, including a visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Addis Ababa, the Merkato, and the heights of Mount Entoto for a panoramic view of the city.



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