Best of Ethiopia & Madagascar

Ethiopia | Madagascar

Culture | Wildlife | Activity

Rock-hewn churches, dramatic landscapes and endemic wildlife.

21 days £3,995 pp This is the per person group tour price, based on 2 sharing. The price is subject to change with exchange rate and flight cost fluctuations.
Dates & Prices

Intro

Begin your trip perusing Africa’s largest open-air market in Addis Ababa. Marvel at the magnitude of the Blue Nile Falls and encounter the enigmatic Gelada Baboon in the Simien Mountains. Marvel at the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and the towering ancient stelae of Axum. In Madagascar, experience an authentic pousse-pousse ride through the streets of Antsirabe, discover tribal traditions and customs in rural Madagascar. Finally, explore the canyons of Isalo National Park in search of ring-tailed lemurs, chameleons and other unique species.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Wander through Africa's largest open air market in Addis Ababa
  • Trek to the source of the Blue Nile
  • Lake Tana in the Simien Mountains
  • Medieval castles of Gondar
  • Gelada baboons in the Simiens
  • Rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
  • Ride a pousse-pousse (rickshaw) in Antsirabe
  • Spot lemurs at Ranomafana National Park
  • Trek through canyon territory in Isalo National Park
  • Witness Madagascar's largest zebu market in Ambalavao

Places Visited

Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar - Blue Nile Falls - Gondar - Simien Mountains - Axum - Lalibela - Antananarivo - Antsirabe - Ambositra - Ranomafana National Park - Fianarantsoa - Isalo National Park - Ambalavao - Anja Community Reserve - Ilakaka - Tuléar

What's Included

Arrival & departure transfers
Ground transport with driver
Domestic flights
Accommodation
Meals (refer to itinerary for meal plan)
English-speaking guides
Entrance fees to sites & parks
Itinerary
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Day 1 : Addis Ababa [ETHIOPIA]

Arrive into Addis Ababa airport, where you will be met by a Travel The Unknown representative and driven to your hotel. Freshen up, rest and have lunch. Take a leisurely walk around Merkato market, the largest open air market in Africa. In the evening, have dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. Overnight in Addis Ababa.

Meal plan: Lunch & dinner

Addis Ababa is Africa’s fourth largest city, with an area of 250sq/km, and is located at an altitude of 2,300m above sea level. It is a vast place with a thriving population of over 2,750,000 people. There is a wide range of visitor attractions, including many museums and educational institutions. It has most recently become known as the ‘spa city of Africa’.

Merkato is the largest open air market in Africa, covering several square miles and employing an estimated 13,000 people. The Merkato is home to an enormous array of products including Ethiopia’s endemic wild coffee, exotic spices and jewellery. There is even a recycling market where anything from sandals made out of tyres to coffee pots moulded from old Italian olive tins can be found.

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Day 2 : Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar

Drive the scenic route to Bahir Dar via the 13th century monastery of Debre Libanos and the Blue Nile Gorge. This is a dramatic road with spectacular views, which are often compared to those of the Grand Canyon in the USA. Arrive to Bahir Dar late in the afternoon and take the evening to relax. Overnight in Bahir Dar. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Debre Libanos Monastery was built in the 13th century by Saint Tekle Haymanot, who supposedly spent 29 years meditating in a cave in the nearby cliffs. The complex is situated on a terrace between a cliff and a river gorge. None of the original buildings have survived, so the current church that stands over the saint's tomb was built in 1961. The nearby Church of the Cross, which is slightly older, allegedly holds a fragment of the True Cross that was used to crucify Jesus Christ. 

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Day 3 : Bahir Dar

In the morning, take a light trek through the rural countryside to the source of the Blue Nile and marvel at the Blue Nile Falls. Enjoy stunning scenery and encounter tribal villages en route. In the afternoon drive to the shore of Lake Tana (the largest lake in Ethiopia) for a boat cruise. Stop off at one of the monasteries on the peninsula to walk through the jungle and visit the ancient churches of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Maryam. On the boat ride back you may see hippos as the sun starts to set. Evening at leisure. Overnight in Bahir Dar.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia,  measuring approximately 84km long and 66km wide,  and is also the source of the Blue Nile. The lake contains 37 islands, however their visibility varies according to seasonal water fluctuations, which are regulated to measure inflow to the Blue Nile Falls. The islands accommodate 20 monasteries, which are used to store religious artifacts due to their remote location. 

The Blue Nile Falls, also known as Tis Abay, mean 'smoking water' in  Amharic. They start as a gentle river flowing 5,223km north of the Mediterranean Sea before joining the impressive falls. The waterfall itself is around 150ft high and half a mile wide, which is just spectacular to witness. Surrounded by immense natural beauty, the falls attract parrots, bee-eaters, white throated seedeaters and vervet monkeys, just to name a few. 

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Day 4 : Bahir Dar - Gondar

After breakfast set off along the shore of Lake Tana for the castle city of Gondar, stopping en-route at the ruins of the impressive Guzara Castle. On arrival in Gondar, explore the city's medieval castle compound and royal baths. Later, head to the church of Debre-Birhan Selassie. If time permits also visit the local market. Evening free. Overnight in Gondar. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

King Fasil (Fasiledes) is believed to have moved his royal camp to Gondar where he settled. Surrounded by fertile land with rich sources of gold, civet and ivory, and at the crossroads of 3 major trading routes, the King established Gondar as a capital city. It is often referred to as the "Camelot of Africa", with several medieval castles rising above a landscape of tin-roofed stone houses. The Royal Court developed into a compound called Fasil Ghebbi which consists of six major building complexes and is surrounded by a 900m long wall. In this area alone, there are around twenty different palaces and royal buildings as well as thirty churches.

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Day 5 : Gondar - Simien Mountains

Early start for drive to the Simien Mountains, famous for its dramatic scenery, gelada baboons, walia ibex and bird life. Spend the day exploring the mountains on foot. Evening free. Overnight in the Simien Mountains. 

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Simien Mountains are a World Heritage site. The peaks, such as Ras Dashen, stand at an impressive height of over 4,000m high. The fact that it is one of the least developed national parks is part of the reason why it is considered to be one of Africa’s most beautiful mountain ranges. The park is home to many endemic species, like the gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf and wild ibex, as well as over 50 species of birds, including the bearded vulture. 

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Day 6 : Simien Mountains - Axum

Drive to the ancient city of Axum across the stunning Limalimo Twist and Tekeze Gorge roads. Stop off to see the incense trees dotted along the valley. Arrive into Axum in the early evening. Check into hotel and take the evening to rest. Overnight in Axum.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 7 : Axum

Full day sightseeing in Axum. Explore the site of the towering stelae (obelisks) which date back to the 4th century. Visit the Church of St. Mary of Zion, believed to house the original Ark of the Covenant (tabot). In the afternoon visit some of the underground tombs and ruins of the legendary Palace of Queen Sheba. Evening free. Overnight in Axum.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Axum is the cradle of Ethiopia’s 3,000-year-old civilisation. In its heyday in the 6th century, the Axumite Kingdom was one of the four great powers of the world and ruled the two southern sides of the Red Sea. The glory of the Kingdom can still be pictured as you gaze out on the colossal rock stelae, the stonework of royal tombs and the legendary bath of the Queen of Sheba.

The Ark of the Covenant, referred to at several points of the Old Testament, is stored in the Chapel of the Tablet. This is opposite the St. Mary of Zion Church. The Ark is believed to contain the ten commandments given by God to Moses.

The Palace of Queen Sheba, known locally as Dungar, now bears only the remains of the mansion that previously stood in its place. Covering around 3,250 sq/m, a visit to the site will allow you to see the full excavation that has taken place so far. 

The Obelisks of Axum are 1,700 years old and stand 24m high. They are made from granite stele and weight 160 tons altogether. Similar to Stone Henge, the Obelisks of Axum are a mystery and nobody can be certain when they were built or for what purpose. Some think they played an astrological role in the early centuries, while others believe that they mark the burial places of deceased royalty. One of the obelisks was taken by the Italians and resurrected in Rome in 1937 to mark the invasion of Ethiopia. It was only recently returned to Ethiopia in 2005. 

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Day 8 : Axum - Lalibela

In the morning, fly to Lalibela and transfer to hotel. After lunch, explore the Northern cluster of the incredible medieval monolithic cave churches dating back to the 13th century. Evening free. Overnight in Lalibela.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Northern Group of Churches consists of six churches north of the river Jordan. The Biete Medhane Alem (House of the Saviour of the World) holds the Lalibela Cross, and is believed to be the largest monolithic church in the world. It is linked to Biete Mariam (House of Mary), which is the oldest church of the group, the Selassie Chapel and the Tomb of Adam. In addition to this, there is the Biete Golgotha, which is believed to contain the tomb of King Lalibela. 

Originally known as Roha, the city of Lalibela is believed to pre-date the 12th century. King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela sought to recreate the holy city of Jerusalem there and structured the city accordingly. To this day, many of Lalibela’s features remain similar to those of Jerusalem, such as The Tomb of Adam, the Jordan river and Calvary.

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Day 9 : Lalibela

Full day exploring the eastern and western cluster of Lalibela's rock-hewn churches, including the iconic cross-shaped Church of St. George (Giyorgis). Evening free. Overnight in Lalibela.

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

The Eastern Group of Churches include Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel), Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos), Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos) and Biete Gabriel Rufael (House of Gabriel Raphael) and Biete Lehem (House of Holy Bread). Biete Mercoreos and Biete Gabriel Rafael most likely used to be royal residences, and their interiors are decorated with murals.

The Western Group of Churches features Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George), which is believed to be the most finely preserved church carved from a single rock. It is connected to the other churches via a system of trenches.

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Day 10 : Lalibela - Addis Ababa

Transfer to airport for morning flight to Addis Ababa. On arrival, enjoy an afternoon city tour of Addis, including:  St George's Church, the Ethnological Museum and the Entoto Mountain which offers panoramic views of Addis Ababa. Traditional evening meal and overnight in Addis Ababa,

Meal plan: Breakfast, lunch & dinner

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Day 11 : Addis - Antananarivo [MADAGASCAR]

Catch a morning flight to Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, where you will be met by a representative and transferred to your hotel. Spend a free evening at your leisure. Overnight in Antananarivo.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Antananarivo, often referred to as "Tana", is the nation's capital. With a population of around 1.3 million, the city represents all of Madagascar's 18 ethnic groups. Despite being a region acclaimed for its shopping, there is a significant amount of wildlife to see, with lemur parks and farms as well as a range of wildlife tours nearby. Boasting a much cooler climate than the rest of the country, Tana is a great city to roam around. One can experience the culture the capital has to offer through the local cuisine in the city's open-air markets (such as Analakey Market and Andravoahangy) and the history of Madagascar through its colourful landmarks (such as Le Palais de la Reine and Ambohimanga).

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Day 12 : Antananarivo - Antsirabe

Following an early start, drive to Antsirabe and check in to your hotel on arrival. In the afternoon, enjoy a walking tour of the city including a ride in one of Antsirabe's famous colourful rickshaws, known as "pousse-pousse". Evening is free to relax. Overnight in Antsirabe.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Antsirabe is one of the largest cities in Madagascar. The name directly translates to 'the place of much salt', an ode to the city's significant number of thermal springs, popular for their spa-like qualities. Aside from the hot springs, Antsirabe is famous for its pousse-pousse (rickshaws), used by a majority of its residents. The city contains different styles of colonial architecture, including French cottages and Scandinavian-style manors. As a result, its appearance is often compared to that of a typical French city.

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Day 13 : Antsirabe - Ambositra - Ranomafana

Set off early morning for Ranomafana National Park. En-route stop at Ambositra, at the centre of the 'Malagasy Silk Road'. Close to Ambositra are forests of tapia trees, which is the staple diet of silkworms. Visit a local silk-weaving workshop and learn how villagers are involved in the production of silk cloths and fabric used by the Malagasy people on special occasions. After lunch, continue on to Ranomafana. Check into lodge and evening to relax. If time permits take a night walk on the outskirts of the park (otherwise can be done the following day). Overnight in Ranomafana.

Meal plan: Breakfast

The centre of Madagascar's carving industry and capital of the Amoron'i Mania province is, Ambositra, a name that translates to 'where there are many cattle'. Known for its scenic views of rice paddies and access to the Zafimaniry villages, it is a great location for the most picturesque views. This is where one can get their hands on beautifully crafted wooden souvenirs and pieces of furniture, that are arguably the best on the island.

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Day 14 : Ranomafana National Park

After breakfast, drive to Ranomafana National Park. In the afternoon, visit the thermal bath before enjoying a night walk on the outskirts of the national park. Overnight in Ranomafana.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Ranomafana National Park, Ranomafana, meaning "hot water" in Malagasy, is situated in southeastern Madagascar. A ten hour drive from the capital, Ranomafana is known for its immense natural diversity. Native to this national park are 115 bird species, 62 types of reptile, 90 species of butterfly, and 12 types of lemur. The park experiences 260 days of annual rainfall, which supports its thick vegetation and wildlife. Tours are available in the daytime as well as at nighttime, to accommodate for both the nocturnal and diurnal residents of the park.

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Day 15 : Ranomafana National Park - Fianarantsoa

In the early morning, drive to Fianarantsoa. On arrival, visit the Betsileo tribe and observe their daily life. Begin your walk at the Saint-Francois seminary before heading down the valley, noting the traditional architecture along the way. Enjoy lunch in a local house and learn about the authentic Betsileo culture and traditions. In the afternoon, return to the hotel where the rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight in Fianarantsoa.

Meal plan: Breakfast & lunch

Founded in 1830, Fianarantsoa is positioned in the southern part of the country with a population of 160,000 people. Meaning "good education" in Malagasy, Fianarantsoa houses a major university and is described as the intellectual centre of Madagascar. It is split into three sections: the Lower Town, New Town and Upper Town. The Upper Town is the most historic of the three, with Lutheran and Protestant cathedrals, and hosts a more traditional feel.

Living in the central highlands of south-central Madagascar, the Betsileo tribe (meaning "the invincible one") is the island's third largest ethnic group, with a population of around one million. They can be distinguished by their colourful handmade straw hats and the elaborate hairstyles of the women and girls. The Betsileo are considered some of the best farmers in Madagascar, efficiently cultivating rice in neatly manicured mountain-side rice paddies, as well as growing cassava, corn (maize), yams, bananas and sugarcane. They are also skilled carpenters, bricklayers and craftsmen. The tribe holds many religious beliefs and practices, with the most important being the traditional burial ceremony of "famadihana", during which corpses are removed from tombs, rewrapped and reburied, following the belief that their spirits can only join the ancestral world after complete corrosion of the body. 

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Day 16 : Fianarantsoa - Ambalavao - Isalo National Park

If it is Wednesday or Thursday, drive in the morning to Ambalavoa and visit the biggest zebu market in Madagascar. Otherwise, drive south to to the Anjà Community Reserve known for its ring-tailed lemurs. Continue on to Ranohira, on the outskirts of Isalo National Park. Evening free at your leisure. Overnight in Ranohira. 

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Madagascar is famous for its Zebu markets, the most celebrated one is located in Ambalavao, in the southest region of the island. The town has a French feel with its gothic style architecture but is surrounded by landscape that is characteristic of Madagascar. Ambalavao happens to house the largest Zebu market in the nation. Zebu, refers to a species of domestic cattle unique to Madagascar. Some walk as far as 642 km to sell their cattle at this well-known market which takes place every Wednesday and Thursday.

Located amongst woodlands, Anja Community Reserve is a spectacular preservation site and a prime destination for ecotourism, known and celebrated for its focus on the coexistence of humans and wildlife. Home to a rich variety of flora and fauna, hikes are available that aim to educate visitors on the importance of environment conservation. It is a great place to see ring-tailed lemurs.

A subspecies of domestic cows, zebu cattle can be found all over Madagascar. Characterised by their humped back, they are well adapted for dairy herding in tropical zones, not only tolerating the heat but also being relatively resistant to disease. Introduced to Madagascar by the end of the first millennium, zebu have come to symbolise power and strength, with larger herds representing high reputation and prosperity. As a result, zebu play a key role in the Malagasy economy and culture, still being widely used to draw carts, prepare rice fields for planting, and provide milk. While they are rarely killed for meat, they are used as Madagascar's typical sacrificial animal, with many believing that the sacrifice of a valuable zebu will be rewarded by good fate from ancestors

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Day 17 : Isalo National Park

Enjoy a full day exploring Isalo National Park. The recommended walk today takes you from the dry and hot crest trail to the green and lush canyons. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. In the early evening, enjoy a short walk (about 10min) on the property to reach a scenic viewpoint for the sunset. A selection of snacks, wines, soft drinks and local beers will be available while you enjoy a performance from a Bara dancing and singing group. Overnight in Isalo.

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

Established in 1962, Isalo National Park protects 815 km square of sandstone massif rising sharply from the surrounding grassy plains. Eroded by wind and rain, the sandstone contains impressive gorges, canyons and tiny stalagmite pinnacles, while beautiful streams, tropical pools and waterfalls make it one of the most important fresh water reservoirs in the area. It is a sacred place for the Bara tribe, who use the mountain caves as burial sites, marked by mounds of tiny stones placed in the crevices of the rock face. There are around 500 species of flora within Isalo, several of which are endemic, and 14 types of nocturnal lemur within the woodland, including the brown lemur, acrobatic Verreaux's sifaka and ring-tailed lemur. There are also 35 types of reptiles and over 80 bird species, including the Madagascar coucal and Madagascar kestrel.

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Day 18 : Isalo - Ilakaka - Tuléar

Following an early departure, drive to Ilakaka and visit the open sky sapphire mines, watching the workers as they sift in the rivers for sapphires. This visit is organized by Colorline, a Swiss owned company which buy, polish and export sapphire to the international market. End the tour with a visit of the showroom. Continue to Tuléar, visiting Antsokay Arboretum along the way (visit approx. 1.5 hours). Overnight in ​Tuléar.

Meal plan: Breakfast

Ilakaka is situated in south-west Madagascar close to Isalo National Park. In recent years there has been a mass population influx as in 1998 an immense amount of sapphire was found in the valley. This town supplies more than 50% of the world's sapphires. The population has skyrocketed from 40 residents to over 60,000 in the last 20 years. It is nicknamed as Madagascar's 'boom-town'.

Tuléar (or 'Toliara') is situated on the west coast of Madagascar with a population just over 150,000. It is known for its endemic tortoises, picturesque beaches on the Mozambique Channel, tombs and the arboretum (botanical garden) with over 900 plant species (90% are endemic to Madagascar and 80% have medicinal uses). The arboretum is celebrated for its baobabs and pachypodium (elephant's foot plant). La Table is a small table mountain located in Tuléar, it is a short climb to the top with rewarding views. Tuléar is one of Madagascar's main export hubs with major exports including: soap, hemp, rice and cotton.

The Antsokay Arboretum is a botanical garden in Tuléar. Established in 1980, it has flourished over the years, now housing over 900 plant species in 400,000 square metres. It is a fabulous location to see the endemic flora of Madagascar.

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Day 19 : Tuléar - Reniala Nature Reserve - Tuléar

In the early morning, take an optional nature walk to spot birds in the surrounding spiny forest. The rest of the day is free to relax or explore at your leisure, Overnight in ​Tuléar

Meal plan: Breakfast & dinner

The national tree of Madagascar, often referred to as the ''upside-down tree' or 'roots of the sky', is the Baobab Tree. There are eight known species of the Baobab tree, found in Australia and the African continent, however six species are endemic to Madagascar. The Avenue of the Baobabs is one of the most popular sights for those who make it to the west of the island. The 'avenue' itself is quite short and is best visited during sunrise and sunset. Conservation efforts are in place to ensure these trees remain a part of Madagascar, as some are said to be over 1000 years old. These iconic trees hold a great importance as they have several uses, including using the tree bark to create rope and cloth as its bark and stem are fire resistant.

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Day 20 : Tuléar – Antananarivo

Transfer to Tuléar airport for your flight back to Antananarivo. On arrival, transfer to the hotel. Depending on your flight arrival time, explore the local market. Overnight in Antananarivo.

Meal plan: Breakfast

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Day 21 : Depart from Antananarivo

The morning is free to rest or explore at your leisure. At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your international flight home. 

Meal plan: Breakfast

Accommodation

Accommodation

All accommodation subject to availability. Final accommodation choices will be confirmed after booking.

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Tizez Hotel

Tizez Hotel was opened in 2012 and possesses contemporary furnishings throughout the building. The hotel is a short distance from the centre of Addis Ababa and has a variety of amenities that include a 24 hour health club and spa.

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Homeland Hotel

The Homeland Hotel is within walking distance of many of Bahir Dar’s historical attractions. The hotel has well-sized rooms and a 24 hour restaurant.

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Tana Hotel

Tana Hotel provides simple accommodation with lake views and rooms decorated with local weavings. Free WiFi is available in public areas of the hotel and there is an onsite restaurant. Located on the shore of Lake Tana at the source of the Blue Nile River, the hotel is only a 15 minute walk to the lake, particularly convenient for exploring the lake's monasteries. 

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Simien Mountain Lodge

Situated at 3260m above sea level the Simien Mountain Lodge is the highest hotel in Africa. The rooms have a bathroom with shower and have under-floor heating by solar. All rooms have fibreglass insulation to the ceiling, walls and floor. However, nights can be chilly, so be prepared with warm clothes. Each room has a sheltered balcony to admire the views. The restaurant is a beautiful and spacious area with a log fire centre piece.

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Consolar International

Consolar Hotel is Axum’s newest hotel, offering 33 en-suite bedrooms featuring electronic safe, broadband Internet access and a mini bar.

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Sabean International Hotel

Situated on the main road in Axum, the Sabean International Hotel is an ideal base from which to see the area's archaeological sites. Rooms are comfortable and simplistically furnished with modern amenities including free WiFi. A variety of Ethiopian and international cuisine is served in the hotel's onsite restaurant.

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Tukul Village Hotel

Tukul Village has recently opened. Designed like traditional African thatched huts, it is equipped with all modern facilities inside. The hotel has attractive views of Lalibela and is within walking distance of many of the ancient churches. The rooms are completely independent with their own private balconies and spacious modern bathrooms.  The accommodation includes a bar and an attractive restaurant serving both European and Ethiopian meals. The village even has wireless internet.

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Mountain View

Mountain View Hotel in Lalibela is situated at an altitude of 2680 metres at the edge of the Lasta Mountain chain. Its panaromic mountain view offers dramatic vistas and is one of the best places to watch the sunset. The architecture of the hotel is comparable to the rock-hewn churches.

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Couleur Café

Situated 500 metres from the city centre, the Couleur Cafe houses an on-site bar, restaurant and private bathrooms in each room. Free WiFi and parking are available. 

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Artisan Hotel

The Artisan Hotel is praised for its attention to detail and spacious bungalows, which feature traditional woodcarvings and construction methods. Guests are welcome to enjoy the range of authentic Malagasy cuisine or international dishes served in the onsite restaurant.

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Centrest Séjour

Located on the edge of Ranomafana National Park, Centrest Séjour is the area's closest lodge to the park and boasts panoramic views over the nearby village. Rooms are simply but comfortably furnished with tiled floors, whitewash walls and pine covered ceilings, and equipped with modern essentials including en-suite bathrooms, fans and mosquito nets. A spacious onsite restaurant serves a variety of both Malagasy and French cuisine.

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Ecole Hôtelière La Rizière

Ecole Hôtelière La Rizière is highly unique as it combines an educational centre with the hotel, allowing the youth of Madagascar in precarious financial situations to learn skills in hospitality. The onsite restaurant, Vary Mena, offers a range of refined cuisine, while the pavilion offers beautiful views over the city and rice fields.

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Le Relais de la Reine

A luxurious destination, Hotel Le Relais de la Reine hosts a range of comforts, including a pool, tennis courts and equestrian centre. Built from natural materials, the lodge blends seamlessly into its dramatic surroundings. Rooms are stylishly decorated with wooden floors and equipped with en-suite facilities and verandas. while guests are welcome to enjoy dinner in the attractive dining room, complete with an open fire for cooler days.

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Le Pavillon de l'Emyrne

Located in the Old City of Antananarivo, Le Pavillion de l'Emryne is set in a restored colonial house built in 1930. Each room is individually decorated with beautiful antique furniture, as well as equipped with all modern amenities including air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs and free WiFi. The hotel restaurant prides itself on its traditional Malagasy dishes. 

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Reviews

A different world and culture which we were privileged to experience. Welcomed by the warmth of locals who wanted to share a little of their time with us...and English is their second language!!!!!!

Mhairi McKechnie , Festivals of Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Ethiopia really blew me away. The rock-hewn churches were remarkable and I never knew Ethiopia had so much history. It was great to see the gelada baboons in the Simien Mountains. Our guide was always smiling and helpful, and I really enjoyed the coffee ceremonies. I hope to come back again some day.

Neha , Ethiopia's Historic North, Ethiopia

The trip in the south was no less than an adventure, way beyond my anticipations. My guide was both helpful and knowledgeable.

Yngve Gausla , Tribes & Landscapes of Southern Ethiopia, Ethiopia

Ethiopia is a country everyone should visit. It has the perfect combination of spectacular scenery, stunning architecture, unique wildlife and a wonderful culture. Seeing it with Travel The Unknown means that you see all the highlights but don't miss the details and surprises between. The excellent local guides ensure that you experience its wonders through Ethiopian eyes. An overwhelming, eye opening, awe inspiring, emotional adventure.

Michael Russell , Festivals of Ethiopia, Ethiopia

A memorable experience in a lovely country. All aspects of the trip were impeccably handled. Highly recommended.

Richard & Margaret Haworth , Ethiopia's Historic North

Escaping from the comforting embrace of the big travel companies, Travel the Unknown`s `Ethiopia`s Historic North` programme gave us a window into a whole new world. The wildlife, the art, the food and the landscape were all unexpected and deeply memorable. The people were sometimes desperate, sometimes crazy, but nearly always smiling and ready to talk. One to treasure.

Philip & Mary , Ethiopia's Historic North, Ethiopia
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