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Addis Ababa and Rift Valley (3 days)

About this tour:

This is an excellent short tour exploring the highlights of Addis Ababa as well as many sites of historic interest in Rift Valley. An overnight stay at lake Ziway and a boat excursion on the lake also offer great natural beauty with excellent bird watching and hippo spotting.


  • Exploring the capital city Addis Ababa
  • Archeological site of Melka Kunture
  • Rock-hewn church Adadi Maryam
  • Stelae of Tiya (UNESCO world heritage site)
  • Boat excursion on Lake Ziway with excellent aquatic bid watching and hippo spotting

Included in the travel price

  • 1 night with breakfast in the hotels of your choice in Addis Ababa
  • 1 night with breakfast in Haile Resort, Ziway
  • Road Transfer in Toyota minibus or 4x4 Landcruiser
  • Professional tour guide (English, German, French, Italian or Spanish-speaking available)
  • All local guides
  • Boat trip on Lake Ziway
  • All entrance fees
  • Traditional dinner on the last evening before departure
  • 1 liter of mineral water per day

Short Info:

  • Tour code: WET-AARV-3
  • Accommodation: middle-class to superior hotels and lodges
  • Number of domestic flights: 0
  • Required fitness level: no special requirements

Day 1: Arrival and Addis Ababa City Tour

Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, you will be met by a Welcome Ethiopia Tours representative and be taken to your reserved hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we have various sightseeing options:

  • Mount Entoto with the best views over the capital.
  • Institute of Ethiopian Studies, where you can see a variety of artifacts from all the different regions reflecting the history and culture of the country
  • National Museum which among other exhibits the 3.5-million-year-old bones of Lucy.
  • Trinity Cathedral: this is the burial place of members of the imperial family and noted patriots; the cathedral is the most magnificent of its kind in the country, ornamented with carvings, mosaics and other artistic works.
  • The Mercato, the largest open-air market in Africa,

Hotel, Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa

Day 2: Addis Ababa – Melka Kunture – Adadi Maryam – Tiya – Lake Ziway (255 km)

After breakfast we leave Addis Ababa towards the South. Our first stop will be the Melka Kunture archaeological site, located 50 km south west of Addis Ababa. As you cross the bridge at the south end of the town you get a good glimpse of Awash River water fall striking the basalt at the base of a deep gorge and the smoke of its spray. After crossing the river there is an enclosure containing a collection of prehistoric physical remains. The main excavation in the site included fossilized animal bone and stone age pebble tools used by ancient man (estimated at about two million year back) are exhibited in min museums in the enclosure. We then proceed to Adadi Mariam Church an old cavernous church located 73km away from Addis Ababa. The church is famed for its unique earth and rock hewn underground cavern. It lies in the ground with steps descending to the main entrances. The church has 10 gates and 14 small windows to let sunlight in. Adadi Mariam is a great attraction for tourists interested in historical wonders and religion. Our next stop is Tiya, an UNSECO world heritage site. In the small town of Tiya there are 36 ancient stelae obelisks, of which 34 are carved with symbols of women, swords etc. These stelae are remains of an ancient Ethiopia culture, whose age has not yet been precisely determined (the tallest one stand at 3’7 meters).  After Tyia, we cross Eastwards to Lake Zway

After lunch near the lake, you undertake a boat ride on lake Zway to bird island where usually a great variety of water birds and often also hippos may be observed.

Accommodation: Haile Resort, Ziway

Tyia, Ethiopia

Day 3: Lake Zway – Addis Ababa / Departure (175 km)

Depending on your time schedule, we may visit the Castel winery in Ziway, where surprisingly good quality wines are produced under the sun of the Rift Valley. We then return to Addis Ababa (approx. 3 hours), where you will be transferred to Bole international airport for your departure or, if you continue your stay in Ethiopia, to your hotel.

Departure or individual extension

Lake Chamo, Ethiopia

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