Expedition to Ethiopia

This expedition took place in September 2010. You can see the pictures from it in our Gallery section. Hereunder you'll find the practical information that was part of the preparation for the expedition.

The Journey

Traveling in Ethiopia gives the illusion of a journey through different centuries. It has an independence of spirit which made it the only country to remain uncolonised during the 19th century scramble for Africa. It is true to say it is where the ancient world and Africa meet. Ethiopia is home to incomparable ethnic groups we will see.

The Trek

We will trek through the Simien Mountains, following an extensive network of trails which are used by the local people to travel between villages, and to take their animals to graze on the high pastures. The fantastic scenery surrounding these trails, with its unique flora and richly diverse wildlife and birdlife, makes it much more than a mere trek. We will hike to the top of the volcanic Ertale mountain.

Expedition key words

Addis Ababa, Axum, Simien mountains, Gondar, Lalibela, Rock-hewed churches, Ertale volcano, Rift valley lakes, Hamer people, Mursi people, Konso people, Mago National Park, Awasa National Park, Nechisar National Park, Bale Mountains National Park, Jinka, Turmi


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Should Know

Health and Safety

A special attention must be paid at adventurer's health and safety. A relatively high variety of tropical diseases can be found in Ethiopia, but with sensible behaviour chances of catching anything serious are very low. A visitor is advised to be immunized against Typhoid, Polio, Diphtheria, Tetanus and Yellow Fever. Hepatitis A is also recommended. Some areas of Ethiopia are malarial, but the Simien region is very low risk. Should you be travelling from Slovakia, please consult the current information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In all cases, please consult your local doctor for further advice.


Visa are required for all foreign visitors to Ethiopia. These can be secured from Ethiopian Diplomatic and consular missions abroad. In addition, visitors from the countries listed below can obtain visa on arrival at Bole International Airport (Addis Ababa):
France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Rep.Korea,France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Rep.Korea kuwait, Luxemberg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom, United States.


Duty-free import are permitted for up to:

  • 200 cigarettes, or 50 cigars or 1/2 lb of tobacco
  • 1 liter of alcoholic beverages
  • 1/2 liter, or two bottles of perfumes
Visitors may export souvenirs with a value not exceeding 500 ETB (about 26 EUR), although some articles (such as animal skins and antiques) require an export permit.


The local currency is the Ethiopian Birr made up of 100 cents. Visitors may import an unlimited amount of foreign currency, providing declaration of such currency is made to customs on arrival. Foreign currency may be changed only at authorized banks and hotels. The currency declaration form must be retained, as this will be required by customs on departure. Visitors, however, will be able to change any excess Ethiopian Birr to foreign currency at the bank in the airport before departure.


Ethiopia uses 220 volts 50 cycles AC.

Ethiopia is in the GMT + 3 hours time zone.

Camp at Simien Mountains
Camp at Simien Mountains

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Day 1

Arrival to Addis Ababa, city tour or shopping depending on the time of arrival

Day 2

Leaving Addis, we fly to Axum, city with historical sites and ruins of The Palace of Queen Sheba, 1010 km north of Addis Ababa.

Day 3

From Axum we fly to Gondar, city with unique historical sites, 780 km north of the capital city Addis Ababa. Here we start the trip to Simen mountains, the home of Walia Ibex and various indegenous animals, birds, and plants.

Day 4

From Gondar we drive 100 km north to 3230 m high Sankaber park post, a boundary to Simien Mountains National Park. Then we start trekking 6-7 hours to Gich Camp through dramatic mountain sceneries. Gich Camp and village is a park post with a view over the well preserved forests of the Jinbar Wenz valley (3600 m high, 9 km, 4 hrs from Sankaber).

Day 5

Our next step will be 9 hrs of trekking (mules) to Chenek through Imet Gogo mountains having ocassional rendez-vous with endemic Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboon and the Ethiopian Wolf.

Day 6

Morning trek to Bwhait mountain and meeting with a car at Chenek to drive back to Gondar.

Day 7

Flight to Lalibela, city 335 km north of Addis Ababa, and visit of the 11 rock-hewn churches from the 12th century

Day 8

Continual visit of Lalibela and drive 375 km north east to Kombolcha to start the trip to semi-dormant Ertale volcano

Day 9

Drive 50 km to Asita to process permit and pick up an Afar guide to proceed trip to the incredible Ertale volcanic mountain

Day 10

Continue driving to Ertale and a hike to the top

Day 11

End of the visit of Ertale and drive back 200 km to Logia

Day 12

Drive 385 km south from Logia to Addis

Day 13

Drive to Arba Minch, 505 km south of Addis Ababa, on the way visit of the rift valley lakes, one of the most beautiful destinations in Ethiopia

Day 14

Drive 290 km southwest to Turmi town, visit of hamer people who are known for their incredible life style, exotic culture and beautiful esthetics.

Day 15

Drive from Turmi 115 km north to Jinka and spend there one night

Day 16

Drive 100 km west to Mursi village, where the women put a clay-made plate on their tilted lips as a sign of beauty and men engage in stick fighting. Overnight camping in the Mago National Park

Day 17

Drive from the Mago National Park back to Jinka and then 197 km east to Konso town, visit of the Konso people,who are very well known for their hand-craft and unique kind of houses/tukuls/cottages.

Day 18

Drive 250 km north from Konso to Arba Minch and boat trip on Chamo lake to Crocodile market

Day 19

Drive early morning 50 km east to Nechisar National Park which is home of Zebras and other wild life and spending one night in Awasa

Day 20

Drive 219 km northeast from Awasa to Dinsho, the head quarter of the Bale Mountains National Park.

Day 21

Second day in the Bale mountains

Day 22

Drive 446 km northwest to Addis Ababa

Day 23

Return flight from Addis to Europe



  • Sleeping bag, bag liner, cotton or fleece
  • Day sack (about 40 liters)
  • Trekking shoes
  • Trekking clothes of lightweight material (t-shirt, shorts or long pants)
  • Rain jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Toiletries
  • Wet wipes
  • Fleece hat
  • Fleece gloves
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Kit bag to go on mules
  • 3 x 1 liter water bottle
  • Field glasses
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunhat
  • Pee bottle
  • Small personal first aid kit
  • Flip-flops for camp
  • Walking poles
  • Head torch
We are part of Walia Ibex Association, Slovak NGO.
© 2010-2011 Walia Ibex Expedition.