The lakes and forests of Southern Ethiopia

Lightfoot Travel specialise in tailor-made itineraries for family holidays, honeymoons and corporate travel around the world. Below is a sample itinerary for a tour of the shimmering lakes and lush greenery of Southern Ethiopia, and can be adjusted based on your time, budget and interests.

Days 1-2 Addis Ababa

The adventure begins in Addis Ababa, a magical portal to the mystical land of Ethiopia and a gateway between the diplomatic capital and the ancient sites of Africa. With a base at The Sheraton Addis, you’ll have a calm respite from the chaos of the busy city streets. Settle into your spacious, luxuriously furnished guestroom, then head out to explore the dichotomy of the Ethiopian capital. The National Museum, United Nations Conference Centre, and UNECA headquarters are all nearby. Don’t miss a visit to the Raguel Church or the chance to climb atop Mount Entoto to enjoy the spectacular views.

Stay: The Sheraton Addis

Days 3-4 Bale Mountain National Park

This morning you’ll head south to Bale Mountain National Park, home to a staggering 60% of Ethiopia’s wolves, the world’s rarest carnivore. But don’t fret, you’ll stay a safe distance away and encounter plenty of other friendlier wildlife, including 78 species of mammals (like Nyala, the Starck’s Hare, and Bale Monkeys), 310 species of birds (including the Yellow-fronted parrot and Abyssinian longclaw), and many types of reptiles and amphibians. For hikers, nature lovers, birders and wildlife watchers, Bale Mountains National Park is a must.

Bale Mountain Lodge will be your home for the night, an eight-room boutique wilderness lodge, nestled deep within the park.

Stay: Bale Mountain Lodge

Days 5-6 Nechisar National Park

Continuing south you’ll find yourself at Arba Minch, on the doorstep of Nechisar National Park. Here, you’ll have the chance to spot a dizzying array of wildlife, from gazelles and baboons, to zebra and hartebeest. Though it covers just 514 square kilometres, the Park is among the most scenic in East Africa, covering a diverse range of habitats from acacia woodland to thickly grown bush. At Paradise Lodge, your accommodation for the night, you’ll still be in the heart of Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley. Take advantage of the outdoor verandahs and observation deck, offering unbeatable views of the verdant landscape.

Stay: Paradise Lodge

Days 7-8 Turmi and the Omo River Valley

Cap off your trip with a thrilling visit to Turmi and the Omo River Valley. Encounter local tribes like the lip-stretching Mursi, the bull-jumping Hamer Village people, and the body-painting Karo tribe, who all appear to be untouched by 21st century life. There are over 50 tribes to discover in all, and an astounding landscape they call home.

In the evening, retreat to Buska Lodge, an unpretentious eco-lodge situated in the heart of the Omo Valley. Learn about local culture around the campfire, then turn in to one of 25 comfortable rooms.

Stay: Buska Lodge


Duration Description Overnight
Days 1-2 Addis Ababa The Sheraton Addis
Days 3-4 Bale Mountain National Park Bale Mountain Lodge
Days 5-6 Nechisar National Park Paradise Lodge
Days 7-8 Turmi and the Omo River Valley Buska Lodge



  • 24 hour emergency contact

Not Included

  • Visas
  • International airfare
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Travel insurance (please note that travel insurance is mandatory for all Lightfoot Travel holidays


The Sheraton Addis Bale Mountain Lodge Paradise Lodge Buska Lodge

From USD 4,100 per person based on two guests sharing

Notes on our prices

  • This price guide provides you with a broad indication of how much to budget for your holiday.
  • Prices are generally based on two people travelling together (unless stated otherwise) on a shared room basis.
  • Prices can fluctuate depending on season, standard of accommodation, excursions selected (private versus shared) etc.
  • This basic structure works very nicely, but don’t forget that Lightfoot Travel can provide a range of experiences and we tailor-make each itinerary based on your travel requirements. Get in touch to start planning your perfect trip with your own travel consultant.