City tour of Addis/Transit

ETT - 0901 City tour of Addis/Transit in Addis by car

We offer the city walking or car with driver/guide where you’ll meet the local and visit all the best sightseeing with coffee and lunch breaks on your way, which will lead by a tour guide, as an escort.

Start the day looking down on Addis Ababa from Entoto Mountain, the capital of Ethiopia before Addis Ababa.  Here you will have panoramic views of the city with fresh air from the eucalyptus forests.  Here you will visit the Entoto Maryam church and museum.

After the visit, proceed down to Addis Ababa via Shiro Meda, the city’s largest market for traditional clothes.

Proceed to the campus of Addis Ababa University to the ethnographical museum, with great displays of the many cultures of Ethiopia, housed in the former palace of Haile Selassie.

Continue with a visit to the National Museum, where Ethiopia’s oldest resident, Lucy, is housed.

Close to the National Museum is the Selassie (Trinity) church, one of the most important churches of Addis Ababa and the final resting place of Haile Selassie, to whom there is a dedicated museum on site.

Before you head to Mercato, you will visit the Red Terror Museum and receive a tour in English from a survivor of the Red Terror. It was a very informative and heart-breaking account of the recent history of Ethiopia.

Finish the day with shopping in Merkato, the local marketplace which is said to be Africa’s largest open-air market.

All the guides are experienced and great storytellers and, more importantly, are fully qualified and experienced in the history of art and the history of Addis Ababa.  Highly recommended!

Our Guides:


The guides are both knowledgeable and entertaining. Tours are held all year round and even include a special Ingera making tour,honey-wine, coffee ceremony (where you will get to see the entire coffee process in front of you, from roasting to enjoying a cup of coffee).

The tours last in one day. The tours come highly recommended by all good guide books especially Lonely Planet and Bradt.

We are partners of Paris Walks and London Walks Tours.

Note: During the walking tour you can use public transport. (Optional)

Your guide will take you to all of the must-see sites in the city, making sure that you have plenty of opportunities to familiarize yourself with Addis. There isn’t a better way to explore the history and stories that make Addis a highlight of Ethiopia.


Bonus – Watching hyenas. AFTER 08:00 PM

Ethiopia is hyena heaven. Addis Ababa holds the distinction of being one of the very few, and perhaps the only capital city in the world to have hyenas roaming the streets at night scavenging. During the night, while after 08:00 PM, the hyenas come into the city’s suburbs to scavenge for scraps of meat and animal carcasses that the human carnivores leave behind. Then, just before sunrise, like vampires, they flee to hide in the deep surrounding forests. We take a car to drive up the steep hill just 15 minutes drive from the center of Addis to the uphills of Mt Intoto hill.


Looking for a list of great day trips around Addis Ababa? While starting and ending in Addis Ababa each day, you're still able to get away to explore the naturally beautiful and cultural heritage outside of the city. Activities range from multi-hour hikes to visiting holy lakes and ancient monasteries.

Day Trips from Addis Ababa -Addis Ababa Summary: Various 1-day trips from Addis Ababa.

  1. Debre Libanos Monastery

Drive north from Addis Ababa (about 100km) to the Debre Libanos Monastery.  This monastery was founded in the 13th century by St. Tekle Haimanot, who, according to legend, prayed for 7 years straight standing on one leg until the other leg fell off.  Nearby the monastery is the Portuguese bridge, which was the first bridge in Ethiopia.  Around this area, you will hopefully see some endemic gelada baboons.  Short hikes are available in the area, with stunning views of the Jemma Valley.  Return to Addis Ababa, late afternoon.

  1. Lake Ziway

Early morning, depart south from Addis Ababa to Lake Ziway, one of the chain of lakes found in the Great Rift Valley.  Here you will take a boat trip on Lake Ziway to the island of Tullo Gudo.  The island hosts the church of Maryam Tsion which, according to tradition, once housed the Ark of the Covenant to hide it from invaders.  After the visit, return to shore, enjoying the bountiful birdlife on this lake and possibly some hippos.  Return to Addis Ababa late afternoon.

  1. Archeological sites of Tiya, Adadi Maryam and Melka Kunture

After breakfast, depart south from Addis Ababa to visit these archeological sites of interest.  Tiya is an ancient stellae field, with anthropomorphic statues marking burial grounds.  Tiya is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Adadi Maryam is a rock-hewn church, similar to those in Lalibela.  Melka Kunture is a pre-historic tool-making site.  Return to Addis Ababa late afternoon.

  1. Lake Wenchi

Early morning departure west from Addis Ababa to Lake Wenchi, a crater lake in a stunning location.  There are many options for activities in the area including hiking, horseback riding or a boat trip to the island monastery of Kirkos and the hot spring valley.  After the visit, return to Addis Ababa.

  1. Debre Zeit

Depart from Addis for a short drive to Debre Zeit, home to several crater lakes and a popular weekend getaway spot for Addis Ababa residents.  You can spend the day visiting the lakes or doing some light hiking (circling Lake Hora takes 1 ½ hours).  The area is very popular for birdwatching.  There are several lake-side establishments for lunch and even a spa. Return to Addis Ababa, late afternoon.

  1. Mt. Zuqualla

Very near to Debre Zeit is Mt. Zuqualla, an extinct volcano that offers beautiful views of the surrounding areas.  Here you can visit the monastery of Mt. Zuqualla Maryam, which may date back as far as the 4th century.  The nearby crater-lake is considered holy by the monks of the monastery.  Time permitting, you may stop for a rest in Debre Zeit before returning to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.

  1. Menagesha National Forest

Departing west from Addis Ababa, drive to the Menagesha National Forest for some hiking.  Here you will enjoy the wildlife, such as the colobus monkeys and endemic Menelik’s bushbuck, as well as birds, including the endemic Ethiopian oriole and Abyssinian woodpecker.  You can also stop at the Gefersa Reservoir, which supplies water to Addis Ababa, and is a nice birdwatching and wildlife spot.  Return to Addis Ababa in the afternoon.




ETT0903 DAY TRIP FROM ADDIS ABABA - Shala/abyata National Park

Shala/Abyata Day trip

The trail to Lake Shala is now the main trail through the national park. It turns right off the main road at 215 km. directly opposite the turning to Bekele Mola. You drive in and follow your nose and the reasonably good track which leads first to a spectacular lookout point with a view over densely forested country and both Abyata and Shala. From here you descend the small escarpment and enter the acacia woodland which clothes the shoulder running between the two lakes. Birdlife is profuse: the bright yellow Masked Weaver, the red-rumped Buffalo Weaver, Red-billed Hornbill, African Fish Eagle, Didric’s Cuckoo, Abyssinian Roller, Superb Starling; the woods teem with flashes of brilliant color and resound with birdsong. The track emerges at the lake shore of Shala where again a vast profusion of ducks, geese, coots, waders, shorebirds of every kind mingle with flamingo and pelican at the ware’s edge. It is possible now to make the tour of the lake (Shala) which is one of the more spectacular; on the north side a tumbling cascade sixty metres high, rushes from the rocky hillside down to the wide bay. Tilapia reaches a fair size and can be cooked over the camp fire at one of the beautiful camping sites along the lake. You will enjoy this lake less for its swimming the water has a peculiar alkaline flavor – than for its atmosphere of untouched natural beauty and its splendid variety of shoreline and colour, and its prolific birdlife.