2 Days Ethiopian Rift Valley Lakes Tour from Addis Ababa

Enjoy the freedom of stopping at different viewpoints to enjoy the dramatic view of the Ethiopian part of the Great East African Rift Valley by drive with a comfortable air conditioned Toyota Minivan, and learn from your professional experienced English speaking tour guide of the Ethiopian birdlife at the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway.

Meet local families and partake a typical Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and see the bird life of the lakes and wildlife of the Abiyatta Shalla Lakes National Park.

The tour also includes visiting the unique and still operational rock carved church of Adadi Mariam, Tiya Steles (a cemetery dating back to 12th – 14th Century AD and UNESCO World Heritage Site), and walking by Lake Ziway to spot a number of lowland water birds. The tour includes a total of 580 km drive in two days.

On Thursdays or Sundays, experience local culture at the colorful weekly held cultural market at Adadi town.

per adult from




2 days


Hotel pickup available


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No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Comfortable insured private Toyota Minivan of 2015 Model which is equipped with air conditioning and seat belts Fuel (gasoline), and driver's allowance
    • Professional and experienced English speaking tour guide
    • Bottled water in the vehicle
    • Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony attendance
    • Entry/Admission - Lake Ziway
    • Entry/Admission - Fish Market at Awassa Lake
    What's excluded :
    • Entrance (admission) fees to places of visits
    • Accommodations
    • Meals
    • Any personal nature expenses such as souvenirs, gratuities, etc
    • And, any expense which are not mentioned in the "Included" list above
    • Entry/Admission - Adadi Maryam
    • Entry/Admission - Tiya World Heritage Site
    • Entry/Admission - Abidjatta-Shalla National Park

  • Day 1: Addis Ababa – Adadi Maryam - Tiya World Heritage Site – Lake Ziway – Awassa

    Stop At: Adadi Maryam, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
    Visit the ancient and still in service church of Adadi Mariam which is chiseled out of a single piece of rock in the 13th Century AD. Adadi Mariam rock church is believed to have been founded by King Lalibela who carved 11 more beautiful and elaborate rock churches in the Northern Ethiopia.

    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Tiya World Heritage Site, Tiya Ethiopia
    Following will be visiting the Steles of Tiya located 45 km away from Adadi Mariam rock church. The Steles of Tiya is one of Ethiopia’s sites listed as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Here you will visit beautiful carved stone grave markers erected between the 12th and 14th Century AD in honor of important local heroes (warriors).
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Butajira, Butajira, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region
    Stop at a couple of outlooks for the picturesque scenery of the Ethiopian part of the Great East African Rift Valley. You will also visit one of the villages of the local people of Silte for cultural experience.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Lake Ziway, Ziway Ethiopia
    Spot Ethiopian Lowland water birds by walking by the shores of the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway to see families of hippos (if lucky) and a number of birds such as Great white pelicans, Marabou Storks, African Fish Eagle, Sacred Ibis, Hammer Kops, etc

    Finally, drive 115 km south to the Rift Valley Lake of Awassa. If the weather is good, enjoy the beautiful sun set over the lake.

    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.

    Day 2: Awassa Lake – Abidjatta Shalla Lakes National Park – Lake Ziway – Addis Ababa

    Stop At: Fish Market at Awassa Lake, Awassa Lake, Awasa Ethiopia
    After breakfast head to Amora Gedel found by the shores of Lake Awassa. It is where locals come to have breakfast of fresh catch Tilapia fish and spot a number of birds gathered looking for leftover fish. Here you will see the rare Colobus Monkey (Black and White Monkey).
    Duration: 2 hours

    Stop At: Abidjatta-Shalla National Park, Awasa Ethiopia
    Then, head north to the Abiyatta Shalla Lakes National Park with a stop at Shashemene to visit the Jamaican Rastafarian Community.

    At Abiyatta Shalla Lakes NP walk for half an hour to see Ostriches, Gazelles, Warthogs, and different lowland bird species. If the weather is good (September – June), continue driving farther to visit the Natural Hot Spring waters where locals use the waters to get healed from skin diseases.

    Duration: 3 hours

    Stop At: Shashamene Zuria, Ethiopia
    Visit to visit the Jamaican Rastafarian Community at Shashemene town for about 1 hour. Learn about the backgrounds of the Rastafarianism beliefs and how they are connected with Emperor Haile Sillassie I.
    Duration: 1 hour

    Stop At: Bishoftu, Bishoftu, Oromiya Region
    Stop at one of the crater lakes of Bishoftu (Debre Ziet) which is notable for its scenic beauty. You will also visit a village of the Oromo people to attend a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony with locals.
    Duration: 1 hour

    No meals included on this day.
    No accommodation included on this day.
  • Departure Point :
    Traveler pickup is offered
    Any hotel/lodge in Addis Ababa OR ADDIS ABABA BOLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Airports
    • Bole Airport, Addis Ababa Ethiopia
    Return Detail :
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • June to Mid September is the rainy season where the tour runs. Please be prepared accordingly.
    • When visiting the rock church of Adadi Mariam, women are expected to be fully dressed and cover hairs.
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
    • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
    • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
    • Most travelers can participate
    • We can help visitors book accommodations, if needed. Please contact us!
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.



Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours

Activity ID: V-10131P6

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