Day Tours


  • Do you have a stopover in Addis Ababa between your flights?View of Wenchi Lake near Addis Ababa
  • Wondering how to make the best use of your long layover in Addis Ababa?
  • Searching for extraordinary one day trips in or around Addis Ababa city?

First, please read reviews of fellow travelers on our Addis tours on TripAdvisor. Also, take a look at our selection of 1-day private trips in and around Addis Ababa. Please contact us if you need assistance personalizing our excursions to meet your needs..

The following is a list of one-day private trips departing from Addis Ababa. Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours offers private excursions near Addis Ababa. All day tours near Addis Ababa are by drive with sanitized private vehicles. Skillful English-speaking Ethiopian local tour guides accompany our excursions around Addis Ababa.

List of day trips near Addis Ababa:-

Addis Ababa day trips take you to some of the city's most significant historical and cultural sites. These one day expeditions include visiting religious, natural, scenic, and historical sites near Addis Ababa. If you just have one day in Addis Ababa, hire a private tour guide in Ethiopia for best day trip of Addis and its environs.

With Addis Ababa day trips, take a guided tour of the city’s best attractions. We're ready to assist you in planning enjoyable one-day outings from Addis Ababa.

1-day is all you need to visit selected tourist attractions, local markets, and cultural sites of Addis Ababa and nearby. For more information or to book one of our Addis Ababa sightseeing day trips, please contact us via WhatsApp.

City Tour in Addis Ababa is one of the day trips available. We offer two sorts of tours to visit Addis Ababa's best attractions. Short and longer City Tours in Addis Ababa - Half Day Addis Ababa City (4 to 6 hours private sightseeing visit of Addis. Visiting a museum, religious site and a local cultural market known as Merkato or Addis Mercato are included in the short tour of Addis Ababa.

The Full Day City Tour in Addis Ababa is a comprehensive private tour that lasts 8 to 9 hours. Tourists can modify the city tour in Addis Ababa with us. We tailor a tour to client needs, including time constraints, sites to visit in Addis Ababa, and any unique requirements.

Ethiopia, as a country, followed principal steps implemented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism to ensure safety for host community, travelers, and staff members engaged in tourism related businesses. These steps qualified Ethiopia to receive the World Travel and Toursim Council's - WTTC’s Safe Travels Stamp.

Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours, as a tour company, applies the following safety measures to keep our travelers, staff, and the community encountered in day tours of Addis Ababa SAFE from Coronavirus!

Few reasons to book one day tours in and around Addis Ababa with Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours are: -

* We provide only small group (family) private tours. This allows you the flexibility to do or visit more of what interests you.

* For safety from Coronavirus (COVID-19), we host only small groups. Most tours are outdoor activities.

* Our tours are personally organized and limited only to one specific group. So visitors won’t feel urged to go along with already set schedule.

* In relation with Coronavirus, our tour guides pay close attention to keep physical distancing throughout the tours. We provide hand-sanitizers, wipes and face masks during the tours.

* Our tours are ideal for transit passengers and business travelers in Addis Ababa. Because we craft our tours to meet visitors’ expectations and other inquiries.

* Visitors decide departure places for these private guided tours. Your tour guide meets you at your hotel in Addis Ababa. OR at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (if just arriving).


Generally, all our single day trips are perfect for first-time visitors to Addis Ababa. Day trips Addis Ababa help visitors to experience local culture, learn history and religion, and admire great views. Book a private excursion from Addis Ababa with us to spend a great one day you won’t never forget!

Places to visit in private Addis Ababa Day Tours are: -

  • Adadi Mariam Rock Cut Church - Founded in the 13th Century AD by King Lalibela. The unique Adadi Maryam Church is carved out of a single piece of rock. It has always served as a church. Adadi Mariam is 65 km south of Addis Ababa. Thursdays and Sundays are the best days of the week for one day trip to visit Adadi Rock Church and its weekly cultural market.
  • Steles of Tiya - This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a cemetery from 12th to 14th Century AD. At Tiya, visit 40 grave stones decorated with carvings and erected for local hero. Tiya is 82 km south of Addis Ababa. Around Tiya, experience culture of preparing bread from Enset (False Banana Tree) visiting villages of Gurage people.
  • Debre Libanos Monastery is 100 km north of Addis Ababa. Debre Libanos Monastery (ደብረ ሊባኖስ ገዳም) is the biggest Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity monastery in Ethiopia. The monastery of Debre Libanos was founded by an Ethiopian Saint Tekle Haimanot. He established it in the 13th Century AD.
  • Portuguese Bridge - Visit this handmade stone bridge built in the 16th Century AD. Walk around Portuguese Bridge to savor the breathtaking scenery of the Jemma River Gorge and to see the endemic mammal of Ethiopia - the Gelada Baboon. The pedestrian vaulted arch bridge is unique for its masonry.  “Portuguese Bridge” is similar with the first bridge in Ethiopia built by the Portuguese.
  • Jemma River Gorge - Admire the breathtaking scenery of the Jemma River Gorge. River Jemma is one of the tributaries of the Blue Nile River - the longest running river in the World. Jemma River Gorge is one of the best scenic views around Addis Ababa to experience in one day.
  • Bishoftu (ቢሾፍቱ) or Debre Zeit (ደብረ ዘይት) is a famous resort town 45 km east of Addis Ababa. Studded with scenic volcanic crater lakes, Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) is among the top things to do near Addis Ababa. Kuriftu Water Park at Debre Zeit is a nice kids playground to visit with a day trip from Addis Ababa. Visit also Lemma Guya Art Gallery at Bishoftu.
  • Lake Ziway - Located 160 km south of Addis Ababa, Lake Ziway is the northernmost Rift Valley Lake of Ethiopia. Take a private boat ride of one hour at Lake Ziway. Spot a number of Ethiopian birds and encounter families of hippos. With prior arrangement, you can visit Castel Winery at Ziway town.
  • Crater Lake of Wenchi - This is one of the best scenic spots around Addis Ababa. Walk from the rim to the lake, take a boat ride to an island monastery, and horseback ride back to your vehicle. Other attractions close to the Wenchi Crater Lake are natural hot springs at Ambo and the natural forest of Welisso.
  • Rift Valley Scenery - With excursion south of Addis Ababa, tourists can enjoy panoramic views of the Ethiopian part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Stop at selected outlooks to take photoshoots of the Rift Valley scenery. Learn about the geographical nature of the Great East African Rift Valley from your local tour guide.

NOTE - Private excursion or day tours from Addis Ababa below can be organized to fit visitors interests and expectations. Contact us for details or booking. Or, you can easily browse our day tours near Addis Ababa on our WhatsApp Catalogue and start chat.

1. Sightseeing Tour of Addis Ababa

Here is the itinerary of Addis Ababa sightseeing trip. Start this 8 hours city tour in Addis Ababa with visiting the National Museum. The National Museum of Ethiopia is famous for its archaeological findings. Here, see the fossil remains of Lucy or Dinknesh (the oldest hominid and 3.18 mil years old).
Inside Holy Trinity Cathedral in Addis Ababa

Continue Addis Ababa day tour with visiting the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Emperor Haile Selassie I founded the Trinity Cathedral. Next, visit the interesting Addis Mercato or Merkato Market. This gigantic market is the largest open-air market in Africa.

Addis Ababa sightseeing tours can be organized considering visitors expectations. Contact us!

After lunch, drive to the peak of Mount Entoto (3,200 meters above sea level). Entoto Mountain is the best spot around to enjoy the panoramic view of Addis Ababa. Also visit the oldest church in Addis Ababa which is famous for hand painted colorful wall paintings.

Finally drive on the main streets of the city to see the historical monuments and major landmarks of the city.

We advance your guided tour and experience with us by adding sights, museums, and other things to do in Addis Ababa as per your interests. With this city tour in Addis Ababa, discover the hidden gems of Addis with insightful local tour guide. We are here to make your 1-day trip of Addis Ababa a lifetime experience.

If you are planning vacations in Addis Ababa, read Addis Ababa Attractions to find best things to discover in the city. With our sightseeing tours, get a deeper insight of the best tourist attractions in Addis Ababa.

To help people who arrive at Addis Ababa at night, we offer about 4 to 6 hours Overnight Transit Tour in Addis Ababa. This special custom tour is helpful for travelers do interesting activities in the evening in Addis Ababa.

This is the best tour to visit Addis Ababa in 1-day. It is perfect visiting for transit passengers (travelers on layover stop at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport).

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2. Excursion to Adadi Mariam Rock Church and the Steles of Tiya

Adadi Mariam Rock Church near Addis AbabaDay trip to Adadi Mariam Rock Church and Tiya is one of our best weekend trips from Addis Ababa. This day trip from Addis Ababa is to visit the rock hewn church of Adadi Mariam (13th Century AD).

Adadi Mariam Rock Church was excavated by the famous Ethiopian King Lalibela. King Lalibela carved 11 more gorgeous rock churches at Lalibela town. The church of Adadi Mariam is carved out of a solid rock and is still used for church services. If you visit Adadi Mariam on the 21st day of an Ethiopian month, you'll see a great church service.

Adadi Mariam is 65 km far from Addis Ababa. The monolithic church of Adadi Mariam is best example of the rock churches of Lalibela. See our 2 days tour to Lalibela Churches from Addis Ababa.

The private excursion from addis Ababa also includes visiting the Steles of Tiya. Tiya is UNESCO World Heritage Site from12th - 14th Century AD. The Steles of Tiya is a cemetery with 42 huge steles. The stone grave markers are decorated with swords, banana tree leaves, etc and were erected as grave markers.

From UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Ethiopia, the Steles of Tiya is the nearest to Addis Ababa. Steles of Tiya are 82 km south of Addis Ababa.

With this pleasure trip, visit local villages for cultural experiences. This private excursion from Addis Ababa has scenic stops to enjoy and take photos of the picturesque views of the Rift Valley.

Read details of Adadi Mariam and Tiya Steles day tour from Addis Ababa.

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3. Excursion to Debre Libanos Monastery and the scenic Jemma River Gorge
Visit Portuguese Bridge in day trip from Addis Ababa

This is one of our best private excursions near Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Take a day trip to visit the largest monastery in Ethiopia – Debre Libanos Monastery. It is from the 13th Century AD. At Debre Libanos Monastery visit the modern church founded during Emperor Haile Selassie I. This church is decorated with pretty religious paintings and window glass works. You will also visit the museum of Debre Libanos Monastery. In the museum, see old historical and religious artifacts.

Enjoy the scenic Jemma River Gorge. Jemma River is one of the tributaries of the Blue Nile River which flows out of Lake Tana. The other place of visit this excursion from Addis Ababa includes is the Portuguese Bridge. It was built in the 16th Century AD.

During this excursion, see one of the endemic mammals of Ethiopia - the Gelada Baboon. They are known as "the Bleeding-Heart Baboon" for its red patch on its chest.

Please, learn more about the Day Tour from Addis Ababa to Debre Libanos Monastery and around. And contact us even for more details.

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4. Excursion to the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway

This full-day private excursion from Addis Ababa is nature and culture themed tour. Day trip to the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway is has the longest driving distance among the day trips Merit Tours offer.

The day trip from Addis Ababa to Lake Ziway is the longest (11 to 12 hours) day tour we have. Day tour takes visitors to the Steles of Tiya (UNESCO World Heritage Site), local experience with local village visit, and boat ride on Lake Ziway. Please read reviews of other travelers about Lake Ziway on TripAdvisor.

Enjoy birding at the Rift Valley Lakes of EthiopiaDiscover the wildlife of the Rift Valley Lake of Ziway - notable for its collection of bird species. At Lake Ziway, have a private boat ride to see families of hippos, and a number of water birds including Spur-Winged Lapwing, African Sacred Ibis, African Spoonbill, Hamerkop, Black Heron, Malachite Kingfisher, African Jacana, Hadada Ibis, etc. 

Other stops during this private trip are the artificial lake of Koka. The man made Lake of Koka is interesting for its bird life. On the way back to Addis Ababa, stop at one of the five crater lakes of Bishoftu or Debre Ziet. This one day wildlife holiday in Ethiopia is customizable and can be tailor made to fit travelers' inquiries.
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5. Excursion to Wenchi Crater Lake

With this day trip from Addis Ababa, visitors will drive along the fertile and mountainous lands of the Oromo Wenchi Crater Lake near Addis Ababapeople to the breathtaking scenery of Wenchi Crater Lake. Wenchi Lake is 155 km from Addis Ababa between Ambo and Welisso towns.

In one of the islands at Lake Wenchi there is a monastery founded in the 16th century which is accessible by walking or riding mules, and riding boats.

Visitors will see how 'Kocho' bread and 'Bulla' porridge is prepared from Enset or False Banana tree which is the staple food for large part of the population in southern Ethiopia.

6. Day trip from Addis to Debre Zeit (Bishoftu)

This is our shortest day tour from Addis Ababa. With this one day pleasure trip, drive 45 km east of Addis Ababa to the town of Debre Zeit (written as “ደብረ ዘይት” in Amharic and also known as Bishoftu).

Take one hour drive on Ethiopia’s only toll-road (Addis Ababa-Adama Expressway) from Addis Ababa to Bishoftu (or Debre Zeit). Bishoftu is known for its beautiful crater (volcanic) lakes.

At Bishoftu, take a relaxed walking tour to enjoy bird watching, water sports, or swimming. Admire the scenery of Lake Bishoftu, Lake Babogaya, and Lake Kuriftu.

At Debre Zeit, stop for lunch at a famous Indian Restaurant (7 LAKES Indian Restaurant). Then, visit Lemma Guya Art Gallery which is famous for its collection of paintings on goat skins. Then drive back to Addis Ababa.

If you have a day for private excursion from Addis Ababa, email us soon. With visitors' interest and time available for the day tours, we can plan a combination of the places of interests to visit with the day tours. Get detailed information about the day tours from Addis Ababa offered by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours!

For large groups, we organize bus tours in Addis Ababa with adaptable itineraries. Book your guided day tour in Ethiopia with Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours. 

Tell us details of your expectations of your day tour in Addis Ababa and benefit from our tourism professionals’ expertise.

REMEMBER - Our Addis Ababa 1-day tours during transit are bookable with short notice of at least 8 hours before tour start time.

Send us text message on WhatsApp for booking or further information.

If you booked one of the day trips from Addis Ababa with Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours, please share your experience with fellow visitors on TripAdvisor by using the following link. Thank you!


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