Special Tours


The following are special interest tours in Ethiopia organized by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours. These tours in Ethiopia are not regularly offered by other tour and travel companies in Ethiopia. Special tours in Ethiopia focus on unique interests and places of visits/activities in Ethiopia.

If you have special and personal interests to create a tour around,

If you need assistance in traveling in Ethiopia with a unique purpose,

If you look for tour guide or translator for your business projects in Ethiopia,

Even, if you are adopted from Ethiopia, grew up abroad, and are looking for tracing your origins, we are here to help. For quick assistance, click below and reach us on WhatsApp!

Contact us on WhatsAppYou can create your own tour in Ethiopia around one of the following special interest trips. The following journeys are just a few of the trips we already organized. Contact us to plan your culture tour to the Omo Valley of Southern Ethiopia. Arrange a nature (wildlife) tour to the Bale Mountains National Park. Discover unique traditions with our culture tour in Ethiopia.

1 – Rastafarian Tour – 6 Days/ 6 Nights

Rastafari (or Rastafarianism) is a political and religious movement that developed in Jamaica, in the 1930s. The last emperor of Ethiopia – Emperor Haile Sillassie I has a special importance for Rastafarians.

Emperor Haile Sillassie I, who ruled Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, visited Jamaica in the 1960s. Hundreds of Jamaican Rastafarians moved to Ethiopia, especially Shashemene, following the grant of land Emperor Haile Sillassie gave them for their support in Ethiopia’s campaign against Fascist Italian invasion in the mid 1930s.

Rastafari Tour is a one-week private tour of southern Ethiopia focusing on learning the Rasta religion and culture. Rastafarianism Tour in Ethiopia also includes visiting interesting natural sites around Shashemene – the center of Jamaican Rastafarians in Southern Ethiopia.

For more fun and Rastafarian experience in Shashemane, it is better to be there on important Rastafarian holydays.

The following are a few significant eventful holidays with dates Rastafarians gather at Shashemane and observe with festivals.

  • 21st OF APRIL – GROUNDATION DAY - A Rastafarian meeting to observe Emperor Haile Selassie’s visit to Jamaica in 1966.
  • 17th OF AUGUST - Marcus Garvey's Birthday – Marks the birth date the founder of the Rastafarianism.
  • 2nd of NOVEMBER – Coronation of Haile Selassie as Emperor of Ethiopia in 1930
  • 23rd of JULY – Emperor Haile Selassie’s Birthday – Remembers the birthdate of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1892

Check out a list of important Rastafarian dates, events, and festivals, and plan your tour to Shashemene accordingly.

2 – For Second Timers – 10 Days/ 10 Nights Historical and Cultural Tour of Northern Ethiopia

“For Second Timers” is a 10 days tour to the historical sites of northern Ethiopia. This tour is planned considering the fact that most tour operators in Ethiopia offer tours to the classical route (northern circuit). Many tour companies in Ethiopia include the famous island monasteries of Lake Tana, Blue Nile Falls, Castles of Gondar, Simien Mountains National Park, Axum historical sites, and the rock churches of Ethiopia.St. George Church at Lalibela North Ethiopia

We designed For Second Timers Tour to make visitors of Ethiopia, who loved their visit of the common places above, see and experience still exciting and worth visiting places. For Second Timers Ethiopia Tour includes more island monasteries of Lake Tana, hiking in the Simien Mountains National Park, the rock cut churches of Tigray, and more religious sites around Lalibela.

If already some interesting sites in Ethiopia and wish to visit more of it, we work with you to create your personalized special trip. Tell us what you want to do when you come to Ethiopia for the second time.

3 – Student Itineraries
Geography – 11 Days/ 11 Nights

Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours organizes tours focusing on GEOGRAPHY and geared specially for students. With these tours, our tour guides take visitors to the geographically diverse places of interest in Ethiopia.

Discover the chains of the Rift Valley Lakes of Ethiopia. Trek to the highest peak in Ethiopia – Mount Ras Dashen in the Simien Mountains National Park. Be adventures to visit Dallol – the lowest point in the African Continent, with 116 meters below sea level.

We customize this tour to help student visitors of Ethiopia learn about Ethiopian wildlife and birds. Add-ons to this trip are the Bale Mountains National Park, Nech Sar National Park and Awash National Park.

4 – Flower of Paradise – Chat Trip – 6 Days/ 6 Nights

With our Chat Trip, the historical and religious significance and background of Chat (or Khat) will be presented with our professional or expert knowledge. The mild stimulant green leaves of Chat which is consumed with a considerable number of the population of Ethiopia supports the economy of many families.

Chat (or Khat) is one of the biggest export items for Ethiopia. Chat is strongly linked with the cultures of many, especially in the Eastern part of the country.

With our Chat Trip in Ethiopia, you will experience this unique culture of chewing chat together with how it can also ruin lives of many. Our Chat Trip takes visitors to Harar City – UNESCO World Heritage Site.

5 – Looking for weekly cultural markets?
OPTION 1 – 8 Days/ 8 Nights
OPTION 2 – 8 Days/ 8 Nights

6 – Coffee Trip – Ethiopia’s bequest to the World – 6 Days/6 Nights

7 – IRRECHA – Thanks giving ceremony

Day by day itinerary of special interest tours in Ethiopia

Below, see daily schedules of the corresponding tours. All special tours are open for edits. Please contact us for the detailed day by day itineraries.
1 – Rastafari Tour – 6 Days/ 6 Nights
Day 1 – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Addis – Shashemene
Day 3 – Shashemene – Senkele Sanctuary – Shashemene
Day 4 – Shashemene – Ulna Falls – Awassa
Day 5 – Awassa – Wendo Genet
Day 6 – Wendo Genet – Addis
Day 7 – Addis + Departure

2 – For Second Timers
History – 10 Days/ 10 Nights
Day 1 – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Addis – Dessie 
Day 3 – Dessie – Gishen Mariam – Dessie
Day 4 – Dessie – Haik Stephanie – Lalibela
Day 5 – Lalibela – Genete Mariam – Yemrehane Kirstos – Lalibela
Day 6 – Lalibela – Axum (Flight)
Day 7 – Axum – Yeha – Debre Damo – Adigrat
Day 8 – Adigrat – Mariam Korkor – Petros Paulos – Hausien
Day 9 – Hausien – Abune Yemata – Abreha Atsbeha – Mekelle
Day 10 – Mekelle – Addis (Flight)
Day 11 – Addis – Departure

3 - Student Itineraries
Geography – 11 Days/ 11 Nights
Day 1 – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Addis – Gondar
Day 3 – Gondar – Simien Mountains National Park – Gondar
Day 4 – Gondar – Addis – Langano
Day 5 – Langano – Chencha – Arba Minch
Day 6 – Arba Minch
Day 7 – Arba Minch – Nazareth
Day 8 – Nazareth – Awash NP
Day 9 – Awash – Mile
Day 10 – Mile – Lucy – Mile
Day 11 – Mile – Addis
Day 12 – Addis – Departure

4 – Flower of Paradise – Chat Trip

6 Days/ 6 Nights

Chat, also known as Khat, is green mild stimulant leaves chewed by a significant number of Ethiopians. Chat is very popular in the Eastern part of Ethiopia. Chat Trip is organized by Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours to visit Chat plantations. With Chat Trip, visitors would experience how Chat is enjoyed with ceremony. 

Day 1 – Arrival + Wendo Genet
Day 2 – Wendo Genet – Shashemene – Awassa
Day 3 – Awassa – Awash
Day 4 – Awash – Harar
Day 5 – Harar – Aweday – Harar
Day 6 – Harar – Addis
Day 7 – Addis – Departure

5 – Looking for weekly cultural markets?
OPTION 1 – 8 Days/ 8 Nights
Day 1 – Fri – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Sat – Addis – Alaba (M) – Arba Minch
Day 3 – Sun – Arba Minch – Konso (M?) – Turmi
Day 4 – Mon – Turmi – Omorate – Turmi (M)
Day 5 – Tue – Turmi – Dimeka (M) – Jinka
Day 6 – Wed – Jinka – Mago + Mursi – Jinka
Day 7 – Thu - Jinka – Key Afer (M) – Yabello
Day 8 – Fri – Yabello – Wendo Genet

OPTION 2 – 8 Days/ 8 Nights
Day 1 – Sat – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Sun – Addis – Sannette (M) – Kombolcha
Day 3 – Mon – Kombolcha – Bati (M) – Gewane
Day 4 – Tue – Gewane – Asaita (M) – Awash
Day 5 – Wed – Awash – Harar
Day 6 – Thu – Harar (M + M)
Day 7 – Fri – Harar – Nazareth
Day 8 – Sat - Nazareth – Alaba – Arba Minch (M)
Day 9 – Sun – Arba Minch – Addis + departure

6 - Coffee Trip – Ethiopia’s bequest to the World – 6 Days/6 Nights
Day 1 – Arrival + Addis
Day 2 – Addis – Jimma
Day 3 – Jimma – Bonga
Day 4 – Bonga – Jimma
Day 5 – Jimma – Addis (Flight)
Day 6 – Addis – Dire Dawa (Flight) – Harar
Day 7 – Harar – Addis (Drive) + Departure

7 – IRRECHA – Thanks Giving Ceremony of the Oromo People
This ceremony is held on the eastern shore of the Lake Hora, where the Oromo traditional spiritual festival is conducted mainly once a year towards the end of September. This offers the opportunity to experience the colorful ceremony of the festival upon which the local Oromo come together at this site under a big tree known as ODA (Ficus Sycamore) and pray for the good will and well-being of themselves, their cattle and family, in the following year.

If you are searching for private special interest tours in Ethiopia, we are always at your service. Contact Merit Ethiopian Experience Tours and plan your special tours in Ethiopia!


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