Senior citizens have the advantage of longer travel getaways and all the time to explore the world. The best part is that the pace of the tour can be adjusted to their needs so they can still have a good time on their travels without feeling too exhausted at every destination. While there’s so many places to visit, you should definitely consider Ethiopia and its many offerings. Here you can soak up the country’s enigmatic vibe while exploring some of the most amazing locations on the planet.
Naturally, you’d expect tours that don’t involve long treks and a combination of driving and flying activities where driving still permits, and just relax while enjoying the breathtaking scenery. Here are our top picks for Ethiopian destinations that senior travelers are sure to enjoy:
The historic town of Lalibela and its famous collection of rock-cut churches lies in the misty highlands of northern Ethiopia. The rock-hewn churches date back to the 12th century and provide insight into the lives and beliefs of the medieval Ethiopian orthodox Christians. The Lalibela Churches are one of a kind.
They are hewn from a single piece of living rock and instead of rising above ground level, they stand in sunken pits with their inner roofs on the same level as the surrounding landscape. Their decorative landscapes were painstakingly chiseled out by hand and in total. They gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1978 and are still places of active worship and pilgrimage to date.
There are lots of trips and visits available in Gondar. For example, the Fasils castle, which happens to be the very first castle built in Gondar town. It was built by former Emperor Fasil in the 17th century and was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. One of Ethiopia’s most famous churches, the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, is also found in Gondar town.
While in Gondar, senior travelers can witness the Ethiopian traditional dance at the Atse Bekeffa, spend time with the locals, and just have a generally good time while enjoying the local beer called Dashen. They can also visit the Kindu Trust, Link Ethiopia, and Mother Theresa Charity to help support the orphaned kids in Ethiopia.
Bahir Dar is situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana where there are dozens of historic churches and monasteries along the shores and one the Islands around the lake. You can take a boat ride on Lake Tana to visit the monasteries, as well as check out the famous Blue Nile Falls. This amazing natural monument is about 35km from Bahir Dar and is one of the most scenic destinations in Ethiopia. You can also spot the palace of Ethiopia’s most famous emperor, Haile Selassie, inside a park on top of a hill southeast of the city, providing a panoramic view of Lake Tana, the Blue Nile Falls and Bahir Dar spread below.
If you’re up for it, a tour of the Omo Valley region is well worth the journey. This area is home to various indigenous tribes, each with their own fascinating cultures. For instance, the Hamer tribe is famous for its Bull Jumping Ceremony, a rite of passage initiating a young boy into manhood, while the Mursi tribe is famous for their lip plates. There are usually weekly market days in each town in the Omo Valley and you should see at least one of these market days during your tour to gain a deeper appreciation of their ways of life.
Ethiopia’s capital city is the place to acclimatize yourself with the country’s culture. It is impossible to visit Addis Ababa without trying their local staple injera and to separate Ethiopian culture from coffee. Addis Ababa is the city of cafes, traditional coffee stalls in bars and restaurants, and women walk the streets with thermos flasks, all dishing out a fresh cup of coffee
Ethiopians appear to relish the chance to hit the dance floor regardless of age and they love it when a foreigner joins in or at least tries to. Ethiopian designers like to combine the old and new when it comes to fashion and it is an expanding art scene aptly demonstrated by the 600-plus painting collections at the Makush Art Gallery.
Axum, another UNESCO World Heritage site, was the capital of the long Axumite reign which has one of the oldest African empires and represents a crucial connecting point between Africa and Asia for years. The city boasts huge obelisks, which are perhaps a testament to the glory of the Axum empire back in the day.
Ethiopia is blessed with a rich, mesmerizing history, stunning wildlife and some of Africa’s most soulful people. Definitely worth your while. If you are looking to travel to Ethiopia as a senior traveler, get in touch with us by filling out the contact form.