Trip Details

Culture Week Ethiopia

Add this Culture Week to your Volunteer Project for an even greater Ethiopian Adventure!

Did you know that Ethiopia is one of the most popular travel destinations in Africa?  With richly diverse terrain, steeped in ancient history, Ethiopia offers a Culture Week adventure that you will never forget! We know you will fall in love with the country, the culture and its people, as you explore the islands, learn the language and learn to cook authentic Ethiopian food, amongst many other activities!

Waterfalls, Cooking Lessons and Amharic Folk Dancing!

Experience the famous Blue Nile Waterfalls, one of the most magnificent in Africa! With a jaw-dropping 150 feet drop it’s not for the faint-hearted! Visit, by boat, some of the 37 islands in Lake Tana and learn about the folklore that surrounds them. Bahir Dar is also home to many ancient churches with stunning murals and ancient scrolls which reveal a fascinating history. Further, Ethiopia has the best coffee, and you will take part in a coffee ceremony, as well as trying your hand (or feet!) at traditional folk-dancing.

Meet new friends – and fellow volunteers for the week ahead!

For those of you who are taking this culture week as an add-on to your volunteer project, this will be a great opportunity to cement new friendships before your project starts! All volunteers will stay at our safe gated-community accommodation in Bahir Dar, with communal areas, Wifi and all meals included. In addition, this Culture Week will give you a sense of the country before you start your exciting week ahead!

Why Book our Ethiopian Culture Week?

  • Explore Ethiopia’s diverse culture, rich history, and language
  • Take part in Ethiopian traditions, from coffee ceremonies to folk dancing!
  • Meet your new volunteer friends before you start your project
  • Expand your horizons and experience something completely different!
  • Stay in our safe accommodation, with all meals and beverages* included

*tea, coffee and drinking water

Get in touch to find out more or browse through our many other volunteer experiences.

Trip Itinerary

Your culture week in Ethiopia will start with a little session on cultural do’s and don’ts – important when you’ll be mixing with the local community!

You will also get to experience local attractions, weekend jaunts, island hopping, and discover the traditions and heritage of Bahir Dar.

Bahir Dar is ideally placed for short visits to World Heritage Sites, such as Gondar, Lalibela and Axum. But, of course, we mustn’t forget the breathtaking Simien Mountains and the rich biosphere of Lake Tana, which runs alongside Bahir Dar itself.

Ethiopia Culture Week Highlights

  • Learn about Ethiopian and Amharic Culture
  • Enjoy a short language class to learn simple common sentences in Amharic.
  • Experience Ethiopian cuisine – by your own hand! The ingredients needed would be bought by you from the local market.
  • Take in the sights and sounds of Amharic folk dances.
  • Visits the Islands via boat in Lake Tana and explore ancient churches and artefacts.
  • Take a walk on the wild side around the banks of Lake Tana and its diverse wildlife.
  • Take part in a coffee ceremony, essential to Ethiopians, with beans that Ethiopia is famous for!
  • Enjoy a day trip and picnic set amongst one of Africa’s most famous landmarks, The Blue Nile waterfalls.
  • Visit your Project and see what lies in store for you!

Trip Accommodation

Bahir Dar is a bustling city with palm tree and flower-lined roads, and is located in the Amhara region where Amharic is widely spoken. In addition, Lake Tana, a World Heritage Biosphere Reserve and the Blue Nile Falls, are located nearby and transportation is available (not included).

Your accommodation is on the outskirts of Bahir Dar, about 3 to 4 kilometres from the volunteer projects, and is part of a safe, gated community. Further, you will be able to enjoy beautiful scenery, as the house overlooks the Lake Tana and the Abyssinian Highlands.

Journey to Bahir Dar

Daily flights connect Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa, and the bus service from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar is a very comfortable bus journey of 10 hours, with scenic views along the way. In fact, many volunteers say they love this part of their adventure, as they get a feel for their surroundings along the way!

About the Accommodation

You will be staying in comfortable male/female dorm-style accommodation within a gated community, and the house is fully furnished, with laundry and storerooms and a well-equipped kitchen. Also, you will have a cosy living room where you can relax and hang out with fellow volunteers.

…and if you’re coming by yourself for the first time, you won’t be alone! There will always be others who, like you, are volunteering overseas, and there are staff on-site 7 days a week to help you. In fact, socialising is the norm here, so you’ll find you’ll not be short of things to do during your down-time. Wifi is available in communal areas of the volunteer house so you can catch up with friends and family – if you get the time!.

Food

Your meals will be mainly Ethiopian dishes which consist of vegetarian spicy stews and lentils, and flatbreads. However, non-vegetarian meals will also be available twice a week, in addition to daily vegetarian meals. Tea, Coffee, and filtered water are available daily. You will be provided with 3 meals on weekdays and 2 meals on weekends.

Facilities

Supermarkets, cafes, shops, ATMs are available nearby and first aid equipment is available at the accommodation, should you need it.

Transportation

Transportation is available to all surrounding areas. However, transport costs are not included in the programme and extra provision must be made for your excursions.

 

Trip Country Info

Ethiopia

Country Information
A country with a unique cultural heritage, the home of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church – one of the oldest Christian denominations – and a monarchy that ended only quite recently. Dating to prehistoric times and also having Biblical references, Ethiopia has a rich and varied history. Ethiopians pride themselves of never being colonized except for a five year period during Mussolini’s occupation. Coupled with its beautiful highlands and desert it is a traveler’s delight. Addis Ababa the largest city and capital is like any other city with all its modern trappings. Culture, cuisine, wildlife, welcoming hospitality, these and many other experiences await you in this ancient and modern land. As Ethiopians like to say, “Come and enjoy, 13 months of sunshine!”

Climate
Predominantly of a tropical monsoon weather, but due to the Ethiopian Highlands which cover most of the country, Ethiopia experiences a climate which is generally considerably cooler than other regions at similar proximity to the Equator. Most of the country’s major cities are located at elevations of around 6,500 to 8,000 feet above sea level.

Most major cities and tourist sites in Ethiopia lie at a similar elevation to Addis Ababa and have a comparable climate. In less elevated regions, particularly the lower lying Ethiopian xeric grasslands and shrublands in the east of the country, the climate can be significantly hotter and drier. Dallol, in the Danakil Depression in this eastern zone, has the world’s highest average annual temperature of 34 °C (93.2 °F).

Culture
From Music and Dance to Attire and Customs, Ethiopia is unique in its own way. The blend of traditional and modern can be seen in its architecture to the way its people dress up and conduct their day to day lives. Steeped in religious roots its culture is as vibrant as any other modern countries’ but its traditions are always visible, never having been hidden or forgotten. The Ethiopian calendar is one of the most unique in the world today that is still being followed. It has 13 months, with 12 months of 30 days each. The last month has 5 days in a common year and 6 days during a leap year.

Participant Criteria & Requirements

Standard Requirements

MUST have a yellow fever vaccination and must obtain a certificate as proof
Travel Insurance
Under 18, Parental Consent

Additional Requirements

No requirements have been provided.

What's included

  • 24/7 support in case of emergencies
  • Accommodation
  • Airport Pick up
  • English speaking coordinator
  • Meals
  • Orientation

What's not included

  • Airport drop off
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Vaccination
  • Visa