Ethiopia from the Sky
Adventurous heli-safari where you will fly above medieval kingdoms, visit isolated cultures and encompass the full breadth of Northern Ethiopia.
"Andrea did a wonderful job designing an itinerary to suit three generations of diverse interests, and was flexible and responsive to last minute changes and requests. He showed us many hidden treasures of this beautiful region that would have missed we're it not for him."
- Heather on her journey in Italy
A possible, beautiful itinerary for you
Arrival in Addis Ababa. A domestic flight takes you to Mekelle, the capital of the Tigray region. Your helicopter pilot welcomes you warmly, yet you detect a certain cockiness, or is it self-sufficiency? Perhaps you think to yourself “this guy better be something out of the ordinary!” A few minutes later, you can define your pilot’s attitude a little better: it’s the confidence that comes with skill and mastery. As the helicopter winds its way across the jagged peaks of Tigray, you are met with views that defy the imagination. Your pilot perches the bird on a narrow peak, the mix of adrenaline and wonder is just what you needed. Ethiopia has won you over and you haven’t even been into the churches!
A Far Away Place at the Rift
From Tigray you fly to the Danakil Depression, a place unique on the face of the Earth: sulphurous springs, acid lakes and active volcanos liven the sights. It is also home to the Afar people. You might catch a glimpse of their camel trains, following ancient salt routes. Read more
The Afar are a headstrong people, they are intensely proud and their belligerence is no joke. They have to be, to survive in the harsh desert environment. However, beneath the surface, there are values that unite us all: hospitality, kindness and curiosity. Today you will meet the Afar.
After a couple of days below sea level, your helicopter takes to the skies, towards the Simien Mountains, Ethiopia’s most mountainous region. Millions of years of erosion have created a type of landscape only seen on one other place on the planet. You will explore heights above 4,000 metres, and fly down to the valleys where unique fauna can be found.
The Simien Mountains are home to endemic species such as the Ethiopian Wolf, the Gelada Baboon and the Walia Ibex. One of the mountains most astounding residents is the Lammergeier, the bearded vulture and also bonebreaker. With a habit of dropping its prey from above, this 3-metre-wingspan bird is always on the lookout for a morsel of bone marrow.
Lalibela as Built for Angels
The World-Heritage site of Lalibela, with its rock-hewn churches, it is testament to the devotion of Ethiopian Christians. As Islam gained a foothold on Africa during the early middle ages, the Ethiopian Kings sought to create a New Jerusalem. Flying over the churches gives you a new perspective, the disposition and form of the churches makes it seem as it was meant as a message to be seen from above… 15 centuries before anyone heard of helicopters.
Flow into Hope
From Northern Ethiopia, you fly south towards the capital, but you take a spectacular route along the Blue Nile Gorge. Addis Ababa is a city where the past meets the future. It is a cosmopolitan city, where it is not uncommon to see a suited businessman fiddling over his smartphone next to a monk heading to pray to a medieval icon, or to see colonial buildings sitting next to modern high-rises. Addis Ababa means “New Flower”, and it is a symbol of hope.