The price you pay
2019 Price: £2,975
Single Supplement: £445, Travel Insurance Premium: £89/£178
The only extras you need to budget for are drinks and shopping.
Flights, Hotel accommodation, breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, porterage, a full sightseeing programme, entrance fees, guiding and gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.
All meals are included. Lunches will feature local specialities, with a more international choice in the evenings.
Travel Insurance, Single Room supplement, Visa on arrival ($50)
The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. The premium for this pilgrimage to Ethiopia is £89. Travellers over 75 pay £178. We also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options including annual policies on the market. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.
A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.
You can read the full policy wording here.
Passports, visas and health
British passport holders require a visa which is issued on arrival at Addis Ababa Airport. The cost is currently USD 50 for British Passport holders and payable in cash on arrival. Please make sure your passport has six months validity and two blank pages. No inoculations are required but do remember to take any regular medications.
Direct flights from Heathrow to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines. Duration 7 hours. Ethiopia is only 3 hours ahead of UK time, so jet lag is not usually a problem. We recommend a Thursday departure, but other days are possible.
The following local flights are included in the tour price:
ET 112 Addis Ababa to Mekele / 0800 - 0925
ET 123 Axum to Lalibela / 1145 -1225
ET 123 Lalibela to Gondar / 1245 - 1315
ET 143 Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa / 1450 - 1550
Addis has excellent hotels and we stay in a four star property close to the airport at the beginning and end of our holiday. Outside Addis we stay in best available hotels, all of which are of a very acceptable standard. Rooms have private facilities.
You can click on the hotel websites below:
Sapphire Addis Hotel in Addis Ababa
Agoro Lodge in Adigrat
Sabean Hotel in Axum
Mezena Lodge in Lalibela
Simien Lodge in Simien Mountain National Park
Mayleko Lodge in Gondar
Kuriftu Resort in Bahir Dar
You do not have to be super fit to participate in this tour, but expect a good deal of walking on uneven terrain and stair climbing. Be aware that Addis Ababa sits at an altitude of 2,500 metres: walking at altitude can be very tiring. If you have any heart or respiratory problems, please do ask your GP if this tour is suitable for you.
Ethiopia is not conducive to large groups of travellers so we will be a party of 18 pilgrims escorted by the tour leader and a local guide.
We will avoid arduous coach journeys by taking short local flights on small planes over the most difficult terrain.
Hotels generally cater well for western guests offering local as well as familiar dishes. Lunches are simple, perhaps wat (stew) accompanied by injara a unique type of Ethiopian bread, which looks like a pancake and is made from tef, a type of cereal found only in Ethiopia. Most dishes are lamb or beef based, but vegetarians are catered for, though the choice may be limited. Pasta and spaghetti dishes are also commonly available. Wednesdays and Fridays are traditional fasting days and restaurants usually only serve vegetable dishes. A popular Ethiopian dish is kitfo, which is minced meat that has been warmed, but not cooked. This is considered a delicacy in Ethiopia.
If you have special dietary requirements, let us know and we will do our best to satisfy these, but we cannot guarantee that this will always be possible.
Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.
The McCabe Educational Trust
For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. As ‘the haves’ encounter the ‘have nots’ the Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.
McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.
Full Financial Security
All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.
AITO Quality Statement
McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.
You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE