We specialise in tailor-made holidays and trekking in Ethiopia - with a fantastic trekking outfit in the Simien Mountains and a thorough knowledge of the lodges and hotels of this fast developing country.
Travelling around Ethiopia is now a very much different prospect to just a couple of years ago. Quality small hotels are blossoming around the country and private tailor-made travel (rather than group travel) is in our opinion, now the best way to see Ethiopia whatever your budget. Where once a hot shower was a rarity, you can now see some of the most incredible cultural, historical and natural sites in Africa from the comfort of excellent lodging such as the Kuriftu Spa on Lake Tana and the Bale Mountain Lodge.
The Simien Mountains offer some of the most stunning trekking in the whole of Africa. The National Park boasts truly incredible mountain scenery and is teeming with endemic wildlife. We are the leading provider of high quality treks in the Simien Mountains and pride ourselves on the quality of our guiding team and cooks, whether your are camping or staying in comfort at the Simien Lodge.
Our itineraries are carefully designed by our experienced travel designers based on years of experience and customer feedback. For a custom itinerary tailored to you, please enquire giving as much detail as possible on your brief.
Classic fully supported 3-5 day trek in the Simien Mountain National Park including transfer to and from Gondar. Guide, cook, porters and scout all included.
Private Trek Adventure 5 days
Extended 8 day trek in the Simien Mountains following the classic Sankaber - Chenek route then down to the Lowlands.
Private Trek Adventure 8 days
Combines the popular Sankaber - Geech - Chenek section with a challenging ascent of Ras Dashen & descent to the rarely visited lowlands.
Private Trek Adventure 10 days
Perfect for those short on time, combines the classic 5 day Simiens trek with the cultural highlights of Gondar & Lalibella
Tailor-made Adventure 10 days
A tour of North Ethiopia's highlights in comfortable accommodation, visiting Lake Tana, the Simien Mountains, Gondar & Lalibela. For the non-trekker.
Tailor-made Classic 9 - 14 days
Experience the incredible cultures of the Konso, Mursi and Turmi people on this responsible private 12 Day Lower Omo Valley tour
Tailor-made 9 - 21 days
Combines a 5 day Simien Mountain trek with a full tour of the Northern Circuit, including the remote Gheralta Cluster churches.
Tailor-made 9 - 15 days
Spend 4 days trekking & acclimatising in Ethiopia's rarely visited Simien National Park before flying to Tanzania to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Tailor-made Adventure 16 days
Two week wildlife holiday in Ethiopia combining the unique habitats of the Simien Mountains, Bale Mountains and Rift Valley Lakes
Tailor-made Adventure 15 days
A comprehensive tour of North of Ethiopia including Lake Tana, the Simien Mountains, Gondar, Lalibela & Gheralta. For the non-trekker.
Tailor-made 2 weeks
Highlights of the northern historical circuit with extension to Bale Mountains to see rare edemic species such as Ethiopian wolf and array of birdlife
Tailor-made Luxury 10 - 14 days
Combine a Simien Mountain trek with the best of the North and the fascinating tribes of the South.
Tailor-made Adventure 13 - 15 days
We know our onions. Our specialists have vast experience of their destinations, backed up by our superb local guides and hosts.
Our prices are often better than booking direct. We'll match any quote from a UK or US Tour operator.
As a comprehensively bonded ATOL and ABTA tour operator with 24/7 emergency support we've got your back.
We had an excellent, stretching , fascinating mix of history (sites) , tough trekking , and wonderful views .. From the many treks that I have done to places including Nepal , Italy , Croatia , Crete , Myanmar , Japan I would judge that it would be very difficult to beat the 7 days that we had in the Simien Mountains .. Tigrai was spectacular for those willing to climb to all the churches. ( there’s a challenge for you to suggest the next adventure !).
Our guide Abebe was really excellent ( fit, engaging, knowledgeable and with a good sense of fun/humour ) and I would not hesitate in recommending him, the quality of the tents was excellent except that there were only 3 two man tents which were much roomier than the singles. We saw very few other people which was perhaps just as well in view of the loo situation at the camp sites. The food was reasonable .. in fact too much pasta and not enough rice. We certainly needed the heavier sleeping bags as it was very cold the first two nights out.
On the negative side .. the long drop loos at Geech were frankly a disgrace .. you could not stand in there for all the crap around and the smell ( even in the freezing evening ) .. surely they should be cleaned every morning / evening. The result is people are crapping in other places round the site .. not nice ! There was no water for washing at Geech ! At the Chennek camp the long drops were only marginally better but there were two dribbly very cold showers at least ! If the tourist board want to encourage tourism clean loos is the absolute must.
The trekking times were generally accurate which was a change as in most other treks that I have been on they are 25% overestimated. Our final 11 hour day was tough but perfectly achievable for fit walkers. I am glad we did not break it into two tranches … we had time to stop for a swim/wash in the river/pools and it was fantastic to spend two days at Geralti Lodge before our return. Addis is a bit of a disappointment but it was certainly worth spending a couple of hours walking the Mercato ( although you have to be very careful not to lose the guide !). I thought Axum was disappointing by comparison with Gonder and Lalibela and not really worth going to.
That’s about it .. I would certainly recommend Tourdust !! Thank you , James
James Lawson reviewing Classic Northern Circuit & Simien Mountains Trek
We had the most fantastic time and loved the country and its people. The tour worked really well and including the internal flights meant that we could maximise our 2 weeks (if we had of had more time sure the drives would be lovely!) - the pace of it was busy but just right. You really put together a trip which showed us the beauty and culture of the North. I loved all the walking and timket was amazing. The advice just take yourselves and leave everything else at home for timket was perfect as we were free to just enjoy the experience - I have never experienced anything like it. The thing that surprised me about the trip was the variety and how each day was so different. The people were so warm and friendly and children were absolutely enchanting - the contrast of the privilege of children I know here and those living in poverty in Ethiopia is very humbling.
Having a driver guide worked extremely well - lema was excellent, he really added to our holiday through enabling us to have interaction with local people - he clearly had a way which gained acceptance and thus acceptance of us - for example with a family making injera and farmers threshing. He is a real ambassador for his country and was such a caring guide but also great fun. We always felt safe and he was an excellent driver - even when conditions were not easy.
As we had local guides everywhere, I think having a driver and a guide plus local guides would have been a bit too much. The local guides were all very good or excellent. They clearly had good relationships with lema and again I think this meant we in turn had a good experience.
The accommodation was generally very good/ excellent. We actually preferred the guest house we stayed in on the final night in addis to the regency hotel ( cannot remember the name but Stephen took us there - it had more character) I particularly liked fasil lodge as had great atmosphere, and gheralta was fantastic. I also liked lalibela lodge. I thought Kuriftu lodge was good but slightly impersonal.
My only criticism about whole trip really is about simien lodge - As you know the cost of food and drink at the lodge is inflated - I completely understand that the location would attract a premium but compared to everywhere else it is so over-inflated. I have seen their response on trip advisor to anyone who raises this - basically you a penny pinching tourist who expects a "cheap" trip and do not want to contribute to the country ( I do not think we fall into this category!) the main thing I objected to was only having the "choice" of a $18 buffet of food that was not of great quality as well very inflated prices for drinks
However, You did warn us and i know I wanted to stay in the park so this is not a complaint about tour dust or itinerary at all - I realise that they have a monopoly so unlikely to change but wonder if agents have any more sway in feedback than individuals. It is a shame as the lodge is in great location and the rooms, solar heating etc are all good.
I would contrast the simien lodge with the gheralta lodge which likewise has a captive audience but provides food of much higher quality and drinks at reasonable hotel prices - I know Kate would have preferred local food but I was very happy to have good Italian food in such a lovely place. It was the perfect place to spend our last couple of days.
Thanks for organising such a great holiday - I would highly recommend tour dust to anyone travelling to the countries you cover and I am promoting ethiopia as holiday destination at every opportunity!
ruth moesby reviewing Classic Northern Historical Circuit
We had a wonderful 2 week trip to Ethiopia - we found the country very different from other places that we've been, and also found Ethiopia very different from what we'd imagined it would be. The wildlife and birds we saw were incredible, the mountains and views nothing short of spectacular. We found different parts of the country varied hugely - both in landscape, climate and wildlife - which made the trip hugely varied. The travel arrangements (internal flights included) all worked perfectly - and our guides, drivers and cooks were all professional, friendly and keen to help make our trip as enjoyable as possible. As a vegetarian, I really enjoyed the variety of food (the local beers and wines were great too!), and we found all the hotels we stayed in very comfortable. In particular, the Kuriftu spa was a lovely treat after having spent 5 days in the Simiens trekking. We probably tried to fit too much into our 2 week trip, and were feeling a bit tired by the time we came home, but we would certainly have no hesitations in recommending both Ethiopia and Tourdust to anyone!
Natalie Nickelson reviewing Simien Mountains Trek & Northern Highlights