Link Ethiopia creates tailored group trips to match your interests. Jet off for a summer camp and teach extra lessons during the school holiday, or get involved with a construction project and help to build or refurbish a classroom. We love showing groups the sites and spectacles of Ethiopia, and so there is room to fit in some excursions as well! Below is a sample itinerary based on what a previous group did.

Activity Options

Below are the different types of activities than you can undertake as a group in Ethiopia. You can focus on just type of expedition or you can bring the different elements together in one itinerary.

Tourism

Design a trip of a lifetime as we guide you to the finest sights that Ethiopia has to offer, ranging from the churches of Lalibela to the breathtaking Simien Mountains. For ideas you can look at our existing tours, however as a group you also have the chance to design your own itinerary.


Building Projects

Help build a classroom, or bring a library to life. Groups can help improve the infrastructure in Ethiopian schools to ensure a better education for its students.


Visit your Link School

If you have a school link what better way to strengthen your relationship than to take students to visit it. Provide both yours and Ethiopian students the opportunity to meet one another, share ideas and learn about each others cultures. It also provides teachers with the opportunity to meet Link coordinators to plan how to develop your link.


Summer Camps

Bring your enthusiasm to Ethiopia students. During the school holidays there are extremely limited learning opportunities for young people in Ethiopia. A summer camp can transform their holiday, and provide a great opportunity to learn outside of a formal environment. Design a summer camp that best shares your group’s skills.

Ways to organise

Come with us

Let us organise everything for you. We arrange your flights, accommodation, excursions and project work for you for an all-inclusive price, which includes a donation towards the projects you work on or visit.

Self-organised

If you want to make your own way to Ethiopia and organise your own route or accommodation, but would still want Link Ethiopia’s support then we are flexible in the ways we can help you.

Use a third party

We are the designated partner in Ethiopia for World Challenge and Aid Camps. If you wish to organise your trip through these providers and then work on Link Ethiopia projects as part of your experience then its possible to do so.

Why come with us?


Our experience

We have over 16 years experience of taking people of all age ranges to explore Ethiopia and immerse themselves in Ethiopian culture. As a charity working in the local community we are uniquely placed to ensure that working on our projects has the maximum impact and is a rewarding experience. Our local knowledge ensures that on your travels you get maximum value and the best prices.


Safety

  • Comprehensive risk assessments for every aspect of the trip
  • 24/7 back-up in Ethiopia and the UK
  • A qualified and experienced leader accompanies every team
  • Pre-departure training and regular in-country briefings prepare participants for a safe and healthy trip
  • Trusted as the in-country agent for a range of expedition providers including World Challenge, Inspire Worldwide…
  • BS448?


More money for projects

Unlike many third-party providers, as a not-for-profit organisation, any money raised over and above the costs of the trip goes directly towards supporting Link Ethiopia’s work. This means that compared to a third-party provider a greater proportion of your money goes towards the projects that you work on or visit, meaning you maximise the impact of your trip.


Insurance and Payment Protection

  • Tour Operator’s Protection Policy (TOPP)
  • ATOL bonding for flights
  • Fully comprehensive medical and travel insurance for every participant
  • Trust My Travel membership means all client payments are paid directly into an independently managed account. In the unlikely event of our financial failure, you will receive a refund for all the services you have paid for. Money is not received by Link Ethiopia until you have completed your trip and all suppliers have been paid.

Upcoming Trips

Recent Trips

2015

  • Plymouth High School for Girls
  • Dubai International School
  • Cardinal Hume Catholic School
  • Tonbridge School
  • St Marylebone School
  • Priory Academy
  • Durham School
  • Bolton School Girls’ Division

2014

  • Repton School
  • Bavarian International School
  • The De Ferres Academy
  • Sir Henry Floyd Grammar School
  • Melbourn Village College
  • Pimlico Academy
  • John Colet School
  • Cambridge University (Pembroke College)
  • Winchester College

2013

  • Cambridge University (Pembroke College)
  • 3rd Ripon Girl Guides Group
  • Headington School
  • Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College
  • Halliford School
  • Cairo International School
  • Forest School
  • Christ the King Sixth Form College

2012

  • Wellington
  • Dubai International College
  • Jumeriah College
  • Universal American School Dubai

2011

  • Lady Manners School
  • Universal American School
  • Bredon School
  • Dubai International College
  • Middlewich High School
  • Lancaster Girls’ Grammar School
  • Nottingham School

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

We depart the UK by plane, arriving early evening in the bustling capital of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa. We will be met at the airport by our ‘Link Leader’, an experienced local member of staff who will accompany the team throughout the trip, providing insight and guidance into the local culture.

Day 2

An early start to head back to the airport for our morning flight to Bahir Dar, one of the largest towns in northern Ethiopia and a very important site for the majority Orthodox Christian religion. We will witness breath-taking views from our plane before touching down in Bahir Dar. We will check in at the Ghion Hotel and have lunch in the beautiful grounds on the shore of the lake. After lunch, a minibus will take us through town to visit the bustling Saturday market and then out to the Blue Nile falls, one of Ethiopia’s most spectacular sights. The evening can be spent relaxing at our accommodation.

Day 3

In the morning, we will take a boat out across the lake to visit Zege, one of the island monasteries, where an expert local guide will lead the team through lush coffee plantations to the ancient monastery where we can see unique Orthodox art telling the religious stories of the faith. The team will enjoy a picnic lunch by the water before heading back across the lake to pack up at the hotel. A minibus will transfer us two and a half hours north to Gondar, our home for next ten days. There is a sense of real excitement as we near our goal and the first glimpses of our host school. The team will arrive late afternoon, in time to set up camp and enjoy the first dinner by the camp-fire.

Day 4

An incredible welcome from our host school awaits us this morning. Students and teachers will gather to welcome us with speeches, songs, traditional dance and, if we are lucky, a coffee ceremony – one of Ethiopia’s most traditional forms of hospitality. The team will have a chance to meet their partner students for the first time during the ceremony. The day is spent getting to know each other, playing games, learning some Amharic and visiting the local community. A planning meeting will also take place with the support of Link Ethiopia, setting out the schedule of project work for the coming days.

Day 5

Project work commences today with the team and local students getting stuck in to activities. Projects will have been pre-arranged between the schools but will involve cultural, educational and infrastructural work to improve education. Examples of infrastructural projects include refurbishing libraries, painting classrooms, constructing drinking water stations and digging gardens. Cultural and educational projects may involve learning local dance, drumming and art, holding reading clubs for younger students and organising community awareness days about child labour, early marriage and malaria. Whatever the schools have agreed, Link Ethiopia will be on hand to ensure the smooth running of each project.

Day 6

Project work continues in the morning. In the afternoon, we have a chance to visit Gondar castle with our partner students. The castle is over 400 years old and was built with the help of Portuguese masons – a fascinating glimpse into the history of this former capital.

Day 7

Project work continues today. By now, the team should be settling into their roles and have a good idea of how hard they need to work to achieve all the projects within the time-frame. Each team member will have a chance to lead and direct project work as the trip progresses.

Day 8

Project work in the morning. After lunch, the team and their local partner students will take part in a workshop to learn traditional Ethiopian dance: the ‘iskista’!  A lively and energetic form of dance set to traditional masenko and drum music,iskista involves much shaking of the shoulders and the hips. Don’t worry if you can’t get the hang of it – the local students will be only too keen to show off their skills!

Day 9

Over half way through our trip and time for a couple of days’ rest. Today we will embark on a very special day trip to the famous Simien mountains, accompanied by our partner students. Just as for the visiting team, this will be the first time many of the local students have ever had a chance to visit these mountains. We will depart early and travel to Debark, two and half hours to the north-east of Gondar. Checking in at the park headquarters, we pick up an experienced local guide who will lead us on our journey. We will then drive onwards, climbing hundreds of feet and witnessing some breathtaking vistas, before arriving at Sankaber camp. Our guide will lead us on a short and moderately challenging walk to find a group of endemic gelada baboons – striking animals unique to Ethiopia. The team will enjoy a picnic lunch at a fantastic lookout spot before returning to camp by an alternate route. The team will arrive back in Gondar late afternoon to enjoy some much deserved rest and relaxation.

Day 10

This morning, we will have the chance to witness a very special and unique Orthodox Christian service at a nearby church. Quite unlike any services we have experienced in the UK, we will witness traditionally attired priests chanting, beating drums and playing traditional instruments. The afternoon can be spent as the team wish but, if desired, Link Ethiopia can arrange a match with a local football team.

Day 11

Project work starts once again and with the end in sight, the team will be working hard to finish off the projects. In the afternoon, the team will take some time out for a very unique experience: a chance to visit their partner students’ houses and meet their families. This is an opportunity enjoyed by few travellers to Ethiopia and this eye-opening window into the lives of your partner students will stay with you for a long time.

Day 12

Project work in the morning. In the afternoon the team will walk up one of the highest hills in the town with their partner students to visit the Debre Birhan Selassie church. Hidden in the middle of a beautiful and serene compound, Debre Birhan is one of the oldest and most famous churches in Gondar town. Inside the church are more examples of the unique Orthodox Christian art depicting stories from the bible.

Day 13

This morning is the last chance to put finishing touches to the projects. After lunch, a handover ceremony will take place, officially celebrating all the work achieved in partnership with the host school. After the ceremony, a celebratory buffet will be served and the team, local students and teachers will relax and enjoy their final afternoon together.

Day 14

The final morning can be spent relaxing. If wished, the team can visit Gondar market for a last chance for souvenir shopping. After a fond farewell to our hosts, we will take an afternoon flight back to the capital and transfer to an evening flight back to the UK, arriving the following morning.

FAQ

Who can go?

Link Ethiopia group trips are open to everyone. All that is required is a minimum level of fitness to take part in projects and day treks and a ‘can-do’ attitude. We ask all our participants to sign up to a code of conduct which governs their behaviour whilst on a trip.

If you have any concerns about your ability to participate in a trip, please use the contact form on the right to get in touch with Link Ethiopia. We always endeavour to accommodate individual requirements.

Why take part?

  • An inspiring, life-changing experience
  • Interact, learn and work together with young young people from a different culture.
  • Develop your confidence, leadership skills and teamwork abilities
  • Stand out from crowd – great for future interviews and UCAS
  • Bring your school link to life

What about fundraising?

With support from Link Ethiopia, your school and your fellow team members, it is possible to fundraise for 100% of the costs of your visit. Link Ethiopia will support the team with a fundraising pack and a training workshop. Fundraising could involve sponsored events, selling cakes and sweets in school, washing cars, baby-sitting, organising car boot sales, getting sponsorship from local businesses and churches, organising dinners and music evenings for parents… the list goes on!

Costs

Each trip is unique, and therefore the costs involved will reflect that. We breakdown our costs in ‘visit fees’ – the cost price of the trip and the project fees or donation. However, for a typical three week trip, taking part in a range of activities, and including money raised, we estimate a cost of between £2500-£3000 per person.

What's included?

  • Visit fees: These include travel, food, accommodation, 24/7 safety backup, insurance, training and administration, teacher/leader places (per 8 participants) and any additional activities you take part in. These will all be charged at cost price!
  • Project funds or donation: As a group the team will raise money for projects agreed with their host school. These include materials, labour and ongoing support and monitoring from Link Ethiopia. Project funds for a 2 week visit are typically no more than £2000 shared between the whole team, however, projects can be arranged to suit any budget. If you are not working on a project we instead include a donation of £300 per person in our price.

What's not included?

  • Visa
  • Vaccinations and anti-malarials
  • Personal kit
  • Personal spending money

Contact us

If you would like to make an enquiry about a possible group trip with us, or have any questions then please fill out the form below. We are reachable by email [email protected]

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