To get a taste of Ethiopia’s imperial past, Gondar is the place to go. For nearly nine centuries this royal city was home to emperors and princesses, and their complex of castles, known as the Ethiopian Camelot.

Within the complex your personal guide will help you avoid whatever crowds or groups are milling about. Ker & Downey works with highly trained specialists who know how to take you on a journey into the past, with a wealth of information on the fascinating individuals, like Emperor Suseneos, Emperor Fasiledes, Empress Mentwab, Iyasu I, Tewodros II and Empress Taitu, and others who once roamed these ancient corridors.

Outside the city, Gondar is home to more wonders, including Ras Dashen, the country’s tallest mountain, and Simien Mountains National Park.

Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its geological significance and endemic wildlife, Simien Mountains National Park is a three hour drive from Gondar. Ker & Downey’s local guides use the best vehicles and ensure that all creature comforts are in place before embarking on what, for many, turns out to be a favorite excursion. Traveling from civilization into the wild makes for a day of adventure, with your knowledgeable guide explaining the ecosystems and significant sites around you as you go. They are experts at spotting the endemic species of the area, including the Walia ibex, the Gelada baboon, and the Simien Wolf, the world’s most rare canine species.

You can hike among the dramatic hills or simply take in the scenery as you drive. Park lodging is rustic but comfortable, so those who want to spend more time in the majestic mountains can enjoy a little time at the “highest hotel in Africa.”

Talk to your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant to find the perfect blend of history and scenery in your itinerary through Ethiopia. Whatever your interests, you’re likely to find Gondar one of your favorite stops on the journey.