ETHIOPIAN LUCY FOSSIL: National Park where Lucy was found: Our forester of the Ethiopian Wildlife Authority takes you there and many other parks


Lucy, Ethiopia, Fossil Facts

In Ethiopia, Lucy fossil refers to a female hominid skeleton found at Hadar - about 300 km north of Addis Ababa - in the Awash valley of Ethiopia's Danakil Depression in the Afar Triangle, that was discovered in 1974 by Donald Johanson. Officially named AL 288-1, and classified at the species Australopithecus afarensis, it was soon dubbed “Lucy”, after the Beatle's song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” which was frequently played at the archaeologists' camp. In Ethiopia, the skeleton is called "dinknesh," meaning “the wondrous one”.


A picture is worth a thousand words. Most of our hundreds of pictures are favored in Google! Why? Because no other website has so many beautiful high resolution pictures, taken by ourselves. Our pictures not only show you the beauty of Ethiopia, but they also show that we go everywhere, photographing wildlife, plants, people and culture. They show our professionalism, our keen eye for detail and our passion for the culture and nature of Ethiopia. So why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because we don't mislead you like many tour operators do. When the Blue Nile falls are dry.... we tell you. When fog clouds the lava lake of Erte Ale? We let you know. Just drop us a mail and we will check it out for you.

Our tours get you to ALL the cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market.

As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eastern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa. BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes may be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip and book your local flights for an incredibly low price after you booked your international flight with Ethiopian Airlines!


The Lucy Australopithecus afarensis fossil was about 1.1m tall and must have weighed some 29kg, looking somewhat like a chimpanzee. The pelvis and leg bones were very similar to those of humans, by which it was determined that these primates walked erect, the primary characteristic of homonid primates. The skeleton was dated by applying the argon-argon radiometric dating method to the volcanic ash surrounding it.


From 2007 - 2013, the fossil toured the USA; part of the proceeds were for improving museums in Ethiopia. The skeleton is preserved at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, where a plastic replica is on permanent display. Other casts and reconstructions can be seen at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and the Field Museum in Chicago. A diorama of Australopithecus afarensis and other homonid species is displayed in the Hall of Human Biology and Evolution at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City as well as in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington.

ETHIOPIAN LUCY FOSSIL FACTS: Fragmants of the Lucy fossil skeleton WHERE WAS LUCY, ETHIOPIA FOUND: Reconstruction of the Lucy skeleton

The skeleton fragments of Lucy.


The reconstructed skeleton of Lucy


ETHIOPIAN LUCY FOSSIL FACTS: Skull reconstruction of homonid Lucy, Ethiopia WHERE WAS LUCY, ETHIOPIA FOUND: Artist's impression of homonid Lucy, Ethiopia

A detailed skull reconstruction of Lucy, Ethiopia.


An artist's impression of Lucy.


Where Lucy was Found

Located in the Afar Triangle, the discovery "dig" - as archaeologists and paleontologists call a research site - of Lucy is characterized by a brutally hot climate. Excavations at Hadar resumed in 1990 and continue today; thus far, some 400 homid bone fragments have been found, most of which belonging to A. afarensis. Some stone flakes suggest that Hadar may also be home to some of the earliest hominine stone tools.


The importance of the hills around Hadar in the discovery of human evolution continues to grow as more scientific findings take place. The site has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site that relates to the history of Ethiopian Lucy. The Lucy discovery site can be added as a special module in addition to the Danakil Expedition.

ETHIOPIAN LUCY FOSSIL FACTS: Landscape where Lucy was found, near Hadar, Awash Valley, Ethiopia.

The landscape at Hadar, in the Awash Valley where Lucy was found.


A visit to the Lucy finding site can be added to this module.




Day 1 Mek'ele - Hamed Ale ±180km

  1. Berahile, visit the salt market and pay the entrance fee into the Danakil Desert;

  2. Hamed Ale base camp.


Day 2 Hamed Ale - Erta Ale ± 80km;

  1. Sulfur geysers at Dalol;

  2. Sulfur pool;

  3. Salt winning site of the Afar People;

  4. hike up the Erta Ale after 4 o clock to benefit from the lower temperature;

  5. Make camp at the top of Erta Ale;

  6. Admire the glow of the Erta Ale Ale at night.


Day 3 Erta Ale - Mek'ele ±260km

  1. Walk down from Erta Ale;

  2. Depart from the Danakil Desert to return to Mekele.

Costs $595

. Included: meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals. Minimum number of  passengers is 2.

Ask for a group discount.


Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 1 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and then continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $40 - $70 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!


What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.


National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.

Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

(++251) (0) 911 440 915


[email protected]

Skype: ecotravelworldwide