Classic Historical, Natural and cultural Tour
This tour is the combination of Historical sites, Nature Hiking and Cultural tour, This tour start from Addis Ababa by exploring Addis city tour and then fly to Bahir Dar and visiting the 13th c island monastery on Tana Lake and the majestic Blue Nile falls, The Castle of Gondar which is known Camelot of Africa as a group castle in 70,000 sqms built during the reign of Emperor Fasiladas and called Gebi and its bath which is now used for Timket ( Ethiopia Epiphany Festival, Axum which the cradle of our civilization where all started and finally the magnificent and the highlight of the trip will come end at visiting 11 Rock hewn churches of Lalibela from Northern historical sites, The excursion to Simien Mountain national park with give an opportunity to the magnificent gigantic mountain with its extraordinary view and a home of many endemic mammals and birds life and perfect places for trekking. Continue to your journey will take you to Southern Ethiopia to omo valley tribes such as Dorze, Konso, Hamar, Bana, Dassanech, Arbore, Karo, Nyangatom, Mursi and many more.
Duration: 11nights and 12days
Transportation: Flights and Drive (4x4, Minibus or Bus)
Tour Includes: Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Gondar, Simien Mountain National Park, Axum, Lalibela, Harar and Dire Dawa
Arrive Addis Ababa meet your guide at the airport on departure get and transferred to your hotel if possible, depending on your arrival time you will have city tour of Addis Ababa which includes National Museum to visit the Lucy. Trinity Cathedral, Shiro Meda which a garment market and finally drive to Entoto Mountain to see panoramic view of Addis. After visiting drive back to your hotel. Overnight Hotel
Day 02: Fly to Bahir dar
This morning connect flight to Bahir Dar. It takes a 55-minute flight to northwest country’s City called Bahir Dar. Bahir Dar is a pleasant city located on the shores of Lake Tana which is the meaning of the name city itself, the largest highland lake in Ethiopia. After checking into our hotel,
A.M we driving to the Blue Nile Falls, which is known locally as Tisisat (smoking water) falls: 400 m wide, the water plunges for 45 m, giving rise to steam clouds and rainbows. We climb down to the base of the falls for an up-close look and then ascend to the other side.
PM After back to the town from (Tis Isat) Blue Nile falls have you lunch in the town take a boat trip to Lake Tana Monastery called Ura Kidane Mihret on Zeghe peninsula. Overnight at hotel
Day 03: Drive to Gondar (3hrs drive)
A.M drive to Gondar through the beautiful and fertile countryside on the Lake Tana side. it takes 2:30hours to Gondar on the way visit the villages along the road, meet people at their field and photo stop for beautiful scenery then proceed to Gondar and Check in hotel.
PM our visiting the city will begin from Fasiladas Gibi, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. The city seems more European than African and also has Islamic influences. We will visit Fasiladas' Palace which is probably the most impressive of all the castles found in the area and the oldest one, too! We continue on to the bath of Fasiladas. Finally, visit the Church of Debre Berhan Selassie (Light of the Trinity). The interior of this is decorated with beautiful frescos, cherubs and paintings. Debre Berhan Selassie is rumored to once have been the proposed final resting place of “the Ark of the Covenant”. Overnight at Hotel
Day 04: Gondar / Simien Mountains (Drive)
Today we drive to the jagged panorama of the Simien Mountains National Park, famed for its exclusive landscape, afro-alpine vegetation and unique wildlife, where you may spot the endemic Walia Ibex, Gelada Baboon troops, Bushbuck, Klipspringer. However, as we stay for one night, we will enjoy the dramatic scenery and a troop friendly Gelada Baboon at very close distance and Birds such as Chestnut-napped Francolin, Mountain Thrush, Thick-billed Raven, Lammergeyer, White-collared Pigeon and Ankober Serin just to name a few. Arrive to the lodge check in, have lunch, after short rest, for those who interest in hike/Trek we will trek for about 2-3 hrs. on the edge and beautiful escarpment to view the beautiful and green valley, wondering the long day eating and grooming of Gelada Baboon families and then trace back to the Lodge. Overnight Semien Lodge
Day 05: full day Simien Mountains
Spend the whole morning in an amazing the Simien Mountains National Park: the incredible mountain scenery is breathtaking. Hike along mountain trails enjoying the endless unique flora and fauna of this elevated region (Giant Lobelia). Drive to Chenek and trek see Walia a unique species indigenous to Ethiopia and the Simien Mountains. Return to Gondar for overnight Goha hotel.
Day 06: Drive to Axum
Continuing on to Axum the capital of the Axumite Kingdom, who accepted Christianity at the beginning of 4th century and where the 'Moses' Ark of covenant is found. Driving the zigzag roads to Adi Arkay village leading into the Tekeze Valley with its Baobab trees, birds such as Sunbird, Nile Valley Sunbird, Rock Buntings, Superb Starling and more can be found. Overnight at hotel
Day 07: Full day city tour Axum
Axum, the legends narrated in the Kebre Nagast (Book of Kings) recount how the city of Axum as early as the 10th century B.C was already the city in which the Queen of Sheba resided. It is recounted that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum and it remains there to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires, and represented a crucial connecting-point between Africa and Asia for almost a thousand years. A visit is organized to the steles: granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times and decorated with symbolic engravings. In ancient times, there were seven stelaes, the one in Rome – Mussolini brought it there during Italian occupation of Ethiopia was return to Axum and re-erected in its original place in 2004. There is also a visit to the church of Saint Marry of Zion (Tsion), which contains the crowns of Ethiopian kings and other treasures. Overnight at hotel
Fly to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Lalibela - the Jerusalem of Ethiopia, and Africa own Petra in a fitting finale to your Ethiopian adventure, explore the first group of the monolithic red-Tuff churches incredibly carved into the rock. Your will lead you through the network of crevices and tunnels linking each of the churches. The churches are still in use today: finally walk to the separately standing, uncovered and beautiful Saint Georges Church down to narrow path to church, step inside and you will see a robed priest going about his timeless business. Late afternoon drive back to your hotel and overnight at Hotel
Day 09: Full day in Lalibela
This morning we will have excursion to Na’akto La’ab cave but built church up into the side of a hill which is considered as the third type differ from Monolithic and Semi Monolithic churches in the town. OR
Excursion drive 42 kms one way to Yemrehane Kristose cave church which is considered as the third type differ from Monolithic and Semi Monolithic churches in the town. Drive to this church will give again an excellent mountain view and chance to visit village life as well.
PM we take drive to the eastern (second) group of rock churches: smaller in size, these are no less impressive, with intricate carvings and many dark tunnels to explore. Overnight at Sora Lodge or Maribel Hotel
Day 10: Fly back to Addis connect flight to Dire Dawa and drive to Harar
Today we connect fly from Lalibela to Addis Ababa to Dire Dawa then drive to Harar (50Km) in Dire Dawa. We will visit the railway that links Addis Ababa to Djibouti, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century with the co-operation of the French government. Then we drive to Harar where the road and the surrounding fertile lands rise up the Den ego Mountains (3,000 meters above sea level), offering magnificent panoramas. The women of this region wear very bright colored clothes. Soon we begin to see crops of chat, a bush whose leaves are chewed because they provide light stimulation. enroute we will visit the Awoday chat market. Afterwards we arrive in Harar. Overnight Ras Hotel at Harar
Day 11: full day city tour of Old city of Harar
Located at an altitude of 1,800 meters, Harar is a labyrinth of small streets surrounded by old city walls. Its architecture reflects a strong Islamic influence. We take a walk through the old city and visit the house where Rimbaud lived. Harar was the poet of favorite city and he established quarters there in order to trade in arms destined for the emperor Menelik. It is largely 16th century and later, but some of the mosques were founded as early as the 13th century. It was a Centre for learning Koran and propagation that convert the surrounding Oromo Ethnic group in Islam and some scholar even claim that Harar was the biggest Islamic Centre in the Horn Africa. Our visit will include some of these as well as some of the traditional old houses of Harar. The main sights are: the city walls and gateways, the Friday Mosque, the Museum, the Ras Mekonen House and the supposed house of Rimbaud. This evening before dinner there is a visit to the hyena men (the men who feed the hyenas). Overnight Ras hotel at Harar.
Day 12: Dire Dawa / Addis Ababa (Flight)
Morning after breakfast drive to Dire Dawa and the way visit the Qat or Chat market at Awoday and then proceed to Dire Dawa visit Kefira Colorful market if time allowed you and check airport fly back to Addis Ababa, Rest afternoon you will visit Ethnological Museum, Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa with optional shopping. Drive back to hotel for refreshing and get ready for flying but before that you will have a farewell dinner and a traditional show then transfer to Bole international airport fly back home.
End of Tour