Welcome to Africa!
Ethiopia’s Historic Route will visit some of the fascinating historic attractions in this part of Africa. Marvel at the spectacular 2,000-year-old stele at Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela built more than 800 years ago, the castles of Gondar, the island monasteries of Lake Tana, the magnificent Simien Mountains, the Great Blue Nile Falls and last but not least the friendly and charming people. Experience a trip of a life time!
|Addis Ababa||Addis Ababa, founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is situated at 2,500 meters (8000 ft) above sea level. It is the highest capital city in the world, after La Paz and Quito in South America. The city enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25C (77F). With multiethnic population of over 5 million, Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums, and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Mercato”.|
|Simien Mountains National Park||Nothing prepares you for the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rolling grassy plateau comes to an abrupt stop, and sheer cliffs plunge almost vertically for 1,000m (3280 ft) to the plains below. The massif itself has been sculpted by 30 million years of up thrust and erosion into a wonderland of jagged ridges, pinnacles and strangely cropped conical mountains, so that looking out over the heart-stopping precipice; you feel you might just be at the edge of the world.|
|The Rock-Hewn Churches||These include Bete Medhani Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Golgotha Michael and Bete Giorgis. Bete Medhani Alem, the largest monolithic rock-hewn church in the world, measures 37.7 ft in height, covers an area of almost 2625 square ft and has walls that are up to six feet thick. A plain building supported by 36 pillars on the inside and another 36 pillars around the outside, Bete Medhani Alem was modeled on the original St. Mary Zion Church built by King Ezana in the 4th century at Axum.|
|The National Museum of Ethiopia||This is one of the best museums in quality and diversity of the exhibits. Archeological exhibits include the 3.5 million-year-old fossil of Lucy (or Dinkinesh – ‘thou art wonderful’- in the native language), a hominoid woman of the specious of Australopithecus Afarensis. The discovery of Lucy’s fossil in 1974 forced a complete rethink of human genealogy, providing that our ancestors were walking 2.5 million years earlier than had been supposed. The National Museum also contains many wonderful artifacts dating back to pre-Axumite civilization.|
Day 1: Arrival Addis Ababa
Arrive in Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Hotel. There will be a short drive to your hotel.
Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums, and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Mercato”.
Overnight at Jupiter Hotel Addis Ababa.
Day 2: Addis Ababa | Bahirdar
Morning drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with a stopover at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho and Goha Tsion. The Blue Nile Gorge is a majestic and enormous river gorge and it is one of the most captivating gorges in Africa. It has a magnificent, alluring physical feature and natural beauty.
Overnight at Avanti Blue Nile Resort – Bahirdar. LDBB
Day 3 : Lake Tana | Blue Nile Falls | Bahir Dar
After breakfast, embark on a boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana. The Lake’s monasteries are famous for their typical Ethiopian religious paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and other ancient church treasures. The monasteries that we are going to visit include Kibran Gebriel, Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Mariam.
After having lunch at the hotel, visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls. Blue Nile plunges over 45m-high face to form one of the most spectacular waterfall in Africa. Walking to the fall through the beautiful river gorge on the ancient bridge from the 17th century, and meeting the local people at the small villages on the way to the fall is also a great experience.
Overnight at Avanti Blue Nile Resort – Bahirdar. LDBB
Day 4 : Bahir Dar | Gondar
After breakfast, drive through the beautiful countryside scenery to arrive at Gondar for lunch. Check into the Hotel and after lunch depart on a city tour of Gondar. Visit the Royal Enclosure, a walled compound having 6 different castles built from 17th century by different kings who ruled in different times, the pool of King Fasilidas which still serves as a baptismal pool during Ethiopian Epiphany and we will also visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside.
Overnight at Goha Hotel – Gondar. LDBB
Day 5: Gondar | Simien Mountains National Park
After an early breakfast, drive to the Simien mountains National park. En-route we will be visiting the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village. It is believed that the “Felashas” settled at this village during the time of King Menelik I, the son of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon.
The rest of the day, trek to explore the surrounding of Sankaber, part of the Simien Mountains National Park. Here you have a good chance of spotting groups of Gelada baboons, one of Ethiopia’s endemic animals.
Overnight at Simien Lodge – Buit Ras. LDBB
Day 6 : Sankaber | Chenek | Simien Mountains
Today, you will make relaxing trek and see troops of ‘bleeding heart baboon’ the Endemic Gelada Baboon, in the most dramatic sceneries of the park including Ginbar River Falls and Wolkafit mountain chain. You will also have the chance to see different endemic mammals like the Walia Ibex around Chenek.
Overnight at Simien Lodge – Buit Ras. LDBB
Day 7 : Simien Mountains National Park | Axum
After breakfast start driving to Axum through the beautiful sceneries of Simien Mountains, Limalimo, Tekeze River Gorge. On the way a brief stop at different parts of the park for the best view. You will have picnic lunch under the shade of the tree past the Tekeze River Gorge whilst enjoying the beautiful Simien Mountains scenery from distance. Overnight at Sabean Hotel – Axum. LDBB
Day 8 : Axum
After breakfast, visit the ancient city of Axum. This is the birthplace of Ethiopian civilization, and by the first century Axum was a major trading center for exotic goods from Egypt, Rome, Nubia, Greece, Syria, and India. The Holy Ark of the Covenant was brought here before the destruction of the Temple, and Axum is reputed to be the second Jerusalem. Our visit in Axum include: the Stele Square, Kaleba Tombs, the 4th century Christian inscription of King Ezana, Queen of Sheba’s Palace, Archaeological Museum, and Tsion Mariam Church where the original Ark of the Covenant is housed.
In the afternoon, you will have an excursion to the pre-Christian temple of Yeha.
Overnight at Sabean Hotel – Axum. LDBB
Day 9 : Fly Axum | Lalibela
Early breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Axum Airport for your flight to Lalibela. After check in to your Hotel, drive to the site where we find a concentration of some of Ethiopia’s most famous rock-hewn churches, mostly referred by many as “the living wonders of the world” These churches are, and they have been for at least 800 years, an active Christian shrine, the spiritual center of the country’s religious life. The monolithic churches were carved out of 2,600-sq meter natural rock terrace in the 12-century AD by king Lalibela.
The rock-hewn churches that we will visit today include: Bete Medhani Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagil, Bete Golgotha Michael and Bete Giorgis.
Overnight at Tukul Village Hotel – Lalibela. LDBB
Day 10 : Lalibela | Asheten Mariam
In the morning, mule ride, and trek to the top of Asheten Mariam Monastery, this is very famous for its 12-century monastery church and beautiful view at 10,298 ft above sea level. We will trek/mule ride through dramatic highland scenery and which eventually ends in a beautiful serene agricultural hamlet.
After having lunch and rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous past with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches-their architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed. Ones we finished visiting the second group of churches we will walk to the village through the complex bewildering labyrinth of underground tunnels to the monastery were the monks and nuns live.
The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Mercorios, Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos.
Overnight at Tukul Village Hotel – Lalibela. LDBB.
Day 11 : Fly Lalibela | Addis Ababa & Depart
After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. After check in to hotel, the rest of the day you will have city tour of Addis Ababa which includes: National Museum Ethnographic Musem, Merkato, Piassa and other parts of the city.
In the evening, there will be a special Ethiopian farewell dinner party with traditional buffet and local drinks. There will also be a live cultural dance show of the different ethnic groups living in the country. There will not be any better way of ending a trip.
Overnight at Tukul Village Hotel – Lalibela. DBB.
- The Blue Nile Gorge is a majestic and enormous river gorge and it is one of the most captivating gorges in Africa.
- Boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries
- Visit Gondar’s Royal Enclosure, a walled compound having 6 different castles built from 17th century
- Visit the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village on your way to Simien mountains National park
- Trek and see troops of ‘bleeding heart baboon’ the Endemic Gelada Baboon, in the most dramatic sceneries of the park
- Visit the ancient city of Axum. This is the birthplace of Ethiopian civilization
- Visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
- Mule ride, and trek to the top of Asheten Mariam Monastery
|ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE LOCATION||Bole International Airport|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 3 hours before the flight.|