Explore a land of ancient monasteries, castles and churches, the marvelous rock hewn churches of the Lalibela & Tigray Region, Spectacular scenery in the Simien Mountains, Isolated island monasteries of Lake Tana and Blue Nile falls.
TOUR CODE: BKT 68/20
DURATION- 8 DAYS & 7 NIGHTS
TRANSPORTATION- FLIGHT & SURFACE DRIVE
TOUR TYPE- HISTORY, CULTURE, RELIGION AND NATURE.
DAY 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa
On your arrival at Addis Ababa bole international airport you will be welcomed by your tour guide from Damat Ethiopia Tours. Then you will be transferred to your hotel. After a rest and refresh at the hotel, in the afternoon your guide will take you around the highlights of Addis. Founded in 1887 by Emperor Menelik II and Queen Taitu, Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world at an altitude of 2300-2500 m. with a pleasant climate. The tour starts with a visit to the National Museum to view a replica of the famous, 3.2 million-year-old fossilized hominid remains known to the rest of the world as “Lucy”. The visit also includes Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, the Holy trinity cathedral and you will enjoy a panoramic view of the capital with fresh air on top of Mount Entoto and end the tour with the bustling Merkato, Africa’s largest open-air market. Overnight- Hotel in Addis Ababa.
DAY 2: Addis Ababa → Bahir Dar (Flight)
Early the morning transfer to Addis Ababa bole airport and fly to Bahir Dar (45 minutes). Bahar Dar, a picturesque town on the shores of Lake Tana, is the capital city of the Amhara Regional State. upon your arrival, you will transfer and check in to your Hotel. Then a boat trip on Lake Tana, the largest in the country, to explore a selection of ancient monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Peninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the island monastery of Debre Maryam near the outlet of the Blue Nile River. In the afternoon drive out to visit the Blue Nile Falls (40 minutes from Bahir Dar). Although the power of the falls has been subdued by the hydro electric plant, they are still an incredible sight. A lovely circular walk takes you over an ancient bridge built by the Portuguese in the 15th century, passing fantastic viewpoints of the falls, over a rope bridge and then up to top of the falls where you will cross by boat to meet your vehicle. Overnight- Hotel in Bahir Dar.
DAY 3: Bahirdar → Gondar (Drive)
This morning after breakfast you will drive 180 km asphalt road via a scenic route and marvelous landscape, to the royal city of Gondar. After check in to your hotel and have lunch you will start city tour. Gondar, Ethiopia’s capital during medieval times, Often referred to as the “Camelot of Africa” .This city was founded by Emperor Fasiladas in the early 17th-century. Your visit explores many of the castles he and his Descendant’s built within the Royal Enclosure, as well as his ceremonial bath (that is filled with water directly comes from the Keha river for the important Timikat (Epiphany), Ethiopian Orthodox’s most sacred annual celebration, once a year on January 19). The visit also takes you to the rectangular and fascinating Debre Berhan Selassie (Trinity at the Mount of Light) Church, which has ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels and renowned for its vivid and striking interior art and arguably one of the finest churches in the country. Overnight – Hotel in Gondar.
DAY 4: Gondar → Simien Mountains → Gondar (Drive)
Today you will have excursion trip to the Simen mountains national park. After breakfast, drive 100kms to Simien Mountains National Park which is the most marvelous of all Ethiopian landscapes and registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site. The Simien Mountain National Park constitutes many summits above 4000 m and culminates at Ras Dashen, the highest peak in Ethiopia (4,620) and it is the home of the endemics gelada baboon, Ethiopian wolf and Walya ibex. Finish formalities at the Head Quarter of the park at Debarq and continue to drive another 20km inside the park then make a 2-3 hours walk/trek. Late in the afternoon drive back to Gondar for overnight stay. Overnight- Hotel in Gondar.
DAY 5: Gondar → Axum (Flight)
In the morning transfer to Gondar airport and fly to Axum. Up on your arrival you will be transfer to your hotel for check in. then you will start city tour of Axum. Today you will have the full day to explore one of the ancient towns in Africa, Axum. According to Ethiopian belief, Aksum was once the home of the legendary Queen of Sheba and is the current resting place of the Ark of the Covenant also recorded in UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site. Your exploration Commences at the area’s most recognizable icons, the great stelae. Attributed to Various Axumite kingdom rulers from the 3rd century AD, these immense granite Obelisks exceeding 100 feet in length and with an estimated weight of over 500 tones. The tour continue with the Visit to the St. Mary of Zion church (house the Ark of Covenant) and archeological museum, the ruined palace of queen of Sheba and the 6th century tombs of king Kaleb and Gebre Meskel. They are a great example of the sheer sophistication of Axumite architecture and building techniques. Overnight- Hotel in Axum.
DAY 6: Axum→ Lalibela (Flight)
After breakfast, depart on a morning flight to Lalibela. Up on your arrival at Lalibela airport you will transfer to your hotel for check in. In the afternoon visit the first group of rock churches of king Lalibela. Situated high in the Lasta Mountains Lalibela is arguably one of the most important religious and historical sites in the entire Christian world. The town is famous for the 11 remarkable rock churches built by saint king Lalibela around 11 century. These elaborate edifices are each carved by hand entirely out of a single block of living granite rock and considered as ’the 8th Wonders of the World’, ‘The Newly Jerusalem’ and ‘The Petra of Africa’. This is a deeply spiritual place and quite rightly a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight- Hotel in Lalibela.
DAY 7: Lalibela
Another full day in Lalibela. Today in the morning you will go for an excursion to visit a rock church located outside of the town of Lalibela. make excursion to visit Asheton Mariam by mule or drive to 45km gravel road North of Lalibela to visit Yemrhane Christos church. In afternoon you will continue visiting the Second group of rock churches of Lalibela. Overnight- Hotel in Lalibela.
DAY 8: Lalibela → Addis Ababa (Flight)
In the morning, visit the nearby monastery of Na’akuto La’ab, set on the side of a cliff. After the visit, proceed to the airport for the return flight back to Addis Ababa. Time for shopping at the souvenir shops. Then in the evening you will have fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian cultural restaurant with tasty Ethiopian food and cultural dances from the different ethnic groups. Then transfer to the airport for flight back home. The tour ends here.