- 1 October
- 14 April next year
- 29 September.
The only country in Africa never to have been colonized, Ethiopia is a forgotten giant with a cultural heritage that is unsurpassed by any other country on the continent. Our small group tours and tailor made holidays visit some of its most impressive highlights, from the historic sites of the north to the enigmatic tribes of the south.
Visit Ethiopia to trek through the Simien Mountains, look for some of its unusual wildlife, explore ancient churches, castles and island monasteries, and meet some of Africa’s most remote tribes, with distinct and impressive customs and traditions. Traveling through Ethiopia is an adventure in which you’re never sure what is around the corner – only that whatever it is, it’s sure to be very different from anything you’ve seen before.
Delve into a largely unknown side of African history on an incredible journey. We visit the amazing rock cut churches of Lalibela – one of the continent’s highlights – the medieval monasteries of Lake Tana and the little visited churches of Tigray. As well as this we explore royal heritage at Gondar, ancient history at Axum and spend two nights amidst stunning scenery in the Simien Mountains.
Day 1: Addis Ababa. Arrive in Addis Ababa and transfer to hotel. The rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight Ghion Hotel or similar. Includes: (D).
Day 2: Lalibela. Fly to Lalibela with its wonderful rock cut churches, known in some circles as the 8th wonder of the world. In the afternoon we visit some of these intriguing monuments to discover more about Ethiopia’s enigmatic past. Overnight in Roha Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 3: Lalibela. Morning excursion by mules to the Asheten Mariam Church, known for its wonderful views. Alternatively a visit will be arranged by car to the cave church of Naktuleab. Afternoon visit to the remaining churches in Lalibela. Overnight in Roha Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 4: Mekelle. After an early breakfast start the journey to the town of Mekelle. From the 8th to the 15th centuries, in this region hundreds of rock-hewn churches were carved and constructed out of one rock. Many of the churches are carved directly into the cliff walls of the ‘Ambas’ - typical Ethiopian mountains with flat tops and almost vertical sides. Along the way, we visit some of the churches. Overnight Axum Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 5: Tigray churches. Continue our exploration of the marvellous churches that dot this remote and inspiring landscape. Overnight Axum Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 6: Axum. Today we drive to Axum through some spectacular views. En route we visit the 5th century temple of Yeha, displaying incredible skills in stonework and in fact the oldest building still standing in Ethiopia. Overnight Yeha Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 7: Axum. Visit the amazing sites of Axum, including its collection of ancient stelae, the bath and the palace of the Queen of Sheba and St Mary of Tsion Church, which legend says is where the Ark of the Covenant is located. Overnight Yeha Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 8: Simien Mountains. Drive to the Simien Mountains, a spectacularly scenic area with interesting endemic mammals, including the gelada baboons and as well as various species of birds. We have the opportunity to take walks in the area, and take in the full breathtaking beauty of these mountains. Overnight Simiens Lodge or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 9: Simien Mountains. We spend today walking through the mountains to visit awe-inspiring viewpoints and spot some of the wildlife. Overnight Simiens Lodge or similar. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 10: Gondar. Drive to Gondar, a city famous for its amazing collection of old castles and palaces. We visit the main sites of the town, including the palaces and castles of King Fasiladas and the beautifully decorated Debre Birhan Selassie Church (Light of Trinity) with its wonderful murals. Overnight Goha Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 11: Bahir Dar. We head to Bahir Dar, stopping en route for any sites of interest. On arrival we drive to the Blue Nile Falls where we take a short walk to view the falls themselves. Later we return to Bahir Dar, where our hotel tonight overlooks Lake Tana, source of the Blue Nile. Overnight Tana Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 12: Lake Tana. This morning we take boats out onto Lake Tana to explore its fantastic collection of ancient monasteries, dramatically situated on the lake’s islands and peninsulas. This afternoon is free to explore Bahir Dar, with the option of visiting Bezawit Palace, built for Emperor Haile Selassie. Overnight Tana Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 13: Addis Ababa. Fly back to Addis. Subject to time you will have an afternoon tour of the capital. Visit the Entoto Mountains, with a fantastic view over the city the National Museum, St George’s Cathedral and the Merkato, reputedly the biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight Ghion Hotel or similar. Includes: (B), (D).
Day 14: Addis Ababa. Tour ends. Includes: (B).
Also see tour packages in:
Africa Ethiopia History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey
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