Day 1: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Arrive Addis Ababa; meet assist and transfer to Hotel. Meal(s) Included: No. Overnight at Ghion Hotel or similar.
Day 2: Addis Ababa. After breakfast, go on a tour of Addis Ababa. The first stop is scenic Mount Entoto, where Menelik II resided and built his palace when he founded Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. Visit Entoto’s old Imperial Compound to see the churches of Mariam and the Archangel Raguel. Visit the National Archaeological Museum, where exhibits include the 3.5 million-year-old bones of the hominoid 'Lucy'. After dinner, enjoy performances of traditional music and dance from the different regions of Ethiopia. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ghion Hotel or similar.
Day 3: Bahir Dar. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Bahir Dar. In the afternoon, visit the Blue Nile Falls, Africa's second largest waterfalls. This is where the Blue Nile begins its long journey to the Mediterranean. This afternoon, explore Bahir Dar, including the vibrant marketplace and the Palace of late Emperor Haile Selassie. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight at Kuriftu Resort or similar.
Day 4: Bahir Dar to Gondar. This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Gondar which was the imperial capital from the 17th to the mid-19th century. Visit the Imperial Compound, with its enchanting 'Fasalidas' castles. You can also see the bath of King Fasilides. Although many of Gondar's churches were destroyed in 1880s, Debre Berhan Selassie survives. The walls and ceiling are covered with vivid murals: the angels' faces on the ceiling have become a common motif in Ethiopian design. The tour ends with a visit to the ruined palace of Queen Mentowab and the church of Qusquam. This evening diner will be accompanied by Asmari music. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Goha or similar.
Day 5: Gondar to Lalibela. After breakfast, fly to Lalibela. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, King Lalibela built eleven rock hewn churches, acknowledged as one of the wonders of the world. It is estimated that it took 25 years to construct the churches, which are still in use today. This afternoon visit several of the churches. Overnight at Mountain View Hotel Or similar. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.
Day 6: Lalibela to Axum. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for the flight to Axum. Meet assist and transfer to hotel. This afternoon visit the renowned “Axum Stelae” or obelisks, which are the largest single pieces of stone standing anywhere in the world. You will also visit the tombs and castles of former monarchs, the Axum Museum and Mariamtsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia's first church. A chapel within the Mariamtsion church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses.
After lunch see: the castle of King Kalab, Mai Shum (the bath of the Queen of Sheba), the tomb of King Basen, and the small museum inside the church grounds. End the day with a visit to the site known locally as Queen Sheba's Palace, which also served as the villa of an Axumite notable from around the 1st century AD. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Overnight at Hotel Axum or similar.
Day 7: Fly from Axum to Addis Ababa. After breakfast, fly to Addis Ababa. Meet assist and transfer to hotel. This evening is at leisure. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ghion Hotel or similar.
Day 8: Fly from Addis Ababa to Accra, Ghana. After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Accra. Meet assist and transfer to hotel. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast. Overnight at Ramada Hotel or similar.
Day 9: Accra. After breakfast there is orientation which includes a lecture/discussion on African culture. After orientation begin the city tour of Accra, visit:
- The W.E.B. Du Bois Center which honors the life of one of the most prominent Pan-Africanists who chose to live and work in Ghana.
- Independence Square, Accra's open-air ceremonial grounds, where all national celebrations are held.
- Kwame Nkrumah Mausoleum and museum, a tribute to Ghana's first President. This park, formally called the Polo grounds, is where Dr. Kwame Nkrumah declared the independence of Ghana. The remains of Dr Nkrumah as well as that of his wife rest on this premise. You will see various personal items used by Osagyefo, as well as books he authored together with several of his personal belongings.
Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Ramada Hotel or similar.
Day 10: Accra to Kumasi. After breakfast drive to Kumasi, the capital of the Ashanti Kingdom of Gold. On the way stop at the Mampong Center for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine. This center conducts research in the use of plant medicine for treatment of various ailments.
Afterwards, continue the drive to Kumasi. In Kumasi, visit the Manhyia Palace, built by the British in 1925 to receive Asantehene Prempeh I (ruler of the Ashanti people) when he returned from exile. It was used by the Ashanti kings until 1974 and now serves as a museum, containing a range of items relating to the Ashanti Kingdom, particularly Prempeh I (ruled 1888-1931) and Prempeh II (ruled 1931-1970).
In the afternoon, visit the nearby Okomfo Anokye Sword, an important symbol of Ashanti unity that marks the spot where the Golden Stool “descended from the sky” and has been in place for 300 years. Legend says the Ashanti Kingdom would collapse should the sword ever be removed. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Miklin Hotel or similar.
Day 11: Kumasi. After breakfast, visit the Ashanti craft villages starting with the woodcarving village of Ahwiaa, known for the talented craftsmen who fashion royal stools, walking sticks and fertility dolls from wood. You will have the opportunity to purchase hand carved items of all kinds.
Afterwards, drive to the village of Ntonso where artisan’s hand-stamp patterns on cotton cloth to make Adinkra textiles. You will learn how the black dye is made from the bark of trees, and create your own Adinkra sash to take home. You may also purchase large pieces of handmade Adinkra cloth in the village. Continue to Bonwire, where the famous Kente cloth is handmade on looms in a time-honored tradition passed down through the generations.
You will see the Kente weavers in process of creating Kente cloth of various styles, and have the opportunity to purchase souvenirs or gifts. After dinner visit the Kumasi Central Market (also known as Kejetia Market), the largest open-air market in West Africa, where more than 10,000 vendors sell their wares. Here you will find just about everything, food, fabric, beauty products, handmade crafts and even large animals. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Miklin Hotel or similar.
Day 12: Kumasi to Cape Coast. After breakfast, drive to Cape Coast. On the way stop at Assin Manso, the burial site of two former slaves from the U. S. and Jamaica, whose remains were ceremonially re-interred during Ghana’s first Emancipation Day Celebration. Visit the “Slave River” where captured Africans were washed before being being shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean. In the afternoon, arrive in Cape Coast and visit Cape Coast Castle and the Castle Museum for a guided tour. Cape Coast Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and was one of the departure points for Africans being sent to slavery in the Americas. The castle is home to the infamous “Door of No Return”. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Elmina Bay Hotel or similar.
Day 13: Cape Coast. After breakfast, visit Kakum National Park. Kakum is one of Ghana’s most famous parks. Take a brief walking tour on the forest floor where you will learn how our ancestors lived in the forest. See birds, butterflies, and perhaps catch a glimpse of one of the forests over 40 species of mammals, including monkeys and the reclusive forest elephant. Proceed to the canopy walk. Kakum is home to Africa’s only aerial walkway through the tree canopy, a 1000 foot long and seven-bridge walkway with viewing platforms that reach heights of over 150 feet above ground. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Elmina Bay Hotel or similar.
Day 14: Cape Coast to Accra. After breakfast, return to Accra.
Visit a local casket making shop to see a collection of fantasy caskets, each casket depicting traditional beliefs in life after death. The "Fantasy Coffins" of Teshie Nungua have been featured in National Geographic and can be found in museums and galleries worldwide.
Travel to Kokrobite Beach for lunch at Big Milly’s Backyard, famous throughout West Africa for its fresh fish, roasted vegetable dishes, and elevated dining area overlooking the beach.
In the afternoon, enjoy two exciting hours of drumming lessons with the experts at Kokrobite Drumming Center. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner. Overnight at Africa Royal Beach or similar.
Day 15: Accra/Depart. After breakfast day at leisure; transfer to the airport for onward flight. Meal(s) Included: Breakfast.
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Africa Ethiopia Ghana History Whiz Archeology/History Sightseeing
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