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Ethiopia the Grand Tour - North to East

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 10 - 21 day(s)
Group Size: 2 - 20 people
Destination(s): Ethiopia  
Specialty Categories: Wildlife Viewing  
Season: September - July
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 2000 US Dollar (USD)
Maximum Per Person Price: 4000 US Dollar (USD)

Ethiopia is a land of contrasts and varying climates. It can be incredibly green and also bare desert. You can choose your own landscape.
Our wildlife is erratic and needs restocking. Nevertheless our landscapes and our people are second to none. We have some fantastic endemic species of birds and mammals.
The best time to come to Ethiopia is between October and June.

Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa.
City tour of the town which includes the view from mount Entoto, the old Museum at Entoto which displays the materials of 18th century, Ethnological Museum and Art gallery of Addis Ababa University and the Archaeological Museum. Overnight in Ambassador Hotel or other Guest House.

Day 2: Addis Ababa - Dabre Markos (300 km).
After early start drive to the top of the chain Mountain of Entoto. This a plateau with an average altitude of 3000 m above see level. When you reach the river the altitude is 1000 m a.s.l. This river is like a natural boundary between two provinces, Showa. After you crossed the gorge, until you reach Bahir Dar you drive in Northern Central Massif. Arrival at Dabre Markos. Overnight stay in Shebel Hotel.

Day 3: Dabre Markos - Bahir Dar (260 km).
Start the drive after breakfast. You drive through rolling mountains of Gojam and Agaw people. In late afternoon drive to the outskirt of the town to the view point called Bezawit to have good view of the town, the lake and the Blue Nile River. Overnight in Ethio Star Hotel.

Day 4: Full day around Bahir Dar (Blue Nilefalls or Island monasteries).
Bahir Dar is a town located on the southern shores of Lake Tana. Thirty-seven islands dot this immense body of water, and twenty of them shelter historic churches and monasteries. Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile, and the most dramatic wonder here is the Blue Nile Falls; during flood-stage it is more than 1300 feet wide.

Nowadays more than 90% of the waterfalls are used for hydro electric power. In the evening, after dinner you can enjoy the traditional music in one of the small cultural musician bars(Azmari Bet). Ethio Star Hotel.

Day 5: Bahir Dar - Gondar drive (180 km).
After early start drive through Woreta and Fogera plain. After the plain the route pass through the Adis Zemen chain of mountains which are part of the Semein Mountain. Arrive Gondar and check in to Balagaz Hotel.

Day 6: Half day in Gondar and drive to Dabark.
After breakfast drive to the center of the town for walking and visit the different sites like the daily colorful market of the town. Back to hotel for lunch. After lunch drive to Dabark which is the gate of the Park. Over night in Semein Mountain Hotel (this is very basic hotel with common shower). If you can afford there is a lodge in the park which charges $135.00 per day.

Day 7: Debark - Semein Mountain - Debark.
After early breakfast and buying entrance ticket, drive on the edge of the escarpment which has good view of the surrounding and there is chance to see the endemic Gelada baboon. These baboons are grass eaters and will be seen in family units in many areas of the Semein. They are also known as the 'the bleeding heart baboon' as there are red areas on the chest.

Generally the area before Sankabar is mainly through cultivated areas. Few indigenous trees will bee seen in the area except the introduced eucalyptus. In some areas, plants such as St. John's wort and heather will bee seen. Also many smaller herbs like Alchemila, Kiniphofia, red-hot pocker and Lobelia will be seen. Overnight in Dabark Semein Mountain Hotel.

Day 8: Dabark - Axum drive (280 km).
This day you cross through two wonderful landscapes, the Limalimo and The Valley of Tekeze River. The road is winding (snakey), and it gives very good view of the mountains of the Semein. In fact this is one of the most difficult road in Africa. After you crossed the Valley of Tekeze you are in the Regional State of Tigray. Arrive in late afternoon in Axum and Overnight stay in the Yeha Hotel.

Day 9: Full day exploring Axum.

Day 10: Axum - Adigrat drive (120 km).
All day road trip takes us east through dramatic volcanic formations to Yeha, the capital of the earliest kingdom in Ethiopia. Here, the pre-Axumite Temple of the Moon is the oldest known sacred site in Ethiopia dating to about 700 BC It is reputed to be the best preserved example of South Arabian style temple architecture in the world.

Day 11: Adigrat - Makale drive (120 km).
This is a drive to visit some of the oldest rock-hewn churches of Ethiopia. These churches are pre dating the churches of Lalibela at least by 400 years. En route you visit Wukro cherkos and Abreha Atsbeha church. Arrival at Makale, the seat of Tigre Regional state. Overnight in Axum Hotel.

Day 12: Makale - Lalibela drive (380 km).
This is the route to see another mountainous region. Specially, the mountains around Mohony are very special. You cross many farm lands which gives you the experience of the life of the farmers activity on their land. Arrive Lalibela in late afternoon and check in to Seven Olives Hotel or Lalibela Roha or the TESFA Village Hotel Development.

Day 13: Full day in Lalibela.

Day 14: Visit the churches out of Lalibela town.

Day 15: Lalibela - Kombolcha drive (380 km).
This drive is still in the Northern Central Massif and still in Amhara people. The landscape around Qebero Meda is wonderfull. Stop for lunch in Woldiya town and continue to Kombolcha. Overnight in Tekle Hotel.

Day 16: Kombolcha - Bati - Awassh (400 km).
This drive takes you first to the belt of North east mountains until you reach the town of Bati. Bati has very famous colorful Monday market which is the meeting place of different tribes coming both from highland and lowland. It is also common to see the camel caravans coming for market. After Bati you drive in the very barren lowland once which was the place of our old ancestors. This is where many anthropologists are digging for human fossil. Arrive Awash and overnight in Ganat Hotel.

Day 17: Awash - Harara drive (300 km).
From Awash we drive to east country. The first 100 km is in the great Rift Valley. After Asebe Teferi town we start driving on the eastern Highland until we reach Harar town. Arrive the old and walled city of Harar, check in to Rawda Guest House.

Day 18: Full day visit of Harar.
Today is the day to explore the a millennium old town of Harar. This famous town attracted many great people from around the world. Harar was the commercial center of North-East Africa and once. It was the center of Islamic study for centuries. The old wall surrounding the town, and the fife gates make this town Unique. The visit of Harar includes, the 10th century palace of Emperor Hailesilase, the house of the famous French poet, Ramboud, the Christian market, the Muslim market, The Harari Museum. This evening before dinner we visit the hyena man who is feeding the wild Hyenas at dusk and night.

Day 19: Harar - Awash drive, Buffet de la Gare.

Day 20: Awash - Awash park - Addis Ababa.
Before we head to the capital city we drive to Awash National Park. Awash Park is home of Beisa Oryx and some Gazelsother antelope families. In Addition to this Awash River waterfalls, the escarpment of the river is wonderful. Continue the drive and arrival at Addis Ababa. Since this is the last day, you can have a visit the shopping centers of Addis for some traditional materials.

Day 21: Departure. Back to home. Or start the southern routes to visit the tribes of Ethiopia.

Supplemental Tour Information:
Also we provide tailor-made safari tours.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Note: Prices due to inflation in Ethiopia may be out of date. Please check for updated tours and updated prices directly with supplier.