11-Day Historic Tour through Northern Ethiopia from Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Starts From
US$2304.35 US$ 2370.00
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24 hours
Duration
11 days
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Starts From
US$2304.35 US$ 2370.00
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Adult(s) x (Age 23 To 64)
Children x (Age 3 To 12)
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Senior(s) x (Age 65 To 90)
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Nearby Activities

Overview

Start with an early morning drive to Bahir Dar, that will enable you visit the Blue-Nile Gorge and Debre Libanos monastery. On Day 2, 
on lake Tana, you will visit the monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihiret, Kebran Gabriel and Daga Istifanos. In the afternoon, take an excursion to the Blue Nile Falls, also known locally as Tissisat waterfall, which are 328 feet (100 m) wide. Late in the afternoon, drive back to Bahir Dar and finish the day with a lovely sunset over Lake Tana. A morning drive on day 3 to Gondar, the Camelot of Africa. In the afternoon, visit Fasilidas' Palace, probably the most impressive of all the castles found in the area, and the oldest. Continue going to the Church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity). Arrive in Debark where you will visit Simien Mountains National Park. You can be dropped off for a 2-hour trek before returning to the lodge. Enjoy the panoramic views; you are likely to spot large groups of gelada monkeys. The road from Debark to Axum is spectacular. The Italian build 'Lima Limo Road' leads through dramatic scenery. On day 6, can a full day in Axum that will enable you to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site Listed City. Visit the Tombs of King Kaleb and his son King Gabra Masqal, the Ezana’s stone inscriptions, Queen of Sheba’s palace and swimming pool, and the Church of Zion, the final resting place of what is believed to be the true arc of Covenant. After breakfast on day 7, drive to visit the ruins of Yeha, dating from the 8th to 5th centuries BC, and thought to be the capital of Ethiopian civilization before Axum. On the way, you will stop at Yeha Temple, Negash Mosque and Wukro Cherkos Church. Drive from Mekele to Lalibela, passing through the dramatic landscapes of the Ethiopian Highlands. On day 9, discover Lalibela, home of the largest monolithic church in the world. Before lunch, you will start visiting churches the first and the second group out of the three groups. Afternoon, proceed, visiting the third group. Early in the morning on day 10, drive to Dessie. On the way, you will be visiting Lake Hyke and its island monastery. Return driving to Addis via Debre Birhan. You will be arriving in Addis late afternoon on day 11. The tour ends at about 07:30pm.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa and Drive to Bahir Dar (B)
Early in the morning depart Addis Ababa and drive to Bahir Dar, en-route visit Blue-Nile Gorge and Debre Libanos monastery. If you think Grand Canyon is impressive, compare it to its African cousin – the Blue Nile Gorge. Situated 210km north of Addis Ababa and being about one mile wide and deep, the Blue Nile Gorge is one of the most spectacular gorges in the world. After 100 km drive on the way lays the renowned monastery of Debre Libanos, founded in the 13th century in a magnificent 700m-deep canyon.

Overnight: Shared room at the Jacaranda Hotel or Similar, Bahir Dar

Day 2: Bahir Dar boat trip and drive to Blue Nile Falls (B)
Have a boat trip on Lake Tana. On Lake Tana there are 37 islands and 32 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. We will visit the monastery church of Ura Kidane Mihret, which is the best known of the monasteries and has an important collection of religious icons from the 16th to 18th centuries A.D.

In the afternoon drive to the Blue Nile Falls, this is known locally as Tissisat (smoking waterfall): 100 m (328 ft) wide, the water plunges for 45m, giving rise to steam clouds and rainbows. Early in the afternoon drive back to Bahir Dar and finish the day with a lovely sunset over Lake Tana.

Overnight: Shared room at the Jacaranda Hotel or Similar, Bahir Dar

Day 3: Gondar (B)
After lunch we will visit Gondar, the first capital city with the reign of Fasilides. In Gonder, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. The city seems more of European than African origin. In the afternoon, we will visit Fasiladas' Palace, probably the most impressive of all the castles found in the area and the oldest one! We will continue going to the Church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity). The interior is decorated with beautiful frescos, cherubs and paintings. Debre Berhan Selassie is rumored to once having been the proposed final resting-place of the Ark of the Covenant of the Ethiopian Empire, which began in 1632 .

Overnight: Shared room at AG Hotel or similar, Gondar

Day 4: Simien Mountains - Debark (B)
After breakfast drive to Simien Mountain National Park. Debark is a small market town at an altitude of 2700 meters close to the boundary of the Simien Mountains National Park. Corrugated–iron–roofed buildings surround the colourful and busy market area. Before entering the park, you have to register at the park headquarters just outside the town. Here, armed scout – one of the park regulations, will join you. Then drive to Sankaber for the best view. En route, pass through pretty country, the foothills of the Semen Mountains, with carefully tended field, open pasture with grazing horses, stands of trees and distant rocky peaks. At the high point of the road, there are superb views across the weirdly eroded foothills of the range and you may also be lucky enough to spot you first Lammergeiers and Gelada Baboons of the trip.

Overnight: Shared room at Simien Park Hotel or similar, Debark.

Day 5: Axum (B)
Here you will enjoy driving across Simien Mountain National Park and the fascinating river basin of Tekeze, one of the biggest rivers in Ethiopia.

Overnight: Shared room at Sabean Hotel or similar, Axum

Day 6: Axum (B)
After breakfast in Axum, you will have a city tour in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Legends narrate in the Kebre Nagast (Book of Kings) how the city of Axum as early as the 10th century B.C. was already the city where the Queen of Sheba resided. It is told that the son of Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, Menelik, brought the Ark of the Covenant from Jerusalem to Axum and it remained there to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires and represented a crucial trade connecting-point between Africa and Asia for almost a thousand years. Visit the Granite stone Stele of Axum, the Tombs of King Kaleb and his son King G/Meskel, the Ezana’s stone inscriptions, Queen of Sheba’s palace and Swimming pool, and the Church of Zion, the final resting place of the True Ark of Covenant.

Overnight: Shared room at Sabean Hotel or similar, Axum

Day 7: Mekele (B)
Early morning, drive to Debre Damo monastery on the top of the cliff. Accessible only by a 15 meter long rope and women aren’t allowed to enter. Proceed driving to Mekele for an overnight. On the way, you will have some stops for visiting Negash Mosque, Wukro Cherkos Church and some Tigray Churches.

Overnight: Shared room at Desta Int’l Hotel or similar, Mekele

Day 8: Drive to Lalibela via Woldiya (B)
A long but beautiful drive takes us to the highlight of your visit to Ethiopia.

Overnight: Shared room at Sora Lodge or Similar, Lalibela

Day 9: Lalibela (B)
The Rock-Hewn Ethiopian orthodox Christian churches of Lalibela, are one of the eighth wonder of the world. It’s a collection of churches, some connected by fascinating internal channels, with hermit holes where people lived and died. The connecting walls are full of religious symbols.

The city contains 11 monolithic churches that were built in the 12th century. Some are beautifully painted inside. Visit the first and the third group of churches, they include seven rock churches. After lunch visit the second group of four rock churches.

After dinner you will visit cultural houses and be entertained with Ethiopian traditional music and you can taste Ethiopian honey vine.

Overnight: Shared room at Sora Lodge or Similar, Lalibela.

Day 10: Drive to Dessie (B)
After a relaxed breakfast, you will drive to Kombolcha. On the way, you will see small towns of South Wollo and Lake hike and its island monastery.

Overnight: Shared room at Melbourne Hotel or similar, Dessie

Day 11: Drive to Addis Ababa (B)
Today return drive to the capital city departs in the morning after breakfast. On the way, you will visit towns known for fruit production. You will be arriving late afternoon in Addis Ababa. Depending on your interest and time availability visit the local gift and traditional cloth shops, Evening farewell dinner party and then transfer to airport for night departure.

Information

Includes:
  • 10 Nights Accommodation 
  • Entrance Fees
  • Scouts in the Simien Mountains
  • Car, Fuel and Driver Allowance
  • Breakfast (toasted bread, juice, Eggs, pancakes, donuts,coffee, milk, tea and more options)
  • Private Guide
  • Applicable Local guide
  • Boat Trip on Lake Tana
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off
Excludes:
  • Meals except breakfast
  • Gratuities (recommended)
Additional Info:
  • Confirmation will be received within 48 hours of booking, subject to availability
  • A minimum of 2 people per booking is required

Meeting Point

Your centrally located Addis Ababa accommodation
Departure Time:
8:00am
Return Details:
Returns to original departure point
  • 11-Day Historic Tour through Northern Ethiopia from Addis Ababa
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