Round Trip Ethiopia - Antiquity Beyond Imagination
This magnificent ride takes us through one of Africa's most beautiful areas. Old beyond all imaginations Ethiopia is a country of contrasts and extremes; a land of remote and wild places. Many people visit Ethiopia - or hope to do so one day - because of the remarkable manner in which ancient historical traditions have been preserved. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. In no other country is it possible to find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an archaic faith.
A fantastic historical tour in one of the oldest countries in the world; Visit the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, considered the 8th wonder of the world; A day of observation of the royal buildings and beautiful churches of Gonder, a town also named the African Camelot; Trip through the jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, offering landscapes reminiscent of America's Grand Canyon; Sightseeing Axum, Ehtiopia's religious center.
Day 1. Arrival.
Arrive Addis Abeba, hotel overnight
Day 2. Addis Abeba - Kombolcha
Drive up to the western edge of the escarpment of the Ethiopian Rift Valley (375 km/7 hours). Reach the town of Kombolcha (1842-1915 m above sea level). Overnight in Kombolcha.
Day 3. Kombolcha - Lalibela
Drive from Kombolcha to the famous village of Lalibela (328 km). En route a visit of the church of Genete Mariam.
Day 4. Lalibela
Visit Lalibela – you will see the 13 rock-hewn churches cut out of a solid red volcanic rock, some completely hidden in deep trenches, while others stand in open quarried caves and a complex series of tunnels and narrow passageways connecting the churches.
Day 5. Lalibela - Mekele
Drive to Mekele. The whole day is required to cover this distance (314 km). The landscape is dry, but visually splendid. For a considerable stretch, the winding road follows the spectacular canyon of the river Tekeze, one of the principal rivers of Ethiopia.
Day 6. Mekele - Adigrat
Journey from Mekele to Adigrat .The town is considered to be a strategically important gateway to Eritrea and the Red Sea. On the way you will visit the beautiful Tigray rock hewn churches.
Day 7. Adigrat - Axum
Transfer to Axum. Along the road we drop by the monastery of Debre Damo, which can only be reached by climbing by rope up a 15 meter hight cliff. We continue anlong a beautiful panoramic road, we arrive to Yeha, where we visit the Temple of the Moon.
Day 8. Axum
Full day excursion in Axum. You will visit the Archeological museum, the Zion Cathedral where the original Arc of the Covenant is said to be found, the stele park where the magnificent single block of stones standing since the 3rd century, the ruin palace and Bath of Queen Sheba.
Day 9. Axum - Gondar
Drive from Axum to Gondar (415 km): The road passes over mountain regions of wild beauty, running alongside the National Park of the Simien massif.
Day 10. Gondar - Bahir Dar
Gondar, the old Ethiopian capital, home to a number of emperors and kings, also the site of numerous fine churches. Transfer Gondar - Bahir Dar.
Day 11. Bahir Dar - Debre Markos
Morning boat excursion on Lake Tana to visist the island of monastery of URA Kidane Mihret at Zegue peninsula. Afternoon drive from Bahir Dar to Debre Marcos (279 km). Enjoy the landscape along the route. Dinner and overnight in Debre Markos.
Day 12. Debre Markos - Addis Abeba
Drive to Addis Ababa, enjoying the breathtaking Blue Nile Gorge crossing the rolling plane of Shewan plateau. The drive is 305 km. Hotel overnight.
Day 13. Departure
Price of extra services: Single supplement: 280 Euro
Included in the price: ►transfer from/to Bole International Airport, Addis Abeba ►all transport services during the program ►12 nights in double rooms with private bath and WC incl. breakfast ►Local English speaking guides in Axum, Bahir Dar, Lalibela, Gondar ►boat trip on Lake Tana ►all entrance fees included in the program
Not included: ►International flight ticket ►Visa obtained either at the airport or in advance at an Ethiopian Embassy, depending on your citizenship ►mineral water ►alcoholic drinks and drinks off meal time ► video camera fee ► tips and any other expenses related to personal nature
Practical information: All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid for 6 months beyond the intended length of stay. Visas can be obtained prior or at arrival. You will need an International Certificate of Vaccination against Yellow Fever. Please check with your doctor if you need additional vaccinations. The following web site http://whatplug.info/, provides information about plugs and electricity in the country. January and February are the hottest and driest months. The places we will visit are high and despite the powerful sun, temperatures are pleasant. Please check the trip dossier (downloadable at the bottom of this page) for additional information.
Insurances: No insurance is included in the price