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Round Trip Ethiopia - Antiquity Beyond Imagination

Round Trip Ethiopia - Antiquity Beyond Imagination 1620 , 13 Days
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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.

Tour Highlights

♦ The rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, considered the 8th wonder of the world;
♦ The royal buildings and beautiful churches of Gonder, a town also named the African Camelot;
♦ The jaggedly carved Simien Mountains, offering landscapes reminiscent of America's Grand Canyon;
Axum - Ehtiopia's religious center.


Itinerary:

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 we will stop by Hayak lake. In the afernoon a visit local family in Gashena region. Overnight in Lalibela

Day 4. Lalibela
Visit Lalibela – you will see the 11 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- Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. On spot it's possible to arrange visit of Abuna Yemata Guh.

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 along 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.

Timket Festival ceremony, or Ketera, which marks the beginning of the Timket Festival. During Ketera, priests carry out the Tabots to display to the crowd. The Tabots are intricate replicas of tablets described in the BIble as being given to Moses. Witness this solemn and sacred event as people meditate and prepare for the next day's festival and baptisms.

Day 10. Gondar. Timket Festival (January departure)
At dawn the water is blessed and sprinkled on the participants, some of whom jump in the water to renew their baptismal vows. The second day of Timkat marks the main celebrations, with Orthodox Ethiopians from every segment of society merrily march through the streets in a riot of colour, singing, dancing and feasting. All but one of the Tabots are returned to their respective churches.

City tour of Gondar in the afternoon. Gondar Castle, dubbed the Ethiopian Camelot, is not a single castle, but instead is the name given to the entire complex of six castles and palaces in the area. After that we continue to perhaps the finest of the Gondarine churches - Debre Birhan Selassie or 'Light of the Trinity'.

Day 11. Gondar - Bahir Dar
Transfer Gondar - Bahir Dar in the morning. After lunch we will enjoy short excursion to Blue Nile Falls. The falls are estimated to be between 37 and 45 meters high, consisting of four streams that originally varied from a trickle in the dry season to over 400 meters wide in the rainy season.

Day 12. Bahir Dar
Morning boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit 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 13. Departure via Addis
Airport transfer and departure.

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. 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. 


Price Includes:
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


Gallery


Round Trip Ethiopia - Antiquity Beyond Imagination (Rated 4.87 / 5 Based on 264 Reviews.)
Price
1620 EUR
Duration
13 Days
Single Supplement
450 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

No special experience is needed; everyone who is in condition to cope with long Saturday walks in the forest can also cope with these tours. As a rule, the trips are short and at a low altitude. Often, it is your choice to join or skip a day-tour. The routes follow a hilly terrain without steep ascents and descents. Normally we walk 3/5h a day.

Group Size
6-12
Reservation System Code
ETHIOPIAROUND
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