LOST CIVILISATIONS AND NATURAL BEAUTY
Ethiopia offers an authentic trip into the past, meeting the oldest hominid, exploring old civilisations that raise questions of their demise and seeing some of the natural beauty that abounds. Old powerful cities will be visited like Addis Ababa, Bahir Dar, Lalibela, Gondar, Axum covering much of the Ethiopian countryside and visiting the Simien Mountains to see the famous Gelada baboons.
3 to 4 star hotel twin bed shared accommodation – breakfast, lunch and dinner included
Meet & greet at airport and hotel transfer; transfers and all ground transportation; accommodation twin bed sharing; all meals incl. bottled water & soft drinks; English guide and guide fees; all entry fees where required; Govt. taxes; portage; boat trip on Lake Tana and farewell dinner in Addis Ababa.
- Explore Addis Ababa
- Laka Tana Monasteries
- The ancient cities of Gondar, Axum
- Palace of Queen Sheba
- Rock hewn churches of Lalibela
- Burial place of Haile Selassie
- Gelada baboons and Lammergeyer Vultures
On arrival, explore Addis Ababa, the third highest capital city in the world visiting the National Museum and meeting the 3,5million year remains of the oldest hominid ‘Lucy’. Two major highlights of the city are the Ethnographic Museum and the church of the Holy Trinity, Ethiopia’s main cathedral and home to the remains of the last emperor, Haile Selassie. Overnight Saro Maria Hotel.
Flying North to Bahir Dar we explore Lake Tana and her monasteries by boat. We visit Ura Kidane Mihret church on Zeghie peninsula, with its distinctive colourful paintings of religious scenes, and an impressive display of illuminated bibles written in Ge’ez, the religious language from which Amharic is derived. Later we visit Tississat Falls. Overnight Abay Minch Lodge.
Driving to Gondar we visit 17th century castles and King Fasilidas’s ancient baths at which thousands of Ethiopians celebrate the Timkat festival every January followed by a stop at Debre Birhan Selassie church (Light of Trinity) with its angelic ceiling and murals. This area is a UNESCO Heritage site. Overnight Goha Hotel.
We visit the Simien Mountains and reach a height of 3250m, and explore the Sankaber region of the National Park. We will visit the endemic Gelada baboons and can see Klipspringers, Lammergeyer vultures and bushbuck. Return to Gondar. Overnight Goha Hotel.
We take a flight to Axum, once a powerful port city at the centre of the trading routes as well as the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia and believed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. View the 330AD ruins of the church of St Mary of Zion and visit the famous monolithic stelae of Axum, the tallest one still standing reaches over 21 meters. The subterranean tombs, stone inscriptions of ancient Axumite kings and the small archaeological museum are also living witness of the ancient Axumite history. We will also visit the ruined palace of the Queen of Sheba who is said to have given birth to Menelik the First, fathered by King Solomon, the founder of Ethiopia’s ruling family until the late Emperor Haile Selassie. Overnight Yeha Hotel.
Fly to Lalibela, also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the rock hewn churches of Lalibela, the “New Jerusalem’, constructed some 800 years ago by King Lalibela and classified as one of the wonders of the world. The most impressive is Bet Giorgis, carved in the form of a Greek cross and exceptionally well preserved. Overnight Mountain View Hotel.
We further explore Lalibela and visit the church of Yimrhane Kristos, a masterpiece of Axumit wood and stone construction renowned for its interior. Visit the remaining rock-hewn churches of Lalibela that include the churches of Bete Gabriel and Rafael, Merkorous, Emanuel and Abba Libanos. Overnight Mountain View Hotel.
Return to Addis Ababa with a free afternoon for exploring and shopping and a traditional farewell dinner before your flight home.
*$330 single room supplement
International and domestic flights; travel insurance; personal expenses incl. laundry, phone calls, tips, alcoholic drinks (except at the farewell dinner); filming and photographic fees; tips.
Note: Malaria precautions should be taken; Yellow Fever vaccination required if transferring through a South African border.
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