Trip Code: ZET 08
Mode of Transportation: Air and Surface (4WD)
Tour Type : Cultural tour — Religious holiday

Length: 10 days / 9 night
Group Size: 1- 20 Participants

Dates: Any date departure
Grade: Adventure touring

Historic Route -10 days

Axum, Gondar, Lalibela and Bahir Dar

Classic -Historic route

Fabulous scenery and rich heritage: Africa’s most fascinating and varied country

Mysterious, deeply traditional and breathtakingly beautiful, Ethiopia is unlike any other country in Africa. Its location at the confluence of civilisations and important trade routes means it developed a rich history and heritage still strongly felt today. This ancient culture is framed within the rugged beauty of some of the finest mountain scenery in Africa. Discover monasteries, castles, mountains and rock-hewn churches on this short yet comprehensive trip. This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirement

  • Walk to the top of Tississat Falls, the Water that Smokes.
  • Axum – Obelisks, temples and palaces in the final resting place of the Ark of Covenant.
  • Visit Gondar’s castles and Axum’s stelae
  • Discover Lalibela’s rock-hewn churches
  • Admire the splendour of the Simien Mountains

Day 1:Arrive to Addis Ababa

Arrive Addis Ababa in the morning. After a leisurely morning to relax we will spend the afternoon on a site-seeing tour of Addis Ababa. We will visit the National Museum which houses some of the country’s historic treasures. The collection of fossils and bones of early hominids discovered in Ethiopia include the 3.5 million year old remains of “Lucy”, the oldest hominid every found. We will also visit the Holy Trinity Church, Ethiopia’s main cathedral and home to the remains of the last emperor, Haile Selassie. Finally we will visit Menelik”s Mausoleum.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 2:Fly to Bahar Dar

Today we will take a spectacular flight to Bahar Dar. From the air we can gaze across the extraordinary nature of the Ethiopian Plateau, repeatedly cut by immensely deep gorges. Bahar Dar is a small but fast growing town on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. It has long attracted religious men and the area contains numerous churches and monasteries, many of them on the thirty or so islands of Lake Tana. The afternoon is free, perhaps to enjoy the remarkable birdlife in the area, but most people will probably want to take the excursion by boat on the lake to visit some of the monasteries. The nearest one, the 15th century Kebrane Gabriel, is forbidden to women, but Ura-Kidanemereth, on a peninsula jutting out into the lake, is open to all. Under the thatched roof are some 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.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 3: Bahar Dar

Early in the morning we travel to the Tississat, or Blue Nile, Falls, located about thirty kilometres from Lake Tana. amazing to see the Blue Nile pouring over the fern-fringed lip to be channelled into the incredibly narrow gorges on its journey to Khartoum in Sudan. We take a gentle walk to the falls (approx two hours round trip) before stopping to admire them. From here we head back to the river for a short boat ride to meet the vehicle. (N.B. A shorter visit to the falls can be arranged for those who don’t want such a long walk). We then return to Bahar Dar for lunch and explore the town. We may choose to visit the local market or watch the activity in and around the lake where the main means of transport is the traditional boats made of bundled papyrus known as Tankwa

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 4:Drive to Gondar

This morning we drive north to Gondar, the former capital of Ethiopia. After lunch we will explore Gondar and visit the castles, which were built in the 17th and 18th century by several generations of Ethiopian kings. Nearby is Debre Birhan Selassie church with its sensational angelic ceiling, and the bathhouse of Fasilides where thousands of Ethiopians celebrate Timkat festival every January19 .

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 5:Drive to Semien Mountain and Trek

After breakfast we drive to Debark on the edge of the Simien Mountains. The road has considerably improved and the drive should take about 2hrs. In the late morning we drive up into the mountains for some spectacular views of this unique ecosystem. The highland plateau is capped by a dramatic skyline of jagged volcanic plugs and split by deep gorges and gullies. On a good day, the views are sensational and the striking towers and formations have been described as the ‘chess pieces of the Gods’. We take an optional 1.5hr walk, mostly flat or downhill, and hope to see the endemic Gelada baboons and Klipspringers before returning to Debark. The maximum altitude we reach is 3250m.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 6:Drive to Axum

Continue on the rugged road for a full day’s drive to the fabled city of Axum via the lowlands of the Simien Mountains and Tekeze River gorge. Though this is a long journey, the spectacular views make time slide away. Arrive in the late afternoon with time to enjoy the beautiful sunset from the hotel terrace.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 7: Axum

Axum is the seat of the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Axum, which was once one of the most powerful in the ancient world. Located at the center of the trading routes between the Mediterranean and India, and the great port of Adulis on the Red Sea, it was economically, politically and technically advanced and at times had control over both sides of the Red Sea. Axum is also the origin of Christianity in Ethiopia and believed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. The old church of St Mary of Zion was the first church to be built in Sub-Saharan Africa around 330AD. Its ruins can be seen in the precinct of the church compound. We visit the famous monolithic stelae of Axum, the tallest one still standing reaches over 21 metres and the greatest one of them all, once 34 metres high now lies toppled on the ground. It is still, however, the largest monolith ever erected by man. 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.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 8: Fly to Lalibela

We take a short flight to Lalibela and visit the first cluster of rock-hewn churches in the afternoon. These churches are Ethiopia’s top attraction. The churches are mostly cut from solid rock, and therefore have the appearance of being underground. The most famous church is Bete Giorgis (St George, patron saint of Ethiopia), carved in the form of a Greek cross. It is exceptionally well preserved and visually almost flawless.

probably one of the most fascinating places not only in Ethiopia but also in the world. In fact it was included in the World Heritage list by the UNESCO. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, second only to Axum, and is a center of pilgrimage for much of the country. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian. Lalibela was intended to be a New Jerusalem in response to the capture of Jerusalem by Muslims in 1187, and many of its historic buildings take their name and layout from buildings in Jerusalem b/n the 12th and 13thC. There are 11 churches, assembled in 3 groups.

 

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 9: Lalibela

Excursion: -Mule trek to Ashatan Maryam:-In the morning we enjoy an optional adventurous mule journey to visit Ashetan Maryam (St Mary), built on a ridge with excellent views over the surrounding countryside. The trip takes approximately 4 hours (round trip) and will start early to avoid the heat. We will ride the mules up the mountain for approximately an hour, before hiking the rest of the way up the mountain to the church. After visiting the church we will walk back down to the village on slippery mountain paths. In the afternoon we visit another cluster of churches that include the churches of Bete Gabriel and Rafael, Merkorous, Emanuel and Abba Libanos. Bete Emanuel is the best in this group and exceptionally carved with unique Axumite building features, such as the indentations on the walls, symbols of the multi-storey building taken from the stelae of Axum, monkey heads and false windows. The rest of the day is spent absorbing the atmosphere of this extraordinary town with its Tukul or round houses. Made as two-storey buildings, they are unusual in Ethiopia.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

Day 10: Fly to Addis Ababa

Fly back to Addis Ababa. Those on the group flights will be have access to day use rooms in the hotel in Addis Ababa before being taken to the airport for the overnight flight back to your home. The trip ends in Addis Ababa.

Meal: breakfast /lunch /Dinner

Overnight Hotel

 

 

  • Please note: This tour may precede or follow any other Ethiopian tours offered by Zagwe Ethiopia Tour.
  • This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirement.

 

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Price:

  • 2 Participants USD 1,432
  • 4 Participants USD 1,390
  • 6 Participants USD 1,375
  • Single Supplement: USD 223.00

 The above flight rate will only apply if arrival into Ethiopia was done with the Ethiopian Airlines.

Price inclusive of:-

  • All accommodation is based on twin sharing.
  • All ground transportations with fuel/ Ground transportation by a newest model air conditioned 4WD, Minibus or coaster bus /
  • Three domestic flights
  • Private vehicles with driver (road tax, parking, vehicle and driver insurance, accommodation of the driver and allowance)
  • The services of escort guide qualified in English during the whole voyage ( can be provide upon request with extra fees )
  • Services of local guides during site visits.
  • All breakfast
  • Airport Transfers
  • City transfer
  • All entrance fees as per the program
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana
  • Mule riding
  • Scouts
  • Government T ax

Price exclusive of: –

  • International airfare
  • Any alcoholic drinks
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Personal expense like souvenirs, laundry, etc
  • Meals (Lunch and Dinner)
  • Tips
  • Visa expenses.
  • Video or photographing fees or tips at different sites.
  • Any alcoholic beverages And any personal item expense
  • Any expense which is not stated in the ‘ Included List’ above

Essential equipment and Clothing

Clothing: Daytime temperatures are mainly warm and comfortable but evenings in the highlands can be cold. We recommend a thick jumper or warm fleece and lightweight wind/waterproof clothing. Take a sun hat.

Footwear: Comfortable, good walking shoes with ankle support are strongly recommended as well as comfortable sandals. 

  • Daypack
  • Light jacket or fleece
  • Good walking footwear/boots
  • Walking if you normally use them
  • Insect spray
  • Sunhat
  • Sun cream
  • Sunglasses
  • Water bottle
  • Wet wipes
  • Anti bacterial hand gel
  • Torch and spare batteries

Luggage: On Tour One main piece of baggage and a daypack. Please note that there is a weight restriction of 7kg for hand luggage/daypack for international and internal flights.

Luggage allowance on tour: 20kg

Guided Group: – This is a small group guided holiday. The group is usually between 1 and 20 in size, with an average of 12 like-minded clients booking individually, in a couple or as friends together.

Activity level:

  • You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips. : This tour is not strenuous. Activities such as the mule ride to Asheton Maryan can be tough on the body, but visiting the church complexes, temples and sites is always done at a very easy and relaxed pace.

Accommodation details : All accommodation throughout this tour is 3-4 star (comfortable hotels with en-suite facilities) All accommodation is based on twin sharing.

8 nights hotels en suite and 1 night basic hotel facilities.

Visas: – All nationalities require a visa for Ethiopia which can be obtained before departure or on arrival (at a cost of USD50).

Upon request we arrange visas for our travellers, or if an invitation letter is necessary then we will arrange this for you.

Vaccination: –There are no mandatory vaccination requirement for this trip.

Transport: We will be using a Coaster buses , mini buses or 4WD Toyota land cruiser depending on the condition of the road and the size of the group. The distance covered are fairly large.

Holiday style :-This is a busy trip and requires a certain level of fitness and agility, especially due to the heat and altitude. There are several walks that are not difficult – Tississat Falls and in the Simien Mountains. The harder walk and mule ride in Lalibela is optional. When visiting the rock hewn churches in Lalibela clients have to walk on uneven ground and climb steps that can be slippery.

What tourism exists is quite well organized and in places you may be surprised at the standard of services and personnel. The maximum altitude reached on this trip is 3250m.

Foods :All breakfasts

Hotel meals are generally good and full of variety. Local dishes tend to be very good if you like hot, spicy food although milder versions can be requested. Local food is traditionally eaten with the hands. The sour bread known as injera is used as a scoop for the casserole dishes known as wat.

Private groups: The adventures featured in our itinerary are just a starting point for many of our private group travellers. Working closely with our Groups Department we can organize custom designed itineraries for groups of friends, clubs, charity’s, schools or even work colleagues. Our team will assist you with all aspects of your private group adventure from itinerary design to group flights. For group traveller pledge considerable discount.

Customized tours: On request, this tour can be customized for small groups.

Proceeding / additional days: It’s no problem to add days before or after the expedition and we’ll book these for you. If you bring more time, you could do day trips from Addis or take an extension tour

Group booking discount: If at least 5 people together book this trip, 6% discount is given.

Please remember that all Zagwe Ethiopia tour prices mean NO hidden extras, NO local payments.

Budgeting: –

You will need some extra money to cover meals and drinks not included in the tour price, any optional sightseeing, souvenirs and items of a personal nature such as laundry.

Food :The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Lunch $: 8

Dinner $: 9

Drink: –The prices for drinks can vary greatly depending upon location and the prices detailed below are an average guide. In general you would expect that drinks purchased in a supermarket or local bar to be less expensive, whilst drinks in an upmarket bar or restaurant may be more expensive.

Bottle of Beer $: 1.50

Water $: 1.00

Tipping – Local Crew : Although entirely voluntary, tipping is a recognized part of life in Ethiopia . Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. In order to make things easier for you, your Guide may organise a group’s tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the tour.–Accordingly, you should allow US$50 for tipping of local drivers, guides, boat crew and for any miscellaneous tipping of hotel staff.

When to go —All year round.

Climate Ethiopia: Ethiopia is generally pleasant and warm, but varies with altitude. The long rains usually arrive mid- June to early September and the short rains between mid-February and April although this pattern has been completely erratic in recent times. After the rains, the highlands of northern Ethiopia are usually green and thus particularly scenic. The temperature all year round rarely falls below 18°C. Night-time temperatures in the mountains can be cold.

Contact us

  •   1km away from Bole airport, Addis Ababa

  •    Office:251-118-100025

  •    Fax:251-118-100025

  •    Mobile:251-911-983256

  •    Mail: info@zagweethiopiatour.com

         

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