• Reference code: SOAE

  • Days: 10

  • Max pax: 11

  • Availability: Nov 20 – Oct 21

  • Languages: English

  • Freesell: 30 Days

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Your journey begins…

Experience ancient cultures, orthodox churches and historic palaces, combined with wildlife viewing experiences and the source of the Blue Nile, the longest river in Africa. Perfect for travellers seeking culture and nature.

  • Historic churches dating to the 12th and 13th centuries
  • Palaces of Ethiopian emperors and queens
  • Source of the Blue Nile River
  • Endemic and endangered wildlife

Day 1
ADDIS ABABA
Guests arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport and are met by a representative and are transferred to their hotel. After a short break to cool off, guests will embark on a tour of Addis Ababa, the third highest capital in the world. The tour includes Entoto Hills the place from which King Menelik, founder of Addis Ababa, descended to the plains; panoramic views to the city and the historic churches built by King Menelik; the old Menelik Palace, which still has real artefacts; the National Museum of Ethiopia which houses important archaeological relics, including the fossil skeleton of Selam Australopithecus Aphaeresis hominid, found in Dikika, a region of northern Ethiopia, and finally, to the vibrant Mercato, the largest open market in East Africa.
Overnight at The Magnolia Hotel or similar – Breakfast.

Day 2
BAHIR DAR
After breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch a flight to Bahir Dar. Situated on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, is the attractive city of Bahir Dar. After hotel check-in, depart to the spectacular Tissisat Falls, source of the Blue Nile, Africa’s longest river. Lunch at the hotel then an afternoon tour of the city followed by a visit the village Woito, known for production of Tankwa reed boats. Then tour the old palace of Emperor Haile Selassie in Bezawit which has excellent views of the city and Tissisat Falls, then tour some of the local markets.
Overnight at the Abay Minch Lodge or similar – Lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Day 3
GORGORA & GONDAR
After breakfast, the day begins with a boat ride on Lake Tana to visit monasteries of the 13th and 14th centuries. Built around the lake and on islands, they include Ura Kidane Mehret and Mariam Azewa churches at the Zeghe Peninsula, The church of Dek Stefanos, the church of Kibran Gabriel (closed to women) and, finally, the church of Narga Selassie. Picnic lunch on the boat, then onto Gorgora town, to visit the Debreseina Mariam church. Transfer is by road from Gorgora to Gondar city, 60km away.
Overnight at the Hotel Taye Belay or similar – Dinner, and breakfast.

Day 4
GONDAR
After breakfast, depart hotel for full-day tour of in Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasiladas as the imperial seat in 1636 and Ethiopia’s capital city until the 19th century. Visits to Fasil Gibbi (the Royal Enclosure), castles built by various emperors, the baths of King Fasilidas where pilgrims immerse themselves during Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) and the Debre Berhane Selassie Church whose walls and ceiling are completely covered in murals. Lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, guests will visit the ruined palace of Queen Mentowab, and the Qusquam Mariam Church on a hill just outside the village.
Overnight at the Hotel Taye Belay or similar – Lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Day 5
Simien Mountains National Park
After breakfast, the tour goes to Simien Mountains National Park, a trip of 3-4 hours. The Simien mountains in the northern Ethiopian highlands is one of the most spectacular mountain landscapes in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979. Picnic type lunch. In the afternoon, explore the Sankaber region of the park, which has been added to the list of World Heritage Sites and has many species of animals, plants and birds. Here, the walia ibex, the endangered Ethiopian wolf, and the gelada baboon are endemic. Check in at Simien Lodge, the highest hotel in Africa, at an altitude of 3 260m above sea level.
Overnight at the Simien Lodge – Dinner, and breakfast.

Day 6
Axum
After breakfast, the tour departs early for Axum, crossing the Tekeze River canyon while staying in sight of the Simiem mountains. There is a picnic lunch on the way to Axum. Check-in at the hotel.
Overnight at the Consolar Hotel – Dinner, and breakfast.

Day 7
Axum
After breakfast, guests tour the city of Axum. The tour will include visits to church of Santa Maria de Sion, (believed to house the remains of the original Ark of the Covenant), the granite monoliths of Axum, the tombs of the Kaleb emperors, and the Mai Shum also known as the Queen of Sheba baths.
Overnight at the Consolar Hotel – Lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Day 8
Lalibela
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the airport to catch a flight to the historic town of Lalibela. Constructed between the 12th and 13th centuries, the series of churches carved into the rock are still in use and Lalibela is recognized as one of the greatest wonders in the world. After check-in the hotel, guests will visit the churches of Beth Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Beth Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Denagel and Bet Medhane Alem. In the afternoon, they visit the Church of St George on a hillside and which can only be accessed by a tunnel. The rest of the day guests are free to explore the city.
Overnight at the Roha Hotel – Lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Day 9
Lalibela
After breakfast, an early morning drive to visit the 12th century church of Yemrehene Christos, built inside a cave with alternating levels of wood and stone. Return to Lalibela and lunch at the hotel. In the afternoon, the group will visit Lalibela churches located south of the Jordan River.
Overnight at the Roha Hotel – Lunch, dinner, and breakfast.

Day 10
DEPARTURE
After breakfast, guests are transferred to the airport for flight back to Addis Ababa. Arrival and transfer to the hotel for day-room use until 8pm. A farewell dinner is at one of the best traditional restaurants in the city, before being transferred to Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.

Inclusions

Accommodation: As specified
Meals: 9 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 9 dinners
Activities: As specified
Transfers: Arrival and departure airport transfers
Entrance fees: Park fees, churches and historic sites
Guide: Qualified English speaking driver-guide

Exclusions

All international / domestic flights and taxes
Visas
Travel and personal accident insurance
Personal expenses
Excursions / activities not specified
Gratuities

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