13 Nights / 14 Days

Ethiopia - An Unspoiled Corner of Africa

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Highlights of the tour

Many think of Ethiopia as a country of little interests – only famine and barrenness. But, nothing can be further from the truth.

 

Ethiopia, the only African country not colonised by the European powers, retains much of its colourful, unique and ancient heritage. This is the land of Queen Sheba, centuries-old rock-hewn churches and some of the earliest Christian archaeological sites. Geographically, it is where the African Rift Valley is the most dramatic, the source of the Nile (with an outstanding waterfall) and many stunningly beautiful national parks. It is truly unlike any country in the world.

Day

Overnight

Meal plan

Day 1  

Depart Hong Kong

L / D

Day 2

Lalibela

B / L / D

Day 3

Lalibela

B / L / D

Day 4

Hamedela

B / L / D

Day 5

Hawzen

B / L / D

Day 6

Hawzen

B / L

Day 7  

Axum

B / L / D

Day 8

Simien Mountains

B / L / D

Day 9

Simien Mountains

B / L / D

Day 10

Gondar

B / L / D

Day 11

Gondar

B / L / D

Day 12

Bahir Dar

B / L / D

Day 13

Bahir Dar

B / L / D

Day 14

Depart Addis Ababa

B / L / D

Hong Kong / Addis Ababa

Day 1

Flight Time TBA

Upon arrival, make a full day excursion to the southwest of Addis Ababa gives visitors the chance to visit the rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam. Believed to be constructed by the famous king Lalibela in the 12 c from single a bedrock.

At the Melka Kunture archaeological site, we have a chance to see (nearly 2 million-year-old) discovered fossils of the prehistoric age. The stone tools in the area dating 1.8 million years old.

Furthermore, Tiya stelae are found, this ancient stelae or obelisks are carved from a single rock, and some of them are decorated with carvings of swords and different items that are open for meaning. There are over 10, 000 stelae are found marking all over the country. This is a large number in the hall Africa.

Meals: picnic lunch, dinner

Addis Ababa / Lalibela

Day 2

This morning, transfer to the airport for the flight.

Fly   Addis Ababa/Lalibela             ET 160            0800/0900

 

Upon arrival, met and transfer to your hotel for 2 nights. Also, known as Africa’s Petra, Lalibela and its rock-hewn churches are arguably Africa’s top attraction. It is set amongst the rugged Lasta Mountains at 2630m. This afternoon, you will visit what have become known as the 8th wonder of the world – the churches of King Lalibela (A.D. 1180 to 1220). According to legend, the 11 monolithic churches, hand cut directly from the stone of the earth required 25,000 people and 24 years to complete.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Lalibela

Day 3

This morning, take a mule trip to the Monastery of Ashetom Mariam located on the top of a hill overlooking Lalibela. In the afternoon, we continue to visit other groups of the churches of King Lalibela.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Lalibela / Mekele / Hamedela

Day 4

Transfer to the airport for the flight this morning

Fly   Lalibela/Mekele       ET 160            0930/1010

(If time allows, we will have a brief city tour in Mekele)

 

Upon arrival, we begin our long drive (by 4WD) to the Afar region near to Hamedela .we will pass through the Afar village over the escarpment of the Great Rift Valley system to the North-Western highland passing by the north Ethiopian villages and people.

Overnight camping on Ahmed Ela.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hemedela / Dallol / Hawzen

Day 5

Dallol: Specifically located in the Danakil Depression in a remote area subject to the highest average temperatures on the planet, it is one of the most amazing sites to be seen on the planet. The effervescent colours and the surreal formations make Dallol other-worldly. The volcano encompasses Dallol Mountain and several other features in the vicinity, such as the crater near the “Black Mountain”. One of the most commendable stops in Ethiopia for the adventure traveller.

 

Morning, drive further to Dallol Cobber Sink; the lowest spot on earth's surface not covered by water (-116 below sea level) enjoy the spectacular view and small hill, which is colourful by hot spring and sulfur in several places. In the afternoon drive from Ahemedila to Lake Asele and visit the thousands of camel caravan and the rock salt mining after visit drive to Hawzen. This afternoon it will be more of driving through the Afar and Tigray villages. Reach Hawzen by sunset and check into your lodge for 2 nights

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hawzen

Day 6

This day we will have walking through the Gheralta churches some of them goes to the 4th-century monastery with amazing landscape, and we will visit the Tigray villages. (You can split groups for a different level of the hike)

 

Rest of the day at leisure.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Hawzen / Axum

Day 7

We will start early and drive 4 hours this morning from Hawzen to Axum.

 

Axum is another of Ethiopia’s star attraction. The little town is littered with ruins of palaces, underground tombs, stelae and inscriptions. It was once the capital of the powerful Axumite Empire (3rd to 6th centuries) as well as that of the legendary Queen Sheba. Upon arrival, we will visit the small archaeological museum, the obelisk park, Queen Sheba’s bath, Axumite palaces and tombs and the trilingual inscription of Ezana. We will also visit St Mary of Zion church, which is the oldest in Ethiopia and sub-Sahara. (If we can’t finish the tour in Axum today, we will do some part next day morning)

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Axum / Simien Mountain National Park

Day 8

On this day, drive 8 hours from the ancient city of Axum by enjoying a very beautiful and spectacular landscape along the Simien Mountains and Tekeze Gorge. The road descends from 3100 meters through hairpin bends down the mountainside to 1400 meters in just 40kms! The drive down and back up to Adi-Arkay showcases not only the immensely beautiful Simien Mountain massifs but also the people who eke out an existence in this unforgiving countryside. The drive continues through the Tekeze valley, crossing the Tekeze River, Awaza mountains then finally to Simien National Park.

Check into Simien Lodge for 2 nights.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Simien Mountain National Park

Day 9

You have a full day to enjoy hiking in Simien National Park. Depending on your fitness level, you can discuss the route and duration of your hike today with your guide.

 

The Simien Mountains with outstanding views of the gorge and mountain range and it is easy to understand why the striking formations have been described as 'the chess pieces of the Gods'.  This day there is a good chance of seeing the indigenous Gelada, also known as the 'bleeding heart' baboon or Lion monkey. The Gelada is in fact neither baboon nor monkey but the last remaining species of a branch of high altitude, grass-eating primates that have all but vanished. Walking near small settlements and villages we have fine views across the lowlands and the Simien plateau.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Simien Mountain National Park / Gondar

Day 10

Free at leisure or enjoy more hikes in the morning.

This afternoon, drive 2.5 hours to Gonder.

Gondar has been called Africa’s Camelot with its series of castles and churches. It is Ethiopia’s capital from 1636 to 1667. Most have survived the ravage of time and constitute one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating antiquities.

 

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Gondar

Day 11

Our exploration will cover Debre Birhan Sellassie or “Trinity at the mount of Light”, the Royal Enclosure with the palace of Emperor Fasilidas and Kwesquam to see the castle of Empress Mentwabe.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Gondar / Bahir Dar

Day 12

We drive 3 hours to reach Bahir Dar and check in to your resort next to Lake Tana and stay 2 nights along the lakeside.

This afternoon, a 45-min drive and a relatively strenuous 20-min walk take you to the Blue Nile fall. Known locally as Tis Isat (smoking fire), this is one of the most spectacular falls of Africa. Returning to Bahir Dar, you have time to explore the colourful local market and stop to view the famous source of Blue Nile.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Bahir Dar

Day 13

Today, you will explore Lake Tana by boat. It has some 30 islands many with monasteries dating from 13 to 18 centuries. Visit the monastery of Ura Jidane Mihret on the Zeghe Peninsula giving you an insight into the splendour of Ethiopia’s religious heritage. The lake cruise itself also provides the opportunity to numerous lake bird sightings and local papyrus fishing boats in action.

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner

Bahir Dar / Addis Ababa / Hong Kong

Day 14

Transfer to the airport for your flight.

Fly   Bahir Dar/Addis Ababa  ET 127            0840/0940

 

Upon arrival, drive to St. George Cathedral, one of the oldest cathedrals in Addis Ababa. Then we will drive uphill to Entoto, which once was Emperor Minilik II’s permanent camp.  Enjoy the panoramic view of the capital and surrounding countryside. Then we pay a visit to Addis Ababa Museum which features a striking collection of historic photographs. The Museum also includes several fine exhibitions of indigenous art and textiles.

We then visit the National Museum with the star attraction “Lucy”, the remnants of a 3.2 million years’ old hominid.

Enjoy early dinner before transferring to the airport for your flight.

 

If time allows visit Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa, where almost every possible commodity is on sale. Addis is an excellent place to pick up many of the country’s unique crafts.

Flight: TBA

Meals: breakfast, lunch, dinner