NORTH & SOUTHERN ROUTE. MYSTERIES OF ABYSSINIA AND NATURE
Tour duration: 14 days and 13 nights.
In these 14 days trip through Northern and Southern Ethiopia allows us to discover historic cities such as Bahir Dar, Gondar and Lalibela by moving to remote times of spirituality where the most incredible mysteries of Christianity were protected. The beautiful natural environment of northern Ethiopia with its impressive mountain ranges offers us a unique opportunity to enter one of the most majestic landscapes of the African continent.
In the South, we will discover the Abyssinian Rift valley, surrounded by immense mountains and deep crack canyons produced by the volcanic rock of slow erosion, which has greatly hampered access to the Omo River delta for decades. This physical difficulty to access this region has allowed the tribes that inhabit the Omo Valley to be isolated, not only from the rest of Ethiopia, but from the rest of the world, thus offering a unique experience for the traveller.
Arrive in Addis Abeba, & Meet your guide at the airport then transfer to the hotel. After refreshment we continue with the visits of the city. The name of Addis Ababa comes from Amharic (official language) and means “new flower”. The current Ethiopian capital was founded in 1887 by Menelik II at the foot of Mount Entoto and is one of the highest capitals on the planet (2,500m). The place was chosen due to the existence of hot springs and the deforestation of ancient Ethiopian capitals. Addis Ababa is a colorful city that offers unique places such as Piazza, the colonial neighborhood of the Italians, Merkato: one of the largest markets in Africa and the National Museum where we can find a replica of Lucy, the grandmother of humanity. Today we discover the city, its corners, and its charm.
Overnight Addis Abeba
Addis Abeba – Bahir Dar. After early breakfast transfer to the airport and fly to Bahir Dar. After dropping our luggage at the hotel drive to Blue Nile falls 30 Km South of Bahir Dar to visit the Blue Nile Fall. We will visit the famous Blue Nile Falls and enjoy a pleasant walk in a spectacular natural environment. In the afternoon boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit the Island monasteries. Some of the islands are inhabited with monasteries and tombs of former emperors. We will get to know the evocative legends that are based on historical facts but that have been gaining fantasy over time.
Overnight Bahir Dar.
Bahir Dar – Gondar. Breakfast and drive to Gondar (180km). Former capital of the country in medieval times. In Gondar we visit the incredible medieval castles with Arab, Portuguese, and Hindu influence, the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its colorful frescoes and the baths of King Fasilidas.
Gondar- Semien mountains day trip. Drive to Simien Mountains, Debark town (100 Kms), where the head quarter of Semien Mountains National Park is found. Drive to Semien Mountains National Park (World Heritage Site by UNESCO) to visit its exceptional natural beauty which includes superb scenery, endemic fauna and flora. Among other endemics it is here that the Gelada Baboon (bleeding heart Baboon) is found. (3260 m). After picnic lunch in the park drive back to Gondar.
Gondar-Lalibela. Fly to Lalibela (“the second Jerusalem”).Transfer to Lalibela(26km.), Is the main destination for tourists and the most exciting attraction of the country. From here the Zagwe dynasty ruled the country for several centuries. Formerly known as Roha. The town of Lalibela bears the name of its most famous king, Lalibela 1181-1221 Ac. He was the one who gave orders to carve the churches out of solid rock. There are in total 11 amazing churches, some which are monolithic, architecturally unique buildings, finely carved, some decorated with beautiful paintings. The churches of Lalibela are considered to be the eighth wonder of the world and the world heritage site that was recorded by UNESCO. Visit the first and third groups of rock churches.
Lalibela. Early in the Morning excursion to Asheten Mariam on foot or on mules to visit the semi-monolithic Church that is on the top of the hill enjoying wonderful views from the top. After lunch visit the remaining second group of rock churches in the city of Lalibela.
Lalibela- Addis Abeba- Langano. After early breakfast transfer to Lalibela Airport and fly to Addis Abeba. Then drive by 4 x 4 station wagons to the great rift valley on the way visit different lakes like lake Bishoftu crater lake and lake Ziway.
Langano – Arba Minch. Drive to Arba Minch. On the way visit different tribal villages who are known for their cultivation of Enset of False Banana & visit the villages of the Dorze people who are famous for their huge Bambu huts and colorful hand-woven cotton clothes. (460km).
Arba Minch -Konso. Have a boat ride on the Rift Valley Lake of Chamo where you can see big African Crocodiles, hippos, and low land water birds. After Picnic lunch drive to Konso & Visit the Konso Village, the Konsos are famous by thier tótems & making teraz to protect thier land.
Konso – Jinka. Drive to Jinka the nearest town of the two national parks Omo & Mago, and on the way visit the people of Ari, Benna and Tsemai tribal villages. (Visiting the most colorful multicultural market in the Omo Valley at Key Afer if the day is thursday – which is attended by the tribal groups of Ari, Benna, and Tsemai,) Then drive to Jinka.
Jinka – Turmi. After breakfast, drive to Mursi village crossing Mago National Park. Visit the Mursi tribe in their village who are typically known for the clay lip plates of the women. Drive back to Jinka (3-4 hrs, return including the visit in Mursi) after lunch drive to Turmi. – the settlement of Hamer people. Stop off at Dimeka to visit the other interesting weekly cultural market (Saturdays) of the Hamer and the Benna people. After dinner at your hotel, you will be driven to the nearby village of the Hamer people to see the traditional dances of the Hamer people – the Evangadi Dance.
Turmi. After Breakfast you will have an excursion to Omo Rate to visit the Dasenech people who are the southern most known people of the country and are known for their scarifications. Drive back to Turmi & we can visit the Turmi Market (on mondays) or Dimeka market on Tuesdasy and saturdays with very interesting encountr of different tribes like Hamer, Benna and Arbore.
Overnight the same Lodge.
Turmi –Arba Minch. Drive Turmi to Arbaminch, on our way to Arbaminch visit different tribes of Omo vally, like Erbore & Tsemhay.
Arba Minch –Addis Abeba. Return (fly) to Addis. Time for leisure and Shopping. before departure, you will be guest of KARIBU Ethiopia Tours at one of the best traditional restaurants to test the variety of Ethiopian meals and to see their folkloric dances. Then to be transferred for the airport to fly back.