NORTH & SOUTHERN ROUTE. MYSTERIES OF ABYSSINIA AND NATURE
Tour duration: 16 days and 15 nights.
Ethiopia is endowed with some of the most unique sites on the African continent. Today, Ethiopia boasts of more UNESCO world heritage Sites than any other country in Africa. Ethiopia conserves the past in the form of Exotic and beautiful monuments and ruin ones that are built centuries ago. Ethiopia’s magnificent landscape ranges from desert areas that is 117 meters below sea level (Danakil depression) one of the hottest places in the world; to the forested highlands of Siemen Mountain National Park which has an elevation of 4,620 meter above sea level at the famous mountain summit, called Ras Dejen. Mount Ras Dejenn is Ethiopia highest mountain peak and the fourth in Africa. Ethiopia is sometimes called The Roof of Africa, because there many Mountains that have an elevation above 4,000 meter above sea level. Most rivers; that are originated from Ethiopia flows down to other African countries and so that Ethiopia is named as the water tower of East Africa. Some of the river that flows out from the territory of Ethiopia is the gigantic Blue Nile, Tekeze and Wabe Shebele Rivers.
Arrive in Addis Abeba & Meet your guide at the airport then transfer to the hotel, after refreshment visit Addis, that includes: Museums, Monuments, Churches, Market and Mount Entoto for the panoramic view of the city. O/N hotel.
Addis Abeba- Bahir Dar. After early breakfast transfer to the airport and fly to Bahir Dar. Has an elevation of 1830 m. above sea level, is located on the southern shores of Lake Tana from where excursions by boat can be made to the Lakes islands and peninsulas, the Blue Nile water falls are situated 32Km. South- east of Bahir Dar. The Lake Tana includes more than 30 islands and peninsulas, most of which shield ancient monasteries decorated with wonderful wall paintings that date back from 12th to 20th century. After dropping our luggage at the hotel drive to Blue Nile falls 30 Km South of Bahir Dar to visit the Blue Nile Fall. After lunch Bahir Dar city tour, includes market and monuments. O/ Night Bahir Dar.
After breakfast boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit the Island monasteries 4 hours including boat riding, we will visit Azwa Mariam, Ura Kidane Mihret and Kibran Gabriel Monasteries. Afternoon visit blue nile view and sunset. O/ Night Bahir Dar.
Breakfast and drive to Gondar(180km). Gondar; Surrounded by lower hills of the southern Semien Mountains, lies at 2,200m above sea level. The city of castles is one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating cities, founded by emperor Fasiledas in 1632. Gondar become the capital city of the country in subsequent years, several were built each unique in size and architecture. For many centuries it was the centre of fine arts, music, Science, religion, commerce and administration. The most interesting church of Gondar is Debre-Berhan Selasie; this Trinity church is built in a rectangular shape, its ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels, and its walls with impressive scenes depicting biblical events. After lunch Visit the Castle compound, Bath of King Fasilades, Debre Berhan Silassie church. O/N Gondar.
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. O/N Gondar.
Gondar-Axum; Breakfast and transfer to Gondar airport to fly Axum. It is well known for its ruins of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba who reigned about 1000 BC. The greatest mystery is that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, Menelik I, first king of the Solomonic Dynasty , brought with him the true Ark of the Covenant from the temple of Jerusalem to Axum , is believed still to be kept in the church of St. Mary of Zion erected on the original location of the oldest church of Ethiopia, and established one of the world’s longest monarchies which stood until 1974. The Axumite kingdom’s conversion to Christianity in 4th century makes Ethiopia, after Armenia & Georgia the third oldest christian country. The impressive ruins, monuments and artifacts abound in Axum, attesting to the strength of this solid, safe and rich civilization. The best-known emblems of Axum, are the mysterious monolithic stelae of the same granite, which are made from single blocks of granite carved and decorated to represent multy story houses. The largest, now fallen, is 33 m tall and weighs 500 tons., Making it the largest monolith in the world. full day visit St. Mary Zion Church, Stele compound, Ruin palaces, archeological museum & tombs. O/N Axum.
Axum- Lalibela. Fly to Lalibela & and 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. O/N Lalibela.
Early in the Morning optional excursion to Ne’akutoLe’ab Cave church or to Semi-hewn church of Asheten Mariam, after lunch visit the remaining second group of rock churches. O/N Lalibela.
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. O/N Langano.
Drive to Arba Minch. On the way visit different tribal villages of Halaba & the villages of the Dorze people who are famous for their huge Bambu huts and colorful hand-woven cotton clothes. (460km). O/N Arbaminch.
Have a boat ride on the Rift Valley Lake of Chamo to visit the ‘Crocodile Market’ where you can see big African Crocodiles, hippos, and low land water birds. (2-3hrs) After Picnic lunch drive to Konso & Visit “New York” village, the Konsos are famous by thier tótems & making teraz to protect thier lad. O/N Konso.
Drive to Key Afer and visit the people of Ari, Benna and Tsemai trbal 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. O/N Jinka.
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. O/N Lodge in Turmi.
After Breakfast you will have an excursion to Omo Rate to visit the Dasenech people who are the southernmost known people of the country and are known for their scarifications. Drive back to Turmi. O/N the same Lodge.
Drive Turmi to Arbaminch, on our way to Arbaminch visit different tribes of Omo vally, like Erbore & Tsemhay. O/N Arbaminch.
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 taste the variety of Ethiopian meals and to see their folkloric dances. Then, be transferred to the airport for your departure.