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  • Historic Route, Semien Mountain & Harar – 14 Days
Overview
This Ethiopian adventure begins and concludes in Addis Ababa Visit Bahar Dar, the picturesque town set on the shores of Lake Tana. You will visit the island monasteries and the Blue Nile Falls. The Amhara, Tigray people way of life and their village. In Gondar you will visit the ancient churches and castles, remnants of a bygone Ethiopian Empire. Proceed to Semien mountain, the region includes many summits above 4,000m. (13,000feet), and the highest point in Ethiopia. Ras-Dashen is also the fourth highest mountain in Africa. The park is 179 km2 (111square miles). It is in Afro Alpine zone and the temperature falls below freezing at night. The park hosts many mammals and birds including the endemic mammals —Walia Ibex, chelada baboon & Simien fox and endemic plant species. This scenically beautiful national park is registered by UNESCO as world heritage. Continuing on the historic route, to Lalibela, a world-heritage-listed town set high in craggy mountains. Lalibela is renowned for its 12th- and 13th-century churches hewn out of solid rock and connected with subterranean passages. At Axum, the most holy city in Ethiopia, you will see reminders of an early civilization at the stelae fields and ruins of the Palace of the Queen of Sheeba and other ancient sites. Visit Harar which comes into existence in 1520 is Ethiopia’s Islamic traditional city. It offers colourful contrast, particularly in the eastern part of the country. In fact; there were Ethiopian Muslims during the life time of the Prophet Mohamed. This rich religious history is brought to life in the romantic walled city of Harar, considered by many Muslims to be a holy city of Islam and an important center of the Islamic faith on Africa continent since the 10th or 11th century A.D. with circular wall. Your adventure concludes in Addis Ababa where you enjoy a night of traditional Ethiopian food, live music and dancing.
Detailed Itinerary

Arrival at Bole International airport, meet your ESD and transfer to the hotel.

Later in the afternoon meet your ESG and enjoy a city tour of Addis Ababa including a drive to Mount Entoto for panoramic view of the city, national Museum which is the resting place of our ancestor LUCY, Trinity Cathedral, Merkato which is the biggest market, some monuments

Return to the hotel

Rest of the evening at leisure

O/N: Nexus hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Meet your ESG and transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Bahir Dar

10:30 Depart Addis Ababa

11:30 Arrival into Bahir Dar
There is an earlier 07:30am flight option

Upon arriving in Bahir Dar, meet your ESG and transfer to your hotel

Post check in, transfer to the boat jetty for your boat trip over Lake Tana to the Zeghie peninsula to visit the beautifully painted churches that are found hidden in the small forest: Azwa Mariam Monaster .

Our second stop will be at the Bete Maryam Monastery located on the Zege Penisula not far from Bahir Dar.

Bete Maryam means “the House of Mary” and it is one of the oldest and most spectacular monasteries on the peninsula and is also a short walk from the boat landing.

The monastery is a round wooden structure with mud and straw walls. There is an outer room, middle circular room and the central room for priests only. The outer ring has little decoration but the inner ring has floor to ceiling paintings depicting the bible stories.

Return to Bahirdar for lunch.

Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

O/N: Homeland or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

This morning we visit Tississat named after the water falls of the Blue Nile River (the life blood for the Sudanese and Egyptians). Kindly note clients will walk for +/- 30 minutes to arrive near to the water falls on Blue Nile.

Return to the city for lunch

Later in the afternoon we leave Bahir Dar and drive to Gonder

Enroute we stop at the Awramba Community

In Northwest Ethiopia lives a community of around 500 people, founded by a once labelled crazy man called Zumra Nuru.
The Awramba are completely self-sufficient and follow 4 principles: respecting equality of women, caring for the elderly, respecting children’s’ rights and avoiding bad deeds.

Proceed to Gonder, and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

O/N: Goha hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Today we will take you to the castle compound, here you can see the medieval castle of king Fasilidas, King Yohannes, King Eyasu, King Dawit, King Bakafa and Queen Mentewab.

We will also visit the churches of Debre Birhan Selassie with awesome wall paintings and the bath of King Fasilidas

In the afternoon take a tuk tuk to the market and enjoy the daily activities of the local people

Return to the hotel and enjoy hotel facilities

O/N: Goha hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Check out, meet your ESG and depart to the Semien Mountain

We will make a stop at the marvellous scenery of the Semien Mountain, the endemic animals of Walya Ibex, Chilada Baboon and birds.

A few kms from Gonder you will see the old village of the black Jewish at Woleka.

Proceed to Simien mountain, time with the Chilada baboon which is endemic mammal in Ethiopia

Arrival at your hotel and enjoy time at leisure

O/N: Simien lodge or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the lodge

Take in the scenery from your lodge

After some morning at leisure, meet your ESG and drive to Sankaber and trek around.

Sankaber lies within the Park and found at an altitude of 3825msl. It is the place to see troops of Gelada Baboon on the way.

These are a different primates found only in Ethiopia and live on vegetables and soft roots.

Walk to the wonderful view points around Sankaber.

Enjoy a lunch on the site/view point (we have arranged lunch boxes on this day)

Later, time dependant, drive to Aynamenda for further flora and fauna visi

Or optional trip based on the interest of the group, discussing with the local guide as there are different site at Semien Mountain, you can hike until the waterfall area for further visit

Return to the hotel

O/N: Simien lodge or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the lodge

After breakfast, drive to Chenek and walk around to see the scenic mountains and views in the surrounding.

Chenek lies at an altitude of 3800 m ASL in the valley at the bottom of the second highest pick called Buahit 4000 m ASL. It is the ideal place to see one of the endemic mammals found in the park, the Walia Ibex.

They adapt living in the gigantic cliff age and high altitude. This adaptation comes from habitat loose because in the past they used to live at around 2500 m ASL.

The males are big in size while the females are smaller. With such a colossal horn curved to the back, the males are easily spotted sleeping on the rock or standing near the giant lobelia. They are very solitary, the female are very close to each other and the family is organized by the dominant mother. It is very common to see one of the high altitude plant called giant Lobelia. When it grows fully, it reaches a height of 9 to 12 meters with a flowering part on the top. For this plant it is quiet a struggle to grow at such high altitude where the weather is very difficult. But nature has it all in it.

Proceed to Gondar

O/N: Goha hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Check out and transfer to the airport where you will catch your onward flight to Lalibela

10:00 Depart Gondar

10:30 Arrival into Lalibela, meet your ESG and we make a stop at 1st group of churches

The 1st group of churches are included Bieta Medhanialem (Chapel of Holy Savior) which is the biggest and Bieta Mariam (Chapel of Mary): three aisled with mural paintings and a covered pillar containing inscriptions about the end of the world according to the gadl (act)of saintly king. Further visit of Bieta Denagel (Chapel of the Virgins), Bieta Meskel (Chapel of the cross) and finally, the “double – church” of Debre Sina and Bieta Golghotha (women are not allowed in the latter since it’s where the remains of King Lalibela are and also because it contains the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity).

In the afternoon we visit the second group of rock-hewn churches that are namely: Bieta Gabriel and Raphael, Bieta Merquorios, Bieta Emmanuel with unprecedented Axumite style and the Bieta Abaa Libanos (said to have been built by King Lalibela’s consort Meskal Kebra and visit the Bieta Ghiorghis which is the cruciform chapel of St. George

Proceed to check in at your hotel

Evening at leisure

O/N: Mountain View Hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Today your ESG will take you to Yemrehanna Kristos Monastery which is located in a spectacular natural rock grotto.

During the rainy season a waterfall pours over the entrance and under the grotto lies a large, fresh water lake hidden amongst the rocks. The monastery is believed to have been built in the 11th century under the reign of King Yemrehanna Kristos, a predecessor of King Lalibela.

The complex includes two structures – a church and an abbey. In contrast to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, both structures were built as additions to the cave rather than excavated from the cave itself. The design is late-Axumite, with dark wood beams alternating between layers of white-plastered granite rock. In the middle ages, the Yemrehanna Kristos monastery attracted thousands of pilgrims.

According to legend, these distant travellers came in search of a holy land for their final resting place. The remains of hundreds of unknown pilgrims and many mummified bodies can still be found in the back of the dark cave, an unsettling sight for many visitors.

On the way we will visit one village and you will see how the country side people make their food, how they share their house with animals, the different activities of the nearby farmers.

Return back to Lalibela for lunch and afternoon free to relax, enjoy the stunning view from your room.

O/N: Mountain View Hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Meet your ESG and transfer to the airport for your onward flight to Axum

11:00 Depart Lalibela

11:40 Arrival into Axum, meet your ESG and visit the historical sites of Axum including the St. Mary church, where the Arc of the covenant is said to be kept, and the stele park.

Lunch en-route

Proceed to the ruins of the former palace of Queen of Sheba, Dungur Palace, the ruins of the former tombs of King Kaleb and his successor King Gebre Meske

Arrive at your hotel for check in and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure

O/N: Sabean/ Yared Yaredzema hotel 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

After breakfast we will visit the Adwa mountains which was the battle place where the Ethiopians defeated the Italians in 1896, pre-Axumite Temple of Yeha, which is the first civilization of Ethiopia started before Axum

Further drive to visit the historical Monastery of Debre Damo, here because of the church tradition only male will go up by the help of the priests and twisted rope,

We will also visit a village of the Tigray people, we will get to experience and see their typical house style, their real way of life in the village.

Later return to Axum

Evening at leisure

O/N: Sabean/ Yared Yaredzema hotel 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer with your ESG to the airport for your onward flight to Addis Ababa

09:45 Depart Axum

11:15 Arrive Addis Ababa, proceed to check in for your connecting flight to Dire Dawa

12:00 Depart Addis Ababa

13:00 Arrival into Dire Dawa, meet your ESG and proceed to drive to Harar

Upon arrival at Harar, you will experience the khat culture, a shrub whose leaves are chewed for stimulation

On the way one can visit the market of Awaday khat.

Later in the evening, if you wish, you can the Hyena Man

Rest of the evening at leisure

O/N: Ras hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Meet your ESG and dedicate today to exploring Harar

Harar is located at an altitude of 1800 meters.

Harar is labyrinth of small streets surrounded by old walls. Its architecture reflects a strong Islamic influence

We walk past the old town and visit a house where Rimbaud has been living. Harar has been the chosen town of the poet who settled here in order to proceed to his weapons trade destined to Emperor Menelik II. He was here in the 16th Century.

Some of the Mosques in Harar have been established since the 13th Century. Until relatively recently, Harrar has been venerated by Muslims as the centre of pilgrimage, the town being the holiest of the Horn of Africa with a great number of Mosques and Quran schools. A visit in this town includes some of these Mosques as well as few old traditional houses. A Visit of the colourful Islamic market is worth the trip

Return to the hotel for some time at leisure

O/N: Ras hotel or Similar 4* (HB) Standard Room

Breakfast at the hotel

Transfer with your ESG to Dire Dawa where you will catch your onward flight to Addis Ababa

11:30 Depart Dire Dawa

12:30 Arrival into Addis Ababa, meet your ESG and go to the market for some last minute shopping, later enjoy dinner at one of the best Ethiopian traditional restaurant where you will enjoy a variety of Ethiopian cuisines and watch traditional dancing

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight

Inclusions
  • Accommodation as specified in itinerary
  • Meals as specified in itinerary
  • Transfers as specified in itinerary
  • English Speaking Driver as specified in itinerary
  • English Speaking Guide as specified in itinerary
  • All entrance fees and guided excursions as described in itinerary
  • Boat trip on Lake tana in Bahir Dar
  • All park fees
  • Unlimited bottled water per person per day
  • Dinner on last day in Addis Ababa
Exclusions

  • International Flights and Airport Taxes
  • Visa Fees (if applicable)
  • Medical & Travel Insurance
  • Incidental tips to hotel/lodge staff 
  • Gratuity to tour driver/guide 
  • All expenses of personal nature
  • Any entrance fees and guided excursions not included in the above itinerary
  • Early Check In & Late Check Out
  • Internal & Domestic Flights (priced separately)
  • Lunches

Notes

  • Supplement cost for flights from/to Addis – Bahirdar// Gonder- Lalibela-Aksum- Addis-Diredawa- Addis is available on request
  • Child supplement on request
  • All quotes are subject to availability and change due to airfare increases, hotel rate increases, currency exchange fluctuations and any other unforeseen circumstances all without prior notice.
  • Itinerary and journey times are close approximations and are subject to change without prior notice.
  • Light Aircraft Flights:
  • Baggage allowance is normally restricted between 15kg to 30 kg (depending on country, aviation supplier and seat class chosen) per passenger, inclusive of hand luggage in soft bags. Excess baggage will be charged at prevailing rates and only carried subject to space availability.
  • Timings in remote areas such as national parks may vary from day to day. It is very important that your clients ask their tour guide or lodge manager to reconfirm flights 24 hours before departure. This reconfirmation process will give the departure and arrival details for the flight(s) the following day and will save unnecessary waiting time and discomfort. Charter companies reserves the right to change departure times or carrier when so required for operational, weather or safety reasons.
  • Passenger weights limits apply for light aircraft flights and additional seats may be required if exceeding the weight limit. However, please let us know in advance if this is likely to apply so we can do whatever is possible to minimize the likelihood of this becoming an issue. 

Trip Highlights

ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR - GONDER - SEMIEN MOUNTAIN - GODAR - LALIBELA - AXUM - DIRE DAWA - HARAR - ADDIS ABABA

Departure Period

01 Feb, 2020 to 20 Dec, 2020
AUD 8,397 P P twin share
AUD 9,152 P P single

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