Ethiopian Experience
8 Days

ITINERARY

8 DAYS: Addis Ababa, Bahar Dar, Lake Tana, Gondar, Lalibela


Tour overview:

With a culture and traditions dating back over 3000 years, Ethiopia is a land of religious fervor, a glorious history, vibrant celebrations and endless festivals. Add to that a range of natural beauty that includes Afro-Alpine highlands, soaring to around 14,000 feet, the Great Rift Valley, white-water rivers and a Savannah teeming with game.


Day 1 – Arrive Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where you are met and escorted to your hotel. (D)


Day 2 – Addis Ababa / Bahar Dar – Lake Tana

Fly to Bahar Dar. Later on you will drive to Lake Tana for a half day boat tour. With a surface area of 2,282 square miles it is the largest lake in Ethiopia. The lake is dotted with islands, many of which shelter isolated monasteries containing the remains of ancient Ethiopian emperors and treasures of the Ethiopian Church. Visit Ura Kidane Meheret and Azua Mariam monasteries, famous for its ancient manuscripts, crosses, icons, and paintings. (BD)


Day 3 – Bahar Dar / Gondar

Enjoy the drive to Gondar, once the royal capital of the Ethiopian Empire. Founded in 1636 by the Emperor Fassiledes, the medieval city is home to castles and churches constructed by the Emperor along with his descendants. Visits will also include the Fassiledes Castle along with Fassiledes Bath. The beautiful architecture of these buildings led to Gondar being nicknamed ‘the Camelot of Ethiopia.’ Once thought to be the grand swimming pool of the Emperor, Fassiledes Bath is now used as a baptism site. It symbolizes the holy waters of the river Jordan in Israel where Jesus Christ was baptized. You will also have the chance to visit the Debre Birhan Selassie Church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the late 18th century by Iyasu I, the grandson of the Emperor Fassiledes. Its beautifully preserved walls and ceilings are adorned with mesmerizing rows of winged cherubs that represent the omnipresence of God. . (BD)


Day 4 – Gondar – Simien Mountains

The drive to Simien Mountains National Park is approx. 140 km and takes approx. 3 hrs. Your first destination will be the Kosoye viewpoint where you will have the chance to stretch your legs and enjoy beautiful views. We will then drive to Debark, headquarters of Simien Mountains National Park. Here we will obtain park permits and have a scout assigned for your time in the park. From park HQ you will be driven to the Buyit Ras viewpoint to soak in the breathtaking scenery. We will then begin our hike to Chilqwanit (approximately 1 hour), the next stunning viewpoint. On arrival, your vehicle will be waiting to transport you to Sanqaber viewpoint. You will then drive to Jinbar Falls. You will enjoy a picnic lunch at one of the viewpoints or at the Falls. These mountains are known as ‘The Roof of Africa’ due to their lofty elevation and because of this, can also be very cold. Please make sure to wear warm clothing as temperatures in these mountains can be frigid. After your full day excursion, you will return to Gondar.


Day 5 – Gondar / Addis Ababa – City Tour

Morning fly to Addis Ababa with an afternoon city tour. Fist we visit Mount Entoto, a historical place where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace when he came from Ankober and founded Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. It is situated at an altitude of between 2,600 and 3,100 meters. You will have a magnificent view of the city. Then visit the National Museum. The museum houses the nation’s artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious archaeological findings such as the fossilized remains of early hominids, the most famous of which is “Lucy,” the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. The well-known Lucy is said to be 3.2 million years old. We also visit Trinity cathedral Church. This church is the highest ranking Orthodox cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was built to commemorate Ethiopia’s liberation from Italian occupation and is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia, after the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum. Drive to Mercato and see the largest open air market in Africa. Mercato is known to cover several square miles and employing an estimated 13,000 people in 7,100 business entities. The primary merchandise passing through Merkato is locally-grown agricultural products — most notably coffee. (BD)


Day 6 – Addis Ababa / Lalibela

Fly to Lalibela. Lalibela is the jewel in the crown of Ethiopia with the most famous rock-hewn churches and the scene of so many major religious ceremonies. These churches are both remarkable and beautiful. They were hand-hewn out of solid rock centuries ago and are still actively used by worshipers today. Visiting the churches not only gives the opportunity to learn their history and admire their architecture, it also gives a glimpse into the deep devotion of the members of the Ethiopian Orthodox religion. Among the churches you will visit are Bete Amanuel a 36-foot-high monolith considered by art historians to be the finest and most precisely worked church in Lalibela, possibly because it was the private church of the royal family; Bete Markorios a cave church originally used for secular purposes and thought to be around 1,400 years old; and Bete Giorgis the most majestic and best preserved of all Lalibela’s churches. Known as the eighth wonder of the world, Bete Giorgis is hewn out of solid rock and believed to have been built in either the 12th or 13th century. (BD)


Day 7 – Lalibela – Na’akuto La’ab / Addis Ababa

In the morning you will drive to the Na’akuto La’ab Monastery which is in the highlands outside Lalibela is named after Na’akuto La’ab, King Lalibela’s successor. Crowns, gold-painted drums, crosses, a large painted canvas depicting ancient kings, and an old, illuminated Bible are among the artifacts believed to have belonged to Na’akuto La’ab. Afternoon transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa. (BD)


Day 8 – Depart Addis Ababa

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

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DATES/PRICING/ACCOMMODATIONS

2024
Schduled Departures Dbl Occ Sgl Occ
Jan 09 - Jan 16 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Jan 23 - Jan 30 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Feb 06 - Feb 13 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Feb 20 - Feb 27 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Mar 06 - Mar 13 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Mar 20 - Mar 27 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Apr 03 - Apr 10 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Apr 17 - Apr 24 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
May 01 - May 08 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
May 15 - May 22 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
May 29 - Jun 05 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Jun 12 - Jun 19 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Jun 26 - Jul 03 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Jul 10 - Jul 17 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Jul 24 - Jul 31 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Aug 07 - Aug 14 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Aug 21 - Aug 28 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Sep 06 - Sep 11 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Sep 18 - Sep 25 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Oct 02 - Oct 09 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Oct 16 - Oct 23 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Oct 30 - Nov 06 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Nov 13 - Nov 20 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Nov 27 - Dec 04 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Dec 11 - Dec 18 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
Dec 25 - Jan 01 CAD 7,145 CAD 8,655
* It is possible to depart on this program on any day with minimum 2 passengers
* Ask about special pricing for groups of 6 or more
* Travel must be completed within these seasonal date ranges - split season cost available upon request
* Solo Travel Supplement available upon request
* Supplements may apply for special events and holidays
* If traveling internationally on Ethiopian Airlines, cost reduction of $400 per person (International Ticket Numbers required)

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INCLUSIONS

Inclusions & Highlights:

  • Accommodations in standard, first class or deluxe hotels
  • 7 breakfasts, 7 dinners
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary
  • Entrance fees
  • Local English-speaking guides
  • Internal flights – Addis Ababa / Bahar Dar & Gondar / Addis Ababa / Lalibela /Addis Ababa

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EMAIL US

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