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Ancient Kingdom Tour

ETHIOPIA – LAND OF ORIGINS

Tour - Cultural and Historical Tour Ethiopia

Duration - 11 Nights and 13 Days.

Transportation - Drive, Flight and Boat ride.

Accommodation - 4* Hotel in Addis Ababa and 3* hotels outside Addis Ababa

 

Trip Highlights:

This adventure begins in the Northern Tier of the country, starting in Bahir Dar, the source of the Nile, continuing to the ancient city of Gondor, often described as the Camelot of African. From there our journey takes us to the Simien Mountains to enjoy the majestic scenery and hike among the gelada baboon and other wildlife of this World Heritage Site. We descend onto Axum and its archeological treasures, the beginning of several days of discovery in Tigray’s Open Air Museum. Finally we arrive in Lalibela, and its famous rock churches – the fourth Unesco World Heritage Site of this expedition. We explore the interplay of religion and civilization, the role of architecture and how kings used it to legitimize their reigns, and the cultural influences of those eras and how they continue to today.

 

DAY 1: DEPARTURE FROM YOUR COUNTRY

DAY 2: ARRIVAL AND CITY TOUR OF ADDIS ABABA

On arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfer to your Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day we visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeleton was discovered in 1974. We also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy TrinityCathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis.

Overnight Capital Hotel and Spa (www.capitalhotelandspa.com) or Similar

 DAY 3: BAHIRDAR  

Early morning flight to Bahir Dar and then a drive to the small town of Tiss Abay to visit to the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or 'Smoke of Fire'. The falls throws up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometre away. Still worth the visit though much of the water has been diverted to power hydroelectric generators, the surrounding area is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and teff, which injera, the national bread, is made from. After lunch, back to Bahir Dar, where we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit ancient monasteries. We will visit two of the most accessible and representative of the monasteries, still serving their original function, Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam.

Overnight Kuriftu Resort (www.kurifturesortandspa.com) or Similar

DAY 4: GONDAR, CAMELOT OF AFRICA 

 

On our drive (180km) to this ancient Imperial city, we travel through a fertile landscape of wide open fields of a typical African tableau and then undulating farmland. The town was once the capital of Ethiopia, founded in 1635 by Emperor Fasilides, who built a palace and seven churches. The subsequent five emperors built their own respective palaces. Referred to as the Camelot of Africa, we visit the royal enclosure containing six castles, a complex network of connecting tunnels and raised walkways. Nearby is the Debre Birhan Selassie church with its sensational angelic ceiling and the bathhouse of Fasil where thousands of Ethiopians celebrate the Timkat festival every January.

Overnight Goha Hotel (www.gohahotel.com) or Similar   

DAY 5: SIMIEN MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK

After breakfast, we begin our drive to Debark (100 Km from Gondar), and the headquarters of Simien Mountains National Park. There, we are joined by our trekking scout and local guide and continue on to the Lodge. In the afternoon, we take a three to four hour trek to explore the beauty of this mountain range. Along the way we should spot troops of the endemic Gelada Baboon and see birdlife including the giant Lammergeyer.

Overnight in Simien Lodge (www.simiens.com) or Similar

 

DAY 6: ROAD ONTO AXUM

We continue our drive (280kms) through the mountain range enjoying the extraordinary scenery of the Simiens and later the Tekeze Gorge. The road descends from a height of 3100 meters above sealevel down hairpin turns to only 1400 meters in just 40kms! We drive through small villages dotted between mountain massifs where people eke out an existence in this unforgiving countryside.The drive continues through the Tekeze valley and onto Axum in the north.

Overnight Yeha Hotel (www.yehahotelaxum.com) or Similar

DAY 7: AXUM; HISTORICAL AND ARCAEOLOGICAL WONDERS  

The city is the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the Kingdom of Axum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. The archaeological and historical attractions in Axum include: monolithic steles or obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, and the legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba, and the ruins of her ancient palace. We visit the new and the old Cathedral of St Mary of Tsion and the sanctuary that houses the original Arc of the Covenant. The older of the two cathedrals, built in the 16th century, is believed to be built on an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia.

Overnight Yeha Hotel (www.yehahotelaxum.com) or Similar 

DAY 8: GHERALTA RANGE

We visit the historical town of Adwa, where in the decisive battle of 1896 the Ethiopian army under the Emperor Menelik 11 defeated the Italians and crushed their goal to colonize Ethiopia. Then on to Yeha, a small village where we find the 5th century B.C ruins of a large pre-christian temple, believed to be the oldest standing building in Ethiopia. Also on the temple grounds is the 6th century A.D church of Aba Aftse, dedicated to one of the nine saints who migrated from Syria to worship christianity. 

Overnight Gheralta Lodge (www.gheraltalodgetigrai.com) or similar   

 

 DAY 9: GHERALTA AND ONTO MEKELLE

The Gheralta Range is a treasure trove of rock churches carved into the sandstone buttes which make up this extraordinary landscape. In the morning, we hike for 40 minutes to the top of an escarpment where we find the church of Debretsion; its domes and the wall panels are abundantly decorated with fine paintings of saints and apostles. After lunch, we visit the rock church of Abraha Atsbeha, dedicated to twin kings in the Axumite dynasty, who converted to christianity in the 4th century. Then on to Mekelle, stopping in the town of Werkro to view the rock church of Wekro Cherkos.

 Overnight Axum Hotel(www.axumhotels.com) or similar

 

DAY 10: DAY DRIVE TO LALIBELA

After a day’s drive through the Tigray landscape, you will have abundant evidence why Ethiopia is the most mountainous country in all of Africa. Along with the magnificent scenery, we’ll visit  Lake Ashenge, a good spot for birding.

Overnight Mountain View Hotel ( www.mountainviewhotel.com) or Similar

 

DAY 11: LALIBELA

Full day of sightseeing in Lalibela, designated a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1978. King Lalibela commissioned the construction of the 11 rock churches in the center of town to fulfill his dream of a New Jerusalem. There are no less than 1000 churches in the Lasta Region of Lalibela, some hidden in enormous caves, but it iss exceptional to find 11 churches of such master craftsmanship in one locale. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are oftenreferred to as the "Eighth Wonder of the World". Overnight Mountain view Hotel ( www.mountainviewhotel.com) or Similar 

DAY 12: LALIBELA

We start the day with a morning excursion by mule to Asheton Mariam, a mountaintop church with a panoramic view of the Lasta Region.  In the afternoon, we continue the expedition of 11 of the rock churches in Lalibela.

Overnight mountains view Hotel(www.mountainviewhotel.com) or Similar

 

DAY 13: ADDIS ABABA AND DEPARTURE

In the morning transfer to the Airport and fly back to Addis and continue continue to the Merkato Outdoor Market. In the evening, enjoy a “farewell dinner” where we will taste various national dishes, watch dances of various ethnic groups of Ethiopia. A traditional coffee ceremony will also be served. We will then be transferred to the airport for our departure flight.

 What’s Included: -

  • Meet and greet at airport.
  • All accommodation based on Twin room occupancy.-
  • Three Meals in a day with soft drinks and bottled purified water.
  • All entrance fees.  
  • All transfers and visits according to the itinerary.
  • All ground transportation based on late model vehicles
  • Local Guide in each sites and scout fees in parks mandatory.
  • English Speaking Guide throughout the trip on request.
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the Monasteries.
  • Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and Music
  • Government taxes- Porterage fees  

Extras you pay for:

  • International and Domestic flights
  • Any kind of Alcoholic Drinks.
  • Video filming and photography fees.
  • Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc

 

 Contact Us :

SiyaGo Online Services PLC
Head office: Addis Ababa,
Country : Ethiopia
Phone: +251 118 681 566

            +251 92 990 6239            
E-mail: contact@siyago.com