This special tour and travel to the Horn of Africa enables you visit major attractions in Eritrea, Djibouti and Ethiopia. Book this Adventure Tour and explore the great history and colorful culture and great natural wonders of the three courtiers in the Horn of Africa.
TOUR CODE: AAT 1119
DURATION: 17 DAYS/ 16 NIGHTS
SITE: BAHIR DAR, GONDAR, LALIBELA AND AXUM
TRANSPORT: BY AIR & SURFACE
(Daily Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum)
- Discover the amazing Art Deco architecture of Asmara, one of the most charming cities on the African continent.
- Visit the highland town of Keren and its famous camel market and a British War Cemetery
- Travel to the Red Sea coast and evocative Massawa with its Ottoman heritage
- Explore the port city of Djibouti
- Visit Chimneys in Djibouti;
- Explore the lowest place in Africa
- The Dramatic nature of Lake Assale.
- Explore the dramatic nature of the Blue Nile & Tiss Isat Falls
- Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the ancient monasteries Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam
- Visit the Castles of Gondar, also known as Africa’s Camelot
- Visit the splendid vestiges of the fabled Queen Sheba in Axum
- Walk the path of pilgrims to the amazing rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Visit Gheralta Mountains and Trgrai Rock Churches
- Shop the stalls of Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa
- Traditional Ethiopian farewell dinner with “coffee ceremony” and traditional dances of the different ethnic groups.
Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa and fly Asmara
WELCOME TO ETHIOPIA. On arrival in Addis Ababa our representative will meet you at Bole
International Airport. . After Breakfast and refreshment Photographic Tour in Addis Ababa
Including Merkato, main streets and Shero Meda, a popular market for traditional cotton cloths. After lunch transfer to the airport and fly to Asmara.
Day 2: Full day City tour in Asmara
After breakfast Explore beautiful Asmara on a city tour to see many examples of Art Deco architecture dating from the Italian period, and enjoy the perfect year round climate by taking a cappuccino at one of the many outdoor cafes. Overnight Sarina Hotel or similar
Day 3: Keren
Today we leave the capital and head north through the highlands past steep terraces of coffee and orange groves to Keren, set on a plateau at 1392m surrounded by dusty ochre mountains. One of the country's most attractive towns, Keren is also the heart of Eritrea's agricultural community. Visits include Keren’s popular markets, including one for livestock and camels, which attracts traders from a wide area. Overnight Sarina Hotel or similar.
Day 4: Massawa
We continue from Keren to the Red Sea Coast and the city of Massawa. Our leisurely drive will take us through Filfil, home to Eritrea’s last remnant of tropical forest. It forms part of the Semenawai Bahri or ‘Green Belt’ area and, amid the arid starkness of the surrounding landscape, rises up oasis-like before you, cool, lush and verdant. It is also one of the best places in the country to see birds and mammals. There is a good chance of spotting vervet monkeys and hamadryas baboons. Overnight Grand Dahlak Hotel or similar. (BLD)
Day 5: Drive Massawa Asmara
Return to Asmara, with more time to explore the capital upon arrival. Overnight Sunshine Hotel or similar.
Day 6: Fly Asmara - Addis and then fly Addis to Djibouti
After breakfast transfer to Asmara International Airport and fly to Addis Ababa. And then take another flight to Djibouti. Overnight Hotel
Djibouti City is the capital and largest city of Djibouti, located in the coastal region on the Gulf of Tadjoura. Home to around 600,000 inhabitants, the city contains over 60% of the nation's population. The settlement was founded in 1888 by the French on land leased from the ruling Somali and Afar Sultans. During the ensuing period, it served as the capital of French Somaliland and its successor the French Territory of the Afars and Issas. Under its veneer of urban bustle, the city remains a down-to-earth place. Overnight in Djibouti City.
Day 7 Djibouti City – Dikhil – Lake Abbé
In the morning we’ll drive to Lake Abbé. The drive passes The Grand Bara and Petit Barra deserts. In Dikhil there will be a stop for lunch before arriving at Lake Abbe. Situated in the middle of the hot and hellish Afar Depression, Lake Abbe stretches six miles in width and is covered in clusters of massive, steam-blasting limestone chimneys. You will have an overnight stay at the Tourist Camp to see the amazing scenery during sunset. The Touristic Camp is a settlement of traditional Afar huts which are very basic.
Day 8 Lake Abbé – Vulcano – Lake Assal – Tadjura
There will be an early wake up to see the sunrise. Lake Abbé has beautiful scenery full of chimneys. During a walking tour to the Lake, you will also see nomadic people, Flamingos and Hot Springs. The geology of this area is very interesting. We drive to Lake Assal, the lowest point in Africa. On our way, we also visit the panoramic view of Canyon Adaleh and the panoramic view of Goubet. In Lake Assal the big salt field makes you feel like walking in nowhere land. Lake Assal is the lowest point in Africa (third lowest in the world), and the water is the saltiest in Africa (10 times as salty as the ocean, and the second saltiest in the world). This place is absolutely magnificent. Then after drive to Tadjourah town and a bit further to the beach Overnight Beach Hotel in Tadjura
Day 9: Tadjourah – Djbouti (175 km – Addis Ababa
Spend some time relaxing at the red sea beach then after drive back to the city for Late Lunch. Then make a city tour of Djibouti including Djibouti downtown European quarter, the Market in African quarter, the train station and the ports of Djibouti. Then after transfer to Djibouti Airport for flight back to Addis Ababa. ET 365 departs Djibouti at 7:00 PM and arrives in Addis Ababa at 8:30 PM.
Overnight Hotel in Addis Ababa
Day 10: Fly Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls
After breakfast fly to Bahir Dar, a small town on the southern shore of Lake Tana. The lake is the source of the Blue Nile and the largest lake in Ethiopia. Thirty of its thirty-seven islands host churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest. After refreshment, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two of the most accessible and representative monasteries, Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Maryam, which still serve their original function. In the afternoon, take the short walk to the best viewing point of the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tiss Isat or 'Smoke of Fire’.
Day 11: Drive to Gondar
On the 180 km long drive to Gondar you experience a typical Ethiopian-African landscape - wide grazing land, hilly mountains and numerous farmlands. Visit the castles and churches built by emperor Fassiledes and his descendants, also known as Africa’s Camelot. Later precede to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church - one of the World’s heritage sights. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with scenes of biblical lore and medieval history.
Day 12: Fly Lalibela
After breakfast transfer to the airport and flight to Lalibela. The Lalibela churches are included in the World Heritage List since 1978. Afternoon visit of the first group of six churches which lie in rock cradles one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mika'el, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem, the largest one, is built like a Greek temple and its stone floor is so polished by the countless numbers of visitors that it reflects shafts of light from apertures in the walls high above. In a corner are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Day 13: In Lalibela
After breakfast take a mule ride to the 13th century rock hewn monastery of Asheten Mariam. The church is situated on the top of a mountain at an altitude of 3150 metres. The roundtrip takes about 4 hours. We return to Lalibela for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the other groups of rock churches. Bet Giyorgis, the most elegant church, lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa'el.
Day 14: Fly Axum
After breakfast fly to Axum. Visit the historical and archaeological sites of Axum. The ancient city marks the location of 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: the archaeological museum, the monolithic steles and obelisks, the tombs of king Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, the legendary bath of Queen Sheba and the ruins of her palace. The 16th century cathedral St. Mary of Zion, the holiest church in Ethiopia, is said to host the original Ark of the Covenant. The churches and monasteries of Axum are richly endowed with icons and historical crowns of ancient emperors.
Day 15: Drive to Gheralta
After breakfast we drive through the historical town of Adwa, a major African battlefield, where Emperior Minilic II defeated the Italian army on 1st March 1896 thereby ensuring that his Empire would be the only African state to enter the 20th centuryas a fully independent entity Visit the 5th century B.C. ruins of Yeha temple - a large pre-Christian temple consisting of a single oblong chamber. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing building in Ethiopia. You will also visit the 6th century AD church of Aba Afse close by. Overnight Gheralta Lodge
Day 16: Drive to Mekle Visiting the Tigray Rock Churches.
This day is a time to visit the wonderful rock churches of Tigray. The landscape is extraordinary: some of the nearby churches in the area. There are a lot of Table Mountains (Ambas) and other fantastic rocky formations. You will visit the churches of Mariam Dugum Selassie and Abreha We Atsebha, then after drive to Mekle for an overnight stay at Axum Hotel
Day 17: Fly to Addis Ababa, departure
After breakfast fly to Addis Ababa. Souvenir shopping and in the evening fare well dinner party, with dances from different ethnic groups, in a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. Afterwards transfer to the airport for flight home.
We respect your personal preference on what is to be included and not included on the tour cost.
But as a standard included in our given prices are meet and greet at airport, All accommodation, Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis, Meals out of Addis, on full board basis, All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages, All ground transportation according to the itinerary and Guide service.
International flights, Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa , Any drinks including local non-alcoholic beverage and alcoholic drinks, Video filming and photography fees, Incidental meals, snacks and drinks and Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
Visa and Immigration Requirements
Most nationals require a visa for entry into Ethiopia. The easiest way to get Ethiopian Visa is to get it on line thttps://www.evisa.gov.et/ . Again visa can be obtained at Ethiopia’s diplomatic missions overseas.. The last option is to get visa on arrival at Bole International Airport; nationals of 33 countries are now allowed to receive their tourist visas on arrival in Ethiopia at the regular charge. The list includes Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greek, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Thailand, citizens of United Kingdom and United States.
How to get in to Ethiopia
Addis Ababa is a major hub for international airlines. Ethiopian Airlines, the national airline of Ethiopia, provides excellent links with East, West and South Africa, Europe and the Middle East, with connections to America and the Far East. The national airline also offers domestic services to the major towns in Ethiopia, as well as most regional centers. All international services arrive at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa. Other airlines serving Ethiopia include: Kenya Airways, Emirates, Egyptian, Alitalia, British Airways, Lufthansa, Saudi, Aeroflot, Yemeni, and Turkish Airways.
Luggage on tour
your luggage should not exceed 20kgs (44lbs). One large suitcase/rucksack, and one small hand luggage rucksack is acceptable. Soft rolling bag (we usually use a 22 inch roll aboard) are recommended.
Weather and Climate
There are two seasons: the dry season prevails from October through May; the wet season runs from June to September.
Generally except for June, July and August, most part of Ethiopia will be sunny and pleasant temperature to travel around.
When you travel to the north you are staying in higher altitude towns (Example Addis Ababa, Gondar, and Lalibela) the daily average Temperature is from 20 – 25 degrees and the temperature drops quite rapidly towards sunset. Evenings are fairly cold and you are advised to bring something warm for the evenings, like a sweater or warm Jacket.
Those travelling to the Southern Omo Valley of Ethiopia, the weather of this region will be sunny, hot and dry; the average temperatures is about 30 degrees. During the day the sun is strong. Shorts, Hats, sun glasses, sun creams, light cotton summer clothes and layers of clothes are recommended. Although the daytime temperatures are not very high, the sun is strong and people coming pale and pasty from a European winter should be careful of sunburn -long sleeved shirts may be advisable.
Travelers are advised to travel with American Dollar or Euro. Australian dollar cannot be exchanged in Ethiopia. There is ATM machine In Most of the Regions and one can withdraw money Visa or Master Card. Banks are places to exchange money.
Hotel rooms are basic but generally clean with en suite toilet and bath facilities (usually shower only). In many places hotel accommodation is limited; we utilize the best tourist class properties available. Hotel in Addis is 3-star international standard.
We will be using 4WD Land Cruisers, 4WD mini buses or Coaster buses depending on the conditions of the roads and the size of the group. All our vehicles are Air- conditioned.
For internal flights, we use the national airline Ethiopian Air lines, which offer excellent domestic services to the major towns in Ethiopia.
Handshaking is the usual mode of greeting, although friends or families who have not seen each other for some time will kiss on each cheek. (Displays of sexual intimacy, kissing or hugging, will arouse embarrassment among most Ethiopians.) Usually a handshake greeting is accompanied by a pleasant discussion on personal matters before getting down to business. The offer of tea or coffee is normal, and time is not that important. Smoking is not popular amongst traditional people, or in front of priests. Shoes are often taken off on entering churches, and always on entering mosques.
Despite years of the civil wars in the previous regime, in terms of crime and robbers, Ethiopia is still a very safe country to visit, and Addis Ababa is still one of the safest capitals in Africa. Visitors should of course take the usual precautions, not carry large amounts of money with them and leave particularly valuable items with hotel reception. Both men and women visitors should be careful about hand and money bags, keeping them close at hand in crowded places. Like everywhere else, pick pockets and snatch thieves like to create some kind of diversion before making their move, so visitors should walk purposefully and be cautious about sudden introductions in the street.
- Meet and greet at airport
- All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
- Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis
- Meals out of Addis, on full board basis including local non-alcoholic beverage
- All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages.
- All transfers according to the itinerary.
- All Ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver.
- Professional English speaking Tour Guide accompanying throughout the trip.
- Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
- Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two monasteries and churches on the islands of Lake Tana
- Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
- A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
- Government taxes
Price doesn’t include
- International flights
- Domestic Flights
- Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
- Alcoholic drinks
- Video filming and photography fees
- Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
- Tips and items of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
- All what is not included in the list above