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Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa
WELCOME TO ETHIOPIA. On arrival in Addis Ababa our representative will meet you at Bole International Airport. After transfer to your hotel an overview of the program will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where the 3,6 million year old skeletal remains of Lucy rest, which were discovered in 1974. Proceed to the Holy Trinity Cathedral and Mount Entoto, which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers a panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight in 4-star hotel
Day 2: 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, visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tiss Isat or 'Smoke of Fire. The Fall is in the small town of Tiss Abay, 30 Kms from Bahir Dar and then walk about 20-30 minutes to reach the best viewpoint of the falls.
Day 3: Drive to Gondar
On the 180 km long drive to Gondar you experience a typical Ethiopian- landscape - wide grazing land, hilly mountains and numerous farmlands. Visit the castles and churches built by emperor Fassiledes and his descendants later proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church - one of the Worlds heritage sights. Its walls and ceilings are decorated with scenes of biblical lore and medieval history.
Day 4: Excursion to Simien Mountains
After early breakfast we drive from Gondar to Debark, the head quarter of the Simien Mountain National Park. We proceed to Sankaber where we walk around enjoying endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lamergeyer. Afternoon drive back to Gondar.
Day 5: Fly Axum
After breakfast fly to Axum. After transfer to the hotel and refreshment, visit the historical and archaeological sites of Axum. The ancient city marks 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 magnificent 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 6: Fly Lalibela
After breakfast transfer to the airport and flight to Lalibela. The town of Lalibela, lies among the Lasta Mountains at 2630 m above sea level and remains until today a place of pilgrim and devotion for Ethiopian Christians. The construction of the eleven rock-hewn churches is attributed to king Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty. Some of the 12th century churches are monolithic, carved from a sloping mass of red volcanic scoria under laid by dark grey basalt and interconnected by a maze of tunnels and passages with openings to hermit caves and catacombs. Some are of the basilica type, having archaic features and imitating architectural elements from earlier periods, yet they differ in design and style. Two are decorated with interesting wall paintings and carved figures. 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 7: 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 meters. 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 8: Fly to Addis Ababa then Drive to Lake Langano
After breakfast you check in to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Meet vehicle and drive heading south for Lake Langano. En route stop at Zeway town and visit the lake and then continue driving to Lake Langano .
Day 9: Drive Arba Minch
Drive to Arba Minch via Wolayta Sodo. En route visit Chencha and the Dorze village, high in the mountains north of Arba Minch. The Dorze are well known as master weavers and live in interesting igloo-shaped houses. Arba Minch - meaning 'Forty Springs' in Amharic - takes its name from the bubbling streams that cover the forest and the flats of the town.
Day 10: Boat Trip on Lake Chamo then drive to Jinka
After breakfast take a boat trip on Lake Chamo, where you can spot many hippos and spectacular concentrations of giant crocodiles. The water birds are great the scenery is unforgettable. Locals fish here in traditional fishing boats. Then after drive to Konso where you visit the Konso people, known for colorful dresses and unusually engraved wooden statues, used as grave markers. Continue along impressive land terracing to the village of the Woito people, near the Woito river. On the way to Jinka stop at the Key Afer Market (Thursday is market day), a tribal market, where different ethnic groups gather to sell and buy their agricultural products.
Day 11: Jinka Mursi - Jinka - Turmi
After breakfast leave Jinka and drive to the Mursi village to visit and appreciate the very attractive culture of the Mursi tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Then drive back to Jinka and continue to Turmi through Dimeka to visit the Hamer people and their village. Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village.
Day 12: In Turmi
After breakfast drive to Karo viilage and visit the Karo people in the afternoon visit the hammer village. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare. Hamers are considered to be masters of body decoration.
Day 13: Turmi - Yabello
Drive to Yabello visiting the Arbore and the Tsemay people en route. After lunch stop at Konso, continue to the region of Oromo Borena and visit their village, which are well known in cattle rearing. From their deep singing well they carry water to their cattle by forming a long line of people and passing on the buckets while singing.
Day 14: Yabello Awassa
Drive from Yabello to Awassa through the beautiful Sidamo Mountains and wide coffee plantations. In the late afternoon walk by the side of Lake Awassa
Day 15: Awassa - Addis Ababa, Departure
Drive back to Addis along the Great Rift Valley lakes. Visit the fish market in Awassa, where local people buy fish from the fisher men. En route we stop on the viewing points of Lake Shala, Abyta and Langano. Evening there will be a farewell dinner party in a traditional Ethiopian restaurant with cultural dances from the different ethnic groups. Afterwards transfer to the airport for departure.
- Price per person (on the basis of 2 travellers) = US $ 3,150
- Price per person (on the basis of 3 travellers) = US $ 2,840
- Price per person (on the basis of 4 travellers) = US $ 2,730
- Single room supplement = US $ 385
- Plus domestic flights ca. US $ 300
- Special qualified guide as well as mandatory local guide and scout fees in parks and villages
- 4-star hotel in Addis Ababa and the best available hotels outside of Addis Ababa
- All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
- Meals in Addis, on bed and breakfast basis
- Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
- Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and music
- All entrance fees at sites, churches, parks and villages
- All transfers and visits in Addis Ababa using mini-bus according to the itinerary
- All ground transportation including insurance, fuel and all costs of the driver
- Boat trip
- Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
- Government taxes
Price doesnt include
- International flights
- Lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa
- Any kind of drinks, alcoholic or non-alcoholic
- Video filming and photographing 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