- Travel across Ethiopia from Lalibela to the captivating Addis Ababa and to the islands of Lake Tana
- The convenience of a local guide, a private vehicle and full board
- Azmari evening event in Gondar
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Ethiopia in private
International flight to Addis Ababa
Meet and greet at Bole airport and check in at the hotel. Exploring the capital. Visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral where Haile Selassie, the 'King of Kings' is buried and the National Museum, which houses the remains of Lucy, a 3.2 million years old hominid. Stroll through Mercato, Africa's largest open-air market. Visit Mount Entoto, from where you have a wonderful view of the city below and the fascinating Kiddus Raguel Church.
Addis Ababa - Axum
Transfer to Addis Ababa Airport, flight to Axum and visiting its main sites. Axum was the last of the great civilisations of antiquity to have been discovered and was the land of the Queen of Sheba according to oral tradition. Visit to the Stelae Park, a place of true architectural wonders - giant stone obelisks dating from the 3rd or 4th century AD, and to the complex of the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion. A small nearby chapel is said to house the Ark of the Covenant, stolen from Solomon's Temple by Emperor Menelik I. The archaeological museum features ancient stone panels engraved in Greek, Gu?ez and Sabian. Visit to the Palace of the Queen of Sheba which is considered to be the most important architectural remnant of the Kingdom of Axum.
Axum - Gondar
Fly to Gondar and discover the sites of this medieval city: Fasilides Palace, Iyasu I Palace and the Fasilides Bath, originally built for the royal romps but used nowadays for religious ceremonies. After dinner, head to an 'amari bet' where minstrels perform.
Gondar - Bahir Dar
Visit to Ethiopia's most famous Church: the Debre Berhan Selassie Church, with its cherub-covered ceiling. Then, discover the strange Kuskuam Palace, built by Empress Mentewab, one of the most influential women of the Gondarian Renaissance. After lunch, depart along a lovely road that skirts around Lake Tana along its eastern shore. Sunset view of Lake Tana.
Bahir Dar and Lake Tana
Departure from Bahir Dar quay for a cruise on Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, in which you can visit some of the 30 islands that are home to ancient monasteries. Along the way, see many 'tankwas', the papyrus boats that islanders use to travel from one island to another. Visit the monastery of Ura Kidane Mehret, one of the prettiest on Lake Tana, and the Betre Mariam Monastery. In the afternoon, leaving for the Blue Nile Falls, located in a picturesque landscape in the foothills. The waterfalls are 1,312ft wide, and drop 147ft, leading the inhabitants to call these falls 'Tiss Issat' - the steaming waters.
Bahar Dir - Lalibela
Beautiful mountain road to Gondar. Pass the foot of Mount Guna which soars to 13,123ft above sea level. Before arriving in Lalibela, take a little detour to discover the beautiful church of Genete Mariam with its ancient wall paintings.
Lalibela, the Jerusalem of Coptic Christianity
Discovery of the medieval village of Lalibela, located at an altitude of 8,530ft, and arguably the most impressive of the nine Ethiopian UNESCO World Heritage sites. The 11 churches in Lalibela have only been known to the outside world since the 1960s. They are living places of worship and each one has a different style. Many of these churches have been hewn out of the rock and are connected by a mysterious network of trenches and tunnels. Finally, the climax of the trip: Bete Giyorgis, the most majestic of the site's churches; 49ft high and carved in the shape of a Greek cross. In the late afternoon, head to Torpedo to taste Tej, a type of mead which is a speciality of Lalibela.
Lalibela - Addis Ababa - international return flight
Flight to Addis Ababa. Final stroll in the Ethiopian capital. After a dinner spent watching the most dazzling dances of a host of different Ethiopian ethnic groups, transfer to the airport and return flight. Next-day arrival.
A Rough Idea of Price
- International flights with a scheduled airline
- Airline taxes and fuel surcharge
- Domestic flights Addis Ababa/Axum and Bahir Dar/Addis Ababa
- Double bedroom
- Private transfers and transport with driver
- Full board
- Services of a local escort guide for the duration of the trip
- Site visits as well as admission to the sites
- Our local Concierge service
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