Lalibela,Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar, Harar 12 Days

Lalibela,Axum, Gondar, Bahir Dar, Harar

Discover Semien Mountains and Historic Routes!


Program: Historic Routes /Northern Ethiopia & Awash, Abijata – Shalla Lakes National Park

Tour Code: History 27

Duration: 11 Nights (12 Days)

Transportation: Air & Land

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour Ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1: Arrive to Addis Ababa & City tour of Addis Ababa

Morning; arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport & meet with us then transfer to your hotel and then we will drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s replica Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkatothe largest open market in Africa.  Overnight – hotel - Addis

Day 2: Addis – Bahir Dar Monasteries on Lake Tana & Blue Nile

After early breakfast; fly from Addis to Bahir Dar and drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32 km rough road) to visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Issat means in Amharic: 'Smoke of Fire'. Much of the water is diverted for Hydro electric Generation plant but it is still worth visiting for remaining waterfalls, trekking around and to see a Portuguese Bridge (17 Century) and the country side. The area around the waterfall is amazingly fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which Injera, the national bread, is made). After the fall, return to Bahir Dar & make city tour of Bahir Dar which includes: market where you can find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, and Woito Basket market.

Afternoon; take a chartered fast and safe boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 19 century). You will visit the most representative of the monasteries on the lake, still serving their original function: Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam (in Zeghie Peninsula), Kibran Church (prohibited for women) & Entos Eyesus; Overnight – Hotel  – Bahir Dar

Day 3: the Castles of Gondar, Jews Village & Simien Mountains National park

After breakfast; drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar (187 km asphalt road). Visit the Castles of emperor Fassiladas, his swimming pool, the empress Minitab’s Palace, the Banquet Room of Emperor Bakaffa… the 17 century church of Debre Birhan Sillassie (Light of Trinity). After Lunch at Goha Hotel, drive to the Semien Mountains National Park (138 km). On the way near the town of Gondar; short visit of Woleka – a place of the Felasha or the black Jewish people for their synagogue and black pottery shop. Jews have amazing histories in Ethiopia even before the time of Gonderine Civilization (17-19 century).The history of the Original Ark of the Covenant, supposed to be in Axum now is one to mention. Then continue driving to Debark (101 km from Gondar). At Debark; we collect entrance tickets and a scout for the park. After Debark; drive to Semien Mountains National Park (until Chennek). At Chennek, you will have a best chance to see the endemic Walia Ibex.   On the way; appreciate the alluring chained mountains of the Simien Park and Gelada baboons feeding on the ground at many places. Overnight- camping – Chennek (in the heart of the park)

Day 4:  Simien Mountains National Park & drive to Axum

After Breakfast; drive back to Debark and to Axum (about 6-7hrs drive). Photo stops on the way lunch in the town of Shire( at Gebar Shire Hotel) & proceed to Axum – Overnight - Hotel  - Axum

Day 5: the birth Place of Ethiopian History

Morning; fly from Gondar to Axum and explore the city of Axum. Axum is core point of the ancient Ethiopian history. The attractions of Axum include: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles, the tombs of King Kaleb, and the legendary Bath and the ruins of ancient palace of the Queen of Sheba, St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Ark of the Covenant. Almost all  Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and some scholars believe firmly that the Ark of the covenant, the original Ark - made by  God & given to prophet Moses then to Israelites is to be rested for centuries here in Axum,  at the chapel in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fassiladas’ Castle of Axum. There is a special festival on every 21 November (Ethiopian Calendar) or on about 30 November in European Calendar to glorify its present. The festival is known as Hidar Tsion/ Zion. Overnight – at Yeha hotel or similar – Axum

Day 6: Lalibela Churches  

Morning, fly from Axum to Lalibela and after lunch, Visit the first group of six churches: 1.Bet Golgotha, 2.Bet Mikael, 3.Bet Mariam, 4.Bet Meskel, 5.Bet Danaghel and 6.Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock hewn church in the world, built like a Greek temple! In a corner there are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overnight – Hotel - Lalibela

Day 7: 2nd group of Rock Hewn Churches - Lalibela

Early morning, Climb Asheten Mariam (optional) for a panoramic view of the region and a mountain Church named Asheten. After breathing on the top (more than 3000 m), descend down to Lalibela (at 2630m above sea level), one of the most fascinating historical sites of Ethiopia. After lunch and a short siesta, continue exploring the fascinating churches (Second group): 7.Bete Amanuel, 8.Bete Marqorewos, 9.Bete Abba Libanos, 10.Bete Gabriel -Rufael and 11. Bet Giyorgis is the most elegant of all Lalibela churches, which lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the town on a sloping rock terrace. Also visit Nakuto Làabe Cave Church (5km from Lalibela).  Overnight – at Roha or similar (3*) - Lalibela

Lalibela: It is in the wonderland of Lalibela where at the end of the 12th and the beginning of the 13th century King Lalibela of the Zagwe dynasty built a series of rock-hewn churches. All physically praised from the rock in which they stand, resulting in towering buildings that seem absolutely superhuman in scale of workmanship and concept. It is thought to have around 1000 of such rock-hewn churches in Northern Ethiopia, but there is no other site like Lalibela, where over 11 of them are in walking distance from each other. These churches are so magic that they are referred to the “Eighth wonder of the world”. The churches in Lalibela are divided into two groups by the river Jordan.

Day 8: Lalibela - Addis –Lake Langano Resort sites

Fly from Lalibela to Addis Ababa and drive to Langano (200 km asphalt Road). Lunch at Dreamland Hotel – Debre Zeit and continue to part of the Great Rift Valley System Lakes:  Shalla – Abijata Lakes National Park. Visit the Ostrich Farm, the hot spring water at Lake Shalla and different species of Aquatic birds like the Pink Flamingos in Lake Abijata.  Lake Abijata is a saline lake so algae are plenty here. Abijata Lake is known in sheltering innumerable pink flamingos.  Lake Langano - is also a fresh breath taking atmosphere.  The lake with its beautiful white sand beach is bilharzias and crocodile free. Swimming, trekking and bird watching in the forest are possible. Overnight – at r – Langano

Day 9: Langano – Awash National Park

Drive to Awash National Park (277km modern asphalt road). Lunch in Nazareth (also called as Adama) - possibly at Safari Lodge. After lunch; proceed to Awash National Park and stopover at Lake Beseka (Nearby the park) for several birdlife. Game view after having entrance tickets at the head office of the Awash National Park. Sites to be visited: Kudu Valley, the hot springs (Filwuha), Illala Sala (Oryx) plains, and Awash River Falls. Overnight – at Awash Falls Lodge –Awash Park or Genet hotel – Awash Sebat 

Day 10: The walled city of Harar & the Hyena Man show

Early morning; game view in the Awash National Park and drive from Awash t to Harar (300km from Awash Park) and after lunch; visit the walled city of Harar. In the evening, attend the most astonishing and bizarre Hyena Man show. That Man feeds as many as 30 hyenas with his bare hands and with a wooden steak- holding by his mouth. If you feel courageous and no fear at all, you can try it with no any harm. Hyenas in Harar are considered as domestic dogs that anybody has no hesitation to fear them. Overnight –  Hotel    - Harar

Day 11: Babile and the Valley of Marvels

Morning; drive from Harar to Babile on the Jijiga Road. In the town of Babile, there is e General Market on every Saturday & Camel Market on every Monday. Visit the market if your visiting schedule coincides with the market day otherwise proceed to the Valley of Marvels. The most visited one is the rock formation of Dakata Rock, sited at about 3 km from the town of Babile. A side trip to visit the Elephant sanctuary nearby Babile (only if road condition to the Elephant site becomes good on the day of visit). Drive back to Harar for lunch and drive about 51km for Dire Dawa. The main attraction of Dire Dawa known, also called Queen City of the Rift Valley is: Taiwan Market, the stimulant leaf knows as "Chat” Market and the big market place which is frequented by Oromo, Somali Issa and Afar people. Overnight –  Hotel  –Dire Dawa

Day 12:  Laga Oda Rock Paintings – Addis – Departure   

Morning drive to Laga Oda Rock painting site (32 km from Dire Dawa) & discover the prehistoric cave paintings (dated back 700 BC). Lunch in Dire Dawa and fly to Addis. If your departure is in the night time, we will take you to ethnical live dance club to observe different cultural dances (Habesha Cultural Restaurant or Yod Abyssinia Restaurant).

Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on  request

Action Tours

Tour Company,Addis Ababa,Ethiopia

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