Travel Sudan - 10 Days
Sudan, Meroe - Naga and Mussawarat
Program: Ethiopia – Sudan
Tour Code: Sudan 02
Duration: 9 nights (10 days)
Transportation: Air and Land
Tour Starts: Addis Ababa
Tour Ends: Khartoum
Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa: Arrive at Bole International Airport & meet with us, transfer and check-in at Jupiter International Hotel.
Then City tour of Addis Ababa: driving 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 Merkato – the largest open market in Africa. Overnight – At chosen hotel– Addis Ababa
Day 2: Tis Issat of the Blue Nile and Monasteries on Lake Tana: After breakfast; fly from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar then drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32km rough road) to visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Issat means in Amharic: 'Smoke of Fire'. It is worth visiting for the waterfalls, walking around, a Portuguese Bridge (17 Century) as well as 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, our national bread, is made). On the way after the Blue Nile, visit the market of Bahir Dar where you can find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, and Woito Basket market.
After lunch; take a chartered boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 19 century). You will visit only the most accessible and 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. After lunch, visit the hill of Bezawit (roughly 5km after Gojjam – Gondar border Bridge). At this point, you will overlook the Palace of Emperor Haile SellassieI( entering is prohibited), the source of the Blue Nile- leaving the Lake Tana, panoramic view of Bahir Dar and the full sunset. Overnight – at chosen hotel /lodge – Bahir Dar
Day 3: the Castles of Gondar, Debre Birhan Church & Jews Village: 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 Silassie (Light of Trinity).
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 history 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. Overnight – at chosen hotel - Gonder
Day 4: The City of Axum: After breakfast, fly from Gondar to Axum and visit – Obelisks park (the stelae field), Archaeological Museum, Tombs of King Kaleb, King Basen and King Gebre Meskal, Bath of Queen of Sheba (Mai Shum); ruins of Palace of Queen of Sheba, Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion and Sanctuary Chapel beside, Coronation yard and Aba Pantaleon Monastery – founded on a hill top. Overnight – at chosen – Axum
Day 5: Lalibela Churches: Morning, fly from Axum to Lalibela and visit the first & 2nd group of 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. 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 chosen - Lalibela
Day 6: Lalibela – Addis: Fly back to Addis Ababa & visit Ethnological Museum,-Holy Trinity Cathedral,-Yekatit 12 Monument / Derg Monument. Dinner at best national restaurant with live multi tribal dances (Habesha Restaurant or Yod Abyssinia restaurant). Overnight – at chosen hotel– Addis Ababa
Day 7: Sudan - The Hidden Treasures of Meroe: Depart Addis Ababa and arrival at Khartoum airport and we depart northward. After passing the last stretches of Khartoum, we drive through a desert area characterized by granite rocky hills. On arrival transfer to Meroe and visit the royal city. The excavations confirm that the town of Meroe used to cover a large area and the royal city was located in a central position, surrounded by suburbs and a boundary wall. Most of the area where the city is located, formed by many small hills covered by red clay fragments, has still to be excavated by the archaeologists. Overnight - tented camp – Meroe
After about 2h30 drive, we reach the site of Naga, located about 30 km to the east of the Nile. It is one of the two centres that developed during the Meroitic period. In Naga, in a typical Saharan environment with rocks and sand, we find a temple dedicated to Apedemak (1st century A.D.): a wonderful building with bas-relief decorations depicting the god with a lion’s head, the Pharaoh, noblemen and several ritual images.
A few metres away there is a small and odd construction with arches and columns, named "kiosk", in which we can notice Egyptian, Roman and Greek styles, all at the same time. Not far away we reach another temple dedicated to Amon with many statues of rams and beautiful gates decorated with bas-reliefs.
We then go to Mussawarat, not far away from Naga. This settlement is located in a beautiful valley crowned by hills. Here the ruins of a very big temple are visible; it once played an exceptional important role. Its main characteristic, the Great Enclosure, is made by many constructions and boundary walls which surround a temple built in the 1st century A.D. The large number of elephants represented on these walls makes you think that this animal used to have an important role in this area. Beyond the big wadi there is another temple - restored by a German archaeological mission - dedicated to the god Apedemak. Picnic in the area. We return to the Meroe. Overnight - tented camp – Meroe
Day 9: Meroe – Khartoum: The Royal necropolis of Meroe is located at about 3km from the Nile on some hills covered by yellow sand dunes. Several pyramids stand out with their sharp shapes against the clear sky. Each one has its own funerary chapel with the walls fully decorated with bas-reliefs that show the King’s life and offers to the gods. Lunch at Meroe Camp. In the afternoon return to Khartoum. Overnight - at chosen hotel - Khartoum
Day 10: Meroe – Khartoum: Breakfast at the hotel and then we start the Khartoum town tour. We visit the Archaeological Museum that, besides many beautiful objects, contains two beautiful temples rescued by UNESCO and moved from the Lake Nasser area, when it was flooded by the water. We visit the Khalifa’s House Museum and the Mahdi’t tomb from outside. We also visit the Ethnographical Museum. Lunch in a local restaurant. We reach Omdurman, the old capital of Sudan, where we visit the interesting and colourful souk. Transfer to the airport for departure (End of Tour)
Notice: This itinerary can be amended upon request