Duration 15 days and 14 Nights
Morning after breakfast meet with Simien Land Tours staffs, at your preferred departure point and time, at 7.00 am, and start drive to northward passing through the Entoto hills, after driving hundred km detour to visit the 13th century monastery of DEBRE LIBANOS established by Teklehaymanot and a visit to the 16th century bridge of Portuguese. Continue drive and pass through the amazing Blue Nile gorge, lunch break at Debre Markos, continue to drive through the beautiful flat farming land late afternoon arrival at Bahirdar, overnight hotel
The morning after breakfast boat cruise on this beautiful highland lake to see the monastery church of the beautifully decorated Ura Kidanmihret, and Azwa Mariam that allows both genders. Under the thatched roof of the monastery, there are some distinctive colorful frescoes of religious scenes an impressive display of illuminated bibles written in “Geez” the religious language from which Amharic is derived then afternoon will take a scenic drive of 32 km to the little town of Tiss Abay and walk for about twenty minutes to visit the famous Blue Nile Falls. The falls is locally known as Tiss Isat meaning, “Water that smoke”. Those who may wish to descend to the base of the falls must be climb back to the other side and cross the Blue Nile in a boat in-order to back to the point of departure, overnight hotel.
After breakfast drive to Gonder 180 km to conduct tour of Gonder known as the “Camelot” of Africa, nestled in the foothills of the breathtaking Semien Mountains National Park in the northwestern part of the country was the 17th and 18th century capital city of Ethiopia, which was founded by Emperors Fasiladas (1632 – 1667) and was home to a number of emperors & warlords, curtsies and kings who built several castles and palaces around the area. Visit the oldest and the most impressive Gonderine structure, the magnificent castle compound including the two storied palace of emperor Fasiladas, built of roughly hewn brown basalt stone held together with mortar, the fantastically decorated Debre Brehan Silassie Church (light of Trinity),the bath (now baptismal place during Ethiopian epiphany, January 19) of king Fasiladas and the ruined palace of Queen Mintiwab at Qusquam, were the Scottish explorer James Bruce used to reside for sometimes, overnight hotel.
Optional Activities Awra Amba community- is an Ethiopian community of about 400 people, located 73 kilometres east of Bahir Dar in the Fogera woreda of Debub Gondar Zone. It was founded in 1980 with the goal of solving socio-economic problems through helping one another in an environment of egalitarianism—in marked contrast to the traditional norms of Amhara society. Founded by Zumra Nuru, who currently serves as co-chairman of the community, with 19 other people who shared his vision, as of 2007 Awra Amba has some 400 members, and is lauded as a model to alleviate poverty and promote gender equality in a country where women are generally subservient to men)
Early in the morning Trip to Simien Mountain drives to Debark, 100Kms from Gonder, the Headquarter of the Simien Mountains National Park. Proceed to Sankaber, 37Kms farther, which is your first trekking starting spot, 3250 ms above sea level. Spend the day trekking around the camp sites. Lunch will be served by lunch boxes on top of the view point; here you will see some endemic Ethiopian Birds like wattle Ibis, and some mammals like the Gelada Baboon, overnight hotel/ Lodge/ Camping
Early in the morning after breakfast drive through the Semien Mountains National Park escarpments to Axum, via one of the most scenic road of Ethiopia and the Tekeze river gorge. This trip is a trying one, but it is the most rewarding for those who love exceptional scenery, overnight hotel
Full day visit of Axum, a place where the cradle of Ethiopian culture Christianity and the first capital of Ethiopia until the 9th century A.D., On this day you will visit the small but rich archaeological museum, the famous stele park, where the magnificent single block of stones was erected in 3rd century, the Saint Mary of Zion Cathedral, where the original Holy Ark of the Covenant is still sheltered, however except one guardian (priest) no one is allowed to enter in to the sanctuary where the ark stays. Continuing your visit which includes the subterranean tomb of king Kalbe and his son king Gebremeskel, 6th Century AD, the trilingual inscription of king Ezana and finally visit the ruin palace and bath of Queen of Sheba who was the mother of king Menilik I of the 950 B.C, overnight hotel
Morning after breakfast drive Axum- Geralta on the way visit the 8-5BC Temple of Yeha. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing worship building in the country dedicating to god of Moon called Almuqa, then Proceed to the 6th century AD famous Monastery of Debre Damo established by Abune Aregawi one of the nine Saints came to Ethiopia in the 6th century in the reign of King Kaleb to spread Christianity and introduce monastery life in different parts of the country particularly to the northern region. The monastery is only for men and accessed by climbing rope to the top of the plateau ) if you are not interested with the monastery since it is only for men and need physical capability it is possible to visit rock churches of TIGRAY (TEKA TESFA CLUSTER) arrival to Hawzen, overnight Lodge
Morning after breakfast head to the Geralta cluster to visit the rock churches of Tigray dated back from the 6-9th century established by the nine saints who came from Syria during the time of Kaleb and Gebremeskel kings of the Axum dynasty, the rock churches are carve on the top of mountain façade today you will visit the rock churches namely Mariam Korkur in the morning and afternoon ABUNE YEMATA – The most difficult to ascend but worth to see the surrounding mountains from the top of the cliff, after that continue drive to Mekelle on the way more rock churches of Abrehawe Atsbha and finally to Wekro Cherkos. Finally drive to Mekelle, overnight Hotel
Morning after breakfast drive Mekele- Lalibela a full day Drive to Lalibela passing through outstanding chains of Mountain via Weldia admiring the landscape and the people on the way picnic lunch will be served, overnight hotel
Full day at Lalibela visiting the brilliant feats of engineering and architectures, are often by many referred as the “8th wonder of the world” which is exceptional to find eleven rock hewn churches of such master craftsmanship in one place. In this morning among the eleven remarkable rock hewn churches built by king Lalibela in the late 12th and 13th century A.D, you will visit the first cluster of churches that represents the earthly Jerusalem. After lunch break you will visit the second cluster of churches, which represents the heavenly Jerusalem, finally visit the most beautiful and fascinating monolithic cruciform church of Saint Gorge, late afternoon Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony and honey wine, overnight hotel
Morning after breakfast drive Lalibela- Kombelcha After an early breakfast, leave Lalibela en route visit the monastery of Nakutolab- a cave church and proceed to Kombelcha on the way visit HIKE STEPHANOS monastery again open only for men with an outstanding lake side view of the monastery, overnight hotel.
Early morning after breakfast drive Kombelcha to Awash via scenic landscape of North Shewa where you can see the northern rift valley escarpment, possibly depending on the day visit the Bati market on Monday with the Afar, Amhara, Argoba and Oromo tribes’ late afternoon arrivals at Awash National Park and Some Game Drive, overnight hotel/ lodge/ camping
Early morning more game drive in the park for more wildlife and enjoy the waterfall then, start driving eastward to Harar passing through eastern green highlands – beautiful countryside and peoples carry their goods on the head, on the way Awaday CHAT market before arriving to Harar. Late afternoon arrival at Harar, overnight Hotel
The morning after breakfast start exploring the 16th-century UNESCO registered wall city of HARAR. Including the colorful local market and the famous museums and holy shrine, you will enjoy visit of the colorful market in Harar and early evening attend the very interesting Hyena man performance where a person feeds a wild spotted hyena with his hand and mouth- if you are interested, we suggest you to experience this activity, overnight Hotel
Morning after breakfast start drive back to Addis Ababa passing through the Afar and Kereyu ethnic group then drive back late afternoon arrival to Addis, finally cultural dinner with live cultural dance performance in one of the best Ethiopian traditional restaurants. Then transfer to the airport for your departure.
END OF THE TOUR