Complete the enquiry for below for Departure Dates
Sept/Oct (Meskal Festival in Addis Ababa)
Nov / Dec (Axum Tsion, Celebration of St. Mary, in Axum)
Dec / Jan (Christmas religious celebration in Lalibela)
Jan (Timkat Festival in Lalibela)
Join one of the departures and witness the vibrant religious festival celebrations in Ethiopia. Guaranteed Departure with 2 participants minimum.
Ethiopia Historic Route is one of the great treasures of Ethiopia. It encompasses the history of Ethiopia from its early beginnings to modern day. A history that stretches back to the time of prehistoric man; to the 3,000 year old history of Axum; the famous 12th century rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, and the medieval castles of Gondar, which is known as Africa’s Camelot. A boat cruise over Lake Tana is arranged to visit old monasteries on the islands. With some distance drive from Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls will be visited. The trip also includes crossing the most stunning scenery of Ethiopia. The tour is also designed in such a way to coincides with the colorful Festivals of Meskal- the finding of the real Cross, Timkat- a celebration of the baptism of Christ, Ethiopian Christmas or Axum Tsion. This will be the best opportunity to visit the fascinating religious celebrations. Day 1: Arrive in Addis Ababa, city tour of Addis Ababa
On arrival in Addis Ababa our representatives will meet you at Bole International Airport and transfers to Ambassador Hotel. An overview of the program and itineraries will be given. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis. Overnight Ambassador Hotel Day 2: Addis Ababa - Debre Markos
After breakfast drive to Debre Markos via Dejen which is the famous Teff growing region in the country. Teff is staple food of Ethiopians. After 103 kms drive, visit the 13th C monastery of Debre Libanos and the 17th C Portuguese Bridge. En route have stop over to visit the Oromo tribal village. Further down, you will enjoy the fabulous Blue Nile Gorge. Similar to the Grand Canon of USA. Overnight Debre Markos Shebel hotel. Day 3: Debre Markos - Bahir Dar
Drive about 250kms to Bahar Dar, a town by the edge of Lake Tana, through the beautiful scenery and visiting the Amhara people and their villages. Have a lunch at Bahar Dar, the capital of the Amhara National Regional State. Afternoon, we make city tour of Bahir Dar that includes: Colorful market where someone could find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, etc. Visit Woito Basket market and Mount Bezawit where the palace of Emperor Haile Selassie is gracefully situated. This hilltop is the best viewing point for the town, the lake and the river. Overnight Tana/Papyrus Hotel. Day 4: Bahir Dar
After breakfast drive to the small town of Tiss Abay to visit to the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or 'Smoke of Fire'. The falls throws up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometre away. Much of the water is diverted to for Hidro electric Generation but it is worth visiting for the walk around and see the country side. The area around the river is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which injera, the national bread, is made. After the Falls, return to Bahir Dar for lunch the rest of the afternoon we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit ancient monasteries. We will visit two of the most accessible and representative of the monasteries, still serving their original function, Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam. Overnight same Hotel Day 5: Drive Gondar Tour of Gondar
We experience typically in an Ethiopian African landscape as we drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar- 180 kms over wide grazing land, hilly mountains with numerous farmlands. The rest of the day visit attractions in Gondar. The attractions that you visit in Gondar includes: Castles of Gondar- are included in the World Heritage List, the royal Fasiledes Bath and the Church of Debre Berhan Selassie with its unique murals. Overnight Goha/Red Fox Hotel Day 6: Drive Simien Mountains
After breakfast departure for Debark town (100 Kms from Gondar), where the head quarter of Semien Mountains National Park is found. Here we pay the entrance fees and a scout and a local guide will accompany us. Then we continue driving to the gravel road to Buyit Ras, the first campsite of the National Park and your lodge for the night. On this drive you will gain your first impression of the scale and beauty of this highland region, the extraordinary scenery, enjoying the endemic Gelada Baboons and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around. Overnight Simien Lodge – (3200 m) Day 7: Drive Axum
On this day, you drive long (280kms) but enjoying very beautiful and spectacular landscape along the Semien Mountains and Tekeze Gorge. The road descends from 3100 meters through hairpin bends down the mountain side to 1400 meters in just 40kms! The drive down and back up to Adi Arkay showcases not only the immensely beautiful Simien Mountain massifs but also the people who eke out an existence in this unforgiving countryside. The drive continues through the Tekeze valley, crossing the Tekeze River, and onto Axum in the far north. Overnight Remhay Hotel Day 8: Visit of historical and archaeological sites in Axum
The ancient city of Axum is found close to Ethiopia's northern border. It marks the location of 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, monolithic steles or obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, and the legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba, and the ruins of ancient palace of Queen Sheba. You also visit the new and the old Cathedral of St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Arc of the covenant. The 16th Century Cathedral of St Mary of Zion was probably built on an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia. In its sanctuary is said to rest the original Ark of the Covenant. Overnight Remhay Hotel Day 9: Fly Lalibela
Morning: Be transferred to the airport for flight to Lalibela. Transfer to the Hotel Roha Lalibela. Lalibela is the second Jerusalem created by King Lalibela in the 12th century. Afternoon: we visit the first group of six churches 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. Overnight Roha/Jerusalem/Mountain View Hotel Day 10: Lalibela
Whole day attend Religious festival. Overnight Roha/Jerusalem/Mountain View Hotel Day 11: Lalibela
After breakfast drive to Nakuto Le’Abe Monastery. King Nakuto Le’Abe addicted his throne in 1270 AD and went to a cave to lead a hermit’s life. This cave has ever since become a monastery and has a dramatic setting. It houses one of the most interesting collections of ancient crosses, illuminated manuscripts and other icons some of which are attributed to its founder Nakuto Le’Abe. In the afternoon, visit of the other groups of Rock churches of Lalibela Overnight Roha/Jerusalem/Mountain View Hotel Day 12: Fly to Addis Ababa then departure
After breakfast you will check in to the Airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Evening we will have a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurants for cultural dinner and dances from the different ethnic groups. Then after transfer to the airport for flight back home. Price displayed is per person based on 2 persons traveling
- The current cost for the domestic flight is US $ 230 per person.
- The single room supplement = US $ 336. Price includes
• Meet and greet at airport
• All accommodation based on twin room occupancy
• Meals in Addis, on bed & breakfast basis
• Meals out of Addis, on full board basis
• 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.
• Professional English speaking Tour Guide accompanying through out the trip.
• Local Guide and scout fees in parks and villages
• Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two monasteries and churches on the islands of Lake Tana
• Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & Music; transfer & guide
• A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
• Government taxes Price doesn’t include
• International flights
• Domestic Flights
• Lunch and Dinner in Addis Ababa
• Alcoholic drinks
• Video filming and photography 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
Gisele and Michel - from Canada
It has been too long since we wrote you to tell you how much we enjoyed our three weeks in Ethiopia last April, and how we appreciate how you contributed to the quality of our entire holiday. The Africa Guide informed and advised us, and assisted in the e-mail exchanges with Abebe when communications were poor. Abebe was most flexible in setting out the itinerary, to accommodate all our concerns and preferences. And Dawood was the perfect guide – infinitely patient, always friendly and helpful, and most knowledgeable about Ethiopian history, architecture, culture and natural wonders. The drivers, especially Yessu, who was with us most, were all excellent, as were the vehicles. Accommodation varied from reasonable to excellent (we mentioned certain minor weaknesses to Dawood and Abebe as we went along, mostly, in our opinion, due to insufficient attention to service and training of staff on the part of managers/owners).
Ethiopa is like no other country we have lived in or visited – and between us, my husband and I have covered over half the countries of Africa over our years working in cooperation for development. And yet, Ethiopia boasts the oldest known human beings, the source of the Blue Nile, the beginning of the Great Rift Valley, as well as some of the most fascinating historical and architectural monuments and diverse cultures, landscapes, vegetation and birdlife. The visits to the villages of Dorze and Konso in the South afforded us a small insight into the traditiional culture of that area and how people are adapting to change. We were amazed and enchanted by the number of birds we saw, and excited – albeit a bit alarmed—by our boat trip among the hippopotami and crocodiles on Lake Chamo. The National Museum, particularly the section on archaeology and pre-history, is a jewel in Addis Abeba. The various markets, churches and small museums we visited all contributed to give us a better feel for the country and its people. And my husband remembers his evening listening to jazz with Yessu as one of the highlights of his trip.
Overall, a memorable trip, and our congratulations, thanks and best wishes to everyone who contributed to making it unforgettable.
Cilla dÉlbee - from Zambia
)ur Timkat tour was wonderful. Our dedicated driver, Abdi, and guide, Measho, took very good care of us throughout our 14-day excursion and their combined knowledge of their country and customs (Abdi is a Moslem and Measho is an Orthodox Christian) gave us a fascinating insight to ancient and modern Ethiopia. Mr. Abebe was reachable by cell phone throughout our trip and dealt swiftly and efficiently with the few glitches we encountered en route. We felt throughout that we were in safe hands.
Our overall impression of Ethiopia is that it is a very old country and very rich in culture and history. This was why we chose to travel there in the first place and we were not disappointed! We were also amazed by the beauty of the landscape – always dramatic! – and we often wondered why the “outside world” knows so little about this country and still only associates it with famine, deserts and war. The Ethiopian government and the nascent tourism industry need to do more together to promote the more positive aspects of Ethiopia via the international media. The road network in Ethiopia is being almost entirely rebuilt by the Chinese. This is a good thing as many of the roads are in a poor state of repair and for an itinerary like ours – which took us some 2000 kms around the country – can be a bit bone-shaking... Some of the hotels we stayed in need to improve their housekeeping and service standards – that is if they sincerely wish to attract upmarket, international tourists. One gets the impression that many of the hotels in Ethiopia are/were para-statal operations – poorly managed and maintained. Some have now apparently been bought over by private investors who, one hopes will inject new ideas, new standards of service and a better attitude towards customers along with new capital investment and facilities. By far the nicest hotel we stayed in en route was The Tukul in Lalibela which combines local architecture with overseas know-how – a winning combination!
view all (6) operator reviews
Glen Miller - from Canada
What a great trip we had! . I was very pleased with the services provided. I had many questions for Abebe, and we had many emails back and forth before we arrived. Abebe answered our questions quickly and clearly.
We toured the northern part of Ethiopia, including Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum, and the southern part of Ethiopia including visits to the Arba Minch, Jinka, Turmi and Yabello. The sites we saw and the people we met were amazing.
Ethiopia is one of the most interesting countries we have visited, and we have done quite a bit of travelling over the years. Abebe and his guides and drivers were all very good at identifying the birds of Ethiopia as well, and they turned me into an avid birdwatcher!
In all our touring, Abebe ensured that we were well looked after. Our hotels were all very comfortable, our guides were very knowledgeable and fun to travel with, and our drivers drove carefully and safely. We became fans of the national dish, injera, and of course we love buna, Ethiopian coffee. We were also happy to discover that Ethiopia has delicious pasta as well!
We were 110% satisfied with our tour, and would recommend Ethiopia and this operator for anyone interested in African travel.