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Itinerary: Historic Route Rift Valley Lakes & Meskel Festival

Historic Route Rift Valley Lakes & Meskel Festival

Ethiopia Tour to explore Monasteries on Lake Tana Castle of Gondar Rock churches in Lalibela, Stles of Axum, Simien Mountain National Park, Harer and attend Meskel Festival celebration in Addis Ababa.

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Historic Route Rift Valley Lakes & Meskel Festival

The trip begins and ends in Addis Ababa.
Group size: The minimum 2 (two) participants and maximum 7 (seven) participants.

This trip begins with a rendezvous at the airport in Addis Ababa on Day 1. Please arrange your flight schedule so you will arrive on the correct day. But on your special request we can arrange other transfer for those arriving earlier.

Ethiopia has old, fascinating history, and is home to many diverse colourful cultures. This trip takes you to the north to visit the Historic Route of Ethiopia, 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 travel to the east to visit the old walled city of harer, and to the rift valley Lakes region.This trip also includes crossing the most stunning scenery of Ethiopia.

The tour is also designed in such a way to coincides with the colorful religious celebration of Meskel Festivals in Addis Ababa

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 Ghion 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 Ghion Hotel

Day 2: Fly Bahir Dar, Morning, Blue Nile Falls afternoon Boat trip:
After breakfast fly to Bahar Dar. After check into the Hotel and refreshment, 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. In the afternoon we pay a visit to the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or \'Smoke of Fire’. Overnight Tana /Papyrus Hotel

Day 3: 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 we 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 4: Excursion to Simien Mountains
Not far from Gondar are the Simien Mountains offering some of Ethiopia most striking scenery in a vast stretch of beautiful and unspoiled mountain wilderness. We have time for a short visit through astonishingly steep valleys and isolated jutting volcanic plugs that were formed by ancient seismic activity. The mountain wildlife is equally astonishing with 50 different birds species, troops of Gelada baboons, etc. We will also have time during our visit to explore the unique and often bizarre flora of this Afro-alpine ecosystem. We will drive back arriving late in Gondar for overnight stay. Overnight: Goha Hotel

Day 5: Fly Axum
After breakfast transfer to the airport for a short flight to Axum. On arrival in Axum you will be transferred to Remehay hotel. After refreshment visit the historical and archaeological sites in Axum including: The archaeological museum, The magnificent 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. 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. The churches and monasteries of Axum house are richly endowed with icons, and some of the historical crowns of ancient emperors. Overnight Remhay Hotel

Day 6: Fly to Lalibela
After breakfast transfer to Axum Airport to leave for Lalibela, the site of the world wonder. The flight departs Gondar at 9.30 and arrives Lalibela at 10.00 upon arrival transfer 23 kms to Roha (3star). En route, at the footstep of mount Asheten (over 3000 meters high) visit the 13thc built-up-cave church of Na\'akutola\'ab. After lunch, you visit the first group of the remarkably excavated churches of Lalibela that represent the earthly Jerusalem. Overnight Mount View Hotel

Day 7: In Lalibela
After breakfast a mule ride to the 13thc rock hewn monastery of Asheten Mariam. The church is situated on atop a mountain at an altitude of 3150 metres. This will take about 4 hours. We return back to the town for lunch. In the afternoon, visit of the other groups of Rock churches of Lalibela Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches, lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercurios, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa\'el. Bet Emanuel\'s elaborate exterior is much praised by art historians. Overnight Mount View hotel

Day 8::Fly to Addis Ababa:
After breakfast transfer to Lalibela Airport and fly to Addis Ababa. Overnight Ghion Hotel

Day 9: Drive to Harer
After breakfast drive from Addis Ababa to Harer through the scenic Haraghe Mountains looking at the coffee and chat plantations left and right of the road. At Harar visit the 16th century wall of Harar and the house of the renowned poet Arthur Rimbaud. In the evening go to one of the gates of the Harar wall to see the Hyena Man feeding his hyena friends. Overnight Heritage Plaza Hotel

Day 10: In Harer:
After breakfast you will visit The City Wall, the Gates and the narrow streets lined with traditional Harari Gegar houses, the colorful Muslim and Christian markets (known for basketry). After lunch visit the Hareri museum, Rimbaud House, a fine traditional house dating from the period when the French poet Rimbaud lived in Harer. Finally visit the traditional Hararie house within the famous walled city. Overnight Heritage Plaza hotel

Day 11: Drive to Nazareth.
After breakfast leave Harer and drive to Nazareth. You will be driving through magnificent landscape of The Harer Mountains and Ethiopian Rift Valley. En route you will experience “Chat” plantations which is a typical farming experience in the region. Overnight Rift Valley Hotel in Nazareth

Day 12:Drive to Lake Langano
we drive to Lake Langano and to Bekele Molla Hotel. The soft brown waters of Langano are set against the blue backdrop of the Arsi Mountains which soar to 4000m. Over 150 species of birds have been recorded here. Overnight at Lake Langano at Bekele Molla Hotel.

Day 13: Drive Addis Ababa, PM Attend the Meskel Festival. Fare well dinner and evening Departure
After breakfast drive back to Addis Ababa through the Great Rift Valley lakes. After lunch in the afternoon attend the Meskel Festival at Measkel square –the colorful festival of the Orthodox Christens, celebrated to commemorate the finding of the true cross. Evening we will invite you a fare well dinner at Agelgel hotel for Ethiopian dish and cultural dances from different ethnic groups. Then after transfer to Bole International Airport for your flight back to home. End of the trip.

Price per person = USD 3430

The single room supplement = USD 470

The above price doesn’t include the cost of the domestic flight for the Sector
- Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar
- Gondar - Axum
- Axum - Lalibela
- Lalibela - Addis Ababa

The current cost for this domestic flight is USD 450 per person, Subject to change

Services included in the prices

• Meet and greet at airport
• Hotel accommodation based on Twin room as mentioned on the itineraries
• Meals – breakfast only in Addis but full board elsewhere.
• All transfers and visits with A Minibus everywhere according to the itinerary
• All ground transportation to the south with a good condition of 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser, with fuel, all insurance and driver costs
• Boat trip on Lake Tana
• Mule ride to a monastery around Lalibela
• All entrance fees at museums, churches, castles and archeological sites
• Farewell dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food and Music
• A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at a convenient time in the program
• Local Guide services and scout fees in parks and villages
• Service charge and all types of government taxes

Services not included in the prices

• International flights
• Lunch and dinner meals in Addis
• Any kind of drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic beverages.
• Tips
• Other expenses of personal nature like laundry, souvenirs, etc
• All what is not included in the list above

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Historic Route Rift Valley Lakes & Meskel Festival

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