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Ethiopia Adventurer

A land deeply steeped in rich traditions, fabled history and striking natural beauty

Ethiopia’s striking and dramatic natural beauty coupled with its diverse array of ethereal landscapes is bound to leave any traveller with a lasting impression that will challenge the misleading stereotype of a land stricken from years of drought and famine. Embrace the bustling chaos of Addis Ababa as you gaze at visual contrasts from the colourful rustic markets to the luxurious Italian influenced architecture and old art deco cathedrals during a guided city tour.  Visit the natural treasure of Ethiopia – Lake Tana and drift between the many ancient island monasteries and churches decorated in bright frescoes.Stand below the exquisite Blue Nile Falls, as its smoky droplets glisten on your cheeks as you witness its natural splendour.

Explore the historic castles and churches in the imperial city of Gondar and stand with the tips of your toes over the edge of the majestic Simien Mountains as Gelda baboons bark in the distance and Lammergeyers fly between the dramatic chasms and gorges during a trek in what is considered the most beautiful mountain range in all of Africa. Walk through the remnants of the once mighty and ancient kingdom of Axum, among enigmatic tombs, churches and palaces. Roam the “Creations of Angles” or the “the African Petra/Jerusalem” as you set foot in Lalibela, home to a spectacular collection of medieval churches hewn out of the surrounding mountain rock before returning to Addis Ababa.

Camel Caravan

Lalilbela Church

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Trip Duration: 14 days
Grade Adventure touring: moderate adventure
Summary:
 13 nights in tourist class hotels 

Arrive in Addis Ababa- the third highest capital in the world lies between 2300 – 2500 meters, met by our representative and gets transferred into your hotel.
Drive north up to Mount Entoto – as one drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in temperature and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road. From the top, there is a panoramic view of the capital and surrounding countryside.Descend to Addis Ababa, stopping off at the National Archaeological Museum. You could find exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, Institute of Ethiopian Studies, where one can see clothing from different regions, along with artifacts, household utensils and in a separate section, paintings reflecting the history and culture of the country. Then move to the Mercato, the largest market area in Africa, where virtually every possible commodity is on sale, from livestock to computers. For the visitor good at bargaining, there is a huge selection of Ethiopian arts and crafts.
Visit the internationally renowned rock Hewn churches known as ‘Eight wonders of the world’ the Lalibella rock hewn churches, physically praised from the rock in which they stand, these towering edifices seems to be superhuman creation in scale workman ship and concept. Some are sculpted out of solid volcanic rock. Others are connected by long underground tunnels and mazes. Some are quarried enlargements of caves.
Excursion to the church of Ashetun Mariam, about 4 hours’ round trip. Pass through small villages on the way up; there are wonderful views of the surrounding countryside from the top of the mountain where the church is located. And after lunch, set off by road to the cave church of Yemrehane Christos, A 40 km trip from Lalibela followed by a 20 minute hike brings you to this beautiful church, the finest example of its kind in Ethiopia. .
Axum is the site of Ethiopian’s most ancient city. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an Empire which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, minted its own coinage, had its own alphabet and notational system, constructed great engineering works and dams and which was reckoned in the 4th century to be one of the four great powers of the ancient world. Axum is renowned for its cathedral of St. Mary Zion, where as legend has it the original Ark of Covenant is housed and also there are several monolithic stelae which are made of single pieces of granite of which three of them have identical decoration.
Spend a further day Sightseeing in Axum.
Drive to one of the most dramatic, worth seeing mountain, among the UNESCO World Heritage Site since the late 1960s, gifted by nature in every aspect, rich in the flora as well as fauna, home for endemism – The Semein Mountain National Park.
Today, Drive to Chenek, here the car can drop you at where you can trek for 1hr to reach the campsite where the car will follow). Crossing valleys before coming to Chenek, located approximately 58km North-East of Debark town hanging at an altitude of 3600m above sea level.
Morning at leisure and then drive to the city of Gondar.
Gondar, 748 kilometres north of Addis Ababa nestles in the foothills of the Simien mountains at 2,200 metres above sea level. It is the 17th century royal city of Ethiopia, affluent in the imperial structures of the castle compound and the impressive spectacularly painted Debre Brehan Sellasie church which worth more exploration.
Bahir Dar is an attractive town, well lay out with tree lined avenues and with the blue of the lake in the background. Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake is 68kms wide and 73kms long. Tana is dotted with not less than 30 islands, on many of, which are found churches and monasteries. After lunch drive to the magnificent Blue Nile Falls, it is 35-km /45min drive from the town and have a city tour of Bahirdar.
After having your breakfast visit the nearby monastery of the Zeghie Peninsula, known for its 14th century, round, grass roofed churches and their magnificent wall murals, the Azoa Mariam and Ura Kidane Mehret churches by a boat and then walk through dense forest with lots of bird life, before return in to the hotel. Then late afternoon visit the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie at Bizeit, with great views of the town and the place where the Blue Nile flows out of the lake.
Fly back to Addis Ababa.
Transfer out to the airport for your final departure.

 

Featured Accommodation or highlight

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TIMKAT FESTIVAL IN AXUM

Ethiopia’s greatest religious festivals, where the the Ark of the Covenant is displayed along the streets for public viewing 

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GELADA BABOONS

The Gelada Baboon is a species of Old World monkey found only in the Ethiopian Highlands.

The Next Step…

If you would like to discuss this itinerary or something similar in more detail, please contact the Thor Travel Team.

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or call 1800 801 119