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10 Days Historical Ethiopia

Historical route of Ethiopia and Simien Mountains

Overview

Ethiopia has archaeological finds dating back more than 3 million years and this trip will enable you to get a real sense of the country’s ancient culture. Flying in to the capital Addis Ababa, there will be a visit to the National Museum where the remains of 3.2 million-year-old Lucy are on display – Lucy is the most complete skeleton of an early human ancestor ever discovered. Then it’s on by air to the Blue Nile Falls and the monasteries at Lake Tana. From here, we visit the ancient cities of Gondar (often called the Camelot of Africa) and Aksum, with its massive ruins and giant obelisks. A flight takes you to Lalibela - a place of pilmigrage and devotion - where you can marvel at the medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century 'New Jerusalem' . Return to Addis Ababa for your flight home.

Safaris

Day 1: Arrival in Addis Ababa;
Arrive in Addis Ababa, get assisted and transferred to Sheraton Hotel, luxury collection five star hotel. Welcome to Addis Ababa (“New Flower), Ethiopia’s capital city! The city lies in the central highlands at an altitude of 2400m, making it the third highest capital in the world. Addis Ababa is Africa’s diplomatic capital with headquarters for the Organization of African Unity and the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa. The capital is rich in Impressive monuments of colonial architecture that are scattered among stretches of sun-bleached shacks.
Overnight:  Sheraton Hotel, luxury collection five star hotel 

Day 2: Full day city tour of Addis Ababa
Morning after breakfast drive and visit the Entoto Mountain, the site from which Menelik the founder of Addis Ababa descended down to the plains and two churches built by Menelik are found there. Back to Addis Ababa, visit to the Ethnographic Museum, Trinity Cathedral and the National museum, which ranks among the most important museums in sub- Sahara Africa.  
If time permits; also, visit the St George’s Cathedral. Subsequent emperors of Ethiopia were crowned in this, the oldest of Addis Ababa’s churches. 
Overnight:  Sheraton Hotel, luxury collection five star hotel 

Day 3: Fly to Bahir Dar.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar (which means “by the side of the sea” in the Amharic language). It is a one-hour flight.
On arrival in Bahir Dar, you will be met and embark on Boat trip over Lake Tana to visit 2 of the renowned Island Monasteries of the Lake, namely: Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Mariam both have wonderful paintings which depicts the scene from the Old and the New Testaments of the Holy Bible all over their walls. 
After lunch drive to the Blue Nile Falls – known locally as Tissiat – which means “Smoking Water.”  The Falls are 328 feet wide and the water plunges some 150 feet, giving rise to picturesque stream clouds and rainbows. 
Overnight: Kuriftu Resort & Spa; Located on the shores of Lake Tana, the Kuriftu Resort features spacious rooms, luxurious accommodations and modern amenities including a spa. It has breath-taking lake view & a clever blend of native Ethiopian architecture & decor; 

Day 4: Drive to Simien Mountains National Park
On this day morning drive to Simien Mountain National Park. It takes approximately 5-6hours drives.
Simien Mountains is an area of highland in the northern part of Ethiopia consisting of the most spectacular mountains scenery in the world. The Park was added to the world heritage site list in 1978 with the total area of 190 km 2. It has 57 tree species, variety of herbaceous plants, 22 large, 13 small mammals and about 180 bird species have been recorded; from these Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf, Menelik's Bushbuck and the Gelada baboon are endemic. Drive from Bauit –Ras to Sankaber. Here observe, the beautiful landscape and animals like Gelada Baboon or bleeding heart Baboon or lion monkey. Then drive back to Limalimo Lodge for overnight stay
Overnight: Lamalimo Lodge

Day 5: Drive to Gondar
Morning breakfast then drive to Gondar (It is about 3-4hours drive), the imperial city of Fasilidas. The kings of Ethiopia based their power in Gondar for two centuries. The city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas. 
In Gondar, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Many picturesque ruins lie in the royal enclosure like the fairytale castles dating back to the 17th century. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and characterized by lime mortar style. T
Overnight: Mayleko Lodge, Ideally situated couple of minutes’ drive from Theodros Airport in Gondar. It is a luxury lodge surrounded with breath-taking beauty and nature. The lodge has 20 bungalows that have evocatively designed and styled to echo the area’s rich history. It blends traditional elegance with modern luxury and will offer cuisine and service of fittingly high standard, 

Day 6: Flight to Axum
Morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Axum.
Today the visitor can see Stella, the tombs and castles of kings, Axum Museum and Mariam Tsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia’s first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. After check in, visit the city including Stella, the tombs and castles of kings, Axum Museum and Mariam Tsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia’s first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. 
Overnight: Yeha Hotel is a private -owned hotel, built in a modern style in the center of town, within walking distance of most of the ancient sites. It has one of the best-elevated sites in Axum, overlooking the church and stelae park. Rooms are decorated in an ethnic style, 

Day 7: Flight to Lalibela
After taking breakfast transferred to the airport for your flight to Lalibela. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries King Lalibela of the Zaghwe dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches in this spot, calling it New Jerusalem. Today Lalibela is rightly acknowledged as being one of the wonders of the world.  There are 11churches in the town named after the king.
The first group of six churches lies in rock cradles, one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercuiros, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel-Rufa'el.Bet Emanuel's elaborate exterior is much praised by art historians. 
Overnight: Mount view Hotel, it’s panoramic mountain view is a source of admiration to nature. It is one of the best views to feel the sunset

Day 8: Lalibela

Today you start with a visit to a church just outside Lalibela, Nakto Laab. It is named after its constructor, the nephew and successor of King Lalibela. This relatively simple church built around a shallow cave in which several holy pools are fed by natural springs. It has many treasures, some of which are claimed to have belonged to Nakto Laab himself. This includes paintings, crosses and a leather bible. After lunch you will visit the second group of churches and Bet Giyorgis, which is arguably the most majestic – and the most photographed – of all Lalibela churches.
Take part in a traditional coffee ceremony. 
Overnight: Mount view Hotel, its panoramic mountain view is a source of admiration to nature. It is one of the best views to feel the sunset

Day 9: Fly back to Addis Ababa
On this day after breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa. It takes one/two hours with stop over.
After taking a rest balance of the day with more sightseeing and shopping. Visit Kechene Women’s Potters Association, gives visitors the chance to experience the whole process of making pottery. Have a cultural evening at one of Addis Ababa Restaurant; Ethiopia is a mosaic of people with more than 80 languages, different lifestyles, costumes and cultural dances. On this day evening you will have a chance to experience some of these cultural dances and traditional meals with a drink of Tej, a type of wine made from Honey.
Overnight:  Sheraton Hotel, luxury collection five star hotel 

Day 10: Departure
After having breakfast transfer to the airport for your final departure.

Location

Ethiopia is situated in the Horn of Africa and has borders with Sudan, South Sudan, Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea.

Experiences

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling capital, is the country’s commercial and cultural hub. Its National Museum displays prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid known as Lucy, along with Ethiopian art and traditional crafts. The burial place of the 20th-century emperor Haile Selassie, the copper-domed Holy The traditional source of the Blue Nile, locally known as 'Abai', is a spring which feeds the little 'Abai', a stream which flows NE into Lake Tana from the highlands of 'Gishen'.

Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia, situated north of the beautiful town of Bahir Dar is the source from where the famous Blue Nile starts its long journey to Khartoum, and on to the Mediterranean. There are 37 islands scattered about the surface of Lake Tana, out of which some 20 have churches and monasteries of huge historical and cultural interest. The Lake Tana region and the Blue Nile gorge host a wide variety of birds, making the area an ideal place for birdwatchers. The Blue Nile got the 'blue' part of its name because of its muddy colour due to the huge amount of fertile soil it erodes from the Ethiopian highlands. The Blue Nile from the highlands of Ethiopia, and the White Nile from Lake Victoria meet in Khartoum, and merge in what Arab poets call 'the longest kiss in history', to form the Nile river. The Blue Nile Falls is one of the most dramatic spectacles on either the White or Blue Niles and is the second largest of its kind in Africa, and is one of the best sceneries in the entire continent. Gondar is a royal and ancient historical city and was the home of many emperors and princesses who led the country from the 12th century to the last decade of the 20th century. Gondar Castle, called the Ethiopian Camelot, is not a single castle, but is the name given to the entire complex of castles and palaces in the area. The ruins of the ancient city of Aksum are found close to Ethiopia's northern border. The massive ruins, dating from between the 1st and the 13th century A.D., include monolithic obelisks, royal tombs and the ruins of ancient castles. Lalibela is a town in northern Ethiopia famous for monolithic rock-cut churches. Lalibela is one of Ethiopia's holiest cities, second only to Aksum, and a centre of pilgrimage. Unlike Aksum, the population of Lalibela is almost completely Ethiopian Orthodox Christian.

Accommodations

Basic safari and eco lodges such as…. though there are some decent hotels in Addis Ababa, including the high-end Sheraton Addis.

Useful Info

Capital: Addis Ababa

Time: Three hours ahead of GMT and eight hours ahead of EST.

Money: The Ethiopian Birr is the currency of Ethiopia.

Health: You should be vaccinated against Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A and Tetanus/Polio/Diptheria. You should also consider getting vaccinated against Rabies, Hepatitis B and Cholera. Malaria is common in areas of the country below 2,000 metres, so precautionary measures are necessary.

Water: Water-borne diseases are common. Drink or use only boiled or bottled water and avoid ice in drinks.

Climate: Ethiopia is in the tropical zone laying between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer. It has three different climate zones (tropical, subtropical and cool) according to elevation.

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