This 15 days tour (an average of 6 hours of driving a day) covers the northern historic route Bahir Dar, Gondar, Simien Mountains, Axum and the amazing Danakil tour from North, En route, you will have many opportunities to visit unique villages like the Awramba Village, the Bete-Israel Felasha people and many local markets, scenic land formations and endemic wildlife. Few of the historical attraction in the route include –The Tana Monasteries, the 15 century Gondar Castle, the 3000 year old Axum obelisks, and the City tour of Addis Ababa. Among the natural attraction, you will visit the Nile waterfall, Chilada Babbon, the Erta Ale Volcno, Dalol and more.
Day 01:City tour of Addis Ababa
The National Museum
It is the repository of an assortment of archeological and cultural artifacts of the country. Here one can view Lucy (Dinknesh) 3.2 million years old, the most famous hominid skeleton, discovered in 1974 at the place called Hadar. This was a discovery, which has given rise to the theory that Ethiopia is the Cradle of Humankind.
This is the museum where you will have the chance to see the traditional artifacts of various types that show the lifestyles of the different Ethiopian major ethnic groups. This is located in Addis Ababa University main campus and run by the Institute of Ethiopian studies.
The Natural History Museum
This is located in Addis Ababa University Arat Kilo campus. Here you will be able to see the wealth of flora and fauna of Ethiopia. The other museum is the Addis Ababa city museum. Here the old and new Addis Ababa and its ups and downs are depicted at different sections in various and attractive ways. Apart from these secular museums, there are plenty of museums owned by churches. Despite these, there is a lot to see while you are in Addis – many monuments that have great historical significance, churches, galleries and other place of interest. Addis Ababa is an eventful city where one should get around and see.
A beautiful church with a baroque style of European architecture, which is unique to both Ethiopia and Africa and is dedicated to the Holly Trinity. Here you will find scripts of the imperial families, statues done by a Greek sculpture, Stained glass window paintings from the Old and New Testament in the Bible and coffins of Emperor Haile Silassie-I; the founder of the church, and his wife.
It is the largest open-air market in Africa. Here you will be presented with confusing, but fascinating, glimpse of the vast range of goods and artifacts available from all parts of the country and you will enjoy the Ethiopian trade exchange tradition in the open air, you can purchase anything you desire here.
Mount Entoto-Top View of Addis
It is the highest pick in Addis with an altitude of 3200 meters, which was the site for the first palace of Emperor Menelik-II, the founder of Addis Ababa. Here there is St. Mary church, where Emperor Menelik crowned as Emperor in it and you will admire the panoramic view of the city with its surrounding forests and the breath taking air.
The Red Terror Museum is on Bole Road, right before Meskel Square. It was finished early last year (2010) and contains some pretty horrible but very interesting artifacts from the communist Derg regime which lasted from 1974 to 1991. There’s no entrance fee, but there is a donation box as you leave. Guides who wander throughout the museum provide insight and are awesome at answering any questions you have. Unlike the other museums they are not students who hound you for a tip at the end, rather they are older men who are proficient in English and it feels like they are really there to explain things to you, not for money.
Day 02: Addis to Bahir Dar- Boat trip on Lake Tana + Blue Nile falls
Wake up early in the morning between 7:00am to 7:30am. The driving hour is bout 7-8 hours, so it is better to start morning. en route enjoys visiting the 13th century Debrelibanose monastery and the magnificent Blue Nile Gorge.
After check in to the hotel, you can walk around the Lake City of Bahir Dar visit all worthy places in the City. Overnight Bete Daniel Hotel.
Day 03:Boat trip on Lake Tana and Blue Nile falls Visit
In the morning(after noon the tide makes the boat trip difficult), take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the island monasteries, , such as those on the Zege Peninsula and Kibran Gabriel (not allowed for women and many other thousand years monasteries- about 3-4 Churches on Lake Tana.
After lunch, start your tour with Blue Nile falls visit. About 30 km after Blue Nile falls exits Lake Tana, plunges over a 45 m high rock face to form one of Africa's most spectacular waterfalls. Lake Tana , with the surface area of 3673 sq km, is the largest lake in Ethiopia . Besides being the source of the Blue Nile, Lake Tana is renowned for its varied birdlife as well as housing on its islands and peninsulas more than 20 monastic churches most of which were founded in or before the 15 the century, and are still in service today.
Overnight Bete Daniel Hotel.
Day 04:City tour of Gondar
Wake up morning at 7:00amm, have breakfast and depart to Gondar at 8:00am. Driving to Gondar and the drive takes about 3 hours. Upon arrival, check-in to the hotel and start the day with the City tour of Gondar.
The city was founded by Emperor Fasilidas in the 17th century and remained the capital of Ethiopia for the next two centuries. It's known for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. Among the dozen edifices found on the precinct of the royal compound the earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is still possible climb its stairs all the way to the roof which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city. The City tour of Gondar includes Debre Berehan selase, The Ethiopian Origin jewish Community Village The Fsail Spa,Gusquam and other worthy places in addition to the Fasildas Castel. Overnight Florida Hotel.
Day 05:Trip to the Simein Mountains (Gondar to Sankobar)
Drive from Gondar to Debark. Here we obtain a permit from the Park headquarters and collect our obligatory scout before continuing to Sankabar (3250m ASL) for the first overnight camp. An early start is needed as the drive from Gondar takes a 2-3 hours. The trek begins at Buytras (Simien Lodge), taking about 3 – 4 hours to walk to the Sankabar campsite is usually possible. During the walk there’s a good chance of seeing your first Gelada baboons.
Day 06: Sankabar to Geech
In the morning of day 2, we will walk to Geech via the spectacular Jinbar waterfall. The trek will take approximately 5 – 7 hours. After descending down to the Jinbar Wenz (which feeds the waterfall) a short ascent remains to Geech village. A short distance beyond Geech village is the camp site. The camp site has great views of the mountains and is characterized by giant lobelia plants. The nearby Kedadit summit provides one of the best places to see the sun set. The camp site is situated at 3600m ASL.
Day 07: Geech to Ambaras to Gondar
We trek from Geech to the Imet Gogo promontory, for one of the most spectacular views in the whole mountain range. This is a great day for seeing the magnificent Lammergeier vultures. From Imet Gogo we trek back to the road near a village called Ambaras and meet the car for the drive back to Gondar. The trek will last approximately 4-5 hours.
Day 08: Gondar to Lalibela
Wake Up early morning transfer to the airport, the flight usually departs from Gondar morning at 9:30am and arrive to Lalibela at 10:10am. Upon your arrival to Lalibela, you will be picked up by our agent transferred to hotel and have few hours visit to the first group of Lalibela Churches. This day, visit the first group of Lalibela Churches which are located north of a small stream named Jordan River. These Churches were carved during the time of King Lalibela (1181 – 1221) and are registered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. .
Overnight Lalibela Lodge
Day 09: Lalibela Full day Visit
After breakfast, trek down from the Lodge and start visiting the second part of Lalibela Churches. have a excursion trip to the cave-built up church of Ne’akuto Le’ab (13th Century AD) which is famous for its wide collection of ancient crosses, manuscripts and icons. If this day is Saturday, spare some time at the interesting weekly market of Lalibela.
After lunch, visit the second and third group of churches of Lalibela. This day, you will also visit Asheton MARYAM After the visit, you will trek up to the Beautiful Hudad Eco Lodge which is 2 hours away from the main City. .Overnight Lalibela Hudad Eco Lodge
In the city of Lalibela you will see about Eleven Rock Churches organized in to groups of three.
- Biete Medhane Alem
- Biete Maryam
- Biete Golgotha Mikael
- Biete Maskal (House of the Cross)
- Biete Denagel (House of Virgins)
- Biete Giyorgis
- Biete Amanuel
- Biete Qeddus Mercoreus
- Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos)
- Biete Gabriel-Rufael
- Biete Lehem (Bethlehem Hebrew: בֵּית לֶחֶם, House of Holy Bread).
Day 10: Fly from Lalibela to Axum
Trek down from Hudad Eco lodge and walk around the city until your flight time, transfer to the airport and fly to Axum. Upon arrival to Axum airport, you will be picked up by our agent and start the ancient city of Axum visit right after you check-in to the hotel.
The Northern Ethiopia ancient city of Axum, regarded as the cradle of Ethiopian culture and Christianity, is the country's oldest extant urban settlement. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an empire that extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet, constructed great engineering works and which, in the 4 the century, was one of the four great powers of the world.
This day you will visit 2000 years old mysterious monolithic Axum Stelae, Queen of Sheba's palace and bath, Church of St Mary of Tseyon, Museums, King Kaleb Tomb place…etc in the ancient city of Axum.
After its conversion to Christianity, early in the fourth century, Axum also emerged as an important religious centre, site of the country's most important and revered Church of St Mary of Tseyon, which, according to Ethiopian tradition, is the repository of the biblical Ark of the Covenant.
Once the capital and a major religious center, it remains the site of quite startling antiquities; the 2000 years old mysterious monolithic stelae, hewn from single pieces of solid granite and carved to resemble multi-story houses, ever worked on by humanity anywhere in the world; subterranean stone tombs high enough to walk in; several palaces including ruins of the legendary Queen of Sheba's palace and bath; special gold-silver-and-bronze currencies; multilingual tablets dating from the time of Christ – and much more besides,Same day, you will drive to Mekele to start the Unique experience on the next day. Overnight Axum hotel.
Day 11: Mekele – Hamede Ela
Picked up from your hotel orning at 8:00am and start the tour by driving to Hamedela via Berhale. The Danakil Depression can be said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colors, as in the sulphur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328 ft) below sea level. You pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravans stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long caravans going to the salt mines and others coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. (3-4 hrs drive) Camp at Hamedela.
Day 12: Hamd Ela – Dodom
We start early, shortly after a 06:30 breakfast, and drive to Dodom at the base of Erta Ale. This may be one of the worst road in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, before reaching Dodom. You will trek from Dodom to Erta Ale which takes about 3 hrs. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to Ert Ale at 20:00. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food, sleeping materials, mattresses and water, to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain.
Day 13: Trek down from Erta Ale to Dodom
Early morning you will rise with the sun with time to walk around pits and craters. The main pit-crater, 200 m deep and 350 m across, is sub-circular and three storied. The smaller southern pit is 65 m wide and about 100 m deep. You will leave around 7:00 to head back to Dodom for breakfast. You will reach latest at 10:30 am at the camp and after some time to relax you will drive on to Hamad Ela, a village with a total population about 500 people. Over night camping at Hamed Ela.
Day 14: Visit Dalol, the lowest point on the world and the area
Morning driving tour to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal + camel caravans. Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele. Same day, you can fly back to Addis from Mekele by the flight departing from Mekele at 7:50pm and arrive to Addis at 9:10pm. Overnight Sidra Hotel.
Day 15: Shoping tour of Addis and fly back home
This day, you can have shopping tour in Addis to buy some gifts for your parents and relatives when you go back to Israel. Night before your flight check-in time, there is farewell dinner arranged in the traditional restaurant. You will enjoy Ethiopian food and cultural dances to have the last amazing memory in the beautiful Ethiopia.
After the dinner, we will drop you back to the airport for your flight check-in time.