HISTORIC NORTHERN ETHIOPIA
Awe inspiring landscape views from some of the world's highest and most stunning vantage points- the grass covered Simien Mountains roamed by red-chested gelada baboons, city streets taken over by ancient religious festivals, ancient churches carved into mountain-tops, the awe-inspiring Blue Nile falls... Ethiopia's historic northern route will take you back to a magical time of kings, wild beasts, ancient traditions and raw and untouched beauty. The northern route’s isolation has resulted in the preservation of cultural riches that surpass travelers’ expectations and imagination.
WHAT WE LOVE
- Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Axum, the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Axum and Bahir Dar
- Trek Simien National Park, an area of outstanding rugged scenery inhabited by red-chested gelada baboons
- Spend sabbath with the small community of Ethiopian Jews that remain in Gondar
- March through the streets of Gondar for the ancient colorful Timket Festival held in January
- Expert local guides that enrich your understanding of Ethiopia’s fascinating culture and rich history
- All hotels, meals and ground transportation on the northern route
- Expert guides and translators
WHAT TO KNOW
- Ethiopia today is a safe, peaceful and welcoming country.
- The trip is available year round.
- Time your trip to coincide with the colorful Timket festival in January.
- Pairs well with Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zanzibar
- Priced from $5,300 per person
- Not included: Flights to/from Ethiopia. meals, hotels, transport in Addis Ababa, travel insurance
HOW TO GET THERE
There are international direct flights to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from numerous cities, most notably Washington D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Dubai, and Nairobi.
DAY 1: ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA
Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital city. Transfer from the airport, and settle in to your hotel. Overnight at Sheraton.
DAY 2: BAHIR DAR - BLUE NILE FALLS
Board a short flight to Bahir Dar. Travel overland to 300 foot-wide plunging Blue Nile Falls. After lunch, cruise Lake Tana. Some of the monasteries in Bahir Dar date back to the 14th century AD. Overnight at Kuriftu Resort & Spa.
DAY 3: GONDAR
“The Camelot of Africa,” Gondar was founded in 1636 by Emperor Fasiladas as the royal capital of Ethiopia. The city is famous for medieval castles and churches. Explore Fasiladas Palace, Quskuam Church, and Debre Birhan Selassie Church. Legend has it that the Debre Birhan Selassie Church was saved from invaders by the timely intervention of a swarm of bees. Overnight at Goha Hotel.
DAY 4: GONDAR
The jagged Simien Mountains are a marvel, with pinnacles of solidified lava rising from a moon-like landscape. See Ras Dashan, at 4,620 meters, the highest point in Ethiopia and fourth-highest in Africa. Soak up the breathtaking panorama and observe resident wildlife including the walia, gelada baboon, and Ethiopian wolf. While here, you also may visit the remaining Ethiopian Jews at a former Beta Israel village. Overnight at Goha Hotel or Lammergeyer Hotel.
DAY 5: LALIBELA
Short morning flight to Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lalibela has is home to 13 churches carved completely out of solid mountain rock constructed over a century ago by King Lalibela. It is commonly referred to as “New Jerusalem” due to its monolithic churches and rock-cut architecture. Overnight at Tukul Village, Mountain View Hotel, or Roha Hotel.
DAY 6: LALIBELA
After breakfast, travel to Nakutoleab, a monastery hewn from a rock cave on the outskirts of the city. Proceed to the cave churches built by King Lalibela. Overnight at the Mountain View Hotel.
DAY 7: FLIGHT TO AXUM
Fly to Axum. Explore Queen of Sheba’s Palace, a massive stone walled structure. Continue to the church of Saint Mary of Zion. According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the Biblical Ark of the Covenant is stored here. Overnight at Yeha Hotel.
DAY 8: ADDIS ABABA
Fly to Addis Ababa and connect to international departure.
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