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Ethiopia: Cultural Treasures & Natural Wonders

Ethiopia: Cultural Treasures & Natural Wonders

$1990 per person

This extraordinary journey explores northern Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church played a huge role in shaping the country, and your explorations mix the sacred and the historical as you discover the wonders of the ancient cities of Bahir Dar, Gondar, Lalibela and Axum. From the shores of Lake Tana and the hills of Gondar to the Simien Mountains, you’ll experience the best of Ethiopia, including castle ruins, island monasteries, and underground rock-hewn churches. Prepare to have your mind blown!

Ethiopia is a great county to combine with the incredible safari destinations of Kenya, Tanzania, or even Uganda! We recommend travels take a bit of time exploring any of these unique wildlife encounters with the incredibly rich culture of Ethiopia.

Highlights

  • Professionally guided Addis Ababa city tour, which includes a visit to the National Museum — the home of Lucy, the world’s oldest human.
  • Majestic Blue Nile waterfalls.
  • The ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana.
  • The Royal Enclosure, a walled compound with six castles built beginning in the 17th century by a succession of kings.
  • Ethiopia’s famed underground rock-hewn churches.
  • Traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
  • 13-century Nakuto Leab Monastery, built inside a cave.

  • Destination
  • Included
    Accommodations
    Activities as Specified
    English Speaking Guide
    Government taxes
    Meals as Specified
    Transportation
  • Not Included
    Domestic Airfare
    International Airfare
    Tips For Tour Guides
    Travel Insurance
    Visa Processing
1

ARRIVE ADDIS ABABA

  • Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you’ll be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for a short transfer to your hotel.
  • The rest of the day is a city tour of Addis Ababa which includes: the National Museum which houses Lucy, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Mercato, the largest open air market in Africa.
  • We will then head to ZOMA Museum. This is an environmentally conscious art institution acting as a bridge between artists and architects from around the world to create cutting-edge ecological art and architecture. In this context, Zoma Museum is built using ancient yet still existing construction techniques. The building materials include mud, straw, stone, wood, and cement.
  • The activities of Zoma Museum include a gallery, library, children’s center, edible garden, elementary school, art and vernacular school, amphitheater and a museum shop. Welcome to Ethiopia!
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: JUPITER HOTEL
  • iNCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, LUNCH, & TOUR ENTRANCE FEES
2

ADDIS ABABA- BAHIRDAR

  • 40-minute morning flight to Bahirdar.
  • After check-in to the beautiful lakeside resort, stroll around the lake and enjoy a relaxing morning.
  • After lunch at the hotel, we’ll drive 35km to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls. Thirty km’s after it exits Lake Tana, the Blue Nile plunges over a 45m-high face to form one of Africa’s most spectacular waterfalls.
  • Hike to the falls through the beautiful river gorge and cross a 17th century bridge while meeting locals in small villages discovered along the way. This is the real deal!
  • In the afternoon, we’ll have a sunset cruise on Lake Tana toward the outlet of the Blue Nile River.
  • Relax via a sundowner with snack, wine, and cold drinks -- the ultimate way to enjoy the African Sunset and also spot birdlife and the hippocampus.
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: KURIFTU RESORT
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
3

BAHIRDAR-ISLAND MONASTERIES OF LAKE TANA

  • After breakfast, we’ll cruise by boat across Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana. The 37 islands of Lake Tana shelter twenty monasteries that are surviving remnants of an old and contemplative tradition. Because of their isolation, they were used to store treasures and religious relics from all parts of the country. The Lake’s monasteries are famous for their typical Ethiopian religious paintings, illuminated manuscripts, and other ancient church treasures.
  • Here we’ll also witness how the local people make different handicrafts including the papyrus boat. This boat is very similar to the boats you see in the ancient paintings of the pyramids of Egypt painted thousands of years ago.
  • In the afternoon, we’ll visit the colorful Bahir Dar market. For today’s sundowner, we’ll chill out with a drink in our hand while having a relaxing 30-minute foot massage while enjoying the sunset on the lake. Now this is the way to end an epic day.
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: KURIFTU RESORT
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
4

BAHIR DAR-GONDAR

  • After breakfast, drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside arriving in Gondar around lunchtime.
  • After check in to Goha Hotel and having lunch there, we’ll start city tour of Gondar. Gondar, founded by Emperor Fasiledas around 1635, is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decor of its churches -- in particular, Debre Birhan Selassie represents a masterpiece of unique Ethiopian School of traditional art.
  • Visit the Royal Enclosure, a walled compound having six different castles built beginning in the 17th century by a succession of kings. The pool of King Fasilidas still serves as a baptismal pool during the Ethiopian Epiphany; we’ll also visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie who interior is adorned with brilliant frescos.
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: GOHA HOTEL
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
5

AXUM-ROCK-HEWN CHURCHES OF LALIBELA

  • After having an early breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Gonder Airport for your flight to Lalibela.
  • After check in to Hotel, we’ll stroll to the site to discover a concentration of some of Ethiopia’s most famous underground rock-hewn churches. These “living wonders of the world” are at least 800 years-old and remain an active Christian shrine and the spiritual center of the country’s  religious life. The monolithic churches were carved out of 2,600-sq meter natural rock terrace in the 12-century AD by King Lalibela.
  • This afternoon, we’ll also visit Lalibela elementary school and enjoy some up-close time with the curious  children by visiting their classrooms to share stories.
  • In the evening, there’ll be a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house. Those who can’t face their day without a cup of coffee may be surprised to know that Ethiopia is it’s birthplace, with the Kaffa region being its namesake. The berries were originally only eaten, never roasted and ground into a beverage; Ethiopians turned coffee into a hot drink in the 13th century. Coffee ceremonies are a traditional Ethiopian way of welcoming guests and sharing the ultimate hospitality -- a frequent celebration that remains in the heart of most Ethiopians.
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: TUKUL VILLAGE HOTEL
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
6

LALIBELA-ASHETEN MARIAM

  • A morning drive to Nakuto Leab Monastery, a very famous 13-century monastery/church built in a cave.
  • After lunch and rest at the hotel, we’ll continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous past with a visit to more of Lalibela’s remarkable churches, whose architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed.
  • Once you have finished visiting the second group of churches we’ll stroll through the village via the bewildering labyrinth of underground tunnels leading to the monastery were the monks and nuns live.
  • The underground rock-hewn churches that we’ll visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Mercorios, Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos.
 
  • ACCOMMODATION: TUKUL VILLAGE HOTEL
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER
7

LALIBELA- ADDIS ABABA-DEPARTURE

  • After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa.
  • The remainder of the day features another city tour of Addis Ababa which includes the fabulous view of Addis Ababa from Mount Entoto. You’ll also have the chance to shop around Piassa and Bole and enjoy a beautiful café, just like the locals.
  • In the evening, there will be a’ complementary farewell dinner party with an amazing traditional buffet and local beverages. There will also be live cultural dance show featuring different Ethiopian ethnic groups. Now this is the way to end an epic trip!
  • After the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight home or onward to your next destination
 
  • INCLUDED: TRANSPORTATION, BREAKFAST, LUNCH, & DINNER

Dates

Unlike most tour operators, you are not required to choose a fixed date or travel with a group. You can choose to begin your private tour on any date. These are EVERYDAY DEPARTURES.

Tour Price

3 Star 4 Star 5 Star
High Season (Apr, May, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct)
N/A
N/A single
$1,990 double
$2,390 single
N/A double
N/A single
Low Season (Jan, Feb, Mar, Jun, Nov, Dec)
N/A double
N/A single
$1,990 double
$2,390 single
N/A double
N/A single
    • Prices are per person based on double occupancy.
    • Single supplement price for single room as part of a group of 2 or more.
    • One person traveling alone will incur a higher price due to private tour.
    • All prices and fares are quoted in U.S. dollars and subject to change. 
    • Please note: Prices for 5 & more travelers available upon request.
Please call our toll free number 1-888-860-4766 to inquire about pricing or make a booking for this tour.

Airfare

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