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ETT 109 – 5 Day Tour of Lalibela-Danakil

 

Option One

Day 1- Addis – Lalibela
In the morning, fly north to Lalibela and be transferred to your hotel. After lunch, 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.

In the city of Lalibela you will see about Eleven Rock Churches organized into groups of three.

Biete Medhanealem, Biete Maryam, Biete Golgotha Mikael, Biete Maskal (House of the Cross), Biete Denagel (House of Virgins), Biete Giyorgis, Biete Amanuel, Biete Qeddus Merkoreos, Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abba Libanos), Biete Gabriel-Ruphael, Biete Lehem (Bethlehem Hebrew: בֵּית לֶחֶם, House of Holy Bread).

pack-coverOvernight Lalibela Lodge or simila.

Day 2: Lalibela to Mekele (Drive)

Drive from Lalibela to Mekele (The drive will take from 7 to 8 hours)

Overnight in Mekele  

Day 3: Start Danakil tour
We start our day by driving to Erta Ale (which means smoky mountain in Afar language). 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. It is 613 meters, with a lava lake, one of only five in the world, at the summit. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century.
We start early 9:00 AM, drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). This is may be one of the roughest roads in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing the landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and occasional palm-lined oasis. After passing several small hamlets scattered here and there in this deserted land, you will arrive at Dodom camping site, located about 17km from Erta Ale.
Dinner will be served around 17:00 o’clock. After a short break, trek up to Ertale at 20:00 hours. Camels will be transporting all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and mat and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. You will spend the night on top of the mountain, at the rim of the Volcano.

Day 4:
Early Morning sunrise at the northern one corresponds to the main pit crater and walk 5 minutes for the southern and central pits could either corresponds to an ancient pit, or to a simple collapse structure. 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. Descend from Erta Ale around 9 am Dodom – Leave back to Dodom after an early breakfast, if possible at 07:00 o’clock.
You will reach the latest at 10:30 o’clock at the camp, where you will be relaxing. As soon as possible, drive to reach the mythical Lake Giulietti (or Lake Afrera)(optional may not be available during summer time), a saltwater lake located more than100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet. Because of the picturesque landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake, continue to Erbiti and proceed to Abaala/ Hamed ela

Day 5: Danakil to Mekele
Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of workers breaking salts 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 meters below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans (No camel caravan on July, August, and early September) and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele.
End of Danakil tour

 

19.50 Fly to ADD by ET109 ………………………………………………………………………………………………………

 

The price Includes:

  • All Entrance fees and licenses as per the program.

  • Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.

  • Bottles of water for the trip.

  • Surface Transport expense with four-wheel drive Land-cruiser including fuel expense and drivers allowance

  • Local guide service for the afar region as per the program.

  • Cooking, camping equipment,

  • Scout and police service in Afar Region as per the program.

  • Camel and camel tires in Afar Region as per the program.

  • All transport

  • English speaking Guide and Driver

  • Three domestic flights with Ethiopian Air Lines

For the duration of the trip, we are responsible for all three domestic flights meals, water, entrance fees, accommodation, security, and transportation.

price Excludes: Lunch and dinner in Lalibela

ETT 110 – Option Two

Start with Mekele & end with Lalibela

Day 1:  Mekele – Hamede Ela Fly from Addis to Mekele by ET 100
Fly from Addis to Mekele. Drive 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 sulfur 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)

Overnight Camp at Hamedela

Day 2:  Hamd Ela – Dodom
We start early, shortly after a 06:30 breakfast, and drive to Askoma at the base of new Erta Ale. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing the 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 Askoma village or parking area.  You will trek from Askoma to the new Erta Ale which takes about 4 hrs. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to the new Erta Ale reach around 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. New 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. New Erta Ale is part of the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain. The magma flow moved 3.5 km south from old Erta Ale to the New eruption point. Overnight New eruption point

Day 3: Ragad (Asebo)- Dallol + Lake Assal- Mekele
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 meters 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. Overnight Mekele

Day 5: Mekele – Lalibela Fly to Lalibela (LLI), Ethiopia.
In the morning, fly north to Lalibela and be transferred to your hotel. After lunch, 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.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. visit the second and third group of churches of Lalibela.

Overnight Lalibela Lodge

Day 6: ET 120 Fly from Lalibela to Addis.

 

ETT 111- Detailed Itinerary for a 6 Days tour Package (Simien Mountains, Lalibela, and Danakil Depression)

Day 1:  Fly from Addis to Gondar……or start from your hotel in Gondar. We will meet you in the morning at Gondar Airport or your hotel in Gondar. Drive from Gondar to Debark, which is the headquarter town for the national park. We will stop here to get permission to enter the park and meet the scout. We will have tea and coffee break and visit the local market if we have time. The local market is open every day, and every Wednesday and Saturday is the big market day. From Debark town, we will drive to the park gate, which is about 16km from the town. Then, we are heading about 6km to Buit Ras, the first area of the national park. From Buit Ras, we will trek for about 3, 4 hours to Chilkuwanit which is one of the most beautiful viewpoints. This area offers stunning views over the escarpment dropping vertically. You will most certainly encounter troops of the endemic Gelada Baboons and see them up-close. You may also see common jackal, klipspringer and more. There are a lot of birds such as Thick-billed Raven, Augar Buzard, Black Kites, Lammergeyer and different plant species such as Abyssinian Rose, Erica Arboria tree, Euphorbia Species, St. Johns Worttree(Hypercumrevoltum) and so on.

Overnight: Debark / Hotel

Day 2: Drive back to Gondar airport and fly to Lalibela: 10:00 AM flight

Visit the 11 groups 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. Here is the list of churches you will visit;

Overnight: Lalibela / Hotel

Day 3: Drive from Lalibela to Mekele enjoying the beauty of the landscape of the country. Overnight: Mekele / Hotel

Day 4: We start our day by driving to Erta Ale (which means smoky mountain in Afar language). 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. It is 613 meters, with a lava lake, one of only five in the world, at the summit. It is notable for being the longest existing lava lake, present since the early years of the twentieth century.

We start early 9:00 AM, drive to Dodom (at the base of Erta Ale). This is may be one of the roughest roads in the world. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing the landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and occasional palm-lined oasis. After passing several small hamlets scattered here and there in this deserted land, you will arrive to Dodom camping site, located about 17km from Erta Ale.

Dinner will be served around 17:00 o’clock. After a short break, trek up to Ertale at 20:00 hours. Camels will be transporting all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses and mat and water) to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. You will spend the night on top of the mountain, at the rim of the Volcano.

Day 5: Early Morning sunrise at the northern one corresponds to the main pit crater and walk 5 minutes for the southern and central pits could either corresponds to an ancient pit, or to a simple collapse structure. 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. Descend from Erta Ale around 9 am Dodom – Leave back to Dodom after an early breakfast, if possible at 07:00 o’clock.

You will reach the latest at 10:30 o’clock at the camp, where you will be relaxing. As soon as possible, drive to reach the mythical Lake Giulietti (or Lake Afrera)(optional may not be available during summer time), a saltwater lake located more than100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet. Because of the picturesque landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake., continue to Erbiti and proceed Abaala/ Hamed ela

Day 6: Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of workers breaking salts 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 meters below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans (No camel caravan on July, August, and early September) and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele.

Fly from Mekele to Addis.

End of tour

The price Includes:

  • All Entrance fees and licenses as per the program.

  • Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.

  • Bottles of water for the trip.

  • Surface Transport expense with four-wheel drive Land-cruiser including fuel expense and drivers allowance

  • Local guide service for the afar region as per the program.

  • Cooking, camping equipment,

  • Scout and police service in Afar Region as per the program.

  • Camel and camel tires in Afar Region as per the program.

  • All transport

  • English speaking Guide and Driver

  • Three domestic flights with Ethiopian Air Lines

For the duration of the trip, we are responsible for all three domestic flights meals, water, entrance fees, accommodation, security, and transportation.

price Excludes, Lunch and dinner in Lalibela and Gondar.

ETT 0112 Harar and Awash 3 days Tour.

Day 1:  An one hour flight takes us to Dire Dawa where a transfer is waiting for us to take us to Harar. This 55 km journey will take close to 1,5 hr. In Harar we check-in in our hotel. Our local guide is waiting for us and from here we start our exploration of the old town. A day to discover more of Harar. There are many mosques and shrines to discover and it is a lively town too. The Harari market is famous. In the evening we are going to see the Hyena man, feeding the hyena by hand. You dare to give it a try?

Day 2: - 300 km distance. In the morning, drive to Awash Park via Dire Dawa to visit Lege Oda Primitive Cave Paintings. En-route, you will have a short stop to visit Aweday chat market. Then, drive to Awash National Park. Genet Hotel or Doho Lodge. (Note if you start early from Harar. In the evening you will have a chance to do a short game drive to see the local wildlife, such as oryx, baboons, greater and lesser kudu, warthogs, gazelles, Columbus monkeys.)

Day 3:- Early Game drive in the Awash National Park to visit Awash River gorge and Awash River Falls. The thorny bushes of Awash National Park support not only beautiful birds but also some mammals such as Beisa Oryx, Sommering’s Gazelle, Salt’s Dik Dik, Warthog, Black backed Jackal, Hamadriyas Baboon, Greater and Lesser Kudus. Then, late afternoon driving to you 225 kilometers west of Awas NP return to Addis Ababa. End of service.

Cost $400.00 The Price Includes:

All Entrance fees and local guides as per the program.

Accommodation with BED and Breakfast.  (Genet Hotel or Doho Lodge) 

Bottles of water for the trip.

Surface Transport expense with four-wheel drive Land-cruiser including fuel expense and drivers allowance

Guide service for the as per the program.

Scout Fee inside the park, airport transfer.

Itinerary For Djibouti Two Days

ETT 0113 - 2 DAYS - 2 DAYS LAKE ABBÉ AND LAKE ASSAL TOUR - OVERVIEW

Ideal for travelers who have limited time to spend. In 2 Days/1 Night you will visit the two most interesting sites in Djibouti. Lake Assal is the lowest point in the African continent. Lake Abbé is often used for shooting movies because of its remarkable scenery and landscape. There will be an early wake up to see the Sunrise after sleeping in a traditional Afar hut at Lake Abbé Camp. During a walking tour to the Lake you will also see nomadic people, Flamingos and Hot Springs.

Day 1: Djibouti City – Dikhil – Lake Abbé

In the morning we’ll drive to Lake Abbé. The drive passes The Grand Bara and Petit Barra deserts. You will have an overnight stay at the Lake Abbé Camp to see the amazing scenery during sunset. The Camp is a settlement of traditional Afar huts which are very basic (LD). (O/N at Lake Abbé Touristic Camp)

Day 2: Lake Abbé – Vulcano – Lake Assal – Goubet – Djibouti City

There will be an early wake up to see the sunrise. Lake Abbé has a beautiful scenery full of chimneys. During a walking tour to the Lake, you will also see nomadic people, Flamingos, and Hot Springs. The geology of this area is very interesting. We drive to Lake Assal, the lowest point in Africa. On our way, we also visit the Panoramic view of Canyon Adaleh and the Panoramic view of Goubet.

In Lake Assal the big salt field makes you feel like walking in nowhere land. The water has bright colors that change from time to time because of the sun reflection. The trip continues to Djibouti City where the tour ends (BL).

Note: The tour can start by picking you up at the Hotel or at The Airport. The tour ends with a drop off at the Hotel or at The Airport.

Inclusions

Included in the tour:
– Transportation with driver
– Accommodation (1 night)
– Meals as listed in the program
– Site entrance fees in Djibouti
– English speaking Guide

Not included in the tour:
– Visa costs
– Flights
– Arrival/Departure tax
– Other personal expenses
– Meals not listed in the program

ETT 0114 - 12 Days trip / Addis Ababa, Gondar, Simien Mountain three days, Axum, Tigray Churches, Danakil Depression three days, Bati Market, Awash National Park

12 days

Highlights of the trip

Day 1 (January 19 Sunday):-

The Ethiopian celeberats Timket (also known as Epiphany) on Jan 20, it’s a 3 days celebration a symbolic reenactment of the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist.  For Ethiopian Orthodox Christians, it serves as a renewal of their baptismal vows.

Timket is a Three-day festival, starting the day before Jan 19, when the church tabot (replica of the Ark of the Covenant) is taken from the church to a nearby location, usually near a body of water.  This is representative of Jesus coming to the River Jordan.  The tabot spends the night in this location while the priests and other faithful hold a vigil through the night.  In the morning Jan 20 the water is blessed and is then sprinkled on the gatherers (or they may chose to bathe in the water), renewing their baptismal vows.  Long parades then carry the tabot back home to the church while the revelers sing and dance except for the tabot of Michael And on Jan 21 The people gasser again and start to sing and pries the Lord while carrying the tabot of Michael back to its home church.

Since It’s a 3 days Celebration starting January 19 and ending on January 21 you will be able to see ketera in Addis Abeba which is the first day and celeberat Timket (also known as Epiphany) in Gondar the next day before you start the Siemin trekking

Overnight:- Caravan Hotel Addis Abeba 

Day 2 (January 20 Monday):- Fly to Gondar early in the morning and attend the Timket Celeberation in Gondar before you start the drive 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.

Overnight:- Camping

Day 3 (January 21 Tuesday):-

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.

Overnight:- Camping

Day 4 (January 22 Wednesday):-  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 to Axum. The trek will last approximately 4-5 hours. Overnight:- Berana Hotel Axum

Day 5 (January 23 Thursday):-   

In the morning visit Axum the northern Stelae Field, Axum, Tigray Region Pick up from your hotel, in Axum at 8:30 in the morning. Start the tour with a visit to obelisks including the one recently back home from Rome, Italy. The obelisks are carved from single rock, one witness artistic works on the obelisks. Continue with a visit to underground tombs of different kings and royal families. Get through Axum archeological museum for the general understanding of the historical chronology. Then visit church museum and St. Mary Zion church which is believed to be a home to the original Arc of the Covenant.In the afternoon/after lunch break Queen of Sheba swimming pool, inscription of king Ezana which is written in the Sabean language. Continue with a visit to tomb of king Kaleb and Gebremeskel. Then visit Queen of Sheba palace and finally visit Judith stele fields. End of the tour. Overnight:- Berana Hotel Axum

Day 6 (January 24):- Drive from Axum – Hawzien (190 km., 6-7 hours)

Drive from Axum to Hawzein via Adwa and Adigrat. For the Ethiopians, the town of Adwa holds huge significance. It was in the hills surrounding Adwa that the Emperor Menelik II inflicted the biggest defeat ever on a colonial army in Africa and saved Ethiopia from colonization. About 11km east of Adwa is the monastery of Abba Garima, said to have been founded by one of the nine saints in the 6th century. The monastery is known for its collection of religious artifacts including three illuminated gospels from the 10th century. Use the town as the base from which to visit Yeha or Debra Damo. Yeha is famous for its huge and remarkable temple. According to the 19th-century German scholar Heinrich Miller, the temple is thought to date back to about seven or eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing building in the country. Beside the remarkable temple stands a church dedicated to Abba Aftse. Abba Aftse was one of the famous nine saints who came to Ethiopia in the 6th century from the eastern Roman Empire to teach the Gospel. The church, sharing the same compound with the temple is rectangular in shape. Proceed to Debre Damo monastery accessible only by rope and not allowed for women. Then continue driving to Adigrat for lunch at a local restaurant. Adigrat is the largest town in Tigray after Mekelle and is an important junction linking Ethiopia with Eritrea. Finally drive to Hawzen for overnight via Sinkata, situated 36km south of Adigrat. Adigrat is a quietly attractive village of stone houses with sandstone cliffs to the east offering stunning views of the Gheralta plains. You can use the town as the base from which to visit the rock-hewn churches at Gheralta. Overnight at Adulis hotel Hawzien.

Day 7 (January 25 Friday):-  

In one day you will visit three churches; Abuna Yemata Guh; Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. All of which are very different in style but stunningly beautiful in their own way.

To visit Abuna Yemata Guh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turns into a climb using footholds and handholds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint-hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left-hand side. At the entrance, there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock.

Of the three, Maryam Korkor is the most impressive architecturally. A huge, high ceiling is supported by 12 free-standing pillars. Looking at it you could not help but wonder how the architect managed to carve so high from the ground Drive to Mekele. Overnight:- Atse Yohanes Mekelle

Day 8 (January 26 Saturday):- ( Mekele – Hamede Ela Drive 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 sulfur 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 caravan stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long camel caravans coming to the salt mine and others going out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. (3-4 hrs drive) Camp Hamedela. After a drive to reach Hamad Ela, better village with a total population of about 500 people. Sunset at Dallol. Overnight:- camping at Hamed Ela.

Day 9 (January 27 Sunday):-

Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of breaking 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 meters 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. Overnight:- Atse Yohannes Mekelle

Day 10 (January 28 Monday):- Drive Mekelle - Awash Via Bati

Here you can visit the Bati Market it Attracts up to 10,000 Afar, Oromo and Amhara, and even some traders from Djibouti, this market is epic. It’s Ethiopia’s largest after Addis Ababa’s Merkato, but it far eclipses the capital’s for interest and exotica. Within the market is an old gallows (dating from the emperor’s day) and on the other side of town are the livestock and chat markets. Overnight:- Genet Hotel Awash

Day 11 (January 29 Tuesday):- In the morning start driving to the foothills of mount Fentale where you can begin the five hours trek to the volcano. Then drive back to the beautiful natural spa or palm pool with picnic lunch. From there drive to the remote Sabure typical Afar peoples Saturday market where they have separate cattle and commodity market. After taking the picnic lunch at the hot springs drive to lake Beseka near the Hyena Cave to see the Hyena’s leave the cave here one can see a minimum of twenty to thirty Hyena while enjoying the aquatic birds at lake Beseka including the rare Pink Flamingoes. Drive to Debre Zeit in the afternoon. Overnight:- Lake view lodge Debre Zeit

Day 12 (January 30 Wednesday):- Debre Zeit is home to several crater lakes and a popular weekend getaway spot for Addis Ababa residents.  You can spend the day visiting the lakes or doing some light hiking (circling Lake Hora takes 1 ½ hours).  The area is very popular for birdwatching.  There are several lake-side establishments for lunch and even a spa. Return to Addis Ababa, afternoon and after Lunch in Addis you will be shopping around Addis Abeba or you can just relax till your flight time.

 

ETT - 0115 14 Days Gondar, Simien Mountain three days, Axum, Tigray Churches two days, Danakil Depression three days, Lalibela, Awash National Park, Debre Zeit

14 days

Highlights of the trip – Gondar, Simien Mountain three days, Axum, Tigray Churches two days, Danakil Depression three days, Lalibela, Awash National Park, Debre Zeit,

Day 1 (December 22 Sunday): - Fly from Addis to Gondar. Visit Gondar. Over Night Gondar.

Day 2 (December 23 Monday): - Drive from Gondar to Sankabar/Simien Mountain via Debark town. 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.

Overnight: - Camping

Day 3 (December 24 Tuesday): -

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.

Overnight: - Camping

Day 4 (December 25 Wednesday): - 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 to Axum. The trek will last approximately 4-5 hours. Overnight: - Birana Hotel Axum

Day 5 (December 26 Thursday): -   

In the morning visit Axum the northern Stelae Field, Axum, Tigray Region Pick up from your hotel, in Axum at 8:30 in the morning. Start the tour with a visit to obelisks including the one recently back home from Rome, Italy. The obelisks are carved from single rock, one witness artistic works on the obelisks. Continue with a visit to underground tombs of different kings and royal families. Get through Axum archeological museum for the general understanding of the historical chronology. Then visit church museum and St. Mary Zion church which is believed to be a home to the original Arc of the Covenant. In the afternoon/after lunch break Queen of Sheba swimming pool, inscription of king Ezana which is written in the Sabean language. Continue with a visit to tomb of king Kaleb and Gebre Meskel. Then visit Queen of Sheba palace and finally visit Judith stele fields. End of the tour. Overnight: - Birana Hotel Axum

Day 6 (December 27 Friday): - Drive from Axum – Hawzien (190 km., 6-7 hours)

Drive from Axum to Hawzein via Adwa and Adigrat. For the Ethiopians, the town of Adwa holds huge significance. It was in the hills surrounding Adwa that the Emperor Menelik II inflicted the biggest defeat ever on a colonial army in Africa and saved Ethiopia from colonization. About 11km east of Adwa is the monastery of Abba Garima, said to have been founded by one of the nine saints in the 6th century. The monastery is known for its collection of religious artifacts including three illuminated gospels from the 10th century. Use the town as the base from which to visit Yeha or Debre Damo. Yeha is famous for its huge and remarkable temple. According to the 19th-century German scholar Heinrich Miller, the temple is thought to date back to about seven or eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. The temple is believed to be the oldest standing building in the country. Beside the remarkable temple stands a church dedicated to Abba Aftse. Abba Aftse was one of the famous nine saints who came to Ethiopia in the 6th century from the eastern Roman Empire to teach the Gospel. The church, sharing the same compound with the temple is rectangular in shape. Proceed to Debre Damo monastery accessible only by rope and not allowed for women. Then continue driving to Adigrat for lunch at a local restaurant. Adigrat is the largest town in Tigray after Mekelle and is an important junction linking Ethiopia with Eritrea. Finally drive to Hawzen for overnight via Sinkata, situated 36km south of Adigrat. Adigrat is a quietly attractive village of stone houses with sandstone cliffs to the east offering stunning views of the Gheralta plains. You can use the town as the base from which to visit the rock-hewn churches at Gheralta. Overnight at Adulis hotel Hawzien.

Day 7 (December 28 Saturday): -  

In one day you will visit three churches; Abuna Yemata Guh; Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. All of which are very different in style but stunningly beautiful in their own way.

To visit Abuna Yemata Guh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turns into a climb using footholds and handholds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet. The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint-hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one meter wide and with a 200m drop to the left-hand side. At the entrance, there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock.

Of the three, Maryam Korkor is the most impressive architecturally. A huge, high ceiling is supported by 12 free-standing pillars. Looking at it you could not help but wonder how the architect managed to carve so high from the ground Drive to Mekele. Overnight: - Atse Yohanes Mekelle

Day 8 (December 29 Sunday): - (Mekele – Hamede Ela Drive 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 sulfur 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 caravan stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long camel caravans coming to the salt mine and others going out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. (3-4 hrs drive) Camp Hamedela. After a drive to reach Hamad Ela, better village with a total population of about 500 people. Sunset at Dallol. Overnight: - camping at Hamed Ela.

Day 9 (December 30 Monday): -

Morning tour Drive to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the localities are mining salt. Look the activity of breaking 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 meters 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. Overnight: - Atse Yohannes Mekelle

Day 10 (December 31 Tuesday): - Drive Mekelle - Lalibela

Day 11 (January 1 Wednesday): - Visit Lalibela.

Day 12 (January 2 Thursday): - Drive from Lalibela to Awash Park. drive to Awash National Park. (Note if you start early from Lalibela. Sun set time you will have a chance to do a short game drive to see the local wildlife, such as oryx, baboons, greater and lesser kudu, warthogs, gazelles, Columbus monkeys.) Genet Hotel or Doho Lodge.

Day 13 (January 3 Friday): - Visit Awash National Park. In the morning start driving to the foothills of mount Fentale where you can begin the five hours trek to the volcano. Then drive back to the beautiful natural spa or palm pool with picnic lunch. From there drive to the remote Sabure typical Afar peoples Saturday market where they have separate cattle and commodity market. After taking the picnic lunch at the hot springs drive to lake Beseka near the Hyena Cave to see the Hyena’s leave the cave here one can see a minimum of twenty to thirty Hyena while enjoying the aquatic birds at lake Beseka including the rare Pink Flamingoes. Drive to Debre Zeit in the afternoon. Overnight:- Lake view lodge Debre Zeit

Day 14 (January 4 Saturday): Debre Zeit is home to several crater lakes and a popular weekend getaway spot for Addis Ababa residents.  You can spend the day visiting the lakes or doing some light hiking (circling Lake Hora takes 1 ½ hours).  The area is very popular for birdwatching.  There are several lake-side establishments for lunch and even a spa. Return to Addis Ababa, afternoon and after Lunch in Addis you will be shopping around Addis Abeba or you can just relax till your flight time.

 

 

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