Daily schedule EASTER PACKAGE
A scheduled trip from daily:
ET 0139 - SIMIEN MOUNTAIN/LALIBELA/DANAKIL/TIGRAY CHURCHES
Day 1, Fly from Addis to Gondar/Simien. Camping
– Domestic flights Three flight with Ethiopian airlines
– Accommodation with breakfast outside Simien and Danakil
ETT 0140 - 12 days
Highlights of the trip
Epiphany, Simien Mountain three days, Axum, Rock churches of Tigray, Danakil two days, Bati Market, Awash National park.
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.
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.
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