VIVA ETHIOPIA TOUR
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Title: ESPECIAL ETHIOPIA TOUR (Historical North, Cultural South and Nature East)Lalibela

Tour code: VETF1267

Duration: 20/ 19 nights

Transportation: Flight/surface-4x4

Group size: Max. 15, Min. 2, Avg. 9

Tour dates and price per adult: Please have a look on the price detail section (bottom of page) for what is included 


Date

Price

Date

Price

June 19, 2012

$4,584

March 19, 2013

$4,584

July 24, 2012

$4,584

June 11, 2013

$4,584

August 21, 2012

$4,584

July 23, 2013

$4,584

September 6, 2012

$4,584

August 20, 2013

$4,584

October 2, 2012

$4,584

September 24, 2013

$4,584

November 6, 2012

$4,584

October 22, 2013

$4,584

December 4, 2012

$4,584

November 19, 2013

$4,584

January 8, 2013

$4,584

December 10, 2013

$4,584

February 5, 2013

$4,584


>>Inquire/Book This Tour

 

Introduction deber_lebanos_fall

This is the most popular route for those visiting Ethiopia - the ‘Cradle of Mankind’. See a range of fabulous attractions, such as the remarkable archaeological sites, shelter for the real Ark of the Covenant and the massive giant Obelisk at Axum, the enchanting castles in Gondar, the incredible 12th century rock-hewn churches of Lalibella, the source of the Blue Nile (the famous monasteries on lake Tana) and the wall of Harar (among the Eighth Wonders of the World).
In this tour you will have the opportunity to explore not only the history of the people who live here but also the current lifestyles of the many different people of Ethiopia who still practice their colorful rites and rituals in the the Omo valley, a little visited area of Ethiopia containing some of the most colorful tribes and ethnic groups. The fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance of the Benna, Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Geleb, Arbore and Borena people are very special. In the Omo valley region many of the tribal groups have changed little over hundreds of years and they offer the visitor extraordinary insight into a variety of traditional cultures.

Aside from the awe inspiring attraction at each of these sites, you will take in a fine blend of scenic delights, natural history and be charmed by the Ethiopian people.


Tour Highlights

Historical and cultural immersions, gorgeous gorges, national parks, bird life, crater lakes, villages, traditions and customs, boat safari, museum and village visit, local market visit, archaeological site visit...

 

 

 

 


 

Day-to-day programlake_chamo

Day 1: Addis Ababa City Tour

Addis Ababa, founded more than a century ago, means 'New Flower' in Amharic. At an elevation of 2400m, the third highest capital in the world, the climate is pleasantly cool. The city mixes past and present. Statues from the imperial times coexist with placards from the former Marxist Regime all over the city. 

We will visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.6 million year old remains of “Lucy”, whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. We will also visit the Ethnological Museum at Addis Ababa University, Holy Trinity Cathedrals, Mercato- the biggest open market in Africa and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis.

Overnight stay at a chosen hotel


Day 2: Bahir Dar –Boat Trip on Lake Tana and excursion to Tiss Abayaddis_ababa 
We start day 2 by taking and early flight to Bahir dar. Bahir dar, a door step to the mystical Lake Tana, is described by it people as their Riviera and, with its wide streets shaded by palm trees and sweeping views across shimmering blue waters, it is hard to argue. In the morning, we will take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the island monasteries. Namely Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane mihiret; Zege peninsula’s most famous monastery known for its very beautifully painted  ‘Meqdas’ and also it holds Ethiopian religious iconography important collection of 16th – and 18th century crosses and crowns . In the afternoon, drive out to the majestic Blue Nile falls (water that smokes) for a short hike. The excursion to the Blue Nile fall is about 35kms from Bahir Dar. The fall is one of the most spectacular in Africa. We will return to the city late in the afternoon. You have the privilege to take a calm walk in the main streets of the city witnessing the vibe and the culture.

Overnight stay Tana Hotel

Day 3: Drive to Gondar lucy-replica-c-gabagoo
Today we continue our journey to Gondar. It’s not what Gondar is, but what Gondar was that is so enthralling. After settling in the hotel, we will explore the castles of king Fasilidas, which is said to be the wall of the castles bathed in blood and painted in the pomp of royalty. Often called the Camelot of Africa, this description does the royal city a disservice: Camelot is legend where as Gondar is reality. Drifting through the old palaces, banqueting halls and former gardens it’s not difficult to imagine the courtly pageantry, ceremony and intrigue that went on here. The entire compound contains numerous castles and the place has been completely preserved with the aid of UNESCO and was made one of world heritage site in 1979. By far Fasilada’s palace is the most impressive and also the oldest building. Continue our visit to the one of the most famous and stunning churchs of the nation ‘ Debre Birhan Selassie church’. The church would have probably been destroyed like most of the Gondar churches by the marauding armies of the dervishes in the 1880s if it weren’t for a swarm of bees. When the dervish showed up at the gate   of the church, a giant swarm of bees surged out of the compound and chased the invaders away.

Overnight in Gondaromo_valley


Day 4: Gondar – Simien Mountain – Gondar
Starting early in the morning from Gondar we will drive through the mountainous country. we stop for an early lunch in the market town of Debark. Then head off to Sankaber to see the spectacular views of the Simien Mountains. The dirt road will take you straight to Sankaber, but the scenic route along the escarpment isn’t to be missed. There are particular good views between Michibi and Sankaber. Look out for the gelada baboons.  Evening drive will to take us back to Gondar.
Overnight stay Goha Hotel


Day 05: Lalibela. A Visit to the Rock Hewn Church of Lalibela

A short early flight will take us to Lalibela. Today we will visit the first Northwestern group of the rock-hewn churches. Namely: Bet Medihaniyalem (savior of the world) impressive for its size and majesty, Bet Maryam connected to Bete Medhaniyalem by a tunnel is a large courtyard containing three churches. In to the courtyard’s northern wall at Bete mariyam is the tiny semi-chapel of the Bet Meskel. Keep an eye out for the cross carved in relief beneath stylized foliage on one of the spandrels of the arches. Bet Denaghel found to south of Bet Mariyam courtyard, said to have been constructed in memory of the nuns martyred on the orders of the 4th century Roman emperor Julian in Edessa (modern day Turkey). The third tunnel at the southern end of the Bet Maryam courtyard connects it to the twin churches of Bet Golgota & Bet Mikael (also known as Bet Debre Sina).

Overnight stay Lalibela Roha Hotel

 

Day 06: Lalibela

Morning visit to one of the churches out of Lalibela town. We propose an excursion by mules to the Asheten Mariam church. Mule ride takes us to the uphill monastery which rises 3150 meters altitude. There are wonderful views of the surrounding countryside from its mountaintop location. The monastery’s construction is believed to span Lalibela’s and Na’akuto La’ab’s reign; some even clam king Na’akuto La’ab’s lies buried in the chapel.

Another alternative is a car ride to the cave church of Naktuleab; it is attributed to king Lalibela‘s successor. It’s simple but attractive and built under a natural cave.  The church boasts various treasures that belonged to its founder, including crosses, crowns, gold painted drums and an illuminated bibleomo_valley_2

In the Afternoon we will visit the remaining five southeastern group churches in Lalibela. Although smaller in number and in size than the northwestern groups, the south eastern cluster offers not only one of lalaibela’s most finely carved churches but also some intrigue, with various historians debating whether some churches had past as prisons and palaces. The names of the church are Bet Gabriel-Rufaiel, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanuel, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Giyorgis.
Overnight stay Lalibela Roha Hotel


Day 07:Axum.

We take another short flight to get to the ancient Axum. We explore the historical landmarks of the ancient Axumite empire, including the Queen of Sheba's bath, King Bazen's tomb, the ancient stelae erected as burial tombs for the most respected kings and St Marry of Zion church.  Axum is more than just a collection of lifeless ruins though, the town, albeit rural at heart, has vibrant life and continuing national importance very rarely found at ancient sites. Pilgrimage still journey here in their thousands to pay homage at it’s believed that the Ark of the Covenant resides here. It is also considered to be one of world heritage sites and undoubtedly one of the most important and spectacular ancient site in sub –Saharan Africa.

Overnight in Axum Yeha Hotel


Day 08: to Addis and drive to Langano Rift Valley LakeNorth_21

An early flight will return us to the capital, Addis. After few personal hours, Lunch and preparation for the off the beaten journey to the south of Ethiopia we will drive to Langano rift valley lake. The soft brown waters of Langano are set against the blue backdrop of the Arsi Mountains which soar to 4000m and are found 205 km south of Addis Ababa. It is one of three rift valley lakes lying in this beautiful volcanic landscape, the others being Abyata and Shalla. The region is arid but has plenty of wildlife to make your stay interesting. The Lake Langano area is considered to be the most popular resort area in the region. On the way we will pass through the volcanic lakes Debre Zeit, and Lake Zeway, which are also ideal for bird watching and photographing. Before we reach Langano we will visit Abiyatashala national park.

Overnight stay Savanna loge /Wenny eco lodge


Day 09: Langano –Arbaminch

Drive through the Wolayta people villages admiring spectacular green hills, to Chencha, to see the Dorze people, with their unique culture, houses, and traditions. We also visit the very colorful market.

Overnight stay Paradise Hotel


Day 10: Arbaminch - Jinka
Take an early breakfast and continue driving to Jinka. En-route we will visit the Konso tribal village, who managed to develop a highly specialized agriculture economy and, in the process, one of Africa’s most fascinating culture. The day is an excellent day to meet the people, take photographs with them and learn their culture that is untouched by outside influence. On the road we will visit Ari, Benna and Tsemai tribes and also we will be able to visit the colorful Key Afer market, which is attended by the above three ethnic groups. 

Over night at the Jinka resort

 

Day 11: Jinka – Mago National Park (mursi) - Jinka
Jinka is the nearest town set in the hills above Mago National Parks. The excursion will escort us to see widespread custom of half naked Mursi women, the insertion of wooden and terra-cotta discs into the ear lobes, the split and stretching of their lower lips to make room for similar discs. Though these 'lip plates' may appear bizarre to outsiders, the Mursi regard them as signs of beauty. Generally speaking, the larger the lip plate the more desirable the wearer. Evening drive will take us back to Jinka.
Overnight stay Jinka Resort

 

Day 12: Jinka- Demeka – Turmi
After breakfast we will drive to Turmi, a settlement for the hammer people very much known for their colorful hair style and bull jumping tradition at times of weddings. The ladies normally adorned by leather made skirts decorated by sounding pearls and by gleaming aluminum which is normally fixed to their neck. En-route visit to the colorful Dimeka market which is mainly attended by the elegant skin wearing Hammer and Benna women, and decorated men. After taking time in the market straight drive to Turmi for overnight stay.
Overnight stay Buska Lodge

 

Day 13: Turmi – Kolcho  –Turmi

On this day we will drive to Kolcho, a settlement for the Karo ethnic groups, experts in body painting, using clay and locally available vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, crms and legs. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes with special ocher cap of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. In the afternoon we drive back to Turmi.
Overnight stay Buska Lodge

 

Day 14: Turmi - Omorate - Turmi
An early drive to Omo valley to cross the river and enjoy the home of lower Omo people and their remarkable mix of small, contrasting ethnic groups. Omorate is nestled along the eastern bank of Omo river, 72 km southwest of Turmi. Their Lifestyles are as varied as the tribes themselves. Gelebe (Dsaneech) one of the tribes we will visit, settling on the bank of Omo river, is the real attraction across the river. After seeing the small villages' people we return back to Turmi. Late afternoon enjoy the ceremony of Evangadi dance and there might be a bull jumping ceremony, which signifies the passage of a young man from childhood to adulthood.
Overnight stay Buska Lodge

 

Day 15: Turmi – Konso - Arbaminch
Drive to Arbaminch. Along the way visit the tribes of Erbore which rest 72 km from Turmi. The Erbore people are mixed bunch, with ancestry linking back to the Omo valley and konso highlands. With their beads and aluminum jewelry, they resemble the Borena people. The drive continues to Arbaminch passing through Weyto, a small village that lies at before Arbaminch. Up on arrival in Arbaminch we will take a boat excursion on lake Chamo. The boat trip on lake Chamo is among the best anywhere in Ethiopia. One can spot many hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of giant crocodiles. The water birds are great and the scenery is truly unforgettable.
Overnight stay Paradise Hotel

 

Day 16: Arbaminch – Nech Sar NP – Awassa
In the morning drive to the Nech Sar National Park which is situated between lake Abaya and lake Chamo. Of major importance here are the endemic Swayne’s hartebeests, Burchells Zebra, greater and lesser Kudu grants gazelle and other plain game. Out of 180 species of birds, you will frequently see secretary bird ground hornbill and different species of bustards. After lunch drive to Awassa for overnight.

Overnight stay Pinna Hotel 

Day 17: Awassa – Awash NP
Awassa is one of the largest cities in southern Ethiopia but manages to retain an easy-going feel, making it a pleasant place to spend some time. There is a bustling central market as well as a separate fish market. The lake has excellent birdlife, with many species of waders present, as well as heron, stork, and pygmy geese. Fish eagles are also found here, their haunting cry often heard at dusk. Drive to Awash National Park, 225kms to the east of Addis, the National Park is bordered to the South by the Awash River. Late in the afternoon, game drive and visit the Awash River falls.

Overnight stay at Awash fall lodge

Day 18: Awash - Harar
After breakfast, drive to the wall city of Harar, which is a centre of religion from early days of the Islamic expansion until 1887, when the authority of the central government was restored by Emperor Menelik II. With its 99 Mosques, Harar is considered to be Islamic forth most holy city. In the evening a visit to a Hyena Man who feeds those wild hyenas from his mouth.
Dinner and overnight stay Heritage Hotel

 

Day 19:  Harar
Fear not you can’t get lost in Harare. Harar’s old walled town is so compact that you will eventually come to a major street or wall that will lead you back to the Harar main get.

You will visit The City Wall, with its five Gates and the narrow streets lined with traditional Harari Gegar houses, the colorful Muslim and Christian markets (known for basketry). After lunch visit the Harari museum, Rimbaud House, a fine traditional house dating from the period when the French poet Rimbaud lived in Harar. Finally visit the traditional Hararie house within the famous walled city.
Overnight stay Heritage Hotel

 

Day 20: Harara - Dire dawa –Addis

After breakfast drive to Dire Dawa town for your return flight back to Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian city of Dire Dawa is located in the Harar region of the country, tucked away in the eastern part of the country on the banks of Dechatu River. The city of Dire Dawa was founded in the year 1902 and developed rapidly following the layout of the railroad from Djibouti.
Largely known as the commercial nerve center of the country, Dire Dawa is home to a large number of bustling markets. The scenic location of this city along with its wealth of historical and cultural sites has made it a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia. Some popular tourist attraction sites in Dire Dawa are Legeoda Cave and mural paintings, the Ethio-Djibouti railway and kezira, which is an cultural market place.

Complimentary farewell dinner party from VIVA ETHIOPIA will follow in one of the most renowned Cultural restaurant in Addis to test the cultural food and drinks, enjoying dances from the different ethnic groups.

 

The tour ends at the end of the farewell dinner party on day 20. You may choose to fly out that same evening/night or you have the choice of spending one more night in Addis. The preceding morning can be used for souvenir shopping, taking walks on the main streets of Addis, and discovering Addis bustling outdoor markets, exotic dishes, espresso bars and patisseries which are reminiscent of Rome and the Mediterranean

...End of tour...

 

Remarks:

Start/End: Tour starts and ends in Addis Ababa.

Upon arriving in Addis Ababa you will be introduced with your guide and driver. A detailed itinerary and map would be provided for every member.

Flexibility: This itinerary is subjected to certain degree of flexibility and change as per the group interest and ground conditions that may prevail.

Fixed departures: the fixed departures are designed in a way to meet with the colorful market days

Accompanies: Experienced group leader, Expert 4x4 drivers, local guides, Boat men, mule tenders, Village leaders and cooks.

Communication: mobile telephone will be provided to communicate with our base in Addis Ababa.
Group Size: Max. 15, Min. 5, Avg. 9, please contact for individual or other group size rates

Transport: (FIVE)Ethiopian airlines domestic flights, fully insured 2010/11 Nissan patrol and/or Toyota land cruiser or Toyota Coaster Bus and 2010 Double AC Toyota HIACE for city tour. Three group members in one 4x4 basis.

Domestic flight Booking: please contact for booking options  

Accommodation: This tour assumes four star accommodations in Addis and the best available outside of Addis Ababa. This tour also assumes twin bed room arrangement.

My Own Room: please do advice while booking if you are seeking a single room arrangement throughout the trip.
Personal activities: please write to us your personal interests and more activities you want to add in this tour and we would be very happy to incorporate it. 
Local Currency: Ethiopian Birr.

Fixed Departure Dates and price per Adult

Date

Price

Date

Price

June 19, 2012

$4,584

March 19, 2013

$4,584

July 24, 2012

$4,584

June 11, 2013

$4,584

August 21, 2012

$4,584

July 23, 2013

$4,584

September 6, 2012

$4,584

August 20, 2013

$4,584

October 2, 2012

$4,584

September 24, 2013

$4,584

November 6, 2012

$4,584

October 22, 2013

$4,584

December 4, 2012

$4,584

November 19, 2013

$4,584

January 8, 2013

$4,584

December 10, 2013

$4,584

February 5, 2013

$4,584

 

Please have a look on the price detail section for what is included.

Price includes:

  • Meet and greet at the airport
  • Air port /Hotel Transfer in and out
  • One night and one day use in four Star Hotel Accommodation in Addis Ababa.
  • Eighteen nights in best accommodations available outside Addis as per the itinerary.
  • Meals on the tour on full board base in reputable restaurants and hotels
  • Bottled water, soft drink and coffee throughout the trip
  • Professional Multi Language speaking guide (group leader) accompanying throughout the trip
  • All Transportation costs with the mentioned fully insured vehicle and Expert 4x4 driver allowance.
    • Boat trip costs, Local guide, Scout and all entrance fees and embarkation fees
    • Addis Ababa city tour
    • Government tax

Price excludes

  • International air fair
  • Domestic air fare
  • Camera &video fee
  • Alcohol drinks
  • Laundry & other personal interests

A final copy of your Trip Details, local cost over view, Joining Instructions, Emergency Contact, What to Take, Checklist, Money Exchange, confirming prices and other practical information available upon inquiry

>>Inquire/Book This Tour

 


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