VIVA ETHIOPIA TOUR
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Title: Historic Route by Air

Tour code: VET215

Tour Duration: 5 Days/4 Nights

Transportation: Air

Type of Vehicle2009/10 Nissan Patrol or 2009/10 Toyota Land cruiser &

2010 Double AC Toyota HIACE minibuses for city tours

Tour Customizable: Yes

Tour highlights: city tours, boat trip & gorges, world heritage sites, castles & obelisks, beautiful scenery…

Traveling to Ethiopia is an enriching experience whereby you will encounter an unforgettable land rich in history and culture dating some 3000 years. You will come face to face with monuments and ruins, thatched roof and rock-hewn churches and monolithic stelae, a vast array of landscape, more than 80 ethnic groups, mighty rivers and waterfalls, chain of rift valley lakes, unique flora and fauna all which leave you enchanted by Ethiopia.

Day-to-day program:

Day 1:  Bahir Dar

An hour's flight takes you to Bahir Dar, an attractive town with tree-lined avenues and the deep blue Lake Tana in the background. Lake Tana is Ethiopia's largest lake and is dotted with islands. Many of these islands are the sites of churches and monasteries. Your guide and driver will take you on an excursion to the Blue Nile Falls, about 30 km from Bahir Dar. They are Africa's second largest waterfalls and are at their most spectacular during and after the rainy season (from about June to January). This is where the Blue Nile, which contributes 85% of the main Nile, begins its long journey to the Mediterranean. After lunch, explore Bahir Dar, including the market and a visit of the Palace of the late Emperor Haile Selassie at Bizeit. Bahir Dar has several clubs and bars where you can enjoy both traditional and modern Ethiopian music and dancing. 

Overnight hotel in Bahir Dar 


Day 2: Gondar,

Transfer to the airport for the 25 minutes flight to Gondar. Your hotel is set on a hill with a panoramic view of the town and its monuments. From the terrace, you can watch unforgettable sunsets. Gondar was the imperial capital from the 17th to the mid-19th century. Visitors come to see the Imperial Compound, with the enchanting 'Fasalidas' castles still in good condition. There is also the bath of King Fasilides. Here, at Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany), a nearby river is diverted to fill an area the size of a small swimming pool and worshippers plunge into the cold water in a re-enactment of the baptism of Christ in the River Jordan. Although many of Gondar's churches were destroyed in the Mahdist invasion from Sudan in the 1880s, one fine example, Debre Berhan Selassie, survives. According to the legend, a swarm of bees diverted the invaders. The walls and ceiling are covered with vivid murals: the angels' faces on the ceiling have become a common motif in Ethiopian design. The tour ends with a visit to the ruined palace of Queen Mentowab and the church of Qusquam. The Mini Fogera is worth visiting in the evening for Asmari music and Ethiopian food

Overnight hotel in Gondar

Day 3: Axum,

Transfer to the airport for the flight to Axum. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an empire that extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet, constructed great engineering works and, in the 4th century, was one of the four great powers of the ancient world. You can see the remarkable stelae or obelisks, which are the largest single pieces of stone standing anywhere on the world. It is still not understood how they were transported from the quarry and erected. There are also tombs and castles of former monarchs, the Axum Museum and Mariamtsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia's first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. Your tour starts with a visit to the museum and the stelae. Then you ascend a hill to see the castle of King Kalab, passing Mai Shum (the bath of the Queen of Sheba) on the way. Coming back into town, you will see the tomb of King Basen, visit the small museum inside the church grounds (the priests may likely put on display crowns of past kings for visitors to see), and end the day with a visit to the site known locally as Queen Sheba's Palace, although in fact it is of a later date, the villa of an Axumite notable from around the 1st century AD.

Overnight hotel in Axum

Day 4: Lalibela

Fly to Lalibela. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, King Lalibela of the Zaghwe dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches, now rightly acknowledged as one of the wonders of the world. Even from the air, the churches, carved into the rugged mountainsides, are a breathtaking spectacle. There are 11 churches in the town named after him, with others in the surrounding countryside. All are still in use. You will be taken on a tour of the first group of churches, return to your hotel for lunch, and continue the tour in the afternoon. It is estimated that it took 25 years to construct the churches. For the kingdom to have kept a large work force engaged in economically unproductive labor for such a period means it was very wealthy.

Overnight hotel in Lalibela


Day 5: Addis Ababa.  

You fly to Addis Ababa. In the afternoon stop at the National Archaeological Museum, go shopping at Merkato, Africa's biggest market. You can buy marvelous Ethiopian jewelry, exquisite locally-made clothing and fabrics, local music and much more. Enjoy a farewell dinner, where you will see a fascinating performance of traditional music and dance from the different regions of Ethiopia.

Transfer to air port, End of tour

Remark:

  You will be given an adjusted program of this tour that goes along with your arrival time in Ethiopia upon request

  Extension or reduction of this tour is possible

  This tour can be re-programmed to fit your interest, time and budget

 

 

 


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