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2021 Ethiopia: Historic Route & Simien Mountains

Abercrombie Kent
USD $7,495

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Feb 14, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
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Oct 16, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
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Tour Itinerary

Discover the stunning jewels of Ethiopia, revealingthe threads of ancient culture, religion, architectureand natural beauty that form this diverse nation’srich tapestry, and experience unrivaled insideraccess as you cruise to the source of the Blue Nile,examine the Lucy skeleton and explore therock-hewn churches of Lalibela.

  1. Day 1
    Arrive Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you are met and transferred toyour hotel. Known as Ethiopia’s “new flower,” Addis Ababa isyour gateway to this amazing adventure.Hotel: Sheraton Addis  
  2. Day 2
    Addis Ababa
    Hit the streets of Ethiopia’s sprawling capital for a closerlook at this nation’s gripping history. Begin your explorationof Addis Ababa at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a monumentto the country’s liberation from Italian occupation duringWorld War II and final resting place of Emperor HaileSelassie. Next, dive deeper into Ethiopia’s rich cultural diversity at the Ethnographical Museum. Visit the NationalMuseum, seeing the authentic Lucy skeleton, a significantanthropological revelation. Later, gather for a welcomedinner at your hotel and get acquainted with your fellowguests.Hotel: Sheraton Addis  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  3. Day 3
    This morning, fly to Axum, a small town whose placidappearance belies its grand past as a seat of an empireextending across the Red Sea to Arabia. Begin unearthingAxum’s storied past at Stelae Park, a field of roughly 120carved outcroppings ranging from small, roughly hewnstones to finely engraved obelisks towering 10 stories high.The site is also home to what are likely the three talleststelae ever erected in ancient times. Continue on to get aglimpse of the advanced technologies that drove this empireat the Axum Museum. Tour the Cathedral of MaryamTsion, rumored to have once housed the sacred Ark of theCovenant, and Dongar Palace, where local legend holds thatthe Queen of Sheba once held court in this, the grandest ofAxum’s palaces.Hotel: Sabean International Hotel  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Fly to Lalibela, a holy city and Ethiopian center ofpilgrimage. Known as “New Jerusalem,” this UNESCOWorld Heritage Site is home to several monolithic rock-cutchurches. Begin your exploration of this hallowed groundwith a visit to Lalibela’s northwest cluster of six churches andBet Giyorgis (also known as the Church of St. George), thelargest rock-hewn church in the world. Carved below groundlevel, the monolithic churches are ringed by trenches,courtyards, graves and hermit cells, connected by a tangledmaze of tunnels and passageways.Hotel: Mezena Lodge  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Day 5
    After breakfast, head to the outskirts of town to visit theMonastery of Nakuta La’ab. Named after King Lalibela’ssuccessor (and nephew) who commissioned it, this medievalmonastery abuts a simple church hewn from a shallow cave.See the church’s spring-fed holy water basins and othersacred relics. Continue on to explore Lalibela’s southeastcluster of five churches. Older and more timeworn than thechurches of the northwest, some of the structures predate thereign of King Lalibela by five centuries. According to legend,the southeastern church of Bet Abba Libanos was built by just one woman in only one night, along with some heavenlyintervention from a group of angels. Cap off your excursionwith a time-honored coffee ceremony, observing traditionalroasting and brewing techniques featuring a customaryjebena (clay kettle).Hotel: Mezena Lodge  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  6. Day 6
    Simien Mountains National Park
    This morning, fly to Gondar, pausing for a traditionalEthiopian lunch at a local restaurant upon your arrival.Continue on to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of DebreBerhan Selassie Church to take in its vividly painted scenesof biblical lore and medieval history. Proceed overland toSimien Mountains National Park, a sprawling, bio-diversewilderness set in the heart of one of Africa’s largest mountainranges. Marvel as you pass in the shadows of towering peaks,some exceeding 13,000 feet. The range also boasts Ethiopia’shighest mountain, Ras Dashen, topping out at a dizzying14,928 feet. Home to some of Africa’s most striking wildlife,the park is inhabited by the gelada monkey, walia ibex andthe exceedingly rare Ethiopian wolf. Settle into your lodge,joining in a presentation focused on the advanced socialbehaviors of the gelada monkey.Hotel: Limalimo Lodge  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Simien Mountains National Park
    Set out on a scenic morning drive through the mountains,stopping in Chennek, a remote village perched some 11,800feet above sea level. Continue on through giant lobeliasand Afro-Alpine scrub, keeping a lookout for walia ibex,klipspringers and bushbucks. Pause for a picnic overlookingthe vast mountain landscape. Next, pass through some ofEthiopia’s most stunning mountain scenery, stopping toencounter a group of baboon-like gelada monkeys. Continuea short ways on foot, pausing to take in the mists of asecluded waterfall.Hotel: Limalimo Lodge  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Embark on a morning drive to Gondar, a storied town ofmedieval castles and churches. Dubbed the “Camelot ofAfrica,” Gondar was founded in 1636 by Emperor Fasiladasas the royal capital of Ethiopia. After settling in at yourlodge, step out to explore the town. Begin at Fasiladas Palace,believed to be the former home of legendary explorer JamesBruce. Continue on to Fasiladas Pool, a cavernous bathingpool once used by the former emperor. Enclosed by toweringstone walls and guarded by six turrets, the pool is still filledevery January 19th for the local Timkat ceremony.Hotel: Gondar Hills Resort  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  9. Day 9
    Bahir Dar
    This morning, depart overland three hours to Bahir Dar, aformer Jesuit outpost known for its wide avenues lined withpalms and flowers. Enjoy a leisurely cruise of Lake Tana,the source of the Blue Nile. Discover why, even today, thepapyrus tankwa that sail the lake bear a striking resemblanceto the boats of ancient Egypt. Disembark on an island toTake in the spectacular views of Blue Nile Falls explore two of the lake’s secluded monasteries, Ura KidaneMihret and Azuwa Maryam — both known for theirmanuscripts, iconography and paintings.Hotel: Kuriftu Resort & Spa  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  10. Day 10
    Bahir Dar
    Set out on an hour-long hike to the majestic Blue Nile Falls.Marvel as the currents of the Blue Nile crash 140 feet to theroiling rapids below, flowing on to its long journey out tothe Mediterranean. Afterward, enjoy the remainder of theafternoon at your leisure. Gather in the evening for a farewelldinner.Hotel: Kuriftu Resort & Spa  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Depart Addis Ababa
    In the morning, visit Bahir Dar’s bustling markets,browsing handwoven capes and scarves made from localcotton. Continue on to Weyto village, stopping to witnessboatbuilders crafting tankwa, small papyrus vessels thathave ferried people and livestock across Lake Tana forcenturies. Later, fly back to Addis Ababa and transfer to yourhotel dayroom. This evening, return to the airport for yourinternational flight home.Hotel: Sheraton Addis (dayroom)  
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

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Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

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