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2022 Ethiopia: Historic Route & Simien Mountains

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Feb 13, 2022
Feb 23, 2022
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Oct 16, 2022
Oct 26, 2022
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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 the rock-hewnchurches of Lalibela.

Countries Visited


  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 churchesand Bet Giyorgis (also known as the Church of St. George),the largest rock-hewn church in the world. Carved belowground level, 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, biodiversewilderness 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 way on foot, pausing to take in the mists of a secludedwaterfall.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 to 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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Health and Safety Protocols for Abercrombie Kent Tours

Our more than 55 local offices work tirelessly with our partners behind the scenes.
Abercrombie & Kent’s local staff have longstanding relationships with our suppliers, including restaurants, hotels, boats, transportation providers and venues. These partners know our exacting standards and have been fully vetted by our staff to make sure they comply with all local regulations regarding health and hygiene.

We’re adhering to best practices for cleanliness and disinfection.
We follow the guidelines established by the leading health experts (including the World Health Organization) to minimize any opportunity for coronavirus exposure during your journey. We’ll have hand sanitizer readily available, ensure enhanced cleaning in hotels and restaurants, sanitize vehicles at every arrival and departure (with a focus on high-frequency touchpoints such as door handles) and provide individual service at all meals.

We’re committed to facilitating physical distancing.
Abercrombie & Kent’s private and small-group journeys are already well-suited to exploring with safe physical distancing in place: Your transfers are private, for example, and on group journeys, your vehicles are never more than half full. Moving forward, your guides will forego shaking hands when saying hello, and you’ll experience no-contact check-in/check-outs in many hotels and dining arranged to allow for plenty of space from other guests.

Our small groups make travelling safely that much easier.
Abercrombie & Kent’s small groups make it much easier to maintain cleaning and hygiene procedures and ensure adequate physical distance between guests. On a custom Tailor Made Journey, your group size is completely up to you, of course, and you travel only with the people you choose on most activities.

Wearing masks on your journey keeps everyone safe.
To protect all guests on Abercrombie & Kent small group journeys and Luxury Expedition Cruises, wearing a mask is required in vehicles, indoor spaces, and any outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. On Tailor Made journeys, masks must be worn in accordance with local regulations. We encourage you to bring your own masks; a supply will be on hand where needed.

Our Resident Tour Directors and local guides are trained in health and safety.
In addition to being experts in your region’s culture, history and wildlife, your guides are fully versed in your destination’s health regulations as well as Abercrombie & Kent’s practices and protocols. They oversee the many procedures that go into making your journey safe, from confirming a restaurant is freshly cleaned before you arrive to ensuring your luggage is always handled carefully (and disinfected properly) between destinations.

All guides and staff follow rigorous health and safety procedures.
Everyone involved in running your journey — from the guides you travel with to the drivers, baggage handlers and others behind the scenes — observes a strict, round-the-clock health and safety regimen, including regular staff health and temperature monitoring. Abercrombie & Kent staff wear masks at all times and additional personal protective equipment as required.

We provide 24/7 support, seven days a week.
Abercrombie & Kent’s worldwide network is always on hand to answer questions and address any concerns you may have. Our local offices are experienced in handling emergencies and have the contacts and knowledge to support guests 24/7 in the event of medical challenges, including, if necessary, arranging for doctor’s visits or even emergency medical evacuation.

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Questions & Answers

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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