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21 days Special Tour
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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 sights and shelter for the Real Ark of the Covenant at Axum, and the massive giant Obelisk, 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). 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.
In this tour you will have the opportunity to explore not only the history of the peoples who live here but also the current lifestyles of the many different peoples of Ethiopia who still practice their colourful rites and rituals.
Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa
Arrive in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa today, where you be welcomed and transferred to the Hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Addis Ababa / Bahir Dar (fly)
Fly to the well-known lakeside town of Bahir Dar. Drive to the majestic Blue Nile Falls. Take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the 13th century monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret, which is still in use today, as well as Kibran Gabriel, where only men are allowed to enter. Overnight in hotel at Bahr Dar
Day 3: Bahar Dar / Gondar
Drive to the city of Gondar, known as the “Camelot of Africa.” Visit the castles and churches of Gondar, which were built by King Fassiladas and his descendants. The night will be spent at the in hotel on a hill with commanding views over this medieval city. Overnight in hotel at Gondar
Day 4: Trek Senkaber - Geech
Starting early in the morning from Gondar you will be driven through the mountainous country. You stop for an early lunch in the market town of Debark. Then head off to Sankaber where you will pick up the mules and then start the trek. Leaving the camp you descend into the Machetes Valley and climb the other side where on your left you will see the Jin-Bar River plummeting into the Geech Abyss. A couple of kilometres later you descend to cross the Jin-Bar cliff and after a steep climb to the other side you reach Geech camp where you will stay overnight.(Approx. 5-6 hours trek, including breaks). Overnight in camping at Geech
Day 5: Trek Geech - Chenek
With an early start the mules will be packed and depart for Chenek whilst you will head with daypacks to the escarpment edge at Imetgogo(3,926m) and Saha(4070m) for staggering views over the lowlands characterized by its rocky spires. Clinging to the escarpment edge you then trek via undulating terrain towards your camp at Chenek. On the way you will see many examples of the impressive Giant Lobelia and stand a good chance of seeing some Gelada baboons. At the end of today’s trek you descend to the road that leads to camp with it inspiring sunset view of the lowlands. Overnight in camping at Chenek
Day 6: Trek Chenek – Bwahit Summit – Gondar
The mules will head directly to the first camp and you have the choice of either walking with them or of trekking to the summit of the Simien's Mountians second highest peak, Bwahit (4,430m). After refreshments at the summit you will descend steeply back to debark. The transport will arrive early to take you back to Gondar and a well earned hot shower and relaxing afternoon which can be spend sightseeing or shopping in the local market or just sleeping! Overnight in hotel at Gondar
Day 7: Gondar / Lalibella (fly)
Fly to Lalibella, where 11 medieval, monolithic cave churches have made this 13th century “New Jerusalem” well known. Visit the first group of rock-hewn churches, which were built between 800 and 1200 AD and which are still active worship places for Christian followers. Overnight in hotel at Lalibella
Day 8: Lalibella
Tour the second group of rock-hewn churches. It is estimated that it took 25 years to construct the churches. Later, visit Na’akuto La’ab, a veritable jewel of a church built in a cave, where King Na’akuto La’ab led a hermit’s life when abdicating his throne in 1276 AD. Overnight in hotel at Lalibella
Day 9: Lalibella / Axum (fly)
Fly to Axum to see the remarkable stelae, or obelisks, which are a few of the largest single pieces of standing stone anywhere in the world. See St. Mary’s Church, the Sanctuary Chapel, the Coronation Yard, archaeological museum, Queen Sheba’s Palace, and King Kaleb’s Tomb and many more… Overnight in hotel at Axum
Day 10: Axum / Addis Ababa / Langano
Fly back to Addis Ababa. Afternoon continue your journey to Lake Langano, on the way you pass through the volcanic lakes Debre Zeit, the artificial Lake of Koka and the Lake Zeway, which are also ideal for bird watching and photographing. Lake Langano is a popular resort for swimming. Dinner and overnight in hotel at Langano
Day 11: Langano - Arbaminch
Drive to Arbaminch on the way visit to the people of Oromo, Hadiya, Welayta, and also pass by the beautiful landscape and the on way visit the Enset and sorghum plantations. Up on arrival you check in hotel, proceed to Dorze to visit the Dorze people, their beehive shaped houses and the landscape. Overnight in hotel at Arbaminch
Day 12: Arbaminch - Jinka
Drive to Jinka. On the way visit the people of Woyto and Ari, Benna and Tsemey tribes. Up on arrival check in hotel at Jinka
Day 13: Jinka – Mago National Park
In the morning, drive to Mago National Park headquarter, (optional) un load the car and the cook , have lunch box with you and drive to the people of Mursi, visit the village and the Mursi people (put round clay on their lips ) overnight in camping at Mago National park or drive back to Jinka
Day 14: Mago National Park - Murulle
Drive through the Mago National park. Visit the people of Karo, and then proceed to Murulle lodge, found by the side of Omo River. On the way to Murulle, try to look for a special bird named carmine bee eater. They live in colony, by the side of the river. Overnight in camping at Murulle
Day 15: Turmi
Before arriving to Turmi, divert to Omorate, cross Omo river by boat (expected to show pass port) then visit the people of Geleb. Late in the afternoon, arrive at Turmi where you camp and go in to the neighbouring small village of hammer people visit their villages. Overnight in camping at Turmi
Day 16: Turmi – Konso - Arbaminch
Drive to Arbaminch via visiting the Konso village with their totem and cultural agricultural system. Afternoon take a boat trip on Lake Chamo. Very refreshing and interesting. You visit birds, and crocodiles and hippos. Overnight in hotel at Arbaminch
Day 17: Arbaminch – Nech Sar NP – Awassa
In the morning drive to the Nech Sar National Park which is situated between Lake Abaya and 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.
Day 18: 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 at Awash in hotel or in camping
Day 19: Awash - Harar
After breakfast, drive to 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 in hotel at Harar
Day 20: Harar - Dire Dawa – Addis Ababa (fly)
After breakfast you will have sight seeing tour of Harar, which includes house of the French Poet, Rimbaud as his city of exile from French intolerance and the colourful markets of Harar, the Jugul Ginb with its 5 gates. Afternoon drive to Dire Dawa town for your return flight back to Addis Ababa. Overnight in hotel at Addis Ababa
Day 21: Addis Ababa – Departure
Addis Ababa! - A city that is very young when compared to the country. In Amharic, Addis Ababa means "new flower". Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, this city is located 2,500m above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain (3,000m above sea level). It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 21-25 C. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacarandas, interesting museums and one of the largest open air markets in Africa, known as the "Mercato".
City tour of Addis Ababa. You will visit Merkato the biggest open air market in Africa. Then you would go up to the mount Entoto where Menelik II (the Ethiopian king) first settled before he went down to start the city after the consent of his wife. On the mountain there is a small museum the host’s historical collections about the king and the story of the settlement on the mountain. You will also see biggest national museum where Lucy (3.5 million years old human skeleton) is displayed. In the evening transfer back to the airport for departure flight back to home.
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