Historical North Ethiopia Route

North Ethiopia is the classic ‘Historical Route’. It takes you to all the important historical sites of northern Ethiopia. It is a very balanced tour with cultural and natural experiences. enjoy the extraordinary natural beauty and meet the fascinating people of the country while traveling by car. Ample time is available to explore on foot. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking boots, hat, jacket and sunscreen. For most visitors to Ethiopia, it’s all about the north. More than anywhere else on Earth, northern Ethiopia has the ability to wow you day after day after day.

12 days

Hotel

Camping

Trekking

Program

Day 1

Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar

Early in the morning, depart north to Bahir Dar via Debre Markos. On the way visit the Portuguese bridge, said to have been the first bridge in Ethiopia. Afterwards, you will pass through the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge. The gorge extends nearly 400km and reaches depths up to 1500m. Overnight in Bahir Dar soliana hotel.

Day 2

Bahir Dar

After breakfast we embark drive for about one hour to reach the small village of Tissisat. Here we enjoy a lovely walk in the cooler morning hours.
We cross the Nile by the 17th century Portuguese Bridge and continue the walk to the falls, meeting local people on the way. After admiring the falls, we cross the Nile by small boat to find our car waiting for us. We are heading back to Bahir Dar for lunch

After lunch we will do boat trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the beautiful churches. It is about one hour by boat to reach Zeghe Peninsula where we visit the most famous church Uhre Kidane Mehret. We enjoy a walk on the forested peninsula to the other churches and might meet monkeys and beautiful birds on the way.

At the other side of the peninsula the boat is waiting and takes us to Kibran Gabriel Island (unfortunately women are not allowed). Before we are heading back to Bahir Dar the boat takes us to the the source of the Blue Nile where we find many water birds and maybe a hippo, meanwhile enjoying the sunset.
Accommodation at:Soliana hotel.

Day 3

Bahir Dar – Gondar

After early breakfast proceed to our next destination Gondar. After lunch start your city tour of Gondar.

Gondar, founded by Emperor fasileledas around 1635 is famous for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churchs –in particular, DebreBirhan Selassie Represents a masterpiece of unique Ethiopian school of traditional arte.

Today you will visit the royal enclosure, a walled compound having a different castles built from 17th century by different kings who ruled in different time the pool of king fasilidas which still serve us a baptismal pool during Ethiopian epiphany and we will also visit the famous DebreBhirhan Selassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside. Accommodation at AG Hotel.

Day 4

Excursion to Simien Mountain National Park

We will stop along the way to handle park fees, etc. If you like, we can drop you in or around Buyit Ras for a 1-2 hour hike to Sankober, which passes close to the escarpment edge.

Nearing Sankober, you will have beautiful views on both sides of the escarpment ridge and where you will likely see the endemic Gelada baboons and above all the Jimbar waterfall is incredible in such a trip. Let in the afternoon drive to Debark for over night. Accommodation at Local Lodge

Day 5

Drive from Simen Mountain to Axum

Early morning, depart north for Axum, enjoying spectacular views of the Simien Mountains. We will proceed driving through the dramatic Tekeze Valley, offering some of the best landscapes in the country.

Proceed to Axum, home of the ancient Axumite Empire, the Queen of Sheba, and the Ark of the Covenant. Accommodation at Sabian International Hotel.

Day 6

City tour in Axum

After breakfast we will be visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy), the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace.

You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Accommodation at Sabian International Hotel.

Day 7

Axum to Gheralta via Debre Damo

After breakfast, drive to visit the Debre Damo monastery, where the men (sorry! No women allowed.) Must climb up a 15-m rope to enter.

Proceed through the state of Tigray to hawzin. After cheeking at Gheralta Lodge and lunch, we will drive to Mariam korkor monastery and you will have a 3 hur (both way) trek to Mariam Korkor, it has unique view till you reach the monastery. Accommodation at Gheralta Lodge.

Day 8

Excursion to Abune Yemata and Mariam Korkor

After breakfast walk to visit Abuna Yemata Guh, walking for about an hour to commence a steep ascent up the side of the Gheralta massif. This steep ascent soon turn into a climb using foot holds and hand holds chipped into the sandstone rock by the passage of many hands and feet.

The climb and the walk along very narrow ledges with sheer drops to the side is not one for the faint hearted. The church itself can be reached by walking out on a ledge one-meter-wide and with a 200m drop to the left hand side. At the entrance there is a small cave and a wooden door built into the rock.

Of the three, Maryam Korkor is the most impressive architecturally. A huge, high ceiling is supported by 12 free standing pillars. Looking at it you could not help but wonder how the architect managed to carve so high from the ground. Accommodation at Gheralta Lodge.

Day 9

Drive to Lalibela via Sekota road

Early in the morning, embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. Here you will pass through several small villages, with typical sandstone homes of the Tigray people.

Proceed through this rural area for the stunning approach to the home of Ethiopia’s most prized destination and pass through the dramatic Landscapes – Lalibela. Accommodation at Sora Lodge.

Day 10

Visit Rock Hewn Churches of Lalibela

After breakfast, drive to the site where we find a concentration of some of Ethiopians most famous Rock Hewn churches, mostly referred by many as the living wonders of the world, this churches are, they have been here for at list 900 years, an active christen shrine, the spiritual center of the counters religious life. The monolithic churches where carved out of 2600-sq natural rock terrace in the twelve century by king lalibela.

BeteMedhanialem, the largest monolithic Rock hewn churches of the world, Magers 37.7 ft in Height, covers an area of almost 2625 Square ft and has walls that are up to 6 feet thick. A plain building supported by 36 pillars on the inside and anther 38 pillars around the outside. Bjte Medhanialem modeled on the original st.Merryzion church build by king Ezana in 4th century at axum.

The Rock hewn churchs that we will visit today before lunch will be the first group of churches included: Bete Medhanialem, Bete Mariam, BeteMeskel, BeteDenagl and BeteGolo gota Michal.

After lunch we will continue our journey in To Ethiopians long and marvellous past with a visit to other sent Lalibela Remarkable churches. There architecture and artistry must be seen to be believed.
The Rock Hewn Churches that we will visit this afternoon the second group of churches and St, Gorge it included: BeteGebral, BeteMerquros, BeteEmanule, Betelehiam ,Bete Aba Libanos and BeteGhiorgis .

Once we finished visiting the second group of churches and we will walk to the village so the complex bewildering labyrinth of underground Tunnels to the monastery where the monks and nuns live. Accommodation at Sora Lodge.

Day 11

Lalibella to Kombolcha

Early in the morning, drive to Kombolcha via Woldia, on the way visiting the lake in the town of Hayk, where you can visit the local monastery and enjoy the birdlife. Overnight in Kombolcha Sunyland Hotel.

Day 12

Kombolcha Dessie to Addis Ababa

Return driving to Addis via Debre Birhan. On the way you pass the Mezezo Escarpment, with a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons. If today is a Sunday, you can stop in the town of Senbete to visit the lively market including the interesting camel market.

Images by our customers

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FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers

Yes, absolutely. Adimasu Travel is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. We ask that you carefully consider whether you are physically and mentally able to complete the itinerary you have chosen, recognising that on many trips you will be required to carry your bags and use public transport.

Where we can we will make reasonable adjustments to the operation of our trips to facilitate the requirements of disabled travellers – such as booking ground floor accommodation, or having our leaders communicate important directions in writing as well as verbally.

Many travellers with disabilities have been able to enjoy our trips by travelling with a friend or companion who can assist with specific needs. If joining a group trip is not practical we may be able to provide you with a private departure. Please contact our team for further information on any of our itineraries.

We will try our very hardest to accommodate all dietary requirements but in some out-of-the-way places it can be very difficult to guarantee. We will let you know if there are places on your itinerary where this is the case.

Please let us know at the time of booking of any food requirements or allergies and we’ll pass the information onto your leader. It is also a great idea to bring a card with your dietary requirements written in the local language for those times you are eating away from the group.

Our camping sites have all the creature comforts to bush camping. We provide the tent and sleeping mats, but you will need to bring your sleeping bag.

What you need to bring will vary according to your style… Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible and make sure that you can carry and lift your luggage, and walk with it for short distances.

Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You’ll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.

Below are some ideas and helpful tips on what you specifically need for this trip.

Closed in shoes. As this trip includes camping and some bush walking we highly recommend that you take a pair of comfortable, closed-in walking shoes. Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings from dangerous animals in this environment.

Lightweight clothing. You will need to bring a mixture of lightweight clothing, some warm items for the evenings, and long shirts and pants for protection against mosquitoes in the malaria areas. Ex-military or military style clothing and equipment is not recommended.

Waterproof/windproof jacket is a good idea for wet days, and early morning or evening game activities when it can be cool.

Sun protection: hat, sunscreen, sunglasses.

This tour outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.
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