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.
Addis Ababa – 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.