Tour Code = HTTA 0023
Tour Category = Combination Tours
Day 01: Arrive in Bole international airport at 01:10 am and transfer to your hotel. Overnight: Radisson Blue Hotel.
Day 02: Early in the morning, depart for Bahir Dar flight at 07:00 by ET 126. After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of this sacred lake. Visit the Zege Peninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret then drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. Overnight: Kuriftu Resort.
Day 03: After breakfast, continue north to Gondar. The 4 hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. After lunch, continue drive to Simien Mountain National Park. This area is also a great place for viewing the endemic gelada baboon, also known as the ‘bleeding heart baboon’ due to the red patch of skin on its chest. Overnight: Simien Park Lodge.
Day 04: Early in the morning, drive back to Gondar then you will start a city tour, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight: Florida Hotel
Day 05: Depart on an early morning flight to Lalibela at 08:45 ET122, the most famous of all of the Ethiopian historical sites. After arrival, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches - Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). In the afternoon, visit the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight: Mountain View Hotel.
Day 06: After breakfast, fly to Axum at 09:40 by ET 122. Upon arrival to Axum, you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, 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. Overnight: Brana Hotel.
Day 07: In the morning, drive to Mekelle. On the way, visit the ancient Temple of Yeha (5th. C.BC), and rock Churches of Abreha Atsbeha; said to be built by Ezana and Saizan (two brothers kings of Ethiopia) about 10th century. Overnight: Axum Hotel
Day 08: In the morning, drive to Hamedella via Berehale, which is about totally160km from Mekelle. Initially we will drive 100km from Mekelle to Berhale, then here in Berhale we will have a lunch stop ( using lunch box) and the place where we will pick up police scouts, road guides and permits for the Afar region. Then we will drive around 60km from Berehale to Hamedella. Along the way we will see the camel caravans, whom carrying salt from the salt lake to Mekelle for sale. Overnight camping in Hamedella.
Day 09: In the next morning continue driving to the so called ‘Dodum’ which is the base camp for Ear’tale. So far, the road has two parts, the first and the largest part of the road is covered by sand and very flat land but the rest of the road is covered by rock which is very rough Pista. Then there will be a lunch stop in Kusrawit, the place where supplementary scouts and camels for the luggage are arranged here by the chef of the village. Afterward continue driving to ‘Dodum’, The Erta Ale volcano has been in a constant state of eruption for over 40 years. As the sun goes down you will start the 3-hour hike up to the crater rim of the Erta Ale volcano. The hike may be done by camel or on foot. At the top you will descend into the caldera and proceed to the crater’s edge. Here you will see the permanent lava lake inside the volcano (the only permanent lava lake in the world). You will camp overnight on the rim of the volcano caldera.
Day 10: Early in the morning visit Ear’tale the second time look at the volcano’s lake of lava before descending from the volcano. Then drive back to Hamed Ila through the arid desert land of the Afar people. Overnight camping at Hamed Ila.
Day 11: Drive to Dallol, which at 116m below sea level is the lowest point on the African continent. Admire the stunning landscape, the ground many shades of red, yellow and orange from the hot water, acids and minerals spurting up from the ground. where lakes of acid form colorful sulfur formation in the hottest and deepest part of Danakil depression and you will also witness the cutting of salt bricks and salt being loading on to camels for the long caravans (approximately 1500-2000 camels weekly). Then drive back to Hamed Ila, overnight camping.
Day 12: Early in the morning drive back to Mekelle, with your last views of this desert and the camel caravans dotting the horizon. In the evening, transfer to airport and fly back to Addis Ababa. Overnight: Radisson Blue Hotel.
Day 13: In the morning, proceed to the airport for fly to Dire Dawa. In Dire Dawa, you will meet at the airport and will transfer to Harar. On arrival, you will start a city tour of Harar which is the 4th Islamic holiest city of the world and listed as world heritage site by UNESCO. You will see colorful markets, countless mosques and shrines and unique Harari people and homes. Sites to visit include: the House of Rimbaud, Ras Tafari’s House, Ras Mekonnen’s Palace, the Harari National Cultural Center, and the tomb of Emir Nur, who built the famous Jugol, as the wall is known locally. At night you will visit the hyena man, who feeds the hyenas every night just outside the walls of the city. This tradition was started long ago to prevent these wild hyenas from hunting for food in the town. Guests are welcome, and encouraged, to feed the hyenas themselves. Overnight: Heritage Plaza Hotel
Day 14: In this day, drive to Dire Dawa then fly back to Addis Ababa. Then you can visit the open air market of Addis Ababa (Merkato). Overnight: Radisson Blue hotel.
Day 15: After breakfast, transfer to airport for fly to ArbaMinch. After arrival, you will take a boat trip on Lake Chamo to visit the ‘crocodile market’ and hippos. Overnight: Paradise Lodge.
Day 16: Drive to Turmi admiring the wonderful view and beautiful landscapes. On the way, you will visit the Konso tribe (who are very well known for their graves and their engravings and visit their unique terracing agriculture) which is classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Overnight: Buska Lodge.
Day 17: Early in the morning, drive to Omorate to visit the Dassanech tribe. In the afternoon, drive to Korcho and visit the Karo tribe. The tribe is known for their body paintings and their hairstyle then drive back to Turmi. Overnight: Buska Lodge.
Day 18: Drive to Jinka, with short stop to visit Ari, Benna and Tsemay people, who are very famous for their hairstyles, unique culture and traditions as well as the ornaments they put all over their body for decoration. Proceed to Jinka for overnight Eco Omo lodge.
Day 19: Early in the morning drive to Mursi village situated in Mago National Park where you can see their interesting culture like women when age reaches about 17, silt is cut between lower lip and mouth. Afterwards, drive back to Jinka for overnight at Eco Omo lodge.
Day 20: After breakfast, depart from Jinka to Konso. The Konso people are known for their wooden statues, known as wakas, which are erected in honor of dead heroes as well as their innovative agricultural terracing. Today you will have the opportunity to visit a local village and the cultural museum displaying many waka statues. Time permitting; you can also visit the “natural New York Village”, named after the tall sand formations resembling skyscrapers. Afterwards, continue drive to Arba Minch. Overnight: Paradise Lodge.
Day 21: Drive to Addis towards Sodo via Butajira, on the way visit Tiya stele classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. These steals are believed to have been erected between the 12th and 14th centuries and are almost certainly grave markers. Then continue driving to Addis Ababa for overnight at Radisson Blue.
Day 22: After breakfast, you will have a city tour of Addis Ababa that includes visiting Entoto Mariam church and National museum. In the afternoon, visit Holy Trinity church and Ethnological Museum.
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