Visit Axum, Simien Mountains National Park 9 Days

The City of Axum
The City of Axum

Visit Axum, Simien Mountains National Park

Visit Mekelle, Axum City, Simien Mountains National Park

Visit Mekelle, Axum City, Simien Mountains National Park, Gonder, Wanzaye- natural hot Spring, The Tis Issat of the Blue Nile and Monasteries on Lake Tana,Drive from Bahir Dar to Awra Amba & Lalibela, fly from  Lalibela to Addis Ababa

Itinerary

Program:  Historic Routes

Tour Code: North 23

Duration: 8Nights (9 Days)

Transportation: Land

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour ends: Addis Ababa

Day 1:  Fly from Addis Ababa to Mekelle

Arrive in Addis Ababa in the evening, meet with us & transfer to the Hotel. Breakfast fly from Addis Ababa to Mekelle and drive to Axum visiting sites on the way: Abraha Weatsebha, Wokro, Dugum Selassie and Debre Damo and Yeha temple.  Overnight – Hotel –Axum

Day 2: Axum City

Breakfast & visit the city of Axum: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles/obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb, and the legendary Bath and the ruins of ancient palace of the Queen of Sheba, St Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Ark of the Covenant. Note that almost all  Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and some scholars believe firmly on  the presence of the original Ark of  the covenant for centuries here in Axum,  at the chapel in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fassiladas’ Castle of Axum. Visit also the monastery of Abba Pantelion (requires about 30 minutes walk) at the hill side of Axum (prohibited for women).Overnight – hotel – Axum

Day 3: Simien Mountains NP

Drive to Simien Mountains National Park (about 6hours drive). On the way, discover the Tekeze River Gorge; appreciate the backside of the Semien Mountains. Photo stops on several spots. At Debark, we collect entrance tickets. Gelada Baboons (endemic) is everywhere after the parks gate (100% confirmed). Looking for Ethiopian Wolf (rarely found only on the top of Ras Dashen ‘4543m’), Walia Ibex (often being seen at Chennek camping site and Buayt (4430m) – near chennek, and Gelada Baboon.  – Overnight – tented camp Chennek.

Day 4:  Gondar

Drive to Gondar. On the way near the town of Gondar; visit of Woleka – a place of the Felasha or the black Jewish people for their synagogue and black pottery shop. Jews have amazing histories in Ethiopia even before the time of Gonderine Civilization (17-19century).The history of the Original Ark of the Covenant, supposed to be in Axum now is one to mention. Afternoon; visit the 17century church of Debre Birhan Sillassie (Light of Trinity) unique in its murals, the Castles of emperor Fassiladas and his swimming pool, and palace of Empress Mintewab. Overnight –Hotel – Gondar

Day 5: Wanzaye- natural hot Spring

After breakfast; drive to Bahir Dar (187km best asphalt road.) on the way; visit Wanzaye, a place for natural hot spring water (9kms from the main route to Bahir Dar). It is very important for the local people (a curing spa against some diseases).People will immerse into the hot spring bath (a big room that accommodates from 40 to 80 people together) for about 6 hours (3 hours morning and 3hours afternoon) per day. In doing so, the patient will be cured or will have seen changes from his disease within a weak. Lunch, at Wanzaye Hotel and drive to Bahir Dar. Near Bahir Dar, visit the Bezawit Hill tops and the palace of Emperor Haile SellassieI (entering is prohibited) & the Blue Nile (we, Ethiopians call it Abay or Geon), leaving its source – Lake Tana. Also the sunset here is attractive.  Overnight –Hotel – Bahir Dar

Day 6: The Tis Issat of the Blue Nile and Monasteries on Lake Tana

After breakfast; drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32km rough road) to visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Issat means in Amharic: ‘Smoke of Fire’. Much of the water is diverted for Hydro electric Generation plant but it is still worth visiting for remaining waterfalls, trekking around and to see a Portuguese Bridge (17Century) and the country side as well. The area around the waterfall is amazingly fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which Injera, the national bread, is made). After the fall, return to Bahir Dar & make city tour of Bahir Dar which includes: market where you can find the pottery, traditional hand-made woven clothes, and Woito Basket market.

Afternoon; take a chartered boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 19 century). You will visit only the most accessible and representative of the monasteries on the lake, still serving their original function: Ura Kidane Mehret, and Azwa Maryam (in Zeghie Peninsula), Kibran Church (prohibited for women) & Entos Eyesus. Overnight –Hotel– Bahir Dar

Day 7: Drive from Bahir Dar to Awra Amba & Lalibela

Drive to Lalibela, on the way; visit Awra Amba village. Awra Amba community are famous in their work activity. Any member, whatever the type of task or knowledge they perform, the share distribution among them is equal. They believe any member of the community should be treated fairly (denying the difference of knowledge, skill & task hardship) & get their support until death. When a member dies, only two people bury the dead body. No one cries for the dead but go working!!  The founder of the community is called Zumra, an old man, still alive!! Continue to Debre Tabor – Woldya – Lalibela – Overnight –Hotel – Lalibela

Day 8: full day visit in Lalibela

Early morning; Hike to Asheten Mariam Mountain Church .After Asheten and a short siesta, visit the first group of six churches: 1.Bet Golgotha, 2.Bet Mikael, 3.Bet Mariam, 4.Bet Meskel, 5.Bet Danaghel and 6.Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem is the largest monolithic rock hewn church in the world, built like a Greek temple! In a corner there are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Second groups: 7.Bete Amanuel, 8.Bete Marqorewos, 9.Bete Abba Libanos, 10.Bete Gabriel -Rufael and11 Bet Giyorgis. Bet Giyorgis is the most elegant of all Lalibela churches, which lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the town on a sloping rock terrace. Drive for the cave church of Nakuto Làabe (5kms away from Lalibela). Overnight –Hotel – Lalibela

Day 9: Lalibela to Addis Ababa & Departure

Fly from Lalibela to Addis Ababa to catch an evening flight or next country destination. Evening, dinner with live  amazing shoulder to shoulder dances ( northern culture) and other many live dances at best cultural restaurants in Addis ( Habesha restaurant orYod Abyssinia) and transfer you to Bole International airport for your flight to London) – end of the trip . 

Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on request

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