Visit Danakil Depression & historic Routes 17 Days

salt-rock
salt-rock

Visit Danakil Depression & historic Routes

Visit Danakil Depression & historic Routes 

Visit Danakil Depression & historic Routes, Discover Danakil Depression, Arta Ale, Afdera, Afdera, Afar People, Desert Safari, Camel Caravans…

Day to day Itinerary

Program: Danakil Depression & historic Routes

Tour Code: Afar 01

Duration: 16Nights (17 Days)

Transportation: Land (4WD)

Tour starts: Addis Ababa

Tour ends: Addis Ababa

Day1: Arrival/ Addis – City Tour

Arrive in the morning, to Addis Ababa Bole international airport, meet with us, and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

Then we drive to the Entoto Mountain (3300m) for a panoramic view of Addis, Entoto Museum with historical and royal exhibit, The Church of St. Mary, built in 1885 and the old palace of emperor MenelikII. Take some images at Mount Entoto and we drive back to Addis for Ethnological Museum that exhibits the culture and handicrafts of various Ethiopian ethnic groups, the National Museum in which you are visiting different archaeological findings (including Lucy’s Skeleton). After lunch, visit the Trinity Cathedral, Mausoleum of emperor MenelikII at Bààta Church and finally Merkato – the largest open market in Africa.  Overnight – Hotel – Addis

Day 2: Camel Market in Bati Town

Early drive from Addis to Kombolcha (376km). On the way, overlook the old tunnels made by Italians during the Occupation period (1936-1941). Check-in at your hotel and drive to Bati (41km from Kombolcha) for camel market. In the market, people of Amhara, Oromo & Afar are easily observed. Overnight – Hotel – Kombolcha

Day 3:   Hayk Istifanos & Lalibela

Drive from Kombolcha to Lalibela (349km on which 40km is dirt road).  This route is scenic. On the way, visit the monasteries of Lake Hayk for a monastery named Istifanos. Overnight – Hotel – Lalibela

Day 4: Asheten Mariam, Nakuto La’abe, first & second groups

Early morning. Climb to Asheten Mariam (about 3hour one way walk) for a panoramic view of the region and a mountain Church. After Asheten Mariam; descend down for the first group of Churches. Afternoon, visit the Second groups & Nakuto Leab Cave Church. Overnight –hotel – Lalibela

Day 5: Lalibela – Yimrahine Kristos -Mekelle.

Drive to the cave church called Yimrahine Kristos (42 km from Lalibela). This Church has been constructed by King Yimrahine Kristos during the13th Century. In the church, there are more than 5000 (five thousand) dead human skeletons (Bones) lying without any coverage for the past 700 years. They are supposed to be pilgrimages from Syria, Egypt and Ethiopia. The murals on the walls of the church, and the forest around are very impressive and worthy to be visited.  Visit the church and proceed to Mekelle via Korem. The asphalt road starts at town Korem.Overnight – Hotel – Mekelle

Day 6:   Mekelle   – Hammed Ela

Drive from Mekelle via Berahile to Hammed/Ahmed Ela. After the small town of Agula; we descend to the Afar Region. At many spots on the way; you will see camel caravans, transporting rock salt from Lake Asalé to the town of Mekelle. Entrance tickets will be collected at the small town of Berahile (110km from Mekelle). Then we proceed towards Hammed Ela; accompanying with Afar polices and a local guide from Berahile. Overnight – camping (in Afar House) – Hammed Ela

Day 7:  Dallol Depression and Lake Asalé then Shiketi

Early morning (possibly at 6am local time); excursion to the Danakil depression. On this day; surely, you will be overwhelmed with strong feeling of admiration, because of the awesome of Dallol. Proceed to the traditional salt extraction site from where   camels are waiting to be loaded rock salts – just nearby the Salt Lake of Asalé. Then drive on white salt land to visit Lake Asalé. Then, after having visited all sights in Danakil Depression, drive to Shiketi (also called Alaba) on new asphalt Road (in 2014).  Overnight – camping– Shiketi

Day 8: the Eternal fire of Arte Ale, Active Volcano Lake

Morning; drive from Shiketi towards Arte Ale (78km dirt road) via Afdera – Mekelle Road then to Kursewat. After arranging camel/s for Arte Ale Mountain, drive to Waydodom and then climb Arta Ale accompanying with camping gears, being loaded by Afar Camel (3-4hrs walk). After siesta, explore the extraordinary lava that babbles from its mouth of Arte Ale volcanic fire. During night time the volcano will be fully seen with its magnificent color of zigzagging fire, produced from huge rocks. Therefore; in the evening, we will descend from Camping site to the drama of the volcano. Overnight- camping on the top of Arte Ale

Day 9: Arte Ale – Mekelle

Morning; descend to your cars and drive via the Junction road to Afdera & then to the – small town of Abala/Shiketi -Mekelle Airport – Mekelle – (new road being asphalted to connect Mekelle and Afdera ‘salt mining center’).  Overnight – Hotel – Mekelle

Day 10: Wukro, Abraha We Atsebeha, Debre Damo, Yeha Temple

Drive from Mekelle to Axum. On the way, explore oldest rock churches of Wukro Chirkos, Abreha-We-Atsbeha, Degum Selassie, Debre Damo (climb aiding by a rope a monk), and the 5th century B.C Pre-Christian Temple of Yeha. Overnight – Hotel -Axum

Day 11: the birth Place of Ethiopian History

Explore the city of Axum. Axum treasures the ancient Ethiopian history that includes: the archaeological museum, monolithic steles, 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 God for centuries here in Axum, at the chapel in the middle of St Mary of Zion and Emperor Fasiladas’ Castle of Axum. Overnight – Hotel –Axum

Day 12: Simien Mountains National Park- Chennek

Drive from Axum to Simien Mountains (Chennek Camping Site). On this day, after crossing the Gorge of River Tekezé, you will appreciate the extremely fabulous Simien Mountains’ escarpments. Arrive to Debark and collect entrance tickets at the Simien Mountains head office then drive to Chennek (57km from Debark). Explore Gelada Baboons at several spots & Walia Ibex nearby Chennek Camping Site (both endemic animals). Overnight- tented camp – Chennek

Day 13: Woleka – Gondar

Morning, explore the park around Chennek for the Walia Ibex and some antelopes, afternoon; drive to Gondar. On the way near the town of Gondar; short visit of Woleka – a place of the Felasha or the black Jewish people for their synagogue and black pottery shop. Jews have amazing history with Ethiopians starting from Biblical (before Christ) up to the  Gonderine Civilization (17-19century).The history of the Original Ark of the Covenant, supposed to be in Axum now often relates with Ethiopian Jews. Overnight – Hotel – Gondar

Day 14: Gondar Castles, & Bahir Dar

After breakfast; visit the Castles of emperor Fasiladas and his swimming pool, the 17century church of Debre Birhan Sillassie (Light of Trinity) & drive to Bahir Dar. (187kms). on the way; visit Awra Amba Community. Awara Aba people are famous in their unique work ideology in action and social life. They do not have work division and salary or wage difference. What they do all together, they do share it evenly. Also visit the Bezawit Hill tops and the palace of Emperor Haile SelassieI (entering is prohibited) near Bahir Dar. Overnight – Hotel– Bahir Dar

Day 15: The Tis Issat of the Blue Nile and Monasteries on Lake Tana

Morning; take a chartered boat trip on Lake Tana to visit monasteries (constructed during 14 up to 18 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. Evening, visit the hill of Bezawit (roughly 5km after Gojjam – Gondar border Bridge). At this point, you are visit the Palace of Emperor Haile SelassieI( entering is prohibited), the source of the Blue Nile- leaving Lake Tana and panoramic view of Bahir Dar and the full  sunset

Afternoon; drive to the small town of Tiss Abay (32km dirt road). On the way in Bahir Dar, visit the Woito Basket market (made in ox skin and papyrus tree) then continue to the Blue Nile 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 Hydroelectric Generation plant but it is still worth visiting for remaining waterfalls, trekking around and to see a Portuguese Bridge (17Century) and the country side. 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). Overnight – Hotel–Bahir Dar

Day 16: Blue Nile Gorge.

After an early breakfast; drive to Addis (563km best Asphalt Road). This route (Gojjam province) is famous in Teff production. Teff is stable food of Ethiopians. On the way; enjoy with the fabulous Blue Nile Gorge, 17th Century Portuguese Bridge and the 13th Century monastery of Debre Libanos. Overnight – Hotel – Addis

Day 17: Departure

Notice: This itinerary can be amended up on your request

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