12 Day Itinerary Historical Circuit of Northern Ethiopia

tab Overview}

 Day 1- Arrival in Addis Ababa
Day 2 – Drive Addis to Debre-Markos.
Day 3 – Drive Debre Marcos - Bahirdar.
Day 4 – Drive Bahar Dar-Gondar.
Day 5 - City tour in Gondar.
Day 6 - Gondar-Simien Mountains.
Day 7 - Trekking to Chenek.
Day 8 - Fly Gondar to Axum
Day 9 - Fly Axum to Lalibela.
Day 10 - Visit Lalibela rock hewn churches
Day 11 – Drive Lalibela-Dessie/Kombolcha.
Day 12 - Drive Dessie/Kombolcha-Addis.

 


 

Day 1- Arrival at Bole international airport, meet with Anini Tours representative at exit, transfer to hotel for check in.

Visit 3000m Entoto  mountain with panoramic views over the capital the National and Ethnographic museum, St George, Trinity cathedral and Merkato which is the biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight, stay in the hotel 

Day 2 - Addis to Debre-Markos. Depart Addis for  Northern Ethiopia. On the way visit one of Orthodox’s most holy sites: the Debre Libanos monastery founded in the 13th century by Abune Tekle-Haimanot, one of Ethiopia's most celebrated saints.  Fom Debre-Libanos  the main route continues north to the Canyon of the Blue Nile or Abay river.  The road descends 1500 metres   winding spectacularly downwards into the canyoon to the river far below. It is one of the most dramatic roads in the country.  After climbing out of the canyon the road 2500m high Gojam  plateau to Debre-Markos. Overnight, stay in Hotel.

Day 3 - Debre Marcos  to Bahar Darto the shores of Lake Tana. The route crosses the high Gojam plains, well-known for its teff production. Tef is the staple grain of the Ethiopian diet.  Midway to Bahar Dar, visit the beautiful Zengena crater lake.This  region is occupied by the Agew nation where the name of our company. Anini  means Bamboo in the Agew Language. Upon arrival in Bahar Dar, Hotel check in,  lunch followed by a  drive 45 minutes on unpaved road to the tiny village of Tis- Abay (Tis-Isat).  The round trip  takes 1.5 hour walking with a short   boat crossing of the Blue Nile River in order to have  a great close up view of the falls and a free shower from the  water  smoke at the base of the falls. Return to to Bahar Dar to overnight and enjoy local fish for dinner.

Day 4 - Bahar Dar-Gondar. In the morning, visit the Island monasteries on  Lake Tana.  These include  medieval island monasteries such as Kibran-Gabriel, Entos-Eyesus. On the Zege peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis and finally the outlet of  the Blue Nile where it exits the lake. Return to  Bahar Dar for lunch then continue to Gondar a 3 hour drive. Overnight, stay in hotel.

Day 5 - City tour in Gondar. Visit the Royal Enclosure that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fasil, King Iyasu, Queen Mentewab and different other buildings. Visit also Fasiladas’ Bath, (that is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year) In the afternoon visit the church of Debre Berhan Selassie which  has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels. If there is time  visit Kuskuwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St. Samuel riding his lion. Enjoy the evening view over the city from the hilltop Goha hotel. Overnight stay in the Hotel.

Day 6 - Gonder to the Simien Mountains. On route to Simien a stopover is made at the last remaining Felasha village ” (African Jews). The Simien National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highest mountain is Ras Dashen, 4,543 m and the park has some of the best mountain scenery in Africa. Here you will see amethyst-colored peaks and deep gorges. The cliffs and ledges are host to  the endemic Walia Ibex, Semien fox (Ethiopian Wolf) and Gelada Baboons. It is a superb trekking destination. Accomodation  options are either  staying in the Simien lodge or camping in Sankaber.

Day 7- Trekking to Chenek. This an opportunity to explore the park. Depending on how much walking guests prefer visit selected locations along the edge of the huge Simien escarpment which drops 3000me to the canyonlands of the Tacaze river.  Two to three hours walking in the Buwahit Ras – Chenek 2-3 area is recommended with the chance of seeing  Have some picnic on the spot of Walia Ibex, Geladas and the giant bird of prey the Lammergeier. Return drive to Gondar. Overnight Hotel.

Day 8 - City tour in Axum. Axum is a town with impressive monuments that testify to the glorious past of the mighty Kingdom of Axum (1-700 A.D.) The monuments are world heritage listed.   During the day you will visit the famous Axum Obelisks (steles) St. Mary of Zion church (which is believed  to house the Ark of Covenant) and archaeological museum, the ruins palace and swimming pool of Queen Sheba. Outside Axum it is possible to see the tombs of Kings Kaleb and Gebre Meskel dating on 6th century. They are a great example of the sheer sophistication of Axumite architecture and building techniques. Overnight, stay in Hotel.

Day 9 – Fly Axum to Lalibela. After a morning flight to Lalibela and hotel check in commence exploring the Lalibela rock hewn churches in the town and surrounding areas. The first day is spent visiting the rock-hewn churches which are clustered in three different places separated by River Jordan. This first day will be spent visiting the first and the third groups of churches. Overnight stay in hotel.

Day 10 - Continue  visiting the attractions in and around Lalibela. On the second day in Lalibela in the morning an excursion to is made to Ashetan Mariam monastery by mule or driving. An hour north of Lalibela  by road & few minute climb  walking brings you to the cave church  of Yemrehane Christos.  After lunch in Lalibela,  spend the afternoon visiting the second groups of rock churches. Overnight, stay in Hotel.

Day 11 - Lalibela-Dessie/Kombolcha. Leaving Lalibela the route to Dessie passes through yet more magnificent mountain scenery. It also provides the opportunity to see the villages and lifestyle of the Amhara people who live on the high plateau.

Thirty  km  before reaching Dessie, there is the option of  visiting the large  Haik Crater Lake and its 13th Century Istephanos monastery.  Here it is possible to see local fisherman using small reed boats. Overnight stay in hotel in Dessie or nearby Kombolcha.

Day 12 - Dessie/Kombolcha-Addis. It is 400 km and a full day drive  back to Addis Ababa passing through a varied and always beautiful landscape. The route traverses lowlands with Oromo camel culture, climbs the great escarpment at Debre Sina and passes across the high plateau through interesting Oromo and Amhara villages.

Back in  Addis, spend your last evening enjoying  a traditional farewell dinner with Ethiopian cultural music and dancing. Either spend the night in Addis or the evening transfer to the airport for return flight.

  

 

 

Et Flight Schedule