Best of Northern Ethiopia

Overview

This tour combines the best of Ethiopia’s historical sights and scenery with highlights that include the Blue Nile Falls and a boat trip on Lake Tana, the castle compound of Goha, a visit to the Simien Mountains National Park, the imposing stelae at Axum, and the awe-inspiring rock hewn churches of Lalibela. With relatively few visitors, Ethiopia is the ideal destination for all those wanting to experience some of the world’s most amazing architecture and history without the crowds.

Itinerary

DAY 1: ADDIS ABABA
On arrival you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Overnight at the GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL or similar.

DAY 2: ADDIS ABABA – BAHIR DAR
This morning you will fly from Addis Ababa to the lakeside town of Bahir Dar. This afternoon, you will be transferred by road to the small town of Tis Abay to visit the magnificent 100-metre wide Blue Nile Falls. Two nights at the KURIFTU RESORT AND SPA or similar. (B, L, D)

DAY 3: BAHIR DAR
After breakfast, you will be taken on a guided boat trip on Ethiopia’s largest body of water, Lake Tana (3,600 sq km) to visit the monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam. These monasteries are known for the colourful frescoes of religious scenes and an impressive display of illuminated bibles written in Ge’ez, Ethiopia’s oldest language. In the afternoon, you will visit the bustling Bahir Dar market. (B, L, D)

DAY 4: BAHIR DAR – GONDAR
This morning, you will depart Bahir Dar and travel by road to Gondar, the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. In the afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar a UNESCO World Heritage site, featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings. Return to the hotel via the bath of Emperor Fasilides, and the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for the exquisite faces of angels painted on the ceiling. Two nights at the GOHA HOTEL or similar. (B, L, D)

DAY 5: GONDAR – SIMIEN MOUNTAINS – GONDAR
After breakfast, enjoy a round trip from Gondar to the Simien Mountains National Park. In addition to the breathtaking scenery, the park is also well known for its unique animal and birdlife including the Ethiopian wolf Walia ibex, and the Gelada baboon. (B, L, D)

DAY 6: GONDAR – AXUM
A morning flight will bring you to Axum, the capital of the ancient Axumite Empire. On arrival you will visit the Archaeological museum and the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, which is believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant. You will also visit the famous stelae field and tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel (5th and 6th Century AD). Overnight at the SABEAN HOTEL or similar. (B, L, D)

DAY 7: AXUM – LALIBELA
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Lalibela, site of the 11 monolithic rock hewn churches built in the 12th century. These amazing structures have been carved into the mountainside and are accessed by a maze of passageways and tunnels. After lunch you will visit the first group of churches. Two nights at the MARIBELA HOTEL or similar (B, L, D)

DAY 8: LALIBELA
This morning you will travel by road to Yemrehanna Kristos, a church situated in a cave on a hillside. Priests and hermits still live at Yemrehanna Kristos and the church is a place of pilgrimage. In the afternoon, you will visit the remaining second and the third group of the
churches of Lalibela. (B, L, D)

DAY 9: LALIBELA – ADDIS ABABA
Today, you will fly to Addis Ababa and spend the afternoon on a half-day city tour. The tour includes the National Archaeological Museum of Addis Ababa, Merkato – the largest open-air market in Africa, and a drive to Mt. Entoto for a panoramic view of the capital. This evening you will have a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant. Overnight at the GOLDEN TULIP HOTEL or similar (B, D)

DAY 10: ADDIS ABABA
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight. (B)

 

Includes

• 9 nights accommodation on a twin share basis
• Meals as indicated (B, L, D)
• All transfers, touring with an English-speaking guide and entrance fees
• Lake Tana boat trip
• Domestic flights as shown (based on flying internationally with Ethiopia Airlines)

Subject to change without notice.

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Maribela Hotel

Maribela Hotel is at the edge of the town, in the heart of the Lalibela mountains. It was built and inspired by the famous rock churches of Lalibela. All the rooms are spacious and modern with breathtaking views of the Ethiopian highlands. Maribela Hotel has a restaurant, a bar, a shared lounge and a garden.

Sabean International Hotel

Sabean International Hotel is in Ethiopia’s oldest and holiest town- Axum. It is an ideal base to explore the archaeological sites and ancient steles in the city and is close to Mariam Tsion Church and Queen Sheba’s Palace. This hotel offers forty-four rooms and suites, each presenting a welcoming blend of contemporary texture and subtle Ethiopian motifs. Hotel amenities include a shared lounge, on-site restaurant, bar and airport shuttle services.

Goha Hotel

Goha Hotel in Gondar is ideally situated on the hills overlooking the city. This stone hotel is home to 82 rooms and suites, each room featuring traditional decor and equipped with a private bathroom, desk and sitting area. There’s also a casual open-air restaurant offering international cuisine and live entertainment. Other amenities include free airport shuttle service, an outdoor pool, a cafe, and a lawn with sun loungers.

Kuriftu Resort and Spa

Kuriftu Resort and Spa in Bahir Dar is on the shores of Lake Tana and just a kilometre away from the Marine Authority Boat and Ferry Launch. This resort offers twenty-eight rooms, including two presidential suites and equipped with flat-screen TVs, sofas, fireplaces and private bathrooms. Some rooms have views of the lake or the pool.

Golden Tulip

Golden Tulip Hotel, located in Addis Ababa, is conveniently positioned one kilometre away from Bole International Airport and within walking distance of shops and restaurants. The hotel offers 90 comfortable rooms. Unwind in the on-site lounge bar with a favourite drink and enjoy meals at the international restaurant. Other amenities include a fitness centre and a 24-hour front desk.

Lahia Tented Lodge

Discover Lahia Tented Lodge, where luxury meets wilderness. Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty of the Central Serengeti, all from the comfort of spacious, canvas tents with modern comforts. Accommodating 25 tents, Lahia Tented Lodge is situated 90km from the Serengeti National Park and is the ideal place from which to experience the thrill of safari.

Lion's Paw Camp

Positioned right at the very edge of Ngorongoro Crater, Lion’s Paw Camp offers a unique view across the caldera.  Guests indulge in tranquil luxury, and are spoilt every sunrise and sunset with views across the vast savannah. Enjoy thrilling game drives to explore the diverse landscape, immerse yourself in the local Maasai culture, and make unforgettable memories at this intimate camp.