The Historic North of Ethiopia
February 2 – February 13, 2019
No Single Supplement!

Ethiopia is today, one of the most economically successful and fastest growing countries in Africa. But its history is the real reason to visit this country, whose topography ranges from fertile farm lands, mountains to arid lands. Some of the earliest skeletons of humans have been found in Ethiopia and the country’s Christianity is a source of pride, due to its early role among Ethiopia’s religions. During your tour, you will be visiting many ancient architectural and archaeological sites.

Tourism is still a work in progress in Ethiopia, particularly outside of the capital. So, joining this Iconic Journeys Worldwide tour to Ethiopia requires a sense of adventure and the understanding that not everything works and that luxury is not part of the agenda.

 

 

DAY 1, FEBRUARY 2- ARRIVAL

 Arrive at Bole International Airport. Our Ethiopian ground colleagues will meet you and take you to your hotel.

 

DAY 2, FEBRUARY 3- ADDIS ABABA

Today’s touring will concentrate on sites within Ethiopia’s capital, locally known as “Addis”. Tour the Ethnographic Museum, located on the campus of Addis Ababa University, and a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history.  Visit Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie. Buffet Lunch at the Taitu Hotel, Addis Ababa’s oldest hotel. Following lunch enjoy some of Ethiopia’s finest coffee at the famous Tomoco Coffee House. Continue with the tour with a trip to the bustling Mercato, one of Africa’s largest outdoor markets. Later in the afternoon, drive to Mount Entoto for a fine view of the city. Return to the hotel to relax and for dinner.

 

DAY 3, FEBRUARY 4– FLY TO BAHAR DAR

Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and tour ancient island monasteries. Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar.  In the evening enjoy a lakeside Ethiopian barbecue dinner.

 

DAY 4, FEBRUARY 5- DRIVE TO GONDAR 

Shepherd Boy in Gondar

Early departure to Gondar, driving through the countryside with an optional stop at the village of Awra Amba. Following lunch, tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century. Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty African Empire.

 

The Royal Enclosure

Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels. In the evening, visit an Azmari Bet, where Ethiopian troubadours play music and ad lib lyrics often including audience members in their performance.

Fresco of Debre Birhan

DAY 5, FEBRUARY 6- DRIVE TO SANKABAR

Drive to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Take in the spectacular scenery and view wildlife such as the Gelada baboon. Light hiking in the afternoon in the park.

 

DAY 6, FEBRUARY 7- DRIVE TO AXUM

Take a scenic drive to Axum, capital of the ancient Axumite Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frequent stops at viewpoints along the way. Arrive in Axum late afternoon. 

 

DAY 7, FEBRUARY 8- AXUM

North Stelae Field in Axum

Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years.  Visit the new and impressive Archaeological Museum.  See St. Mary Tsion Church, which houses the Ark of the Covenant according to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church (no one is allowed to see the Ark.) Visit other tombs and archaeological sites as time permits.

 

DAY 8, FEBRUARY 9- FLY TO LALIBELA

Fly to Lalibela on Ethiopian Airlines 700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa.  Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This group of eleven monolithic and semi-monolithic structures were carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago.  This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings.

 

DAY 9, FEBRUARY 10- LALIBELA

 

St. George Church in Lalibela

Drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela.  The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands. En route, visit a village school and talk with students and their teacher. In the afternoon, return to Lalibela and visit a localfarmer to learn about traditional farming methods. In the evening, visit a local bar or “Tej Bet”, and sample home-made “tej” (honey wine).

Priest with a beautiful illustrated Bible in Lalibela

Priest in Lalibela

 

 DAY 10, FEBRUARY 11- FLY TO DIRE DAWA VIA ADDIS ABABA

Fly to Dire Dawa via Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines.  Visit the large and colorful Dire Dawa Market.

Man splitting salt bricks in downtown market

Woman at local market selling hops

Spices at the market

 

 DAY 11, FEBRUARY 12- HARAR

Ethiopian man at Camel Market in Harar

Locals going about their day in Old City Street

 

Stroll through the 16th century walled city of Harar, the fourth most important city in the Islamic World.  See the home of Arthur Rimbaud, renowned French poet who worked and lived in Harar as a “gun-runner” during the 19th century. Visit the National and Harari museums; the house of Ras Mekonnen (father of Haile Selassie); and a traditional Harari home. In the evening see the “Hyena Man” feeding the hyenas that gather nightly outside the town.

 

 

The “Hyena Man” feeding a hungry hyena in Harar.

 

DAY 12, FEBRUARY 13- FLY TO ADDIS ABABA

Fly to Addis Ababa.  Visit the National Museum, home of the 3 million year old skeleton “Lucy.” Optional souvenir shopping. Enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure or additional hotel night booked upon request.


DANAKIL DEPRESSION TOUR

POST OPTIONAL TOUR BEGINNING FEBRUARY 14 until FEBRUARY 18. 

 

DAY 13, FEBRUARY 14- ARRIVAL

End of Historic Route Tour. Check in to Addis Ababa hotel.

 

DAY 14, FEBRUARY 15 – FLY TO MEKELE

Fly to Mekele on Ethiopian Airlines. Meet vehicles and drive to Ahmedela via Berhaile. Make camp and see camel caravans passing against a backdrop of dramatic sunsets.

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 15, FEBRUARY 16 – EXCURSIONS TO LAKE ASALE AND DALOL

Visit Lake Asale and watch the salt workers as they cut bricks of salt from the lake bed. The bricks are then sold on the market and loaded on camel caravans for transport to the highlands.

 

Proceed to Dalol and view the dramatic and colorful geological formations caused by the hot springs rich in sulfur, potash and salt.  

 

 

 

DAY 16, FEBRUARY 17 – TREK TO ERTA ALE

Drive to Dodom. Trek 15 kilometers to the Erta Ale volcano lake, 613 meters above sea level. Arrive at Erta Ale around midnight and walk to see the spectacular volcanic eruption.

Set up camp and rest.

 

DAY 17, FEBRUARY 18 – DRIVE TO MEKELE

Return trek to Dodom. Drive to Mekele.

 

DAY 18, FEBRUARY 19- FLY TO ADDIS ABABA

Fly to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines. An Awaze Tours representative will meet you and provide assistance regrading accomodations or transportation arrangements if needed.


**NOTE: PLEASE TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THIS PART OF THE COUNTRY WILL BE OF HARSH TERRAIN, HOT WEATHER, AS WELL AS  LIMITED WATER AND RESTROOM FACILITIES ON SITE.


HOTELS

Addis Ababa:   Radisson Blu   ★★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g293791-d1456174-Reviews-Radisson_Blu_Hotel_Addis_Ababa-Addis_Ababa.html

 

Bahar Dar:   Abay Minch Lodge   ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g480192-d2021374-Reviews-Abay_Minch_Lodge-Bahar_Dar_Amhara_Region.html

 

Gondar:  Goha Hotel  ★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g317059-d1025493-Reviews-Goha_Hotel-Gonder_Amhara_Region.html

 

Sankabar:   Simien Lodge ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g1015732-d1223234-Reviews-Simien_Lodge-Debark_Amhara_Region.html

 

Axum:    Sabean International Hotel ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g3667784-d10493827-Reviews-Sabean_International_Hotel-Axum_Tigray_Region.html

 

LalibelaTukul Village ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g480193-d1027693-Reviews-Tukul_Village-Lalibela_Amhara_Region.html

 

Dire Dawa:   Samrat Hotel ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g667260-d2008802-Reviews-Samrat_Hotel-Dire_Dawa.html

 

HararWonderland Hotel  ★★★★

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g676757-d12989238-Reviews-Wonderland_Hotel-Harar_Harari_Region.html


COST

Cost of $5,495 per person…. No Single Supplement!

 

*Cost with Danakil Depression Tour is an additional $1,975- A total of $7,470. – No Single Supplement!

 


WHAT IS INCLUDED

Entrance fees for all sites and parks mentioned in the itinerary
All excursions listed in the itineraries
Experienced, multilingual tour guide and guide’s expenses
Ground transportation via tour vehicle (includes driver and fuel)
All domestic flights noted on the itinerary
All meals for the duration of the tour
Lodging as noted on itinerary for 11 nights
All hotel/airport transfers listed on the itinerary


WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED

Personal expenditures
Alcoholic drinks
International airfare
Gratuities
Photography or Video Fees
Visa costs


REGISTRATION

To register for Ethiopia’s Historic North Tour, please click Here

To register for Ethiopia’s Historic North and Danakil Depression Tour, please click Here


**PLEASE NOTE that most hotels in Ethiopia will be basic. Guests will be subject to sleeping outside with available tenting for any insect/bug protection at these hotels. More comfort will be provided at premium hotels such as the Radisson Blu and the Sheraton Addis.