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17 days / 16 nights
TOUR PACKAGES TO The Highlights of Ethiopia
TRANSPORT:

Day 1 – Arrival + Addis Ababa Arrival at Bole International airport.

Welcome and assistance by the tour guide at the airport. Transfer into the hotel.

Day 2 – Addis – Bahirdar Fly from Addis to Bahirdar, Capital of Amhara Region.

Visit to the Tiss-Issat (Blue Nile falls 30km) before lunch. In the noon, boat trip to the Lake Tana and visiting the 14th century AD island monasteries, Ura kidane meheret and Azwa Mariam.

Day 3 – Bahir Dar to Gondar

Drive from Bahir Dar to Gondar - the 17th century capital of Ethiopia. Afternoon, visit the Imperial Castle Compound of Gondar (UNESCO World Heritage Site) with their epic European middle ages looking in the heart of Africa, the ‘Bath of Emperor Fasiladas’, the ancient church of Quskuam Mariam (17th century AD), and the church of Debre Birhan Sillassie, which is famous for its wall and ceiling paintings.

Day 4 – Gondar – Simien Mountains national park

After 1h30 of Driving from Gondar, you will arrive at Simien mountains national park. Full day at the Simien National Park (the only natural site of the country that is registered by UNESCO as a world Heritage). After, visit the endemic mammals of Ethiopia, different kinds of birds and the breathtaking scenery of the simian mountains. Finally back to Gondar in the evening.

Day 5 – Gondar - Axum

Fly to Axum, after check-in in the hotel, have a sightseeing tour of Axum which includes visiting the Archaeological museum of Axum, the famous stele park (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the church of St. Mary of Zion, believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant, the palace and tomb of King Kaleb and Gebre Meskel and the ruin palace of the Queen of Sheba (9thCentury BC).

Day 6 – Axum - Lalibela

In the morning, fly to Lalibela – home of the 12th century AD rock hewn churches by King Lalibela. And in the afternoon, visit the first group of six churches of King Lalibela (UNESCO World Heritage Site) which lie in rock cradles one behind the other: Bete Golgotha, Bete Mika'el, Bete Maryam, Bete Meskel, Bete Danaghel and Bete MedhaneAlem.

Day 7 – Lalibela

In the morning, mule back ride to the hill top semi monolithic church of ASHETON MARIAM (13th century AD). The church is situated on the top of a mountain at an altitude of 3150 meters. The roundtrip takes about 4 hours. We return to Lalibela for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the other groups of rock churches.

Day 8 – Lalibela– Addis – Zeway – Langano

Fly back to Addis and Meet the vehicle and proceed to the south visiting the nature of the region and many bird speciesalong the Great Rift Valley lakes. Here you will find Awash and Lake Zeway, the habitat for common birds to be seen including African pygmy Geese, Yellow billed storks, Collared Pratincoles, Lesser and greater Jacanas, African Jacanas, White Pelicans, Fish Eagles, crowned and common cranes. We leave Zeway mid-afternoon, continuing to Lake Langano.

Day 9 – Langano to Arba Minch

Drive to Arba Minch (300 Km) via the tribal people of Alaba, Wolayta and Dorze, famed for their bee hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Arrival & overnight at Arba Minch (which means 40 springs).

Day 10 – Arba Minch

Short game drive in Nech Sar National Park, the habitat of many endemic Mammals and Birds. Stop at the “Bridge of God” separating Lake Chamo and Lake Abaya. Boattrip on the rift valley Lake Chamo to see hippos and crocodiles.Dinner & overnight.

Day 11 – Arba Minch – Konso – Jinka

Drive 275 km south to Jinka visiting the villages of Konso people, known for colorful dresses and unusually engraved wooden statues, used as grave markers. Continue along impressive land terracing to the village of the Woito people, near the Woito River. On the way to Jinka stop at the Key AferMarket (Thursday is market day), a tribal market, where different ethnic groups gather to sell and buy their agricultural products. Dinner & overnight.

Day 12 – Jinka

Whole day excursion inMago National Park. Picnic-lunch. One of the most remarkable visits of this trip is today’s visit of a village of the Mursi-tribe. Then, drive back to Jinka and visit the Cultural Museum of the People of the Lower Omo Valley. Dinner and overnight.

Day 13 – Jinka - Turmi

Drive to Turmi – the village of the Hamer people, one of the most known tribes in the Omo-valley with their women typical hairdressing, and leather skirts. We will have a stop at the colorful weekly market of the Hamer and the Benna people at Dimeka, if the dates will be on Saturday or Tuesday. Dinner and overnight

Day 14 – Turmi

In the Morning, excursion to Omo Rate to visit the Dasenech people who are the southernmost people of the country and are known for their scarifications. Then, with a picnic lunch, we will proceed to the village of the Karo people.

Day 15 –Turmi – Yabello

Drive to Yabello visiting the Arbore and the Tsemay people on the way. After lunch stop at Konso, continue to the region of the Oromo Borena and visit their village. They are well known in cattle rearing. From their deep ‘singing well’ they carry water to their cattle by forming a long line of people and passing on the buckets while singing.

Day 16 – Yabello – Awassa

Drive from Yabello to Awassa through the beautiful Sidamo Mountains and wide coffee plantations. In the late afternoon walk to thesides of Lake Awassa.

Day 17 –Awassa– Addis Ababa – Departure

Visit the fish market in the shores of Lake Awassa and drive back to Addis. Afternoon, have a half-day city tour of Addis that includes visiting the National Archeological Museum of Addis Ababa, Merkato - the largest open-air market in Africa, and driving to Entoto hills (3,200 meters) to have a panoramic view of the capital. In the evening, you will be invited a farewell dinner party at one of the best traditional restaurants of Addis to see the traditional dance of the Ethiopian ethnic groups and to taste the variety of meals of the Ethiopian people. Then transfer out to the airport for departure back to home.