£2,350 excl. flight
Limited availability - please call for more information.
- Ethiopia’s painted churches, art and architecture
- The rock cut churches of Lalibela
- Soaring stelae of Axum
This journey tours the cultural northern half of Ethiopia where, with the exception of Harrar, the heritage of the Orthodox church is pervasive. You will visit no fewer than five UNESCO World Heritage sites set in magnificent scenery, including the rock cut churches at Lalibela, the stelae at Axum and the Islamic city of Harrar, as well as the Simien Mountains.
Day 1 London/ Addis Ababa – Fly overnight.
Day 2 Addis Ababa - Arrive in Addis. City tour including Mount Entoto and the churches of Bet Maryam and Archangel Raguel.
Day 3 Addis - Visit to the National Archaeological Museum, the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, the Trinity Church and Menelik’s Mausoleum.
Day 4 Axum, Yeha – Fly to Axum, which for the first seven centuries AD was the seat of an empire that extended to Arabia. Excursion to Yeha, Ethiopia’s first city settlement dating back more than 2800 years.
Day 5 Axum – Tour of Axum, including the stelae park, burial place of 3rd and 4th-century kings, the Maryam Tsion Cathedral, the ruins at Dungur, the new museum and the hilltop tombs of the 6th-century Christian kings Kaleb and Gabra Masqal.
Day 6 Simien Mountains – Descend over 4,000 feet crossing the Takkezze Gorge, then climb 7,000 feet through dramatic scenery up the Wolkayt Escarpment into the Simien Mountains, home to the charismatic gelada baboons.
Day 7 Gondar - Drive along the escarpment to view the stupendous cliffs and waterfalls of the Geech Abyss, then cross the plateau to Gondar.
Day 8 Gondar - Gondar was the imperial capital from 17th - mid 19th-century. Visits include the castles of the central compound and the churches of Debra Berhan Sellassie with superb early 19th-century paintings.
Day 9 Bahir Dar - Drive around Lake Tana, passing further 16th and 17th-century castles to Bahir Dar, where the Blue Nile starts its journey to the Mediterranean. Afternoon visit to Tissisat Falls.
Day 10 Lalibela – Fly to Lalibela, named after the king who, according to tradition, created the town’s rock-hewn churches circa 1200. Explore the eastern complex of churches, including the oldest examples.
Day 11 Lalibela – North for the remarkably preserved church of Ymrahanna Kristos, built in Axumite style within a huge cave. Returning to Lalibela, view the northern church complex including the finest, most elaborate churches, and the burial-place of King Lalibela himself.
Day 12 Harrar - Fly via Addis to Dire Dawa and continue on to Harrar.
Day 13 Harrar - Tour the walled city, considered as the fourth holy city of Islam with its 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th-century.
Day 14 Awash – Travel to Awash National Park, one of Africa’s key Paleolithic sites.
Day 15 Awash, Addis - Drive back to Addis. Free afternoon with day rooms available until departure.
Day 16 Addis/ London – Return flight to London.
EXTENSION IDEA: Extend and explore the tribal areas of The Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia. Please call to discuss.
To be confirmed shortly.
If you like this tour but our specific tour dates don't suit you we can arrange the same itinerary or similar on a tailor-made basis, please contact us to discuss.