18-Days Tour to Dankile Depression, Historic North and Cultural South, Ethiopia

Tour Description

 

Tour Code: 18-Days Tour to Ethiopia including Dankile Depression

Attractions: History, Religion, Volcano, Culture, Scenery & Wildlife

Duration: 18Days &17Nights

Transportation: Surface drive, flights& Boat ride

 

Day 1: Arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Air port

Meet and greet you FANOS Ethiopia Tours representative at exit of luggage claim and transfer you to the hotel.

And depending on your arrival your first  visit Addis Ababa will be the National Museum (pre historic, cultural, archaeological attractions), Or Ethnographic Museum of Addis Ababa University (culture, dressing style, traditional practices of over 80 ethnic groups, and collection of traditional musical instruments).

Your visit also comprises tourist attraction sites like Emperor Minelik’s Palace, St. Raguel’s Church (after a drive to Entoto Mountain - 3000 meter above sea level).

 

After lunch you will visit Trinity Cathedral. It was constructed by Emperor Haile Selassie in 1947 (ornamented with carvings and mosaic and other artistic works such as paintings of saints and the apostles on the stained glass) and visit Merkato, the largest open market in Africa. In the evening, you will have dinner at the hotel and spend the night there.Overnight stay in Bole Ambassador/Azzeman Hotel Apartment, Addis Ababa.

 

Day 2: Fly to Mekelle and drive to Hamed Ela (210 Km from Mekele) via Berehale

 

Early morning, a short flight will take you to Mekelle. Upon arrival, you will be met by our tour guides, drive to a hotel where you will start journey to Dankile Depression via Berehale (150 Km from Mekelle, here you will pick up Police scouts, road guides and permits to the Dallol & active volcano).  

 

The landscape dramatically changes & the altitude drop from 2,220 m asl to below sea level. On the way you will enjoy the camel caravans of the local Afar nomad. You will arrive in Hamed Ela late in the afternoon. Overnight stay in camping Hamed Ela.

 

Day 3: Excursion to Ragad (Asebo) and Dallol Depression, 25 km from Abala

 

Early in the morning after having a breakfast you will have a day trip to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels.

 

Then you drive ahead to Dallol(116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol includes the Sulfur lake , Salt mountain, colorful hot spring water, and Camel Caravan. Later back to Hamed Ela for lunch.

 

After lunch & brief break you will drive to Abala (150Km asphalt road 3hrs). Abala is small settlement & with moderate temperature, and basic accommodation with shower. Upon arrival check in local hotel. Rest, relax, and dinner. Overnight stay local hotel Abala.

 

Day 4: Drive to Erta ale (150 Km asphalt & 45km sand road, total 195km from Hamed Ela)

 

After having an early breakfast (possible at 06:30) you will drive to Erta ale, (195Km from Abala).

 

Up on arrival at Dodom take rest, relax & fill your energy for trek to Erta ale (17Km from Dodom) that takes approximately 3 hrs trekking.

 

Early dinner around 17:00 then as the sun sets, you leave behind the cars, use Camel to transport all the camping materials and some food (sleeping materials like light mattresses, mat and water) to the rim of the volcano, where you spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. Erta ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. Erta Ale contains the world’s only permanent lava lake. Overnight at the rim of the Volcano.

 

Day 5: Drive to Mekele (240 KMS)

 

Early the next morning, you will descend from Mount Erta ale, returning to the base camp Dodom for a well-earned breakfast. After having a breakfast & brief break you will drive to Mekele (240 Km from Erta ale) via the small towns of Habala and Erepti. On arrival in Mekelle, you will check into a hotel. Dinner. Time at leisure. Overnight stay in Planet Hotel or similar in Mekele.

 

Day 6: Drive to Axum

 

After breakfast, you will be driven to Axum (250 Km from Mekelle). On the way you can visit Debre Damo monastery (only accessible for men). The Debre Damo Monastery is built on the flat- topped mountain of Debre Damo. The monastery is only accessible by climbing a rope which hangs down from a perpendicular rock, an adventure in itself! Overnight stay in Hawizen lodge.

 

Another possible excursion is to Ethiopia’s earliest known capital city of Yeha which is considered as the birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. Its single most remarkable antiquity is the well-preserved walls of the 12m-high stone temple of the moon that is thought to be over 2500 years old.

 

On arrival you will check into a hotel, have dinner and spend the night there. Overnight stay in Sabean hotel, Axum.

 

Day 7: City Tour in Axum

 

You will have breakfast and will visit all day to the Steale of Axum, the Inscription of Ezana, Queen Sheba’s Palace, the famous St. Mary of Zion Church, ruins of ancient palaces (built until 4th century A.D.), with lunch break in between then outside Axum you can visit also the tombs of Kings Kaleb & Gebre Meskel dating to 6th century. In the evening, you will get back to the hotel and spend the night there. Overnight stay in Sabean hotel, Axum.

 

Day 8: Flight to Lalibela

 

After breakfast, a short flight will take you to Lalibela. Upon arrival, you will be met by our tour guides, drive by a minivan to a hotel where you will check and rest for few minutes.

 

Your first visit will be to the eleven Rock-hewn Monolithic (carved from a single rock) Churches of Lalibela (UNESCO World heritage site, with magnificent architecture & paintings inside the churches). In the evening you will get back to the hotel, rest, have dinner and relax.  Overnight stay in Maribela hotel, Lalibela

 

Day 9: One more day to explore the Lalibela Rock-hewn Churches

 

Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to historical churches around Lalibela like the Hill Church of Asheton Mariam or Yimerhane Kirsotos. Overnight stay in Maribela Hotel, Lalibela.  

 

Day 10: Fly to Gonder and Visit

 

Early morning, a short flight will take you to Bahir dar. Upon arrival, you will be met by our tour guides, drive to a hotel where you will check and rest for few minutes.

 

Then, you will visit to the Royal Castles & the Bath of Emperor Fasiledes (the bath is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year.  You will continue your visit to Debre Birhan Selassie Church (Trinity at the Mount of Light). Overnight stay in Goha hotel, Gonder.

 

Day 11: Drive to Bahir Dar and rest & relax  

 

After breakfast, you will drive to Bahir Dar (180 Km from Gonder). Then you will check into a hotel and after a brief break, you will have lunch. Spend the day at Kuriftu resort & spa known for tranquility, swimming pool, good food & best service. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay the night at the hotel. Overnight stay in Kuriftu Resort & Spa, Bahir Dar.

 

Day 12: Boat Ride on Lake Tana to Visit Island Monasteries & visit Blue Nile Falls

 

You will have an early breakfast and drive to Lake Tana, take a boat ride where you will visit to the medieval period island monasteries (beautiful mural paintings, religious books & sacred) on Lake Tana such as: Kibran Gabriel (only for men), Entos and on the Zegien peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, and Azuwa Mariam.

 

After lunch, you will drive (some 30 Km) and visit to the Blue Nile Falls. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay the night at the hotel. In the evening, you will have dinner and stay the night at the hotel. Overnight stay in Kuriftu Resort & Spa, Bahir Dar.

 

Day 13: Flight back to Addis Ababa and continue to Arba Minch

 

After a relaxed breakfast, a short flight will bring you back to Addis Ababa. You will arrive in Addis Ababa midday/early afternoon. Check in again for flight to Arba Minch. You will have lunch in the airport terminal.

 

In the afternoon you will take a short flight to Arba Minch with a vehicles waiting for you at the airport for a pick up to a lodge for check in.

 

After checking in and short break, you will be driven to and visit to the Dorze village (famous for their bee hive shaped houses, weaving styles and their lifestyle). You will be driving back to Arba Minch and have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Paradise or Emerald Lodge.

Day 14: Boat trip on Lake Chamo & drive to Jinka

 

In the morning, after breakfast you will take a boat ride on Lake Chamo and visit to huge crocodiles, hippos, a variety of birdlife. Then continue your drive to Jinka (260 km from Arba Minch). You will have lunch break at Konso. On the way, depending on the time visit the Thursday Key afar local market (Optional excursion).

 

In the afternoon follow your own program. In the evening you will have dinner at the lodge and stay the night there. Overnight stay in Eyobe Pension or Jinka resort.

 

Day 15: Excursion to Mursi village and drive to Turmi

 

In the morning after breakfast, you will be driven to Mursi (55 Km from Jinka) and visit to the of Mursi tribe village (popularly known for their attractive culture, women wearing large clay plates into their lower lips). Then you will drive back to Jinka for lunch. 

 

After lunch you will be driven to Turmi (142 Km from Jinka). You will arrive in Turmi early evening and check into a lodge. You will have dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Paradise lodge.

Day 16: Excursion to Omorate to visit Dassench/Geleb tribe

 

An early morning drive will take you to Omorate to visit the Dassench (75 Km from Turmi). From there, you will take a boat trip on the Omo River and visit the Dassench village.

 

Then you will get back to Turmi for lunch. You will then walk to the non-touristic Hammer Village to explore the Hammer tribes (best known for elaborate hairstyles, body painting using clays and vegetable pigments to make fantastic patterns on their faces, chests, arms and legs), attend the bull jumping – if possible and available with luck (Optional excursion). In the evening, you will be driven back to the lodge for dinner and spend the night at the lodge. Overnight stay in Paradise Lodge.

Day 17: Excursion to Murille and drive to Arba Minch

 

An early morning drive will take you to Murille to visit the Karo tribe (62 Km from Turmi). You will visit the Karo village. You will have a picnic lunch.

 

Then you will be driven to Araba Minch (290 Km from Turmi). Dinner at the lodge and spend the night. Overnight stay in Paradise or Emerald Lodge.

 

Day 18: Flight back to Addis Ababa and departure back to home

 

After a relaxed breakfast, a short flight will bring you back to Addis Ababa. You will arrive in Addis Ababa midday/early afternoon where you will do some shopping for souvenirs.

 

Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner to Ethiopian (Habesha 2000 or YOD Abyssinia) traditional restaurant where you will taste Ethiopian food & drinks and a live music & dance.

 

Then depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.

 

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Rate: Upon request

Flight cost subject to change.

 

Domestic flights depend on your international flights

 

Addis Ababa – Mekelle// Axum – Lalibela – Gonder// Bair dar – Addis Ababa-Arba Minch – Addis Ababa

 

·       If you fly your international flight with Ethiopian Airlines = 375USD

·       If not (with other airline) = 875 USD

 

Flight cost subject to change.

For Dankile Depression, Day 2 – Day 5

·       Well maintained and insured Two 4WD vehicles for Dankile Depression (Day 2 – 4)

·       One more additional 4WD vehicle to transport Soldiers, Militia & road leaders (Day 2 – 4)

·       Fuel for the three 4WD vehicles

·       All Entrance fees and licenses as per the program.

·       Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.

·       Plenty bottles of water for the trip.

·       Scout and police service in Afar Region as per the program.

·       Camel and camel tires in Afar Region as per the program.

·       Experienced cook throughout of the tour as per the program.

·       For the duration of the trip we are responsible for all meals, water, entrance fees, accommodation, security and transportation

 

Price includes:

 

·       Well maintained and insured Two 4WD vehicles for Southern Routes including experienced driver

·       Fuel

·       All transport in Addis Ababa, Bahir dar, Gonder, Axum and Laliblea, Northern Ethiopia, Mini-bus.

·       English Speaking Tour Guide for the whole tour, (I will accompany you Kebreab)

·       Hotel Room on Double Occupancy basis (i.e sharing a Double room) including Breakfast

·       All entrance fees (including $50 + $9 pp in Lalibela) , local guide fee, and boat fees

·       Bottled natural water every day,

·       Service tax

 

Price DOES NOT include:

 

·       Domestic flights (Addis Ababa – Mekelle// Axum – Lalibela – Gonder// Bair dar – Addis Ababa-Arba Minch – Addis Ababa)

·       Personal expenses (tips, photo & video fees, phone calls, table drinks, laundry, etc.),

·       Meals (lunch and dinner), except Dankile Depression

·       Optional Excursions

·       Any other services/expenses not mentioned above.