20-Days Tour Historical Circuits of Northern Ethiopia including Dankile Depression

Tour Description

Tour Code:20-Days Tour Historical Circuits of Northern Ethiopia

Attractions: History, Religion, Scenery & Wildlife

Duration: 20 Days &19Nights

Transportation: Surface drive& 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.Overnight stay in Holiday Hotel, Addis Ababa.

Day 2: Addis Ababa City Tour

 

You will have an early breakfast and your first visit in Addis Ababa will be the National Museum (pre historic, cultural, archaeological attractions), 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), Merkato, (the largest open market in Africa).

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 you will rest.Overnight stay in Holiday hotel, Addis Ababa.

 

Day 3: Drive to Bahir Dar

 

After breakfast, you will drive to Bahir Dar (564 Km from Addis). En route, you will visit Debre Libanos Monastery (founded in the 13th century by priest Tekla Haimanot, today one of Ethiopia’s most renowned saints)& the museum.

 

After 100km from Debre Libanos Monastery the road dropping more than 1000m, gradually winds down to the bottom of the Blue Nile Gorge, which is comparable in scale to American’s Grand Canyon cited to be the largest canyon in Africa. You will stop for lunch at Debre Markos.

 

Then you will arrive in Bahir Dar (late afternoon). You will check into a hotel. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there.Overnight stay in Jacaranda hotel, Bahir Dar.

 

Day 4 : 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, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal  Giorgis.

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.

Optional Excursion:Early in the evening, after dinner you will visit ‘Azmari Bet’ at Traditional Music Houses after which you will back to the hotel and stay there for the night. Overnight stay in Jacaranda hotel, Bahir Dar.

 

Day 5: Drive to Gondar and Visit the Fassiladas Castles

 

You will be driven to Gondar (185 Km) right after breakfast. Then you will check into a hotel and after a brief break, you will have lunch.

 

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), the Castle of Empress Mintewab, and Kuskwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Overnight stay in Goha hotel, Gonder.

 

Day 6: Drive to Simien Mountains National Park

 

You will have breakfast & drive to Debark (100 Km from Gonder) finish formalities at the Head Quarter of the park at Debarq and continue to drive another 20km then make a short walk/trekandspend the day visiting the Simien Mountains National Park (registered by UNESCO as a world heritage site, with endemic & mammals, birds, natural vegetation, & wonderful landscape).

 

Late in the afternoon drive back to lodge. You will check into a lodge and take a break. Dinner will be at the lodge.Overnight stay in Simien lodge, inside Simien Park.

 

Day 7: Drive to Axum

 

Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to Axum (270 Km from Debark) through the Simien Mountains & magnificent topography & scenery, the Limalimo Gorge, Tekeze Valley. You will arrive in Axum late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight stay in Berhana or Sabean hotel, Axum.

 

Day 8: 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 Berhana or Sabean hotel, Axum.

 

Day 9: Drive to Hawizen via Adigrat

 

After breakfast, you will be driven to Hawizen (250 Km from Axum). On the way you can visit 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.

 

Another possible excursion is to 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 Gheralta lodge, Hawizen.

 

Day 10: Visit the Rock-hewn Churches of Tigray and drive to Mekelle

 

After breakfast, you will visit some of the most beautiful medieval churches on impressive viewpoints such as: Abuna Yemata Guh, Debre Maryam Korkor or Abreha WeAtsheba church, all situated near to the road between Mekele and Hawzien. It requires climbing a steep mountain to reach these churches so good walking/mountain shoes are recommendable.

 

Lunch atHawizen lodge.Then drive to Mekelle. You will arrive in Mekelle late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight stay in Axum Hotel, Mekelle.

 

Day 11: Drive to Hamed Ela

 

After having a breakfast you will drive to Hamed Ela (180 Km from Mekelle) via Berehaile. On arrival at Berehaile, you will pick up mandatory police, scouts, road guides, and permits for the Afar region.  On your way you will notice striking changes in scenery as you drop from 2,220 elevation to below sea level, the Dankile depression begins here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colors, as in the sulphur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328 ft) below sea level. En route you will see many long caravans going to the salt mines and others coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. Overnight stay camping at Hamed Ela.

 

Day 12: Excursion to Ragad (Asebo) & Dallol Depression, 25 km from Hamed Ela

 

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, colourfull 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 Hamed Ela.

 

Day 13: 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 14: Drive back 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.  Overnight stay in Axum hotel, Mekelle.

 

Day 15: One more day in Mekele

 

Today you have free time, take rest after the Dankile hot temperature relax fill energy for the next day’s tours. Optional Excursion on this day you can visit the Emperor Yohannes IV Palace Museum & the Tigray People’s Revolutionary Memorial Monuments. Overnight stay in Axum hotel, Mekelle.

 

Day 16: Drive to Lalibela

 

After breakfast, you will be driven to Lalibela (470 Km from Mekele) through the Ambalage Chain of Mountains. Your arrival in Lalibela will be late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel, have dinner and spend the night there.Overnight stay in Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela.

 

Day 17: Visit the Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela

 

Early in the morning, after breakfast, your 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 Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela.

 

Day 18: 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 (on the back of a mule or on foot), Yimerhane Kirsotos, Nakute LeAb or Genete Maryam. Overnight stay in Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela. 

 

Day 19: Drive to Kombolcha

 

An early morning drive after breakfast will take you to Kombolcha (335 Km). En route visit Hayk Estifanos Monastery (45 Km before Kombolcha, famous for its variety of bird life near the town of Hayk). Later, you will drive to Kombolcha & upon arrival, you will check into a hotel & stay the night there. Overnight stay in Sunny Side hotel, Kombolcha.

 

Day 20: Drive back to Addis Ababa and departure back to home

 

After breakfast, you will be driven back to Addis Ababa (375 Km). You will arrive in Addis Ababa late 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:   Up on request

 

Price include:

 

  • Well-maintained &  insured 4WD Vehicle for the whole tour with experienced English speaking driver& driver’s allowance
  • Fuel
  • All transfer in & out,
  •    Hotel Room on Double Occupancy basis (i.e sharing a Double room)
  •  Meals (Breakfast, lunch and dinner) on full board basis
  • All entrance fees, local guide fee, scout, and boat fees
  • Bottled natural water every day,
  • All entrance fees and licenses as per the program.
  • Accommodation and all meals throughout the tour.
  • Non-Alcoholic Beverages with meals as per the program and plenty bottles of water for the trip.
  • Local guide service for the afar region as per the program.
  • Cooking, camping equipment,
  • Scout and police service in Afar Region as per the program.
  • Camel and camel tires in Afar Region as per the program.
  • Experienced cook + cook assistance throughout of the tour as per the program.
  • One additional 4WD car for local 2 security, 1 militia and 1 road leader with their allowance
  • Service tax

Price DOES NOT include:

 

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

·       Optional excursions

·       Any other services/expenses not mentioned above.

 

Security at Dankile Depression

 

Danakil Deperssion (Dallol & Earta ale) security is a safe area. Mobile coverage is now available in the camping site of Hamed Ela village, Dallol area and on the road between Hamed Ela to Erta ale volcano. Tours travel in convoy and it is prerequisite to have security (Soldiers, & local Militants) when visiting the Danakil.