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12 Days Historical Safari Adventure in Ethiopia

Abay Minch Lodge, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Exciting Ethiopia Safaris

This listing has the most popular offer available in Ethiopia

Come and visit the country of Ethiopia and explore its hidden beauty and culture. In this safari tour, Abeba Tours Ethiopia will let you witness the historical and famous tourist spots in the country. There will be lots of surprises that await you in this trip so pack your bags now and go on an exciting trip to Ethiopia!

Key information

  • Starting point and ending point: Addis Ababa
  • Park fees are included.

Highlights

  • Exciting safari adventure
  • Explore different tourist spots in Ethiopia
  • Services of an English speaking driver and guide
  • Includes park fees in tourist spots
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • Daily breakfast

Styles


10 activity days
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Accommodation

For this tour, you will be provided with 11 nights of accommodation. On the first and second night of your trip, you will stay overnight at Abay Minch Lodge. On the third night, you will be at Goha Hotel. Then on the fourth, you will stay at Simien Lodge. On the fifth and sixth night, you will stay overnight at Sabean International Hotel.

For the seventh night, you will stay at Gheralta Lodge. On the eighth, it will be at Planet Hotel. For the ninth and tenth night, you will stay at Maribela Hotel. And lastly, on the eleventh night of this trip, you will stay at Sunnyside Hotel.

Abay Minch Lodge

Abay Minch Lodge is located just outside the city center of Bahir Dar, a city that is set on the shores of the beautiful Lake Tana. The lodge, which is built around tropical vegetation, is filled with a variety of trees including papaya, mango, avocado, lemon, coffee and many others.

The dense vegetation in the compound hosts a variety of bird life and is perfect for birdwatchers. High-speed Wi-Fi and flat-screen satellite TVs are also a plus.

Goha Hotel

Goha Hotel in Gondar is ideally situated in the hills of the city and a short distance away from Fasil Castle. The hotel has over 82 rooms and suites that feature excellent amenities including free high-speed wireless internet access and flat-screen televisions.

Additional amenities such as a swimming pool, free airport shuttle service, a souvenir shop, a restaurant and a bar with campfire are also there to make your stay a comfortable one.

Simien Lodge

Sitting at a lofty altitude of 3,300 meters, Simien Lodge is the highest lodge in Africa and located within the breathtaking (often quite literally) mountain landscapes of the Simien Range National Park.

Opened in 2006, this is the only permanent accommodation available anywhere inside the park boundary. With magnificent views of the Simien escarpment, excellent local walks and nearby communities of Gelada baboons all features of the lodge, it is an excellent substitute option for those who want to experience the scenery and wildlife of the Simiens, but do not wish to embark on the long treks through the park.

All the rooms, made of traditional tukul construction, are located away from the main restaurant, bar, reception building and raised uphill facing stunning views. All provide miraculous and gratefully received hot showers as well as solar-powered underfloor heating (although its benefits are limited) and a plentiful supply of extra blankets for those crisp mountain nights.

Both the bar and restaurant are attractively centered around log fires, which are lit in the evenings. The restaurant serves very decent food, while the bar offers a good range of imported wine.

Sabean International Hotel

Sabean International Hotel is proud to bring innovation to the historical city of Axum. This modern establishment is the only hotel in the city with an elevator to take its guests to rooms. There is also a pastry shop located on site. All rooms come with private en-suite bathrooms with hot shower. Free W-Fi is available throughout the hotel. The restaurant serves Ethiopian and European dishes.

Gheralta Lodge

The Gheralta Lodge is set on a ten hectare rocky area, with four large secular ficus trees and a breathtaking view of the Gheralta Mountains’ landscape.

The lodge exists as a family-style resort, but with impeccable standards of finishing, maintenance and cleanliness, and good, simple cooking prepared with local products. It has 18 fine rooms of varying sizes with marble-clad bathrooms with power showers and abundant hot water (a rarity in the region).

The layout of the project has been studied not to interfere with the rare natural beauty of this site. Both the local materials used and the regional designs create a subtle and beautiful lodge: stone walls, wooden ceilings, thatched or stone-made roofs. The internal finishing has been planned to be modern and functional.

Planet Hotel

Planet Hotel is the top hotel found in Mekele. It has a sauna and steam room, a good restaurant and excellent, free internet. The hotel also has a grocery store. A bar/lounge is on site where guests can unwind with a drink.

Maribela Hotel

Maribela Hotel is located in the heart of the Lalibela Mountains. Spacious and modern rooms all offer breathtaking views of the Ethiopian highlands. Maribela Hotel was built in a very appealing design, inspired by the famous rock churches of Lalibela. The tasteful interior decoration gives every guest the very best in Lalibela hospitality.

Whether you are enjoying the stunning sunset, being serenaded in the delightful garden or enjoying the uninterrupted views of the valleys and mountains from your room’s balcony on your daybed, you will find that Maribela Hotel offers you a genuinely restive and regenerating experience. All rooms come with en-suite bathroom and hot shower, free Wi-Fi and satellite television.

Sunnyside Hotel

Sunnyside Hotel is a great choice if you want to visit Kombolcha. If you are visiting with your family the hotel has bungalows ready for you. If you want to visit alone it has excellent rooms with internet and satellite television. The hotel is ideal for big groups because it has numerous rooms. It is also equipped with a sauna and steam room.

Program

Day 1: Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar (October 23, 2018, Tuesday)

Early in the morning, you will depart north to Bahir Dar via Debre Markos. On the way, you will pass through the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge. The gorge extends nearly 400 kilometers and reaches depths up to 1,500 meters. You will stay overnight at Abay Minch Lodge with breakfast included.

Day 2: Lake Tana to Blue Nile Falls and Bahir Dar (October 24, 2018, Wednesday)

In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of the sacred lake. Visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the outlet of the Blue Nile River.

In the afternoon, drive out to the Blue Nile Falls for a short hike in the area. Finish the day with the sunset over the lake. You will stay overnight at Abay Minch Lodge with breakfast included.

Day 3: Bahir Dar to Gondar (October 25, 2018, Thursday)

Depart north from Bahir Dar to Gondar. The three-hour drive will take you through rural villages, offering wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. Explore the sites of Gondar, including a visit to the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings.

Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today, Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. You will stay overnight at Goha Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 4: Gondar to Simien Mountains (October 26, 2018, Friday)

For this day, you will have an early morning departure to Sankober in the Simien Mountains. From there, you will go for an easy hike to the Geech Abyss, where you will see a large waterfall where the Jinbar River plunges into the abyss.

The area is also a great place for viewing the endemic gelada baboon, also known as the ‘bleeding heart baboon’ due to the red patch of skin on its chest. You will stay overnight at Simien Lodge with breakfast included.

Day 5: Simien Mountains to Axum (October 27, 2018, Saturday)

After breakfast, you will depart north for Axum, enjoying spectacular views of the mountains. Then you will proceed driving through the dramatic Tekeze Valley, offering some of the best landscapes in the country. Proceed to Axum, home of the ancient Axumite Empire, the Queen of Sheba, and the Ark of the Covenant. You will stay overnight at Sabean International Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 6: Axum (October 28, 2018, Sunday)

You will have a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy) and the archeological museum, the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), Ezana’s inscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace.

You will also visit the Saint Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to visit the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Time permitting, you may also visit the Church of Arbuta Ensessa. You will stay overnight at Sabean International Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 7: Axum to Hawzen (October 29, 2018, Monday)

Depart from Axum to Hawzen. First stop is to visit the ruins of Yeha, dating from the eighth to fifth centuries BC, and thought to be the capital of Ethiopian civilization before Axum. Afterward, make an optional visit to the Debre Damo monastery, where the men (Sorry, no women allowed) must climb up a 15-meter rope to enter.

You will proceed through the state of Tigray, stopping en-route for a visit to the rock-hewn church of Medhane Alem Adi Kesho. You will stay overnight at Gheralta Lodge with breakfast included.

Day 8: Rock-Hewn Churches of Tigray to Mekele (October 30, 2018, Tuesday)

In the morning, before the heat of the day rises, you will visit either Abuna Yemata Guh or Maryam Korkor. Both churches require a challenging one to two hours hike to reach. The reward is commanding views of the surrounding areas and visiting some of the most remote churches in the world in the most unsuspecting of places.

You will depart to Mekele. On the way, you will visit the easily-accessible churches of Abreha we Atsbeha and Wukro Chirkos. You will stay overnight at Planet Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 9: Mekele to Lalibala (October 31, 2018, Wednesday)

Early in the morning, you will embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. From there you will pass through several small villages, with typical sandstone homes of the Tigray people. Then you will proceed through the rural area for the stunning approach to the home of Ethiopia’s most prized destination, Lalibela. You will stay overnight at Maribela Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 10: Lalibela (November 1, 2018, Thursday)

In the morning, start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, visiting the Northwestern Cluster of churches - Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael & Bet Golgotha (entry not permitted for women). After lunch, continue with the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos.

Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – Bet Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. You will stay overnight at Maribela Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 11: Lalibela to Kombolcha (November 2, 2018, Friday)

Depart from Lalibela, driving to Kombolcha. On the way, you will stop for a rest in Hayk where you can enjoy the views of this stunning lake, visit the local monastery (open for men only) and enjoy the bird life. You will stay overnight at Sunnyside Hotel with breakfast included.

Day 12: Kombolcha to Addis Ababa (November 3, 2018, Saturday)

Depart driving to Addis via Debre Birhan. On the way, you pass the Mezezo Escarpment, with a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons. If today is a Sunday, you can stop in the town of Senbete to visit the lively market including the interesting camel market.

Included excursions

In this tour, you will be able to visit a selection of the monasteries hidden on the islands and shores of the sacred Lake Tana. You will also visit the Zege Penninsula and the monasteries of Azuwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret and the outlet of the Blue Nile River on the second day of your trip.

On the third day, you will have a chance to visit the Fasilidas's Pool, Ras Gimb Palace Museum, and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. On the sixth day, you will surely not forget the moment that you will be able to visit the Saint Mary of Zion Church where the Ark of the Covenant is kept, but only men are allowed to enter. You will also have a chance to visit the Church of Arbuta Ensessa if time permits.

On the seventh day, during your stop going to the state of Tigray, you will be able to visit the rock-hewn church of Medhane Alem Adi Kesho. On the eighth day, you will need to hike to reach either of these churches: Abuna Yemata Guh or Maryam Korkor. And on the tenth day, there will be a wonderful opportunity for you to visit the Northwestern Cluster of churches.

Location

This tour will take place at different tourist spots in Ethiopia. Truly a land of contrasts, from the cool peaks of the Simien Mountains to the searing desert of the Danakil Depression, from the historical northern highlands to the wild free-roaming southern regions, Ethiopia remains a unique destination within Africa and the world.

History in Ethiopia begins with her most famous ancestor, Lucy, who roamed these lands some three million years ago. The rise of the Axumite Empire in the first century BC usually marks the beginning of relatively modern Ethiopian history.

With Christianity introduced to this geographically and culturally isolated country in the fourth century, one cannot help while watching the colorful Orthodox celebrations to realize that these acts of faith and devotion are likely as close to the most original form of Christianity as is present in the world today.

Food

Meals are included in this trip as mentioned in the itinerary.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast

The following dietary requirement(s) are served and/or catered for:

  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
If you have special dietary requirements it's a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation

What's included

  • Tour included in the itinerary
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana
  • National park entrance fees
  • 4WD or minibis transportation vehicle
  • Services of an English speaking driver and guide
  • Driver's allowance, fuel, and insurance
  • 11 nights accommodation
  • All applicable taxes

What's not included

  • Any meals not mentioned above
  • Camera and photo fees
  • Tips for driver and guides (at your discretion)
  • Items of personal nature

Cancellation Policy

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 25% of the total price.
  • The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 30 days before arrival.
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