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Tour Packages Details

Price Per Person

Price on Request
Country: Ethiopia
City: Addis Ababa
Duration: 2 Day(s) - 1 Night(s)
Tour Category: Family Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival, City Tour

Up on your arrival at Bole International Airport and you will clear immigration and proceed to baggage claim, after collecting your checked bags, clear customs and pass through the arrivals hall where you will be meet by EXPLORING Tourism Ethiopia representative, who will assist you with your transfer to your hotel.

After a breakfast in the Morning, you will enjoy a Full day guided tour. We start at 8:30AM with a pick up from your hotel and drive north up to Mount Entoto. In 1881 Emperor Menelik II made his permanent Palace there, after remains of an old town (believed to have been the capital of 16th century monarch Lebne Dengel) were discovered, which Menelik thought was a divine and auspicious sign.

Addis Ababa at between 2300 – 2500 meters above sea level is the third highest capital in the world and Entoto is a few hundred meters higher – as we drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in altitude and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road.

From the top, there is a panoramic view of the capital and surrounding countryside. Entoto is an important watershed, to the north water flows to the Blue Nile, to the south to the Awash River. Your guide will point out the important landmarks of the city.

Entoto was soon abandoned as a site for the capital – it was cold, difficult to provision and there was a shortage of wood. Empress Taytu was said to have led the move down to the plain of Finfine, and to have named the new capital Addis Ababa, or New Flower. However, two important structures remain within the old imperial compound, the churches of Mariam and the Archangel Raguel. It was in the church of Mariam that Menelik was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1889, and in the small museum in the compound there are various clothes, court and household implements and weapons dating from the period. The church of Raguel is unusual in that it is octagonal, rather than round. There is a first story balustrade around which Menelik liked to stroll.

Leaving the churches we descend to Addis Ababa, stopping off at the National Museum. Here visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million year old bones of Lucy, through the Axumite and Gondarene periods to the monarchs Tewodros and Menelik.

We will take a break here for lunch – there are a number of possibilities, we could take lunch in the Lucy Restaurant, in the grounds of the National Museum, at Blue Tops across from the National Museum, or visitors may prefer to sample Ethiopian food at the atmospheric Addis Ababa restaurant, once the home of Empress Zauditu.

After lunch we resume our tour with a visit to the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, where we can see clothing from different regions, along with artifacts, household utensils and in a separate section, paintings reflecting the history and culture of the country.

This building was once the Genete Palace of Emperor Haile Selassie, and visitors can see his bedroom and bathroom.

There is an interesting display in Giorghis Church, and after seeing that we will visit Menelik’s mausoleum, where Etege Taitu and Queen Zauditu are also buried.

We then move to the Mercato, the largest market area in Africa, where virtually every possible commodity is on sale, from livestock to computers. For the visitor good at bargaining, there is a huge selection of Ethiopian arts and crafts.

We now return to our hotel. Tonight we will take our dinner in a national food restaurant, and see dancing from Ethiopia’s different regions.

  • Lunch and Dinner
  • Land Cruiser or High Roof Min bus
  • On your Hotel

CONSULTANT NOTE

  • You will drive 70 km including pick up and drop off.
  • Game drive varies the time

 

Day 02 – Drive to Debrelibnaos and Portuguese bridge

Pick up from the hotel is at 8.00 am and we then head north on the Gojjam road to Debre Libanos, about 110 km from Addis Ababa or approximately two hours’ drive.

Debre Libanos is an important monastic center for Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, the monastery there was founded by the renowned 13th century mystic, Saint Teclehaimanot and there is a small cave near the church (which is of recent construction) where he is said to have stood for seven years on one leg, until the other wasted away and dropped off.

On this tour visitor can combine history and culture with some good bird watching, as we pass through the Sululta Plain we can see Black-winged plovers, Wattled Ibis, Blue-winged geese, Common Cranes and Wheat ears.

On arrival at Debre Libanos, we will first stop at the Jemma River gorge. The Jemma River is one of the tributaries of the Nile, and there is a drop of nearly 1000 meters to the valley below. Here at the gorge (and in the forest around the church) we can expect to see the Banded Barbet, the Black-headed Forest Oriole, the White-billed Starling, the Red-billed Starling, the White-winged Cliff Chat, the White-backed Black Tit, the White-cheeked Turaco and Hemprich’s Hornbill. We will also see one of Ethiopia’s endemic mammals, the Gelada or bleeding heart baboon. (In the gorge we will see a variety of vultures – Lamergeyer’s, Ruppell’s and Lappet faced vultures.)

Leaving the Gorge, we proceed to the church. After the church visitors can make the climb to the cave of St Teklehaimanot. Near the cave monks may show visitors the remains of some 300 monks, slaughtered in 1936 by the Italian invaders. Mussolini and the fascist authorities saw the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as one of the key elements of an independent Ethiopian identity, and thought that by carrying out the massacre they would cow the Church and by extension the Ethiopian people into submission. Rather, this atrocity fed the flames of resistance.

If you continue up the hill from the cave from the top, there’s a great view of the surrounding countryside.

At some stage we will take a picnic lunch, either at the Gorge or in the forest near the church. We will leave Debre Libanos around 4.30 PM, returning to Addis Ababa early evening.

With the opening of the Ethio – German Lodge (the owner is an Ethiopian who had been resident in Germany), it is possible to spend the night in a great location, overlooking the Jemma Valley Gorge. The scenery is stunning, and it is very peaceful. As yet, the catering facilities there are not fully operational.

  • Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Land Cruiser or High Roof Min bus
  • On your hotel

CONSULTANT NOTE

  • You will drive 240 km 4 hours’ drive
  • Game drive varies the time
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