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Tour Packages Details

Price Per Person

Price on Request
Country: Ethiopia
City: Amhara
Duration: 8 Day(s) - 7 Night(s)
Tour Category: Eco Tours
Departure Date: Thu 01 Jan '99

Package Itinerary

Day 01: Arrival and City Tour

On your arrival, you will be welcomed by our staff then transfer to your hotel. The name of the capital city of Ethiopia in Amharic (the national language of Ethiopia) means “New flower”. Addis, which was founded in 1886 by Menelik II, is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of Entoto mountain chain (3,000 meters above sea level). It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25ºC. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with side avenues of jacaranda Trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open-air markets in Africa, known as the “Merkato”. It also has a good number of restaurants, hotels and discotheques.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Soramaba Hotel or Similar

Consultant note

  • You will drive 80 km and 7 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 2: Flight to Gondar - drive to Simien Mountains NP (SANKABER CAMP 3,200M)

We have an early start this morning as we fly from Addis to Gondar, in northern Ethiopia. On arrival we will meet our driver and depart for the Simien Mountains. Every journey of this Ethiopia tour into this mountainous wilderness is a photogenic wonder! The spectacular highlands of the Simien Mountains National Park offer a haven for endemic and endangered species. here are without a doubt the magnificent Waalia Ibex and incredible Gelada Baboon. These verdant moorlands encompass the largest single area of Afro-alpine habitat in the world, forming “an island of mountains in a sea of lowlands”.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Comping

Consultant note

  • You will drive 140 km and 4 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Days 3: Simien Mountain National Park GEECH CAMP (3,600M)

The next two days of this Ethiopia tour will be spent exploring the legendary Simien Mountains and its unique inhabitants. In Simien Mountains National Park, we will be presented with some of the most dramatic scenery in Africa — great volcanic plugs formed 40 million years ago and eroded over the eons into fantastic crags, pinnacles and flat-topped mountains, aptly described as “the chess pieces of the Gods”. Fissures in the dense basalt were carved by countless floods that poured into them, creating “bottomless” gorges and incising an incredible array of jagged rock formations reminiscent of America’s Grand Canyon and Namibia’s Fish River Canyon.

Amidst beautiful alpine meadows punctuated with Giant Lobelias and flowering “red hot pokers” (Kniphofia’s), we will find ourselves surrounded by massive troops of extremely well habituated and photogenic Gelada Baboons. At the same time we should be thrilled by the head-butting battles of Walia Ibex rams preparing for the forthcoming breeding season and spectacular Bearded Vultures cruise the thermals against a breathtaking backdrop of high wilderness peaks.

The Ibex is a form of mountain goat that sports a monstrous set of horns and inhabits the rugged rocky and grassy slopes of this seldom-visited region. Through habitat loss and hunting, their numbers decreased to between 200 and 250 individuals in the early 90’s. In recent years the numbers of these animals are on the up, mostly due to this area now declared as a wildlife protected area and a greater awareness created around their dismal future. Still, it is painfully obvious how much the cultivation within the national park has reduced the once available habitat of the native highland fauna.

Troops of Geladas up to four hundred strong thrive here, and we will spend quality time observing and photographing these unique and fascinating primates. With long woolly capes, tasseled tails, bare red chests and an arrogant swagger, these remaining relics of once widespread grass-eating baboons are now restricted to the highlands of Ethiopia. Geladas roost on the massive cliffs that dominate this park but spend their days hunched over the grasses that form the bulk of their diet. Despite sporting massive canines (the largest in proportion to body size of any mammal!), Geladas are non-aggressive and, with patience, we may find ourselves amongst a troop of these gentle animals as they concentrate on their foraging. Here we may be treated to a formidable lip-flip display — the imposing grimace put on by Geladas to reveal their impressive upper jaw and canines, but will more likely be completely ignored as they go about their daily business. Geladas are extremely vocal, being able to pronounce all nouns and five of our seven vowels!

Other attractions during this tour include superb opportunities to watch soaring birds, including the afore-mentioned Bearded Vulture, Tawny Eagle and the outrageous Thick-billed Raven, which often cruise by at eye level! Ethiopian Wolf may also be found parading around this beautiful landscape, although their numbers have suffered due to various diseases passed on from domestic dogs.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Comping

Consultant note

  • You will drive 12 km and 6hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 4: Geech (3,600m) — Imet Gogo (3,926m) Innatye (4070m) - Chennek (3,600m) Walking 8 hrs / 17km

After breakfast you’ll trek for 2 hours along the grass plateau past countless bizarre outsized Giant Lobelia plants. The destination is Imet Gogo, an incredible rocky promontory that grants 360 degree views over the Simien Range. At an altitude of 3,926m you can see West back along the ridge towards Sankaber and Geech and South East across a deep gully towards the tomorrow’s ridge walk to Inatye and Cheneck Camp. The views here are arguably the best in the Simien Mountains and the drop is terrifying. From Imet Gogo, you’ll detour SE towards Inatye. The path drops into a forest of Giant Hazel before following the ridge on open grassland. The climb to Inatye (4,070m) rewards with stunning views. Inatye roughly translates as “mamma mia” and the terrifying vertical drop here justly warrants the name! After a picnic lunch the path follows mostly downhill through open grassland and gian lobelia towards Chenek with a number of stunning viewpoints along the way. Chenek camp is superb for wildlife with both Gelada Baboons and Wallia Ibex common here.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Comping

Consultant note

  • You will drive 17 km and 8 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 5: Return to Gondar

After a short excursion or a relaxed morning simply enjoying the views, we will return to Gondar. This, the “Camelot of Ethiopia”, is a city noted for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. Between 1632 and 1855 Gondar served as Ethiopia’s capital city and it remains one of the country’s richest areas in terms of culture, history and natural beauty, with plenty of both Islamic and Christian influence in the cities’ architecture. Built at around 2,500 meters above sea level, Gondar commands spectacular views over surrounding farmlands and on a clear day, even to the gleaming waters of Lake Tana 35 kilo meters to the south.

We will spend the first portion of the afternoon exploring the Castle Complex (a UNESCO World Heritage site) with its impressive buildings. The oldest and most impressive structure is the two-story palace of Emperor Fasilidas, built of solid basalt stones. Some of the other royal buildings visited on this tour include the library of Emperor Yohannes I, the House of Song where royal ceremonies took place, the elegant reception and banquet hall of Emperor Bakaffa and the palace of this king’s wife. 

Thereafter, we take some time to view the Church of Debre Birhan Selassie, an imposing structure with its harmony of brightly colored ceilings completely covered with intricately painted angels, before ending off at the tranquil royal bath (more of swimming pool really!) of King Fasilidas.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Comping

Consultant note

  • You will drive 160 km and 6 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 6: flight to Lalibela

After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport and fly to Lalibela. Lalibela is home to the 12th century hand-carved rock churches of King Lalibela ,after whom the town is named.

Lalibela is truly an ancient world and includes 11 magnificent, medieval, rock-hewn churches, dimly lit passageways, and hidden crypts and grottoes carved into the red volcanic rock underlying this remote Ethiopian town and constructed almost a millennia ago by the Zagwe dynasty. Today that world still remains, frozen in stone, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

After lunch at the hotel we will begin an afternoon’s exploration at the first group of churches of Lalibela which are found northeast of a stream named ‘River Jordan’

The first groups of churches are:

The twin churches of Bete Debre Sina and Golgotha with Selassie Chapel

Bete Medhane Alem (the house of the Redeemer of the World)

Bete Mariam (the house of St. Mary)

Bete Meskel (the house of Cross)

Bete Danagil (the house of Virgins)

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Panoramic View Hotel

Consultant note

  • You will drive 40 km and 1 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 7: Lalibela — Asheten Mariam

In the morning we will take a mule ride to the hilltop semi-monolithic church of Asheten Mariam. This 13th century monastery is situated about 8 km from Lalibela and is built on a ridge at an altitude of 3150m. The steep road to this monastery with its breathtaking scenery is a truly rewarding experience. The viewpoint at the very top of the hill offers uninterrupted views over the surrounding countryside, including the town of Lalibela.

In the afternoon, we will visit and photograph the second and third group of Lalibela’s churches.

Bete Gabriel — Raphael (The house of Archangels)

Bete Mercurious (House of Mercurious)

Bete Lehem (the chapel of Bethlehem)

Bete Emanuel (the house of Emanuel)

Bete Aba Libanose (the house of Aba Libanose)

Bete Ghiorgis (the house of St. George)

The final church, Bete Ghiorgis is the most spectacular of all Lalibela’s churches.

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation: Panoramic View Hotel

Consultant note

  • You will drive 80 km and 4 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival

 

Day 8: Fly back to Addis Ababa (Depart for Final Destination)

After breakfast we will transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa, where this incredible journey in the land of Abyssinia unfortunately comes to an end.

Depend on your arrival; you will have a short time shopping in a Grand Market called Merkato. After a fare well dinner party in a traditional restaurant & folklore house, you will be transferred to the Airport. End of the tour!!

  • Transportation: Land cruiser
  • Meals provided: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Accommodation:

Consultant note

  • You will drive 40 km and 1 hours’ drive time
  • Game drive varies the time of arrival
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