Historic Route and Exotic Harar
Addis Ababa-Bahar Dar-Gondar-Lalibela-Axum-Harar
Day 1– Addis Ababa (The New Flower)
Arrive at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, and you will be welcomed and assisted by our representative. The journey starts with a tour of the capital city Addis Ababa, which literally means “New Flower”. Addis Ababa is Africa’s undisputed diplomatic capital. Headquarters of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) are located in Addis. You will visit Holy Trinity Cathedral Church, the National museum, Entoto Hills to get a bird’s eye view of the city and St. Mary Church and Museum. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 2 – Bahar Dar (Lakeside Town)
In the morning fly to Bahar Dar. Transfer to your hotel for check in. Take a half day boat cruise over Lake Tana for a visit to the 14th century ancient island monasteries of Ura Kidane Mehret and Azwa Mayam. In the afternoon, drive 35 km to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 3 – Gondar (The Camelot of Africa)
In the morning drive to Gondar and visit the 17th Century capital of Ethiopia called Gondar. Start your visit at the castle compound (UNESCO WHS) and King Fasiledes Bath. Return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon you will visit the Debre Birhan Selassie (The Light of Trinity church) with wonderful murals, Qusqam church and Mentwab Palace. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 4- Lalibela (The Eighth Wonder of the World)
Fly to Lalibela, and transfer to your hotel for check in. Start visiting the cluster of churches including the famous church of St. George which is carved like a cross out of the red rock. Lunch at your hotel and in the afternoon start visiting the amazing rock hewn churches – another UNESCO World Heritage site – that will simply amaze you. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 5 -Axum (Mysterious Monoliths)
In the morning transfer to the airport to fly to Axum, a town steeped in more than 2500 years of history. From the palace and tomb of King Kaleb (6th C, AD) we will visit the extraordinarily Stella Fields and the tomb of King Remhay (1st to 4th century, AD), followed by a trip to the church of St Mary of Tsion, (17th C, AD the present church) in which the Arc of the Covenant was deposited. Drive out of the town 4km on the way to Gondar where you walk up to see a rock carved lion and palace from where the Stellas were hewn- some still lie there, half finished. From here we can visit the palace of the Queen of Sheba. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 6: Addis Ababa
In the morning fly back to Addis Ababa. Today you will enjoy shopping in the city. Visit Merkato, the biggest market in Africa. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 7- Addis Ababa –Dire Dawa /Harar
In the morning an hour flight takes you to Dire Dewa. Upon arrival, drive to Harar. Harar is recognised as the fourth Muslim sacred place in the world hosting pilgrims after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. The 16th century wall was built by Adere people to protect themselves from aggression. Visit the National and Harari museums, the house of Ras Mekonnen (father of Haile Selassie) and a traditional Harari home. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 8 - Harar
Take an excursion to the Babile Elephant Sanctuary via the "Valley of Marvels," a region of spectacular rock formations. Take a side trip to visit homes in the cliff-top village of Koremi. Visit the market in Hajifaj (Monday and Friday only.) In the evening see the "Hyena Man" feeding the hyenas that gather nightly outside the town. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 9- Harar -Addis Ababa
Early In the morning you will drive back to Dire Dawa to catch your flight back to Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, check in to hotel. Later in the evening you will join one of the famous Ethiopia traditional houses for dinner. Here you will be able to enjoy Ethiopian traditional music and dance. Overnight at your hotel.
Day 10- Departure
Your last day is at leisure and you will be escorted to the airport for your departure.