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16 Days Ethiopia’s Historical and Cultural Tour

16 Days

Begin an unforgettable 16-day adventure with Magic Ethiopia Tours. Each step will unveil the rich tapestry of history and culture that makes Ethiopia so captivating. Your journey starts in the bustling city of Addis Ababa, where tradition and modernity blend seamlessly.

Explore the mystical monasteries dotting the shores of Lake Tana, cruise the awe-inspiring Blue Nile Falls, and wander through the historic Royal Enclosures of Gondar. Marvel at the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela and uncover the archaeological wonders of Axum.

Venture into the enchanting Gheralta Mountains, where ancient rock-hewn churches stand sentinel amidst the landscape. Challenge yourself with a hike to the breathtaking Abune Yemata. Immerse yourself in the cultural kaleidoscope of the Omo Valley, where tribes like the Mursi, Hammer, and Karo share their unique traditions and way of life.

Itinerary

Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, our representative will whisk you away to your hotel. Kick off your Ethiopian adventure with a panoramic view of the city from Entoto Park. Next, delve into the past at the National Museum, where you'll witness Lucy, a 3.2-million-year-old hominin skeleton. In the afternoon, immerse yourself in Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity with a visit to the Holy Trinity Cathedral, a majestic structure built by Emperor Haile Selassie. Conclude your day by exploring the bustling Merkato, the largest open-air market in Africa.

Catch a flight to Bahir Dar, the gateway to the breathtaking Lake Tana. Embark on a captivating boat trip across the lake, visiting the ancient monasteries tucked away on its islands and shores. Explore the Zege Peninsula, home to the monasteries of Azwa Maryam and Ura Kidane Mehret. Delve deeper into the lake's spiritual significance with a visit to the island monastery of Debre Maryam, located near the source of the Blue Nile River. End the day soaking in the breathtaking sunset from the Azewa hill before settling in for the night in Bahir Dar.

After breakfast, journey south to witness the awe-inspiring Blue Nile Falls, the "Smoke of Fire" as it's known locally. Take a walk over the historic chain bridge for a breathtaking perspective of the cascading waters. In the afternoon, embark on a scenic drive through the Amhara region's mountains to Gondar, a former Ethiopian capital. Along the way, stop to admire the 16th-century Guzara Palace, a testament to the pre-Gondar era. After a roughly four-hour journey, arrive in Gondar, ready to explore its rich history.

Start your day with a captivating exploration of Gondar's historical sites. Delve into the grandeur of the Royal Enclosure, a complex of castles that served as the seat of Ethiopian emperors for centuries. Next, visit the Fasil Bath, a former royal pool known for its annual Timket celebration where worshippers commemorate Jesus' baptism. In the afternoon, continue your exploration with visits to the Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhane Selassie Church, renowned for its iconic ceiling murals.

Take a flight from Gondar to Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its extraordinary rock-hewn churches. Upon arrival, settle into your comfortable tukul accommodation and prepare to be awestruck by these architectural marvels.

This morning, delve into the mysteries of the Nakuto La'ab Monastery, a unique structure carved from a rock cave. Following lunch, delve deeper into Lalibela's treasures with visits to the second group of cave churches built by King Lalibela, including the famous Bete Georgis, accessible only by a hidden tunnel. Admire the four churches situated south of the Jordan River replica. Wrap up your day by experiencing a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony, a true cultural highlight.

Take a morning flight from Lalibela to Axum, a historical city brimming with archaeological wonders. Embark on a captivating city tour, starting with the awe-inspiring stelae park. These towering granite obelisks are remnants of an ancient civilization and hold UNESCO World Heritage status. The tallest, the Great Stelae, has fallen and broken into pieces, but when standing, it towered 33 meters (108 feet) and weighed a staggering 520 tons. Continue your exploration with visits to the Queen of Sheba's legendary swimming pool, the Ezana Inscription, and the tombs of King Kaleb and his son, King Gebremeskel. No visit to Axum is complete without paying your respects at St. Mary of Zion Church, believed to house the Ark of the Covenant. After a full day of historical immersion, settle in for the night at your hotel in Axum.

Fuel up for a historical adventure! This morning, depart for Yeha, an ancient city believed to be the capital of the pre-Axumite civilization. Explore the ruins and museum, gaining insights into this bygone era. Continue your journey to Adigrat for a delicious lunch, savoring the local flavors. In the afternoon, venture into the Tigray region, culminating in a challenging yet rewarding hike to the magnificent church of Abune Yemata. Perched atop a 2500-meter peak, this 6th-century church offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Admire the unique ancient paintings adorning the church walls before settling in for the night at your hotel in Hawuzien.

Lace up your hiking boots for another day of discovery! This morning, embark on hikes to the remarkable rock-hewn churches of Maryam Korkor and Daniel Korkor. Each requires an approximate one-hour climb, but the rewards are well worth the effort. Be mesmerized by the commanding views of the Gheralta's breathtaking scenery. Return to Hawuzien for a well-deserved lunch. In the afternoon, continue your exploration with a visit to the churches of Abreha we Atsbeha (Ezana) and Saizana, some of Tigray's most ancient and beautiful churches dating back to the 4th century AD. End your day in Mekelle, where you'll spend the night at the Planet Hotel.

Following breakfast, delve into the historical city of Mekelle. Explore the Yohannes IV Palace and Museum, offering insights into the life of Emperor Yohannes IV. Pay your respects at the Mekelle Martyrs' Monument, a poignant reminder of Ethiopia's past struggles. In the afternoon, catch your flight back to Addis Ababa. Upon arrival, enjoy a farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant, savoring the country's unique flavors. Conclude your adventure with a transfer to Bole International Airport for your departure flight home.

Take a flight from Addis Ababa to Jinka, the gateway to the Omo Valley. Upon arrival, settle into your hotel and prepare for an afternoon excursion to Mago National Park. Embark on a captivating journey to visit a Mursi village, home to one of the Omo Valley's most distinct ethnic groups. Renowned for their elaborate lip plates, the Mursi are a fascinating community with a unique pastoral lifestyle. Return to Jinka for the night, carrying memories of your encounter with this remarkable tribe.

After breakfast, depart for Turmi, the heartland of the Hammer tribe. En route, make a stop at Omo Rate, a border town with Kenya, to meet the Dassanech people. The Dassanech, known as the "people of the delta," have adapted their lives to the Omo River's rich ecosystem. Continue your journey to Turmi, where you'll have lunch before venturing out to visit a Hammer tribe village. Witness the "bull jumping" ceremony, a right of passage for young men seeking to become warriors. Overnight in Turmi, surrounded by the vibrant culture of the Hammer people.

Embark on a scenic journey from Turmi to the Karo tribe's territory. Immerse yourself in their unique culture, known for elaborate body and face painting. As you travel onwards, keep an eye out for a bustling tribal market, where you can witness the vibrant exchange of goods and traditions (markets operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays). Along the way, you'll also have the opportunity to meet the Banna people, renowned for their agro-pastoral lifestyle and sorghum and maize cultivation. End your day in Konso, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where you'll spend the night.

Following breakfast, delve into the rich heritage of Konso. Explore the village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its impressive terracing and architectural style. Visit the Konso Museum and Cultural Center to gain deeper insights into the Konso people's traditions and way of life. You might even have the opportunity to meet a Konso king, the leader of one of the nine clans. Afterward, continue your journey north to Arbaminch, the "city of forty springs." In the afternoon, immerse yourself in the culture of the Dorze people, renowned for their exceptional weaving skills. Experience a traditional meal of Kocho, a local staple made from enset, and marvel at their unique beehive-shaped huts constructed from bamboo. Return to Arbaminch for the night, reflecting on the day's cultural encounters.

After breakfast, embark on a captivating boat trip on Lake Chamo. Keep your eyes peeled for crocodiles and hippos basking in the sun at the aptly named "crocodile market." As you navigate the lake, admire the surrounding scenery, including the "forty springs" that feed into this vital source of life. Enjoy a short walk through the jungle, experiencing the diverse flora and fauna of the region. Overnight in Arbaminch, reminiscing about the day's wildlife encounters.

Bid farewell to Ethiopia with a final breakfast in Arbaminch. Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa. Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you'll be transferred to your hotel for a brief rest. Enjoy some free time for last-minute shopping before your farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant. Finally, transfer to Bole International Airport for your departure flight home, carrying with you unforgettable memories of Ethiopia's historical treasures and vibrant cultures.

Package Includes and Excludes

Package Includes

  • Domestic flights
  • Entrance fees
  • Local Guide Fees
  • Car rental service
  • Accommodation
  • Rope fees
  • Meals (3)
  • Miscellaneous Expenses

Package Excludes

  • Tip
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Visa
  • International flights
  • Souvenir Expenses

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16 Days Ethiopia’s Historical and Cultural Tour
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