A Glimpse into Historic Ethiopia Tour | Yampu Tours

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A Glimpse into Historic Ethiopia Tour

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PRIVATE TOUR - 10 DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY

FROM £$ 3493

Private Tour Highlights

  • Enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 14th century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret with beautifully painted maqdas and a priceless collection of crosses and crowns.
  • Take in the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church, with its walls and ceilings decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history.
  • Visit the village of Awra Amba, a unique settlement that is considered to be a prime model for self-help and, above all, gender equality.
  • Tour the city of Axum, once the center of a great empire, and the seat of learning for the ancient Ge'ez language and literature.
  • Visiting St. Mary's Church and the Sanctuary Chapel which is the repository of the Ark of the Covenant.
  • See the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches, isolated on a sloping rock terrace.
Interested in this tour?   Let us build you a customized quote based on your budget.

Tour Overview

Step back in time and discover the ancient history of The Land of Origins with A Glimpse into Historic Ethiopia Tour. 

Ethiopia is an intriguing destination that appeals to the curious archeologist inside all of its visitors with an ancient history that spans over three million years. Beginning in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, visitors will have the perfect introduction to the country’s extensive timeline with a visit to the National Museum, where replicas of the famous 3.2 million-year-old early hominid, “Lucy,” reside.

From Addis Ababa, the tour continues to Bahir Dar, where travelers will be introduced to the many monasteries of the region with a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 14th-century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret with its priceless collection of crosses and crowns. Before continuing to the Simien Mountains to observe the endemic Gelada baboons, visitors will make a stop at Awra Amba village, a prime model for gender equality. Here, women have equal rights as men, and there is no distinction in divisions of labor.

After taking in the tranquil scenes of the Simian Mountains, the tour continues to Lalibela. Home to one of Ethiopia’s most sought-after sites, Lalibela is known for its distinct rock-carved churches, especially the subterranean, crossed shaped monolith of Bete Giyorgis. After exploring the many hand-chiseled churches of the area, travelers will continue to the ancient city of Axum. Marked as an important trading power in the 2nd century AD, Axum is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world and is thought to be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant. Clinging dearly to its history, visitors can walk along its ancient streets and marvel at the centuries-old obelisks.

Inclusions
Price includes domestic and regional flights within the itinerary; all hotel accommodations including daily continental or buffet breakfast and daily city tax; all transfers between airports and hotels with assistance and baggage handling; guided tours in English including entrance fees.
Exclusions

International airfare (unless specifically included), airport departure taxes that must be paid on-site, gratuities, meals not mentioned, soft drinks and alcoholic beverages with meals, early / late check-out, room service, visa fees/services, and other personal items or services not mentioned.

Best Time to Travel
JAN FEB MAR APR MAY JUN
JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV DEC

Best Good Consult

Pricing Details
  3-Star 4-Star 5-Star Luxury
Double N/A £$3493 N/A N/A
Single N/A £$5283 N/A N/A

Prices shown above are per person. Hotel categories do not adhere strictly to international ratings; Yampu has evaluated the hotels according to destination and availability. Prices include local airfare (where applicable), hotel accommodation including daily breakfast; all transfers with baggage handling, all guided tours in English and all entrance fees.

Please note that prices are subject to change based on availability and seasonality, especially during the holiday season from December 20th through January 5th each year. Please contact a Yampu Travel Specialist for more information on best times to travel.

Trip Type:

All our trips are operated on a private basis unless specified otherwise. This is only a sample itinerary; your Yampu Tour Consultant will personalize this trip for you according to your available dates, interests and type of hotels. This is your trip and we will work on making it perfect!

Tour Itinerary

Day
1

International Flight to Ethiopia

Overnight International Flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Overnight International Flight to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

plane-home-flight
Day
2

Welcome to Addis Ababa!

Upon arrival to Addis Ababa, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Serving as the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is the cultural and historic center of the country. The city's National Museum exhibits numerous prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid, "Lucy." Aside from its fascinating history, visitors will also appreciate Addis Ababa's rich food scene as well as Ethiopia's famed export, Arabica coffee.

Upon arrival to Addis Ababa, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Serving as the capital and largest city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa is the cultural and historic center of the country. The city's National Museum exhibits numerous prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid, "Lucy." Aside from its fascinating history, visitors will also appreciate Addis Ababa's rich food scene as well as Ethiopia's famed export, Arabica coffee.

Day
3

Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar - Lake Tana Cruise

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar.

Upon arrival to Bahir Dar, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel before your tour of Lake Tana.

At the appropriate time, you will take a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 14th century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret, the most famous of the Zege peninsula monasteries with a very beautiful painted maqdas and a priceless collection of crosses and crowns.

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar.

Upon arrival to Bahir Dar, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel before your tour of Lake Tana.

At the appropriate time, you will take a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the 14th century Monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret, the most famous of the Zege peninsula monasteries with a very beautiful painted maqdas and a priceless collection of crosses and crowns.

Day
4

Awra Amba Village

Drive to Gondar (196 km / 122 miles, approx. 4 hours). En route, you will drive to the village of Awra Amba, which is located off the Woreta - Woldia 'China-Road'. Visit the unique settlement that is considered to be a prime model for self-help and, above all, gender equality. Women have equal rights as men and there is no distinction in divisions of labor. Men cook, women plow, and religion have no place. They believe in hard work and being good to people.

After your visit to Awra Amba, drive to Gondar, a town founded in 1636 by the great Emperor Fassiladas. Set in a landscape of incomparable beauty, it was the Royal Capital of Ethiopia. Visit the impressive castles and churches built by Emperor Fassiladas and his descendants.

Later, proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church, with its walls and ceilings decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history.
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Day
5

Simien Mountain Tour

Today, you will drive to Sanqaber (140 km / 87 miles, approx. 4 hours), a segment of the Semen Mountain. This is a sight, which is termed as the wildest and spectacular of all Ethiopian landscapes- 'the roof of Africa.' Observe the magnificent scenery. Here you can see the endemic Gelada baboons and endemic birds like Lammergeyer. Later, drive back to Gondar for the evening.

Today, you will drive to Sanqaber (140 km / 87 miles, approx. 4 hours), a segment of the Semen Mountain. This is a sight, which is termed as the wildest and spectacular of all Ethiopian landscapes- 'the roof of Africa.' Observe the magnificent scenery. Here you can see the endemic Gelada baboons and endemic birds like Lammergeyer. Later, drive back to Gondar for the evening.

Day
6

Gondar - Lalibela

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Lalibela.

Upon arrival to Lalibela, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Lalibela, also known as "Africa's Petra", is Ethiopia's crown jewel. It is home to the most famous churches and the scene of many major religious ceremonies.

We will visit the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, which are called the "Eighth Wonders of the World". These churches were hewn out of solid rock between 800 - 1200 AD and are still active houses of worship. The churches are carved below ground level, ringed by trenches and courtyards and are arguably Ethiopia's top attraction. They are connected to each other by a tangled maze of tunnels and passages.

You will visit the first group of six churches that lie in rock cradles, one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mikael, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem, the largest one is built like a Greek Temple.
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Day
7

The Second Group of Churches & Nakuto Lab

Today, you will visit the second group of churches, Bet Giyorgis, possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela churches, lies somewhat isolated in the south-west part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached through a tunnel. The group of four, south of the Jordan River, comprise of Bet Emanuel, Bet Mercuiros, Bet Abba Libanos and Bet Gabriel - Rufa'el. Bet Emanuel's elaborate exterior is praised by art historian.

In the afternoon, take an excursion to visit Nakuto Le'ab monastery. King Nakuto abdicated his throne in 1270 AD and went to a cave to lead a hermit's life. This cave has since become a monastery with a dramatic setting.
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Day
8

Lalibela - Axum

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Axum.

Upon arrival to Axum, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel.

Dating from the second century B.C., Axum City reached its height of power between the fourth and seventh centuries A.D., when it controlled most of present-day Ethiopia and, at times, both sides of the Red Sea. Axum was once the center of a great empire, and the seat of learning for the ancient Ge'ez language and literature. Take a city tour that includes the Stelae Park. These famed granite obelisks are relics of this time and have gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status. The tallest, the Great Stele, has fallen and broken into six massive pieces, but when standing, it was 33 meters (108 feet) tall and weighed about five hundred tons. The tallest obelisk still standing at Axum today is about 23 meters (75 feet) tall, still an impressive sight!

We continue the city tour, visiting St. Mary's Church and the Sanctuary Chapel which is the repository of the Ark of the Covenant; the Coronation Yard; King Ezana's Park; and the "Queen of Sheba" ruins, once a massive palace with finely mortared stonewalls, deep foundations, and its own impressive drainage system, believed to be the oldest building in Axum.
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Day
9

Axum - Addis Ababa

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa.

Upon arrival to Addis Ababa, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel to freshen up before you Historical Sightseeing Tour.

Begin your city tour of Addis with a drive to Mount Entoto. This is a historical place where Emperor Menelik II resided and built his palace when he came from Ankober and founded Addis Ababa. It is considered a sacred mountain and has many monasteries. It is situated at an altitude between 2,600 and 3,100 meters. You will have a magnificent view of the city. Then, drive to the National Museum that houses the nation's artistic treasures as well as many of the most precious archaeological finds. This includes the fossilized remains of early hominids, the most famous of which is "Lucy," the partial skeleton of a specimen of Australopithecus afarensis. The well-known Lucy is said to be 3.2 million years old. After visiting the museum, you will drive to Trinity Cathedral Church. This church is the highest-ranking Orthodox cathedral in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. It was built to commemorate Ethiopia's liberation from Italian occupation and is the second most important place of worship in Ethiopia, after the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum.

This afternoon, you will visit the Ethnological museum set within Haile Selassie's former palace, surrounded by the beautiful gardens and fountains of Addis Ababa University's main campus. Even if you're not normally a museum fan, this one is worth a bit of your time - it's easily one of the finest museums in Africa. Later, you drive to Mercato and visit the largest open market in Africa, where you will drive through the market. Mercato is located covering several square miles and employing an estimated 13,000 people in 7,100 business entities.
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Day
10

International Flight Home

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home.

At the appropriate time, you will be met at your hotel and transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

Gondar, Ethiopia

Lalibela, Ethiopia

Axum, Ethiopia

Places You'll See

  • Addis Ababa

    Ethiopia’s sprawling capital city, located along the Great Rift Valley, provides travelers with a fantastic introduction to the country’s culture and history. History buffs will appreciate hundreds of prehistoric fossils at the National Museum where replicas of the famous early hominid, “Lucy,” reside. Foodies can indulge in Addis Ababa’s plentiful culinary scene and participate in an important part of Ethiopian culture with a delicious coffee ceremony.

  • Bahir Dar

    With its charming lake side views, the city of Bahir Dar has long served as the gateway to both the massive Tana Lake and the impressive Blue Nile waterfall. Keeping out an eye for hippos and crocodiles, visitors can cruise along the waters to the many islands in Tana in search for ancient churches and monasteries.

  • Gondar

    The royal and historical city of Gondar is well known for its royal complex of ancient castles and palaces of numerous architectural styles dating back to the 17th century. Located north of Lake Tana and just south of the Simien Mountains, Gondar serves as the perfect stopover between the two destinations.

  • Lalibela

    Known for its distinct rock-carved churches, Lalibela is one of Ethiopia’s most sought-after sites. Dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, the most well-known of the subterranean monoliths are Bete Medhane Alem and the cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. The eleven churches of the area were carved entirely by hammer and chisels, complete with windows and detailed columns and roofs all connected by underground tunnels. The creations are still used for ceremonies, vigils, and processions today.

  • Axum

    Once a powerful kingdom during the Christian era, Axum is one of Africa’s oldest continuously inhabited sites and is well known for its tall obelisks that still stand today, some reaching 33m tall. Axum is also thought to be the final resting place of the Ark of the Covenant within the Chapel of the Tablet, the holiest site in Ethiopia.

Hotel Options

4 Star Properties

Addis Ababa : Jupiter International Hotel

Bahir Dar : Kuriftu Resort & Spa

Gondar : Goha Hotel

Lalibela : Tukul Village Hotel

Axum : Sabean International Hotel

Testimonials

Erica

Traveled July, 2016

It has certainly been a wonderful trip!

The best part of safari was just sitting and observing the animals.  Hearing them chew,walk, etc.  Loved it.  Victoria Falls was superb and we like them best from Zambian side.  It has certainly been a wonderful trip!

Traveled To


Nghi

Traveled May, 2016

Shark diving was amazing

What an awesome trip. Definitely one of our best.

We were very lucky with the safari. Saw the big five pretty much every game drive. It was awesome, like the animals were waiting for us to come see them. Definitely have some great pictures from this.

The safari was also very relaxing and enjoyable. I do think that the safari can be a hit or miss depending on the weather and the animal sightings. Fortunately for us, we were VERY LUCKY.

Furthermore, as you are aware we had a slight hiccup with our flight but the airlines and yampu was very good in providing a peace of mind with the services/reassurance. Very happy that yampu was there to provide support. Thankfully the issue resolved in a timely matter.

Cape Town is by far our favorite city. What an incredible city with so so so many things to do. Although we spent a week in one city, we felt that we could have spent another week easily and still not be fully satisfied with what cape town had to offer.

Shark diving was amazing.

Mountain biking was just splendid. Can’t say enough about how great the trip was.

Traveled To

Karen

Traveled April, 2016

Thank you for making available for us the adventure of a lifetime.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for an exquisite 23 day Africa experience. With a little bit of careful planning my sister and I did it ALL!!! From balloon flights over the Namibian Dunes to being 8 feet from 9 lions feeding on a buffalo they had just killed in Sabi Sands to city explorations of Pretoria, Capetown and Johannesburg, we saw it all. And due to your efforts there was never a missed connection or even a slightly late connection–everyone showed up on time or even early. We never had a moments worry. We ate all the exceptional food, drank ice in our drinks and had a wonderful gastronomic, even gourmet, time without any repercussions .

I never thought we could do this without a hitch but thanks to you we did. Everyone was very compassionate helpful resourceful and accommodating.

Traveled To

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