Trip Type Cultural and Festival Tour
Tour Code: JSTET-061
Duration: 13 Days |12Nights
Jan 15 - Jan 29 2018
This cultural tour takes you on the Ethiopia’s Historic North with Sebartmu Giorgis Festival, one of the most colorful festivals celebrated at St. Lalibela. This festival is less famous, but equaly absorbing as Timket Festival and it is celebrated colorfully around one of the most famous rock-hewn church, St. George with just one week after Timket.
On this tour you will also visit the classic Historic Route of Ethiopia which include– Axum, Lalibela, Gondar, island monasteries of Lake Tana, the palace of queen of Sheba and the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant the least is endless. Cruise along Lake Tana, the source of the Great Blue Nile River, trek along the spectacular Simien Mountains “the chase pieces of gods” with the Bleeding Heart Baboon. Last, but not least the friendly and charming people of Ethiopia!
- Celebration of Sebaratmu (St. George) Festival
- Experience Ethiopian Orthodox Christian doctrines and Traditions
- Visit 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Be amazed by a visit to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, “the living wonders of the world”
- Enjoy the magnificent nature and endemic wild life of Simien Mountains
- Travel back in time to explore the ancient city of Axum the last resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
- Discover the fairytale castles of Gondar
- Take cruise on Lake Tana to visit the ancient Island monasteries
- Site the source of the mighty river, the Blue Nile & Blue Nile falls
- Visit the vibrant city of Addis Ababa, Africa’s Capital
- Meet your ancestor LUCY at the National Museum in Addis Ababa
- Test varied Ethiopian food and attend Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Day 01: January 15, : Arrive Addis Ababa
Arrive in Addis Ababa (ADD), Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driver for the transfer to Hotel. There will be a short drive to your hotel. If you arraive in the morning we can arrange an optional city tour in Addis.Overnight: Hotel-Addis Ababa.
Day 02: January 16: Addis Ababa- Bahirdar
In the morning, drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with a stop over at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho and Goha Tsion.Overnight: Hotel-Bahirdar
Day 03: January 17: Lake Tana-Blue Nile Falls-Bahir Dar
After breakfast, we will make boat cruise over Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th century island monasteries of Lake Tana.After having lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 KM to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.Overnight: Tana Hotel-Bahirdar.
Day 04: January 18: Bahir Dar-Gondar
After breakfast, drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery to arrive at Gondar around lunchtime.After check in to Goha Hotel and having lunch there, we will start tour of Gondar which include: the Royal Enclosure, the pool of King Fasilidas, and we will also visit the famous Deberberhan Sillassie adorned with brilliant frescos from inside.Overnight: Hotel-Gondar.
Day 05: January 19: Gondar-Simien Mountains National Park
After an early breakfast, we will drive to Simien Mountains National park. En-route we will be visiting the “Felasha” or the Black Jewish village.Driving from Gondar up to Simien Mountains National Park, nothing prepares you for the spectacular scenery that awaits at the top of the massif. The rest of the day, trek around the park to explore the stunnining view and wildlife of the park including Sankaber.
Overnight: Simien Lodge-Buit Ras.
Day 06: January 22: Simien Mountains National Park-Axum
After breakfast start driving to Axum through the beautiful sceneries of Simien Mountains, Limalimo, Tekeze River Gorge.Overnight: Hotel-Axum.
Day 07: January 23: Axum
After breakfast, we will start to visit the ancient city of Axum. Your visit in Axum include: the Stele Square, Kaleba Tombs, the 4th century Christian inscription of King Ezana, Queen of Sheba’s Palace, Archeological Museum, and Tsion Mariam Church where the original Ark of the Covenant is housed.
Day 08: January 24: Axum-Hauzien
In the morning, drive to Hauzien, the center of some of the most ancient rock-hewn churches, through the stunning and historical mountains of Adwa.Overnight: Lodge-Hauzien.
Day 09: January 25: Hauzien-Mekele
In the morning, drive to Mekele en-route visit some of the most ancient Tigray rock-hewn churches including: Wikro Cherkos, Abrha We-atsbeha, Dugum Selassie and so on.Overnight: Hotel-Mekele.
Day 10: January 26: Mekele-Lalibela-Sebaratmu Giorgis Eve at Lalibela
After breakfast, start driving north to Lalibela through Sekota en-route you will visit Yimrhane Kirstos and different villages of the Agwe tribal people.Late in the afternoon, we will drive to Bete Giorgis to attend the eve of Sebaratmu. Here the priest and deacons will be chanting with their drums and sistras to celebrate the eve of St. Gorge.Overnight: Hotel-Lalibela.
Day 11: January 27: Rock-hewn churches of Lalibela-Sebratmu Festival at Lalibela
After breakfast, we will drive to the Taboat Maderia, where the replica of the ark of the covenant, Tabot has been rested overnight. After staying overnight, the Ark will be accompinied to Bete Giorgis with a lot of feasting, singing and dancing all the way. When the Tabot reaches the church, there will be dancing by the priest along the cliff edge of the church while the faithful continue to dance forming different groups.Overnight: Hotel-Lalibela.
Day 12: January 28: Lalibela-Asheten Mariam
In the morning, Mule ride to the top of Asheten Marima to visit the monastery church from the 12th century.After having lunch and rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvelous history with a visit to other St. Lalibela’s remarkable churches The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include: Bete Gebriel, Bete Merkorios Bete Amanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos. At the end of the tour, there will be a special Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house.Overnight: Hotel-Lalibela.
Day 13: January 29: Lalibela-Addis Ababa-Departure
After breakfast, transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your departure time optional city tour.In the evening, there will be Grand Holidays’ complimentary farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks (flight schedule permitting). At the end of the Farwell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour!
First 2 nights Addis Hotel on B/B.Accommodation as stated in the Itinerary,Surface transportation with 4WD Toyota land cruiser model,Boat excursion on Lake Tana,All Transfers in and out, Arrival and departure transfers, All entrance fees, Porter, Embarkation fee, Park fee English speaking guide services, Meal on H/B basis i.e Breakfast and dinner, a bottle of water P/P per day, Scout and local Guides in MNP, All government taxes.
Photo or Video fee of any ceremony or local festivals,Tips, Alcohol drinks, meals and personal expenses, Travel And accident insurance Any optional activities and items of personal Nature.
Arrival/departure transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that: Your arrival transfer will be arranged based on flight information provided to us. It is often difficult to enter the arrivals area for our drivers and greeters and it's likely you will have to exit the airport to meet them. After you collect your luggage and put it through the scanner for customs, continue through to the meeting area. If our representative is not there within 5- 10 minutes, exit the airport at the far right hand set of the sliding doors and walk down the ramp to the parking where our representative will meet you with the sign/pager With your Full Names.