Dag 1 – Aankomst in Addis Abeba
Bij aankomst in Addis Abeba wordt u opgewacht door onze chauffeur/gids, die u naar uw hotel brengt.
Dag 2 – Historische kerken aan Tana Meer
Maak een trip op het Tana Meer, het grootste meer van Ethiopië. Het meer strekt zich uit over 3500 vierkante kilometer en is leefgebied van diverse vogels en zoogdieren als het nijlpaard. Bijzonder aan dit gebied is het bestaan van verschillende eeuwenoude kerken en kloosters, op (schier)eilandjes in het meer, gebouwd tussen de veertiende en de negentiende eeuw. Van binnen hebben deze gebouwen prachtig bewaard gebleven icoonachtige schilderingen en manuscripten.
Day 3 – Blue Nile Falls & naar Gondar
Ongeveer 35 km buiten Bahir Dar vind je Tis Isat (rook van vuur) waterval van de Blauwe Nijl. Dit was ooit een van de meest spectaculaire watervallen in Afrika. Sinds een dam stroomopwaarts is gebouwd, is de waterval verkleind, maar het is nog steeds indrukwekkend om te zien, zeker rond het regenseizoen. Ook de wandeling naar de waterval is leuk en je kunt genieten van de natuur en vogels. Let op papegaaien, bijeneters, tortelduifjes en turaco's. Je kunt ook vervet apen zien.
Da9 4 – Bezoek keizerlijk Gondar
Bezoek in Gondar de Royal Enclosure met de ruïnes van paleizen van keizer Fasiladas en zijn opvolgers, sinds de 17e eeuw. De gebouwen zijn een mix van Ethiopische, Europese en waarschijnlijk ook Indiase stijlen. Volgens beschrijvingen van 17e-eeuwse reizigers was het interieur van het kasteel van Fasiladas buitengewoon luxe, versierd met goud, ivoor en edelstenen. Bezoek ook het bad van Fasiladas, dat in dezelfde stijl is gebouwd. Het is een rustige, schaduwrijke en mooie plek, met een bad dat eenmaal per jaar gevuld wordt met water voor de belangrijke Timkat (epiphany) ceremonie. Bezoek ten slotte Debre Birhan Sillasie Church. Het heeft een rechthoekige structuur en het plafond is versierd met prachtige gevleugelde engelen en de muren met indrukwekkende scènes van bijbelse verhalen.
Day 5 – Drive to Semien Mountains National Park
Drive to Debark through scenic landscape, passing the wonderful viewpoint of Kosoye. On arrival in Debark you first visit the Office of the Semien Mountains NP headquarter to buy tickets and to arrange a scout and local guide (which is obliged) and after check-in and a nice lunch you drive into the mountains. You will make a hike throughout the park in the afternoon. You can start a walk along a track which brings you to the edge of the Michibi escarpment where the panorama makes you feel on top of the world. When you have walked long enough) you can follow the track back to the road where the land cruiser waits for you to bring you to a place where a big troop of Gelada baboons can be observed. You can choose to walk 1.5 up to 3 hours in Semien Mountains National Park.
Day 6 – Drive to Axum and visit the archeological sites
Axum is a town full of impressive monument that testifies of the rich and glorious past of the mighty Kingdom of Axum (1-700 A.D.). And the town also recorded in UNESCO lists as a World Heritage Site. Within this 2 days visit Axum’s famous app. 2000 years old stellae. They are striking for their huge size, their incredible pristine and sculpted from single pieces of granite to look like multi storied buildings of which the biggest is the Great stellae measuring a massive 33m. It is believed to be the largest single blocks of stone that humans have ever attempted to erect. This stellae has fallen down and lies broken in different pieces on the ground. The biggest still standing stellae measures 23 m.
Day 7 – Tigray region: landscapes and rockhewn churches
Along the way between Mekele and Axum you find dramatic landscapes in the Tigray region. This preserves more than 100 rock-hewn churches. This will depend on your own interests and your walking condition. Our drivers can help you with a selection.
Dag 8 & 9 – Lalibela - noordelijke rotskerken
On day 8 you have a long driving day to Lalibela. Along the road you can stop in some villages. In the evening you can enjoy the local night life!
Dag 9 – Lalibela - zuidelijke rotskerken
In the southern group of churches there are four churches including Bet Amanuel the finest of the group, its elaborate exterior is much praised by art historians. Bet Merkoriois, is thought to have originally served a secular purpose. Perhaps it was used as a house of justice, as amongst the secular objects found in recently excavated trenches were shackles for the ankles of prisoners. Bet Abba Libanos, which is separated from the surrounding land on only three sides, is a structure of great charm, and a good example of a cave church. And the last but not the least is Bet Gabriel-Rufael. And last but not least visit the isolated but the remarkable church of Bet Giyorigs, possibly the most elegant of all the Lalibela structures. If you have time left, you can make a walk to a farmer house to visit the local people.
Day 10 – Fly to Addis Ababa
Today you fly from Lalibela to Addis Abeba around noon. If you like, you could make a city tour to one of these musea: National Museum, which comprises of many archaeological and historical findings including the famous complete hominid fossil remain of Lucy. Visiting this museum means having a good summary for your visit to the historic Ethiopia. Ethnological museum: It is found in the main campus of the Addis Ababa University by the institute of the Ethiopian studies with the aim to preserve the country’s historical and cultural heritages. It has complete collections that describe almost all the tribal groups in Ethiopia. Here you will have an overview about history, culture and traditions of the Ethiopian people. The collections include the nomadic tribal groups that are now living just as man’s forefather lived thousands years ago.
Further we visit the following places on our general city tour. Holy Trinity Cathedral: A beautiful church with baroque style of European architecture which is unique to both Ethiopia and Africa and is dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Here you will find the tombs of the emperor Haile Silassie I and his wife.
Day 11 – Drive to Arba Minch
Early morning drive to Arba Minch. Along the way you will visit the Tiya stellae field with its 600 years old stellae (a UNESCO world heritage site) and if open the Melka Konture archaeological site (Optional) near the Awash river. Here you can see hundreds of Stone Age tools, fossils and remains of animals and people. There is a small, interesting museum and you can visit also one of the sites where is shown how the field work is done. Late afternoon you will arrive in Arba Minch, where you can enjoy a lovely evening.
Da9 12 – Dorse & Chamo meer
Around Arba Minch you can visit Lake Chamo, part of Nech Sar National Park, and the mountain villages Dorse and Chencha.
Dag 13 – Konso & omgeving
The Konso is one of the tribes that are famous for their Agro-pastoral way of living. Their terracing systems in agriculture are protected under UNESCO heritage. The Konso people are very friendly with a clear understanding that the youth has the future, as they have a children’s parliament within the tradition of decision making.
Day 14 – Drive to Turmi
A couple of hours drive on an asphalt and gravel road will get us to the main settlement of the Hamer people. In common with the other people of south Omo the Hamer are semi nomadic pastoralists by tradition and take a great pride in the size of their cattle herd. They have an eclectic selection of body decorations. Especially the women are attractive with their hair styles, leather skirts decorated with cowries and copper bracelets fixed tightly around their arms.
Day 15 – Daytrip to Omorate
Today you make an excursion trip to Omorate which is found east of the Omo River. In Omorate there is a daily market and it is interesting to make a walk in the small town or to sit for a while at the shores of Omo River where the local Dassanech people cross the river by traditional wooden canoe or bring their cattle down to the river to drink. You can cross Omo River by the same canoe and walk 2 to the nearby Dassenech tribal village.
Day 16 – Visit museum and Ari tribe or the Mursi tribe
Today you drive from Turmi to Jinka in about 2-3 hours. It is great when you can visit one of the markets in this area. On Saterday and Tuesday in Dimeka; on Thursday in Key Afar and on Saturday in Jinka. A lot of tribes of South Omo will come together at these markets. It is a very nice atmosphere, where it is easy to mingle with the different communities. You can also visit the Jinka museum, where you find all about the backgrounds of the Omo Valley tribes. And around jinka you find the Ari tribe, a more modern tribe, living from farming.
Day 16 – Visit museum and Ari tribe or the Mursi tribe
Drive early morning in about 2-3 hours through Mago National Park to the hot and dry area of Mursi people and spend some time together with the Mursi people in their village to experience a little bit of their daily life. The Mursi people are known for their extravagant way of dressing up for pictures. Spending some time without camera is a better experience here. Mursi tribe are hunters and gatherers and their life has been the same for centuries. The culture of this tribe is very different from the other ethnic groups in Omo Valley and being a guest at the Mursi village is a special experience. Mursi have a special sense of humor and being relaxed is the best way to go about things that are happening, all in all they are friendly people with a different view on life and existence.
Day 17 & 18 - Via the Rift Valley to Yirgalem
In the morning you will visit the Saturday market in Jinka, where almost all the tribes of South Omo will come together. It is a very nice atmosphere at this market, where it is easy to mingle with the different communities.
Day 19 - Via Lake Langano to Addis Abeba
We will wake up to have a nice breakfast and continue our road back to Addis Ababa.