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See incredible Lalibela on Ethiopia Holidays

Historic Ethiopia, including Simien Mountains


YPB10A
10 NIGHTS
FROM £2,995
International flights quoted separately
Combine the key historic and cultural sites of northern Ethiopia with the endemic wildlife of the Simien Mountains, the highest in Ethiopia. This national park is home a variey of rare animals, including the endangered Walia ibex, the rare Ethiopian wolf & the colourful gelada old-world monkey. English speaking guides, all light aircraft flights, transfers & park fees included.
Ethiopia Holidays Lalibela Gondar Simien Mountains Wildlife
• 
Addis Ababa
• 
Bahir Dar
• 
Lake Tana
• 
Blue Nile Falls
• 
Gondar
• 
Castles & Palaces
• 
Simien Mountains
• 
Lalibela
• 
Rock hewn churches
• 
Cultural Dinner
• 
Addis Ababa
• 
Bahir Dar
• 
Lake Tana
• 
Blue Nile Falls
• 
Gondar
• 
Castles & Palaces
• 
Simien Mountains
• 
Lalibela
• 
Rock hewn churches
• 
Cultural Dinner
Day 1
You will be met at Addis Ababa Airport and transferred to your hotel in Ethiopia's capital city. This beautiful high-altitude country was once ruled by the Queen of Sheba and has a fascinating and ancient history. With over 80 different languages, and many different religions, its strong tribal traditions and festivals are world famous.
 
After checking into your hotel, enjoy a short City Tour, including a visit to the National Museum and Trinity Cathedral. Then ascent captivating Mount Entoto for panoramic views over the city.
Day 2
Transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Bahir Dar Airport and transferred to this palm-tree lined resort town, decorated with colourful flowers and situated on shores of beautiful Lake Tana - the largest lake in Ethiopia.
 
After checking into your hotel, we drive to the small town of Tiss Isat to visit the spectacular Blue Nile Falls, known locally as Tiss Abay (or 'Smoke of Fire' in Amharic). These dramatic falls are the second largest in Africa. When in full flood, they are over 1,300 ft (400 m) wide and drop down over 150 ft (45 m) into a sheer chasm below, giving rise to steam clouds and a continuous spray of water that drenches onlookers. You can walk 20-minutes to a great viewing point or, if you are more energetic, walk down to the base of the falls for amazing views.
Day 3
Today we drive 2.5-hours to the historic city of Gondar, the 17th century capital of Ethiopia and also of the ancient Abyssinian Empire. Its emperors built many castles here, giving the region a very European feel - hence the name "African Camelot". The whole city is today a World Heritage Site.
 
We visit the Castle Compound with its six castles, including including the oldest and most magnificent Fasiledes Castle, with its Royal Enclosure and Emperor Fasilidas’ bath. This is where the colorful Timket festival (Epiphany) is celebrated every January.
 
We also visit the residence of the Empress Mintewab and the church of Debre Berhan Selassie (meaning 'Light of the Trinity'), located on the summit of a hill and surrounded by fortified walls. This church was not destroyed, even during the dervishes, and on its painted ceiling 18th century over 100 winged cherubs look down on you, with slightly different but equally quizzical expressions. Full of all the colour, life, wit and humanity of Ethiopian art at its best, the walls provide a compendium of Ethiopian saints, martyrs and folklore.
Day 4
This morning we leave Gondar and drive 4-hours to the spectacular landscape of the Simien Mountains, a mixture of deep valleys and jagged peaks with varied flora, and one of Africa's largest mountain ranges.
 
Simien Mountains National Park was created primarily to protect the critically endangered Walia Ibex, which you can search for clinging to the sheer rock faces. It is also home to families of colourful gelada baboon and the Ethiopian wolf (also known as the Simien fox), along with over 50 different bird species.
Day 5
Today we take a morning walk in Simien Mountains National Park, which covers an area of 180 sq metres and is located an altitude of 4,500 to 6,200 feet in the Ethiopian Highlands. It is home to Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in the country.
 
The alpine meadows in the highests reaches of this national park have very little vegetation and snow falls regularly here, but it provides essential sanctuary to the animals that live here. In addition to the Walia ibex & Ethiopian wolf, these include the Gelada, an old world monkey (not a baboon) with a bright red heart shaped patch on its chest, that is only found in these highlands. Also the caracal, rare Lamergeyer (a huge vulture).
Day 6
This morning is free to relax or explore a little more of Simien Mountains National Park.
 
In the afternoon we drive 4-hours back to ancient Gondar.
Day 7
Transfer to Gondar Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Lalibela Airport and transferred into this spiritual town - the 'African Jerusalem'.
 
Perched high on an isolated mountain over 8,500 ft (2,600 m) above sea level, Lalibela is home to 11 spectacular rock-hewn churches built by King Lalibela (1181 - 1221) after whom the town is named. Each church is carved entirely out of a single block of granite, with its roof at ground level, and each is built in a different architectural style. The entire town seems frozen in biblical times and is today a pilgrimage site for Christians.
 
On arrival we will visit the extraordinary first group of rock-hewn churches and subterranean complex of passages, that are today a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 8
This morning take a mule ride to the hilltop 13th century church of Asheten Mariam, formed from large blocks of stone The peak of the hill offers wonderful views over the surrounding area, including the town of Lalibela.
 
In the afternoon we visit the second and the third group of churches of Lalibela. The most famous of these is the Church of St George (Bet Giyorgis), carved in a cross-shape from solid red volcanic rock. It is the most beautiful monolithic cruciform church and symbolises Noah's Ark.
 
In the evening relax in one of Ethiopia's holiest cities.
Day 9
Transfer to Lalibela Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Axum Airport and transferred to your hotel in this ancient capital of Ethiopia.
 
Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Axum, including the Archeological Museum and the Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion, which is believed to be the last resting place of the original Ark of the Covenant.
 
We also visit the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site at Stele Field (4th century), the ruined palace and tomb of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel (5th & 6th century) and the residence of the legendary Queen of Sheba (9th century BC).
Day 10
Transfer to Axum Airport for your onward flight.

You will be met at Addis Ababa Airport and transferred to your hotel.
 
In the evening enjoy an included dinner at a traditional restaurant, where you can enjoy Ethiopian music, folk dance and a delicious variety of local food.
Day 11
Transfer to Addis Ababa Airport for your flight home.
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