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Tour Highlights

Ethiopia - Hidden Treasures (3 World Heritage Sites)

This journey passes through the scenic Ethiopian highlands, visiting the historical sites of northern Ethiopia. The trip covers Axum, the ancient city of Ethiopia known for the famous obelisks standing in the center of town and where the ark of the covenant is believed to be kept; Lalibella, which is renown as the Jerusalem of Ethiopia with its 11 rock hewn churches, still active places of worship centuries later; Gondar, the Camelot of Africa with its 16th century castles and churches; Bahir Dar, where one finds Lake Tana with more than thirty island monasteries and hidden treasures.

AIR AND LAND PRICE INCLUDES

  • Round trip flights on Ethiopian Airliknes from Washington DC to Addis Ababa; Domestic flights within Ethiopia Addis/Axum/Lalibela/Gondor-Bahir Dar/Addis
  • Meet and greet at airports and all transfers included.
  • Accommodation based on double or single occupancy as requested at the following hotels or similar
  • Addis Ababa 1 Night - Inter-Continental Hotel
  • Axum 1 Night - Sabean Hotel
  • Lalibela 2 Nights - Mountain View Hotel
  • Gondor 1 Night - Florida International Hotel
  • Bahir Dar 1 Night - Kuriftu Resort
  • Meal: All meals as shown in the itinerary including Farewll dinner in Addis to enjoy traditional Ethiopian food & music.
  • Sightseeing as per itinerary with local (air conditioned van)
  • All entrance fees to sites visited
  • Local English speaking guides
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana to visit two monasteries and churches on the islands of Lake Tana
  • Government sales tax

PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:

  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Video filming and photography fees
  • Incidental meals, snacks and drinks
  • Tips and items of personal nature

OPTIONAL: VOLUNTEER AT HOPE FOR CHILDREN IN ADDIS ABABA

$625 per person/double occupancy - $125 single supplement

OPTIONAL: TRIP TO SOUTH OMO VALLEY

$2400 per person/double occupancy - $375 single supplement

Itinerary

Extensions

DAY 1 - WASHINGTON D.C.

We depart our international fight from Washington DC aboard Ethiopian Airline’s non-stop service to Addis Ababa.
(B,D)

DAY 2 - ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

Early morning arrival into the capital city after clearing Ethiopia customs our staff will transfer you to your hotel. The city is the continent’s diplomatic capital, headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. This afternoon enjoy a tour to visit Trinity Cathedral, the largest and most revered of all the churches. Continue to the Ethnological Museum, an ideal place to start learning about Ethiopia’s rich ethnic diversity. View an impressive array of religious cross, triptychs and murals, as well as Emperor Haile Selassie’s bedroom and bathroom. This evening you will enjoy a traditional Ethiopian meal, dance performance and coffee ceremony. Overnight: Inter-Continental Hotel
(L,D)

DAY 3 - FLY TO AXUM (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)

Recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980, Axum is a testament to the rich and glorious past of the mighty Kingdom of Axum (2nd C. BC-700 A.D.). This morning the visit will start with the famous stelae field with its Axumite stelae in various sizes and shapes. The archaeological museum is nearby and it offers an opportunity to bring context to relics on view today. In the afternoon you visit the Kaleb and Gebremeskel tombs, dating to the 6th century A.D and on the way to town, the Ezana inscription (Ethiopia’s Rosetta stone) is worth visiting. Tradition has it that the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Ethiopia in the 10th century BC by Menelik I and later Ethiopian kings and emperors would proclaim their legitimacy to rule by their lineage to King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Through the day we will discuss the development of Christianity in Ethiopia and its relation to the Ark, and the story of Queen of Sheba too. Overnight Sabean Hotel or similar
(B, L, D)

DAY 4 - FLY TO LALIBELA (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE LIST)

A short flight takes you to one of the best kept secrets of rock churches, nicknamed the “Petra of Africa”. Ethiopia’s Emperor Lalibela, who had visited Jerusalem, attempted to build a New Jerusalem in response to the capture of Jerusalem by Muslims in 1187. Only its relatively remote locations and international obscurity keeps Lalibela from seeing the same levels of visitors to Petra. Visit the twelve majestic rock hewn churches, which are still used as places of worship. Check-in to your hotel. Overnight: Mountain View Hotel
(B, L, D)

DAY 5 - LALIBELA

Early morning drive to visit Yemrehane Kristos. Lying 42 kms northwest of Lalibela, Yemrehane Kristos is undoubtedly the finest church outside of town. Unusually, the church is built rather than excavated within a cave. The whole church rests on a foundation of carefully laid olivewood panels, which float it perfectly above the marshy ground below. Behind the church are the bones of countless pilgrims who chose to be buried there. There is also a tomb that includes the remains of Yemrehane Kristos. Afternoon explore the most elegant of Lalibela’s churches, Bet Giorgis, located in an isolated part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. This is said to be one of the most finely executed and best preserved churches. Overnight Mountain View Hotel
(B, L, D)

DAY 6 - FLY TO GONDAR (UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE)

This morning a short flight takes you to Gondar, once the old imperial capital founded in the 17th century by Emperor Fasilides who built a palace and seven churches. The subsequent five Emperors built their own respective palaces and Gondar became known as the Camelot of Africa. Visit the royal enclosure containing six castles, a complex network of connecting tunnels and raised walkways. Proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church with its walls and ceiling decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history. Overnight: Florida International Hotel
(B, L, D)

DAY 7 - BAHIR DAR

This morning after breakfast we drive (180 km) to this ancient Imperial city, we travel through a fertile landscape of wide open fields of a typical African tableau and then undulating farmland. After arrival, take a boat trip on Lake Tana. Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is famous for its many monasteries, including the Ura Kidane Mehret monastery with its renowned painted maqdas. Later, visit the Market at Bahir Dar and Emperor Hailesilassie Palace. The palace is built at the top of a hill and has a splendid view of the Blue Nile and Bahir dar. Overnight: Kuriftu Resort and Spa
(B, L, D)

DAY 8 - DEPARTURE

Return flight to the capital city of Addis Ababa. After lunch visit the National Museum, whose most important exhibit is a replica of the skull of Lucy, a woman who had lived in Eastern Ethiopia about 3.5 million years ago, then continue to Entoto Mountain, the site from which Addis Ababa’s founder, Menelik, descended down to the plains and enjoy expansive views of the city and the Entoto Mountain Range. Finally, have a brief tour of craft shops along Churchill Road before returning to the hotel. At evening Enjoy your then you will transferred to the airport for your flight back to Washington D.C.
(B, L, D)

DAY 9 - ARRIVAL WASHINGTON D.C.

Early morning arrival into Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

Return Home or Volunteer at Hope for Children in Addis Ababa (can be added either after main tour or following extension to South Omo Valley)

Day 8- ADDIS ABABA

After the farewell dinner, transfer to your hotel. Your next 48-hours will provide a mutually rewarding volunteer experience-one that enriches your visit to Ethiopia while at the same time making a meaningful contribution to the lives of the children at Hope for Children. Overnight: Jupiter International Hotel
(B,L,D)

Day 9- ADDIS ABABA

This morning transfer to the School of St. Yared whose mission statement is to empower the poorest and the brightest children with a quality education. After an orientation briefing in the logistics of running a volunteer organization, embark on a tour of the School and the Youth Center. Have lunch with the HFC staff members and teachers and plan a schedule for your return visit tomorrow to assist in teaching the children. This may range from you teaching the children English, improving their computer skills or participating in their art classes. This afternoon visit an HIV clinic and talk with clinic administrators to better understand where hospice patients come from and the successful implementation of programs by the Ethiopian Health Minister. Overnight Jupiter international hotel
(B, L)

Day 10- DEPARTURE

Return to the school this morning and embark in immersing yourself with the children. Participate in teaching the young Ethiopians while working with their respective teachers. One moment, you are assisting them with their computers, later on in the day be up front and center teaching English. Some poignant moments may find you sitting with a child on a “one on one” basis to improve their mathematical skills. Perhaps during the day venture into the school's kitchen and witness the preparation of nutritional meals; you would be amazed how “one dollar” goes a long way in feeding the children. After dinner you depart to the airport this evening for your overnight flight to Washington D.C.
(B, L, D)

Day 11- ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Early morning arrival into Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

Return Home or take the Extension trip to the South Omo Valley

Day 8- ADDIS ABABA

After the Farewell dinner on the main tour you will be transferred to the hotel for overnight. Overnight: Inter-Continental Hotel.
(B,L,D)

Day 9- ARBAMINCH

After breakfast you’ll meet your driver/guide and drive south to Arbaminch via the Hosahina Road, stopping for a sightseeing tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tiya – an archeological site of ancient Ethiopians. After lunch, the drive continues through the Wolayta farmlands, with views of the lush green hills and valleys. We will arrive late in the afternoon at Arbaminch - meaning 'Forty Springs' in Amharic. Arbaminch takes its name from the bubbling streams that cover the low-lying forest, occupying the flats of the town. Overnight at Paradise Lodge
(B, L, D)

Day 10 - DRIVE TO JINKA

Morning after breakfast refreshing boat trip on Lake Chamo, where crocodile sunbath on the shore and hippos cool themselves in the water Birdlife is abundant here including weavers, sunbirds, waxbills and colonies of pelicans then we drive to drive to a Konso Tribal Village, a tribe known as a pagan society. Witness the strange wooden totems replete with phallic symbols over the graves of the dead and a cult worship of serpents. The cornerstone of Konso culture is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy. Mingle with the tribes people and learn of their culture that has had very little outside influence. The site was designated an UNESCO World Heritage List on September 30, 2009 in recognition for the universal cultural significance of its agricultural terracing practice. Continue to Tsemay village and appreciate the culture and lifestyle that dates back centuries. They practice small-scale agricultural activities as most of them still depend on nomadic lifestyle. The highlight of the day is to visit the weekly colorful Kay Afer Tribal Market (if it is Thursday), where various tribes around the region sell their wares. Arrive to Jinka. Overnight: Jinka resort
B, L, D)

Day 11 - TURMI

This morning appreciate the very attractive culture of the Mursi Tribe. They are renowned for the strange custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. Then drive Turmi through a vast meadowland with shrubs and “umbrella” acacia trees later this afternoon visit the Hamer tribe. They have remarkable hairstyles made of ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands to create a coppery-colored lock. The Hamers are also considered to be masters of body decoration. Overnight: Buska Lodge.
(B, L, D)

Day 12 - ARBAMINCH

This morning after breakfast Travel to the rugged Murulle region on the banks of the Omo River, You may view some wildlife such as antelopes and raptors overhead. Here you will be introduced to the Karo tribe’s people who are experts in body painting, using clays and vegetable pigments to trace fantastic patterns on their faces and the rest of their body. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre “caps” of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers. Continue on to Arba Minch and check-in to your hotel. Overnight: Paradise Lodge.
(B, L, D)

Day 13 - LANGANO

After breakfast drive to langano via Dorze village, The Dorze tribe and their village, famed for its beehive-shaped houses. The Dorze people are expert weavers and weaving is a primary profession for many Dorze. They are also farmers and use ingenious terracing of the mountainside to prevent soil erosion. Around their huts the Dorze plant gardens with vegetables, spices, tobacco and enset (false-banana or musa ensete). En route visit the tribal people of Alaba who are noted for their beautifully painted houses, Wolita, known for their cultivation of Enset or False Banana, who are renowned for their huge huts and colorful cotton clothes, We stop in Sodo for lunch, and then continue on to the Abiyata Shalla National Park, where we visit the two namesake lakes; including the hot Springs at Shalla and the flamingos at Abiyata. Proceed to the hotel on the shore of Lake Langano. Overnight: Sabana Lodge
(B, L, D)

Day 14- ADDIS ABABA AND DEPARTURE

After leisurely morning and breakfast we start our drive to Addis Ababa, stopping at Lake Ziway to view birdlife, and then continuing on to Addis. In the evening, we celebrate the trip with a farewell dinner in one of the traditional Ethiopian restaurants, with dances from different ethnic groups. Transfer to the airport for your overnight return flight to Washington D.C.

Day 15- ARRIVAL IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Early morning arrival into Washington D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

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Ethiopia - Hidden Treasures (3 World Heritage Sites) 
2014 Dates & PricesLand OnlyAir & Land
Jan 01 - Dec 31$N/A$N/A
2020 Dates & PricesLand OnlyAir & Land
Jan 01 - Dec 31$N/A$N/A

* Not Included:
Optional tours and gratuities.


Additional Information: Airline taxes and fuel surcharges are included in the package price and are subject to change until time of ticketing.


Entry Requirements:
US citizens require a passport valid for six months beyond travel dates.

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