- Trip Outline
For centuries, intrepid travelers have returned from Northern Ethiopia with incredible tales of adventure, ancient civilizations, marvelous buildings and enchanting legends. Are you about to be one of them? Take a private Northern Ethiopia tour and get ready for adventure with a knowledgeable local guide showing you the way.
When your time is really limited but you want to include all the important historical sites of northern Ethiopia in your itinerary this is a tour for you. Most of the distance between de highlights is covered by 4 domestic flights.
Day 1 Addis Ababa
We will meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. The first day we spent in the fascinating capital of the country: Addis Ababa. Depending on your time of arrival we take you on a half day or full day city tour visiting some sites of your choice like the Ethnographic Museum, National Museum, Trinity Cathedral, Mercato (the largest market of Africa) or the Entoto Hills just outside Addis Ababa.
Day 2 Addis Ababa - Bahir Dar, by flight
An early morning flight will take us to Bahir Dar. After check in in our hotel we embark for a boat trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the beautiful churches. It is about one hour by boat to reach Zeghe Peninsula where we visit the most famous church Uhre Kidane Mehret. We enjoy a walk on the forested peninsula to the other churches and might meet monkeys and beautiful birds on the way. At the other side of the peninsula the boat is waiting and takes us to Kibran Gabriel Island (unfortunately women are not allowed). Before we are heading back to Bahir Dar the boat takes us to the the source of the Blue Nile where we find many water birds and maybe a hippo. When time is still available we can visit the the Blue Nile Falls, situated at about an hour drive from Bahir Dar. Otherwise we visit Bezawit Hill to enjoy the panoramic view and sunset from there.
Day 3 Bahir Dar - Gondar, 174 km/ ~3 hr
This morning we proceed to our next destination: Gondar. We will spent the afternoon to visit the highlights of Gondar: the Royal Enclosure, Fasilidas Bath and Debre Birhan Selassie, the church with the angel faces painted on the ceiling.
Day 4 Gondar - Axum, by flight
Axum is the place where facts and legends meet. Is the Ark of the Covenant found in Axum? We take you in the footsteps of the famous Queen of Sheba and Ezana, the emperor who converted to Christianity. You will see the spectacular stelae of Axum and visit the Maryam of Tsion churches. (unfortunately the old church is not open for woman). Many more sites are available to visit but our time is limited.
Day 5 Axum - Lalibela, by flight
A short flight takes us in the morning to the highlight of your visit to Ethiopia: Lalibela. The 12th century rock-hewn churches are the legacy of king Lalibela. It is said his visit to Jerusalem inspired him to build the 11 churches. A full day is necessary to get a good impression of these truly amazing places of worship.
After lunch we start with our exploration of Lalibela.
Day 6 Lalibela
At our second day in Lalibela we need about half a day to visit the remaining churches in the village. There are quite a few options to spent the rest of our time. For example a visit to the Yemrehane Kristos church or a hike to the Asheton Maryam church. On Saturday there is the weekly market in town. Maybe you want to have some time at leisure too.
(it is possible to add additional days to explore more of Lalibela and the surrounding area, excellent hiking opportunities are available)
Day 7 Lalibela - Addis Ababa, by flight
After a remarkable visit to Lalibela we are flying back to Addis Ababa. The last day of your unforgettable visit to Ethiopia brings us back to Addis Ababa. A hotel room for day-use is available. We say goodbye to dear friends with a visit to a cultural restaurant, enjoying the great Ethiopian food together with traditional music and dance from all over this fascinating country. After diner we take you to the airport for your flight back home