ETHIOPIA: THE HISTORICAL ROUTE

ETHIOPIA: THE HISTORICAL ROUTE

Axum:

UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlight is stelae, the largest single pieces of stone erected anywhere in the world

Lalibela:

Internationally renowned for its rock hewn churches considered the ‘Eighth wonders of the world’

Gondar

Known for its castles, imperial compound, and churches.

Simien Mountain:

Consists of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world

Bahir Dar:

Situated on Lake Tana, which is known for its island monasteries and churches

THE PROGRAM

Upon arrival in Addis Ababa, you are met by the representative of Emmarosh Travel and transferred to your hotel. Addis Ababa (“New Flower) is Ethiopia’s capital city! The city lies in the central highlands at an altitude of 2400m, making it the third highest capital in the world.  The city was founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887, who selected the site because its location within the Entoto Hills has long been the center of Shoan politics. Addis Ababa is Africa’s diplomatic capital with headquarters for the Organization of African Unity and the United Nation Economic Commissions for Africa. Overnight: Sheraton Addis Hotel
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Axum. The flight time is approximately one hour. Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an Empire which extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet and notational system, constructed great engineering works and dams and which was reckoned in the 4th century to be one of the four great powers of the ancient world.  Today the visitor can see Stella (the largest single pieces of stone erected anywhere – how they were brought from the quarry and erected is still not fully understood), the tombs and castles of kings, Axum Museum and Mariam Tsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia’s first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. After check in, visit the city including Stella (the largest single pieces of stone erected anywhere – how they were brought from the quarry and erected is still not fully understood), the tombs and castles of kings, Axum Museum and Mariam Tsion Church, built on the site of Ethiopia’s first church. A chapel within the church compound is believed by Ethiopian Orthodox Christians to house the Ark of the Covenant, or the original tablets of Moses. Overnight: Sabean International Hotel B L D
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Lalibela (approximately 40 minutes). Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your lodging. Lalibela is noted as The “New Jerusalem”  – a town for internationally renowned rock hewn churches known as ‘Eighth wonders of the world’, physically praised from the rock in which they stand, these towering edifices seems to be superhuman creation in scale workman ship and concept. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries King Lalibela of the Zaghwe dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches in this spot, calling it New Jerusalem. Start your tour of the first group of churches in town. Today visit the first group of six churches lies in rock cradles, one behind the other: Bet Golgotha, Bet Mika-el, Bet Mariam, Bet Meskel, Bet Danaghel and Bet Medhane Alem. Bet Medhane Alem, the largest, is built like a Greek temple. In a corner are three empty graves symbolically dug for biblical patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Then visit Bet Giyorgis, probably the most elegant and majestic of all the Lalibela churches, lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached throw a tunnel. Overnight: Mezena Lodge B L D
In the morning you visit the second group of the rock churches. The south-east cluster of churches is more irregular in design than the north-western cluster. Several of the individual churches in this cluster are thought to have been secular in origin, and some predate the reign of King Lalibela by five centuries. The churches in the south-east cluster include Bet Gebriel-Rafael, Bet Abba Libanos, Bet Lehem, Bet Emanuel, and Bet Mercurios. According to legend, Bet Abba Libanos was built overnight by Lalibela’s wife, Meskel Kebre, who was assisted by a group of angels. Then visit Bet Giyorgis, probably the most elegant and majestic of all the Lalibela churches, lies somewhat isolated in the southwest part of the village on a sloping rock terrace. It can only be reached throw a tunnel. After lunch, you visit the monastery of Nakuto Le’ab, located six kilometers outside Lalibela and accessible by car. It is a simple, yet fascinating example of Lalibela’s eastern group of rock hewn churches. In late afternoon visit the open market of Lalibela, followed by an experience of Ethiopian hospitality, at a traditional coffee ceremony. Overnight: Mezena Lodge B L D
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar (approximately 30-minute flight). Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. Gondar, the imperial city of Fasilidas. The kings of Ethiopia based their power in Gondar for about two centuries. The city was the first capital of the Ethiopian empire that began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas. Have a tour to a dozen of castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. Many picturesque ruins lie in the royal enclosure like the fairy-tale castles dating back to the 17th century. The castles reflect the glory of Gondarine kings and characterized by lime mortar style. Visit Debre Birhan Silassie church, rewarding for its magnificent murals adorning the roof and the walls of the church. Like many Eastern Orthodox churches, this one, too, has an unassuming stone-and-brick exterior with double-arched entrance door and two-tiered thatched roof but once you get in, angles shine on you with light and color. Interior walls and ceiling are fully covered by painted images of winged faces (angels) with big eyes staring at you as well and biblical scenes and various saints. Fasilidas pool, in which pilgrims still take a plunge at the issue of Timket (Epiphany) celebrations. It is a beautiful and peaceful spot, where snakelike tree roots digest sections of the stone walls. Although the complex was used for swimming, it has also been used for religious celebrations, the likes of which still go on today. Once a year, it’s filled with water for the Timket celebration. After the water is blessed by a high priest, the pool becomes a riot of splashing water, shouts, and laughter as a crowd of hundreds jumps in. The ceremony replicates Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River and is seen as an important renewal of faith. Nearby is a small mausoleum said to have been built for the king’s favorite horse
Today after breakfast you will be driven to Simien mountains national park (approximately 2 hours’ drive). Upon arrival you will transferred to your accommodations. The Simien Mountain National Park is an area of highlands in the northern part of Ethiopia consisting of some of the most spectacular mountain scenery in the world. It was added to the World Heritage Site list in 1978. With a total area of 190km2, the Simien Mountains boast 57 tree species, a wealth of herbaceous plants, 22 large and 13 small mammals and about 180 recorded bird species. Of these, the Walia ibex, Ethiopian wolf, Menelik’s Bushbuck, and the Gelada baboon are endemic. Overnight: Limalimo Lodge B L D
After having breakfast, you will be driven to Chenek. Situated at 3620m above sea level it is a spectacular site which contains the scenic mountains range, impressive escarpment, unforgettable viewpoints, mountain summits (such as Mount Buhit) and rich varieties of plant and animal species. Chenek is home to the endemic Walia Ibexes whom you may spot. You will spend the day at Chenek exploring this unparalleled environment. Overnight: Limalimo Lodge B L D
After taking breakfast, drive to Bahir Dar through the beautiful and fertile countryside on the Lake Tana side on a paved road (the drive is approximately 5 hours). On the way visit the villages along the road, meet people at their field and have a photo stop for beautiful scenery. Bahir Dar, an attractive town, well lay out with tree lined avenues and with the blue of the lake in the background. Lake Tana, Ethiopia’s largest lake is 68kms wide and 73 km long. Lake Tana is dotted with more than 30 islands, on many of which are found churches and monasteries. Then drive to the Blue Nile Falls – known locally as Tissiat – which means “Smoking Water.”  The Falls are 328 feet wide and the water plunges some 150 feet, giving rise to picturesque stream clouds and rainbows. Overnight: Kuriftu Resort and Spa B L D

After breakfast embark on a boat trip over Lake Tana to the nearby monastery of the Zeghie Peninsula to visit 2 of the renowned Island Monasteries of the Lake known for its 14th century round, grass roofed churches and their magnificent wall murals, namely: Ura Kidane Mihret and Azua Mariam both have wonderful paintings which depicts the scene from the Old and the New Testaments of the Holy Bible all over their walls. The monastery of Ura which is found hidden within the mangrove forest of the Zege peninsula. Its architectural style is a typical example of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church having mud plastered round wall with conical thatched roof. Ura is known especially for its fine frescoes, manuscripts, ecclesiastical objects like crown of various emperors dated from the 14th century, processional crosses of silver & gold, silver-drum, and royal vestments.

Overnight: Kuriftu Resort and Spa B L D

Today you will transfer to the airport for your return flight to Addis Ababa (flight time is approximately one hour). Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel for the dayroom. This evening you are taken back to the airport to board your departure flight. B

PRICING INFORMATION

These prices are valid for travel between June – Dec 15, 2020. Christmas and New Year surcharges will apply for any travel between Dec 15 – Jan 15, 2021. These holiday surcharges are NOT included in these rates. Single room supplement and solo traveler rates are on request only. Any travel during the peak time is subject to updated terms and conditions.

Land Pricing: $6,200.00 per person double occupancy 

Internal air: $895.00 per person subject to change economy class*

*Internal air includes the following flights:

Addis Ababa / Axum

Axum / Lalibela

Lalibela / Gondar

Bahir Dar / Addis Ababa

 

INCLUSIONS

  • Accommodations per the itinerary
  • All transfers as mentioned in the program
  • All meals as indicated by letters B = Breakfast, Lunch & D = Dinner next to accommodations
  • Accompanying guide throughout (English Speaking)
  • All activities are mentioned in the itinerary
  • Private vehicle throughout
  • All relevant park fees / conservation fees & entry fees (unless otherwise stated)
  • Porterage at airports and hotels.

EXCLUSIONS

  • Optional activities (where applicable these are available at an additional cost)
  • All items of a personal nature such as (telephone calls, laundry, room service, etc.).
  • Gratuities for the guide/ drivers or Airport representatives
  • Single Room Supplement (on request basis)
  • Solo Traveler Rates (on request basis)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Holiday Surcharges for travel between Dec 15 – Jan 15, 2021
  • Trip insurance
  • Laundry
  • Drinks

RESERVATION AND PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Deposit per person required at time of booking: A deposit of 25% of the program price is required at the time of booking. Final payment is due 120 days prior to departure. If your reservation is made within 120 days of departure, the entire cost of the trip must be paid at the time of the request to secure confirmation.

CANCELLATION CHARGES

Cancellations must be received in writing and will become effective on the date of e-mail receipt. Cancellations received by Emmarosh are subject to the following:

CANCELLATION FEES PER PERSON

121 days prior to departure (or more): 10% of the program price per person.
120-91 days prior to departure: 20% of program price

90-61 days prior to departure: 50% of program price

60 days prior to departure (or less): 100% of the program price

Changes to the Itinerary:

The guest will be responsible for any changes or cancellations made to the itinerary at their request or beyond their control, before or during travel, including expenses incurred due to a change, delay or cancellation of any flights. If a guest cancels or leaves a journey and a roommate remains, an additional supplement may apply to the price for the remaining guest.

CANCELLATION CHARGES FOR INTERNAL AIR

All internal air is 100% non-refundable at time of final payment (some exceptions may apply).

CANCELLATION CHARGES FOR EXTRA SERVICES WHERE APPLICABLE

Additional hotel nights and other extra services booked in connection with Emmarosh programs are subject to specific cancellation penalties.

OF SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT ACCOMMODATIONS IN ETHIOPIA

Addis Ababa has a number of five-star hotels including the Sheraton Addis, Radisson Blu and Capital Hotel. There is also a growing number of international brand and local tourist-class hotels. Standards vary vastly outside the capital. As a general rule the hotels in the north are of a higher standard than those in the south. Although there are areas, including the Omo and Mago areas, where camping may be unavoidable, it is generally possible to get relatively clean rooms with an en-suite toilet and shower. Luxury hotel choices are very limited in this part of the world. We have, for your comfort, selected the best available accommodation in each area. Although basic, the lodging are comfortable and clean, with en-suite facilities. These properties are not considered luxurious by international standards.