Combination Tour
Description:
DST 005 - 21 nights and 22 days
 
This 22 days cultural and historical adventure takes you through the rich historical, cultural, archaeological, religious and natural attractions of northern, eastern and south-western part of Ethiopia. It focuses on the historically and cultural important regions of Lake Tana, Gondar, Axum and Lalibela, Simien Mountains, Harar and Omo Valley.
A boat cruise over Lake Tana is arranged to visit old monasteries on the islands. With some distance drive from Bahir Dar, Blue Nile Falls will be visited. In Gondar the castle of Faselades, which is known as the Camelot of Africa, will be visited. In Simen Park, the mountain scenery of the Simien Mountains will be explored. In Axum you visit the magnificent obelisks and archaeological sites and you proceed to Lalibela, to visit its famous rock-hewn churches, often referred as the "Eighth Wonder of the World".
In the eastern part of Ethiopia, you visit the ancient city of Harar and Awash national park and then you proceed to Omo valley, which is a little visited area of Ethiopia containing some of the most colorful tribes and ethnic groups of the continent. The fascinating costumes, colorful ceremonies and celebrations, arts, crafts, music and dance of the Benna, Hamer, Mursi, Karo, Dessanetch, Arbore and Borena people are very special. In the Omo Valley region many of the tribal groups have changed only very little over the last hundreds of years and they offer the visitor extraordinary insights into their traditional cultures. On this trip, you get truly off the beaten track, exploring little visited villages and vibrant tribal markets of of Southern Ethiopia.

 

  • Program: COMBINATION TOUR
  • Tour Code: DST005
  • Duration: 21 nights (22 days)
  • Transport: Surface (4WD) and Air
  • Tour Start: Addis Ababa
  • Tour End: Addis Ababa
  • Escorted by a professional English speaking guide
  • Best season to travel from September to June
  • Temperature: 20-35 degrees in most of the places
  • Tour Type: Cultural, historical and nature
  • Difficulty:Moderate
  • Highlights:
    • Immerse yourself in Christianity in its most raw and powerful form in the mind-blowing rock-hewn churches in Lalibela
    • Search for hidden treasure in the dank gloom of ancient Aksumite tombs and ponder the mysteries of the stelae of Axum
    • Trek through the sublime Simien Mountains, home to magnificent wildlife and un paralleled panoramas of endless Abyssinsan abysses
    • Game view in Awash and Nechi Sar National Park
    • Visit Harar, the fourth Muslim's holiest city in the World after Mekka, Medina and Jerusalem
    • Visit the colorful markets of the Omo Valley
    • Cross the Omo River to visit the village of the Dessanech people

 

Day  1: ADDIS ABABA
Menelik's Palace, Mount Entoto / AR Upon arrival in Addis Ababa meet our representatives and transfer to the given Hotel. During the day, visit historical sites in Addis Ababa including the National Archaeological Museum, where we will view the 3.2 million year old remains of "Lucy", whose skeletal remains when discovered in 1974. You will also visit the Holy Trinity Cathedrals and Mount Entoto which rises up to an altitude of 3,200 meters and offers the panoramic view of the metropolis.
Overnight at a hotel
Day  2: FLY DIRE DAWA - DRIVE TO HARAR
Fly to Dire Dawa. After arrival, proceed to Harar and visit the whole day the famous walled city of Harar. Walk in and around the walled city and explore the unique lay out houses, narrow & winding streets, intricate basketry and taste its best coffee. Visit also the beautiful Harar museum and Arthur Rimbaud's House, a fine traditional house dating from the period when the French poet Rimbaud lived in Harer. In the evening, participate the Hyena feeding ceremony.
Overnight at a hotel
Day  3 & 4: HARAR - AWASH NATIONAL PARK (310 km)
Hot Springs, Awash NP / AR In the morning visit the chat market at Aweday and proceed to Awash National Park. On the way, visit Kereyou nomad people and their villages.
The Awash National Park offers quite good wildlife and outstanding birdlife viewing. It also contains an interesting range of volcanic landscapes. The Beisa Oryx and Sommering Gazelles - in the open areas, Greater and Lesser Kudus - in the bushed areas, the endemic Swayne's Hartbeest - in the grass plains, the tiny salt Dik-Dik - under the dry acacia bushes and Defarsa waterbuck - in the bushy river area and the two monkey species - the Anubis and Hamadryas - can be seen near the river. Among other monkeys, Colobus and Grivet monkeys are found in the riverside and drier areas respectively. Leopards, Lions, Black-Backed and Golden Jackals, Caracals, Servals and Wildcats are also seen in the park very rarely.
        During our stay in the park, we drive through the park for game-view and to the "Filwoha" the turquoise-blue pools of the natural hot springs. We also visit the magnificent Awash waterfall where you spot Crocodiles. The park is also ideal for bird watching as there are more than 452 species recorded.
Overnight in a lodge
Day  5: AWASH NATIONAL PARK - YIRGALEM (360 km)
Drive to Yirgalem through the Great Rift Valley lakes, stopping at Lake Ziway and Lake Awassa to enjoy the birdlife on the shores of the lake.
Overnight in a lodge
Day  6: YIRGALEM - YABELLO (270 km)
Lake Awassa / AR Drive to Yabello over the beautiful Sidamo Mountains and coffee plantations. On the way, we visit a Sidamo village. We then continue to Yabello, which is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds. The drive this day let you experience the life of the Oromo Borena people who are well known for cattle rearing. You also visit the Oromo Borena village.
Overnight at a hotel
Day  7: YABELLO - KONSO (220 km)
Waqa Konso / MT After breakfast continue south from Yabello to the local Borena village of Dublock to visit the singing wells where the locals form chanting chains of people to remove buckets of water from the long channeled openings of the wells. Afterwards, continue to El Sod, a crater lake where salt is mined from the lake for sale and use throughout Ethiopia. After the visit, proceed driving to Konso, which has been inscribed as a World heritage site by UNESCO in 2012. You will admire colorfully costumed dress, impressive terracing of the land and unusually engraved wooden statues used as grave markers can be seen. You will visit the Konso's colorful market if it is either Monday or Thursday.
Overnight at a hotel
Day  8: KONSO - JINKA (150 km)
In the morning we drive to "New York" to visit a magnificent formation of sand. Afterwards, we visit a village and a Museum. In the afternoon, we will drive to Jinka.
Overnight at a hotel
Day  9: JINKA - MURSI VILLAGE (MAGO NATIONAL PARK) - TURMI (240 km)
In the morning drive to through Mago National Park to Mursi village. The Mursi are renowned for their custom followed by their women who, on reaching maturity, have their lower lips slit and circular clay discs inserted. After the visit, we drive to Turmi.
Turmi is a small town, which is the base to visit the Hamer village. Hamers have remarkable hairstyles made from ochre, water, and binding resin. They rub the mixture into their hair then twist the strands repeatedly to create coppery-colored locks. This is a sign of wealth and welfare.
Overnight in camping or in lodge
Day 10: TURMI - MURELE - TURMI (130 km)
Hammer Youngsters Dancing / DF During a Ceremony in Turmi / JD After breakfast we drive to Omo River to visit a Karo Village. The Karo people are considered to be master of body decoration. These designs have no special symbolic significance but are created purely for fun and aesthetic effect, each artist vying to outdo his fellows. Karo men also sculpt and shave their hair into extravagant shapes, with special ochre "caps" of hair usually containing several ostrich feathers.
Moreover, you have there a beautiful view of the Omo River. Drive back to Turmi. In the afternoon, visit a Hammer village. If you are lucky, you may also have the chance to participate in the ceremony of Jumping of the bull.
Overnight in camping or in lodge
Day 11: TURMI - OMORATE - TURMI (130 km)
Today we drive to Omorate to visit the Dessanetch tribes, crossing the Omo River by boat. The people of Dessanetch have their own distinctive dress and decoration and villages with interesting architecture. The Dessanetch Covering a large territory, live along the western banks of the Omo River, having been forced out of the Turkana region by conflict in the 18th century. They are originally nomadic pastoralists and live in small huts that befit their nomadic origins, as they could be easily and quickly dismantled. Late in the afternoon, we drive back to Turmi.
Overnight in camping or in lodge
Day 12: TURMI - ARBORE - ARBAMINCH (270 km)
Depart from Turmi to Arbamintch, via Erbore in the Weyto valley and Konso. On the way, we will visit Arbore village. Friday is market day in Erbore, so if we are passing on this day, the market will be visited.
Overnight in camping or in lodge
Day 13: ARBAMINCH (NESCHISAR NATIONAL PARK) - DORZE VILLAGE
Crocodile in Lake Chamo / DF After breakfast we take a boat trip on Lake Chamo. From the boat one can spot many Hippos and the world's most spectacular concentrations of Giant Crocodiles. In addition, the water birds are great and the scenery is truly unforgettable. We continue with the boat to the park, where we observe Burchell's Zebras, Grant's Gazlle, Swayne's hartebeest... We have a picnic.
In the afternoon you drive to Chencha and visit the Dorze tribe and village, famous for their bee hive shaped houses and their weaving skills. Weaving is a primary profession for many Dorzes. They are also farmers, who prevent soil erosion by ingenious terracing of the mountainsides. Around their huts they have their own little garden with vegetables, spices, tobacco and enset (false-banana or Musa ensete).
Overnight at hotel or in lodge
Day 14: ARBAMINCH - LANGANO (300 km)
Zebras / JD In the morning you will drive to Lake Lanagno, which is free of Bilharzia (Schistosomiasis), unlike all other freshwater lakes in Ethiopia. The rest of the day, you will relax in Langano.
Overnght in lodge
Day 15 FLY AXUM:
Axum / AR In the morning fly to Axum. After your arrival, you will be transferred to the hotel. The ancient city of Axum is found close to Ethiopia's northern border. It marks the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia, when the Kingdom of Axum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia.
During the day you will visit the archaeological and historical attractions in Axum include: The archaeological museum, monolithic steles or obelisks, the tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskal, and the legendary Bath of the Queen of Sheba, as well as the ruins of her ancient palace. You also visit the new and the old Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion and the sanctuary that houses the original Arc of the Covenant. The 16th century Cathedral of St. Mary of Zion was probably built on an earlier 4th century church, and is the holiest church in Ethiopia as it is said that the original Arc of the Covenant rests in its sanctuary.
Overnight at a hotel
Day 16: FLY GONDAR
Gondar / AR In the morning fly to Gondar. After your arrival you will be transferred to the hotel.
After a short break we have a city tour to visit the attractions of Gondar. These include the 17th and 18th Century Castles of Gondar which is included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO, the royal Fasiledes Bath and the church of Debre Berhan Selassie, with its remarkable ceiling decorated with winged angels.
Overnight at a hotel
Day 17: EXCURSION TO SIMIEN MOUNTAINS
Geladas in Simien Mountains / AR In the morning you will depart for Debark town (100 km from Gondar), where the head quarter of Simien Mountains National Park is found. On the way you will visit the Felasha village (Ethiopian Jewish), who were predominantly weavers, blacksmiths, and potters, as well as palace and church builders. Most of them have already left to Israel. In the Simien National Park you will admire the scenic beauty of the highland region, its extraordinary scenery, enjoying the endemic Geleda Baboon, which is endemic and the bone breaker giant bird Lammergeyer roaring around the deepest water of the park. You will trek for about 2 hours. After the visit you will drive back to Gondar.
Overnight in the same hotel
Day 18: DRIVE GONDAR - BAHIR DAR (LAKE TANA) (180 km)
After breakfast we drive to Bahir Dar over wide grazing land and hilly mountains with numerous farmlands. In the afternoon, you will visit the colorful market of Bahir Dar. As your hotel is situated on the shore of the Lake Tana, you have a very beautiful sunset from the hotelís terrace.
Overnight in a hotel
Day 19: BAHIR DAR (LAKE TANA)
Lake Tana / AR After breakfast we will drive about 30 km rough road to the small town of TissAbay to visit the Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or "Smoke of Fire". The falls used to throw up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometer away. However, much of the water is diverted for hydroelectric generation. In addition, it is worth visiting the surrounding area to see the country side. The area around the river is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live in this region cultivate wheat, sorghum, sugarcane and Teff (from which Injera, the national bread, is made.) We walk from 1-2 hours.
After the visit we drive back to the city and have lunch on the lake shore.
After lunch we take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit one of the ancient and the most accessible and representative monasteries, still serving its original function, UraKidaneMehret, dating from 14th century.
Overnight in the same hotel
Day 20: DRIVE BAHIR DAR - LALIBELA (310 km)
Today we drive about 310 km (45 km of which is a rough road). After driving about 100 km, you will visit Awraamba village. On the way you will also admire the traditional Amhara peopleís huts and the beauty of this highland region. We have "picnic" lunch.
Overnight in a hotel
Day 21: LALIBELA
Burial Ceremony in Lalibela / DF You will have full day sightseeing tour of Lalibela which is famous for its rock-hewn churches, dating back to 800 years. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the "Eighth wonder of the World" The day is spent exploring the atmospheric subterranean complex of passages and the 11 remarkable rock-hewn churches.
Overnight in a hotel
Day 22: FLY ADDIS ABABA - DEPARTURE
On the last day of the Combination Tour you will fly back to Addis Ababa. The rest of the day visit historical sites in Addis Ababa and Merkato, the biggest open air market in Africa. You will also have some time to do shopping. In the evening you have a fare well dinner in one of the Ethiopian restaurants for cultural dinner and folkloristic dances. After the delicious meal transfer out to the airport for departure back home.
Departure
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Price inclusive of:
  • Accommodation on the basis of sharing twin bed room
  • Meal - full board
  • All transfer in and out services
  • All ground transportation
  • Professional guide accompanying throughout
  • All entrance fees
  • Portage fees
  • Boat and mule hire, where applicable
  • Scout fees, where applicable
  • Domestic airfare, where applicable. It is subject to change
  • Government tax

    Price exclusive of:
  • International airfare
  • Lunch and dinner in Addis Ababa
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Tips
  • All other expenses not listed in the inclusive part above

 

 

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