Day 1 Arrive Addis Ababa
Upon arrival at Bole airport, your driver will meet you and transfer to your hotel for the evening. Settle in and rest up after your long journey.
Day 2 Addis Ababa
Today is a free day to explore Addis Ababa on your own.
Day 3 Addis Ababa to Lalibela
This morning, transfer to the airport for a short flight to Lalibela, the crown jewel of Ethiopia often referred to as 'Africa's Petra'. Check-in to your hotel and use the remainder of the day to explore on your own.
Day 4 Sightseeing in Lalibela
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
Spend the day visiting the churches of Lalibela. Here you find the most well-known and preserved churches in the country and the site for many religious ceremonies throughout the year. Visit the magnificent rock-hewn churches which were built by hand between 800 and 1200 AD and are still active worship places.
Day 5 Lalibela to Gondar | Simien Mountain National Park
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
This morning, you will fly to Gondar and then drive to Simien Mountain National park, known as the "Roof of Africa". Observe the magnificent scenery with unique flora and fauna en route before settling into your lodge for the evening.
Day 6 Trek to Chenek
After breakfast, you will begin your hike to Chenek. There are beautiful views on both sides of the escarpment ridge looking back to Imet Gogo and Inatye. This is a great place to spot the Walia ibex and if you are lucky the Ethiopian Wolf.
Day 7 Simien to Gondar
Early this morning after breakfast, drive back to Gondar. Upon arrival check in to your hotel.
Day 8 Gondar Sightseeing
Gondar was the royal capital of the Ethiopian Empire. Founded in 1636 by the Emperor Fassiledes. From castles to churches, the medieval city is adorned by medieval styled infrastructure that was constructed by the Emperor along with his descendants. Visit the “Debre Birhan Selassie Church” a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was built in the late 18th century by Iyasu I, the grandson of the Emperor Fassiledes, where its walls and ceilings are adorned with rows among rows of winged cherubs that represent the omnipresence of God. In the afternoon, you will attend the Timket eve ceremony called, Ketera. During Ketera, the priests take out the Tabots - replicas of the original Ark of the Covenant.
Day 9 Timket Festival
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch
In the morning you will return to the ‘Tabot Maderia’ to witness the early morning baptism ceremony. The water which symbolizes the Jordan River is blessed by the priest and the patriarch then dips a golden cross and extinguishes a burning consecrated candle in the altar. Then he sprinkles water on the assembled congregation in commemoration of Christ's baptism. Following the baptism, the Tabots start their way back to their respective churches, while feasting, singing and dancing all the way.
Day 10 Gondar
Today you are free to explore Gondar on your own.
Day 11 Gondar to Awra Amba and Bahir Dar
After having breakfast, drive to Bahir Dar, en route you will visit the village of Awra Amba, which is located off the Woreta - Woldia 'China-Road'. Visit the unique settlement that is considered to be a prime model for self-help and above all gender equality. Women have equal rights to men and there is no distinction in divisions of labor. Men cook, women plow, and religion has no place. They believe in hard work and being good to people. Continue on to Bahir Dar. Drive to the waterfalls of “Tis Isat” also known as the Blue Nile falls before checking into your hotel. (Please keep in mind that due to the construction of the new dam being built within the vicinity, the water levels could be very minimal).
Day 12 Lake Tana
Early in the morning, board a boat to explore Lake Tana, It is the largest lake in Ethiopia with a size of 2,282 m2; it is also the source of the Blue Nile. There are 37 islands dotted around the lake, of which 20 shelter monasteries believed to have existed since the 14th century. These islands hold vast Ancient Ethiopian history, as well as artifacts of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and are burial sites for a number of former Emperors of the Ethiopian Empire. The island you will visit holds the monastery “Ura Kidane Mehert” if time allows you will also be able to visit the monastery “Azwa Mariam” both known for their ancient manuscripts, paintings, crosses, and artifacts.
Day 13 Bahir Dar to Addis Ababa | Depart
Transfer to the airport for your flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your International flight timing transfer to a hotel for day use or transfer to Bole International airport for your flight back home.