Ethiopia - Addis to Axum Explorer
Ethiopia, Discovery, 13 days - from £1,595 (land only) - from €2,235 (land only) - from $2,580 (land only)
Day 1: Rendezvous at the group hotel in Addis Ababa (2200m). A single timed group transfer is provided. KE Land Only package services begin in the afternoon with a city tour of Addis Ababa to include the "Mercato", one of the largest open-air markets in Africa. Overnight at the group hotel.
Day 2: Return to the airport for the internal flight to Bahir Dar (1840m) on the shores of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile. We visit the Blue Nile Falls at Tisisat, meaning "smoking water" in Amharic. The spectacular falls are 100m wide and plunge 45m when in full spate. We enjoy a 30 minute walk to view the falls, before we return to the colourful town of Bahir Dar. Hotel.
Day 3: Today we enjoy a boat cruise on Lake Tana, and explore some of the 30 islands populated with churches and monasteries. We land at Gorgora on the north shore and drive to Gondar. Hotel.
Day 4: A morning to explore the picturesque ruined castles of Gondar. The Moorish-style buildings date back to the 17th century was Gondar was the capital city of Ethiopia. Our visit includes Debre Birhan church, renowned for the murals on the roof and walls. Hotel.
Day 5: Today we drive into the Simien Mountains National Park to enjoy spending time in spectacular scenery. The area is famous for it's wildlife, including the Gelada Monkey, Ethiopian Red Wolf and the Walia Ibex. Overnight in a basic hotel in Debark.
Day 6: A day to enjoy some easy trekking in the Simien mountains. We drive to Sankaber and follow the edge of the escarpment to enjoy the scenic views and do some wildlife-spotting. Lammergeier are often seen in this part of the national park. Return to basic hotel in Debark.
Day 7: Today we leave the Simiens and drive to Axum. The road snakes down through the Simien foothills before crossing the province of Tigray. Overnight in a hotel in Axum.
Day 8: Axum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dates back 2000 years and is fabled as the home of the Queen of Sheba as well as the resting place for the Ark of the Covenant! Today we visit the famous stelae, ancient churches and other sites and artifacts in this fascinating city. Overnight in our hotel.
Day 9: After breakfast we visit the Yeha Temple, one of the oldest sites in Northern Ethiopia. We continue to Hawzeen via Adigrat and the Wukro Church arriving in the late afternoon. Overnight lodge or hotel.
Day 10: A full day for exploration of the famous Tigray churches on foot. Overnight at hotel or lodge.
Day 11: A long drive from Hawzeen to Lalibela, with the spectacular Ambalage mountains as a backdrop. Overnight in a hotel in Lalibela.
Day 12: A second day for sightseeing in the city once known as 'New Jerusalem'. Hotel.
Day 13: Fly to Addis Ababa where we have a free day for independent sightseeing or relaxing. Day-rooms and hotel facilities are available. KE Land Only package services end with a single timed airport transfer in the evening.
This holiday involves going to moderately high altitude. During the course of your trip you will reach altitudes in excess of 2500 metres. Most people will have no difficulty with this level of altitude but before coming on the holiday, we recommend you read the advice on trekking at altitude.