Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa

You will be met upon arrival at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport after clearing customs & immigration and collecting your luggage. Transfer to the Radisson Blu Hotel for the night.

Raddison Blu Hotel

Overnight at the Raddison Blu Hotel. Breakfast.

Day 2: Axum

Early morning airport transfer to Addis Airport for flight to Axum, the ancient capital of Ethiopia. After arrival in Axum, head out to explore the UNESCO World Heritage site including the obelisks in the Stele Park – the tallest obelisk was 108 feet tall when standing and the tallest one still standing is 75 feet, still a sight to behold! A visit to the St. Mary’s Church and the Sanctuary Temple (the purported home of the Ark of the Covenant) and Queen Sheba’s ruins follows. Your guide will share with you the magic and mystery of this ancient capital and the lore that has helped form the culture of modern-day Ethiopia.

Sabean Hotel

Overnight Sabean Hotel. Breakfast, dinner included.

Days 3 & 4: Lalibela

After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Lalibela. This special town is the jewel in the crown of Ethiopia, with its famous churches and the setting of many major religious ceremonies. The subterranean churches are ringed by trenches and courtyards and are arguably Ethiopian's top most attraction. They are connected to each other by a tangled maze of tunnels and passages. Among the churches we will visit, Bete Amanuel a 36-foot-high monolith is considered by art historians to be the finest and most precisely worked church in Lalibela, possibly because it was the private church of the royal family; Bete Markorios, a cave church originally used for secular purposes and is thought to be around 1,400 years old, and Bete Giorgis, the most majestic and best preserved of all Lalibela's churches. On your second day in Lalibela, we visit Asheton Maryam monastery sitting on a mountain high above Lalibela town. Return to Lalibela for time to explore, shop or relax before dinner.

Tukul Village

Overnights at Tukul Village. Breakfast, dinner daily.

Day 5: Simien Mountains

After an early breakfast, fly to Gondar. From Gondar, continue to the Simien Mountains (paved road until the park, then 4x4-only road). This spectacular drive takes you higher and higher into one of Africa’s most impressive mountain ranges, referred to as the “Rooftop of Africa.” Arrive at the lodge this afternoon and enjoy an optional hike, as time allows. This evening, you may want to enjoy a beverage in “Africa’s Highest Bar” at nearly 11,000 feet above sea level!

Simien Lodge

Two nights at Simien Lodge. All meals included.

Day 6: Gelada Baboon Hike

This morning you will rise early for a magical excursion in the Simien Mountains. After a sunrise breakfast, meet your guide and begin a hike through this breathtaking mountain range, of which the highest peak – Ras Dashen - stands at nearly 15,000 feet. Although you are at high altitudes, the trekking is moderate and incredibly picturesque. Treks vary in length and difficulty and your guide will qualify you in advance. Sweeping views of the dramatic and jagged cliffs greet you at every turn of the trail. Unique flora, endemic birds and, of course, the endemic gelada baboons. The species, really a monkey rather than a baboon, is only found in Ethiopia and the Simien Mountains are considered one of the best areas to view them. Sleeping in the cliffs in small caves at night, the gelada is diurnal and emerges to dine on grasses that he pulls with his hands and passes into his mouth. Staying at the Simien Lodge allows us closest proximity to the baboon troops and the luxury of being some of the first visitors for the morning. Your hike ends with a visit to observe the baboons. Your time is not limited with these fascinating creatures, making it one of the most relaxed and accessible primate experiences in Africa. Mid-day return to the Lodge for lunch and a siesta. Optional hikes are available for those who want to head out in the afternoon.

All meals included.

Day 7: Gondar

After the last beautiful sunrise in the Simien Mountains and a hot breakfast, return to Gondar by road. This afternoon, you will explore the historic sites of this former “Royal Capitol” of Ethiopia. With your guide, visit the Debre Birhan Selassie Church and learn why this church’s architecture and paintings are so unique and important in the region’s history. Continue to the Royal Enclosure and Baths of Emperor Fasilides, climbing ancient staircases and ducking inside buildings dating to the early 1600s. The medieval lore and rich Ethiopian history come to life here.

Taye Belay Hotel

Overnight at Taye Belay Hotel. Breakfast, dinner included.

Day 8 & 9: Bahir Dar and Lake Tana

Today your drive is relatively short and scenic; depart the highlands with your guide to the tropical town of Bahir Dar – a clean, bustling and welcoming town filled with lakeside resorts, day spas and beautiful vistas. This area isn’t only about to is boat cruises, spa treatments and boutique resorts, it is also an important historical hub for Ethiopia. The island monasteries on Lake Tana were rumored to house the Ark of the Covenant while it was in “hiding” during years of unrest in Ethiopia. Additionally, these island monasteries are well-preserved sanctuaries for Ethiopia’s religious culture and art. On your second day at Lake Tana, explore all of Bahir Dar’s gems! Journey across this massive lake by boat (keep your eye out for the traditional reed boats still in use on these waters) to the island monastery of Ura Kidane Meheret, and with luck we will witness religious ceremonies taking place in this unique circular temple – the vibrant paintings of cherubs smiling down on us. After a relaxing cruise across the lake, return to the resort. This afternoon, enjoy a spa treatment inside the Kuriftu Resort & Spa’s cave-like treatment rooms – the epitome of relaxation after long days touring Ethiopia.

Kuriftu Resort & Spa

Two nights at Kuriftu Resort & Spa. Breakfast daily.

Day 10: Addis Ababa

Enjoy our last morning on Lake Tana before the flight to Addis’s domestic terminal. On arrival in Addis we are met and transferred to our hotel. This afternoon, as time allows, explore the city with a guide and also visit examples of women’s entrepreneurship in Ethiopia tied to the AWEP Foundation. Overnight Radisson Blu.

Raddison Blu Addis

Overnight at the Radisson Blu Addis. Breakfast daily.

Day 11: Sightseeing and Departure

A half day sightseeing in Addis before transferring to Bole International Airport for your flight home.

Breakfast included.
Rates - 2016
Dates Per Person Double Single Supplement
2 travelers $3885 $610
4 travelers $3035 $610
6 travelers $2785 $610
Internal air not included, please call for pricing.
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