Historical site tour of Ethiopia and Epiphany in Gondar
From Jan 8 to Jan 21
Jan 8 /9 Flight to Addis Ababa one of our representatives will meet you at the airport and proceed to the hotel, after lunch, we will start the City tour .
Jan 10 after breakfast drive from Addis Ababa to Kombulcha On the way visit the interesting Land Escape and people. Overnight Sunny side Hotel. Kombulcha
Jan 11 after breakfast drive from Kombolcha to Lalibela through the highland area of Delb where you can see the endemic mammal of Gelada Baboon. Have to stop over at Hayk to visit the 13th Century monastery of Hike Stefano’s on the island of Lake Hike. Overnight Tikul Village hotel.
Jan 12 Lalibela Lalibela, famous for its rock-hewn churches dating back 800 years, there are no less than 1000 churches in the Lasta Region of Lalibela, some hidden in enormous caves, but it’s exceptional to find 11 churches of such master craftsmanship in one locale. These brilliant feats of engineering and architecture are often referred to as the “Eighth wonder of the world”. The afternoon is spent exploring the atmospheric subterranean complex of passages and the 11 remarkable rock-hewn churches. Visiting the traditional market of Lalibella. Overnight Tikul Village hotel.
Jan 13 Lalibela: After breakfast, your guide will meet you at your hotel and proceed to visit the Asheten Maryam and back to the hotel and attend the mass in the church to take Holy Communion and back to the hotel. Overnight Tikul Village hotel.
Jan 14 Drive from Lalibela to Mekele On this day, you will have the longest drive through the rough nature of road but nice to experience along with the magnificent scenery (gigantic, ups and downs landscape). You will have a chance to visit Lake Ashenge and good for birding. Axum hotel.
Jan 15 Drive from Mekele to Axum there are several monolithic churches in Howzian including Hawzen Tekle Haymanot (near Hawzen town); Abuna Yemata Guh and Debre Maryam Qorqor (near Megab); and Dugem Selassie, Abuna Abraham Debre Tsion and Yohannes Maikudi (near the village of Dugem). Abuna Yemata Guh is also notable for its wall and dome paintings that David Buxton has dated to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries “before the massive impact of external influences that occurred in the seventeenth century.” One of the dome paintings represents nine of the Apostles, and the other eight of the Nine Saints, one of whom, Abuna Yem’ata, tradition credits founding the church Axum. Overnight Axum hotel
Jan 16 Visit of historical and archaeological sites in Axum
The ancient city of Aksum is found close to Ethiopia’s northern border. It marks the location of the heart of ancient Ethiopia when the Kingdom of Aksum was the most powerful state between the Eastern Roman Empire and Persia. 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, and the ruins of the ancient palace of Queen Sheba. We 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. In its sanctuary is said to rest the original Overnight Sabian hotel Axum
Jan 17 Drive to Gondar.
We experience typically in an Ethiopian African landscape as we drive from Semian Mountain Debark and Gondar over wide grazing land, hilly mountains with numerous farmlands. The rest of the day visit attractions in Gondar. The attractions that we visit in Gondar includes: Castles of Gondar- are included in the World Heritage List. The royal Fasiledes Bath and the Church of Debre Berhan Selassie with its unique murals. Overnight Quara hotel
Jan 18 Ketera Gondar Celebration of Timket festival is remarkable for the presence of a large number of Orthodox Christians walking on streets, some groups singing a (chanting) hymn and it is also customary to see some people on a horse to add color to the festival. Timket eve is called ‘Ketera’. On this day ‘tabot’, which is a representation of the Arc of the Covenant is carried by priests to ‘bahire Timket’, which is Timket water. This is to mark the way Jesus Christ went to the Baptist John to be baptized by him. The keys here are: the ‘tabot’ represent Jesus and go to ‘bahire Timket’ and the priests carrying tabot are for John the Baptist. The people attending the event, the priests and the youngsters singing the hymn represent the people who were baptized by John the Baptist. The ‘tabot’, the priests and some Christians spend the night at the ‘bahire Timket’. A religious ceremony takes place the whole night. The next morning is ‘Timket’ or Ethiopian Epiphany. Early in the morning starting from 7:00 to 9:00 baptism will take place by sprinkling blessed water from the ‘bahire Timket’ on to the believers who are gathered at the place to share this religious festival and share the blessing of ‘Timket’. Quara hotel
Jan 19 Epiphany According to documents written by church intellectuals, Mefkere Haymanot Emperor Gebre Meskel, who ruled from 515 to 529 EC(Ethiopian Calendar) for 14 years used to take the ‘tabot’ to a river and return them to church the same day. He started this based on chants of Holly Yared. The holly and wise king Lalibela reigned from 1147 to 1187 EC for 44 years. It is widely stated in history that he passed an order to churches so that those churches in the same town, village or kebele to take the ‘tabot’ to a nearby ‘bahire Timket’ for the churches. At the same time, the Egyptian holy Abune Gebre Menfes Kidus with the help of Holy Spirit, he blessed the ‘bahire Timket’ in Axum, Gondar, and Merto Lemariam in Ankober. It is based on this declaration from King Lalibela that currently 44 ‘tabot’ in Gondar go to the closest ‘bahire Timket’. It is similarly observed in Mekele and Axum as well. Tabots in Addis Ababa used to gather at the root of Mt. Entoto until it was changed to be held at ‘Jan Meda’ at the time of Emperor Menilik II. Quara hotel
Jan 20 Drive from Gondar to Bahar Dar.After breakfast drive to the small town of Tiss Abay to visit the impressive Blue Nile Falls, locally known as Tis Isat or ‘Smoke of Fire’. The falls throws up a continuous spray of water droplets which drench onlookers up to a kilometer away. Much of the water is diverted to for Hydroelectric Generation but it is worth visiting for the walk around and see the rural life. The area around the river is extremely fertile and the Amhara people who live here farm wheat, sorghum and Teff (from which injera, the national bread, is made. After the Falls, return to Bahir Dar for lunch, the rest of the afternoon visit the local market of the town where local people from the country side and the people from the town gather for selling and buying the produce. Overnight Tana hotel
Jan 21 Bahar-Dar to Addis Ababa After breakfast drive to Bahir-Dar via Debra Markos and Dejen (the famous area for growing Teff, which is stapled food of Ethiopians), after 103 km drive, visit the 13th C monastery of Debre Libanos and the 17th C Portuguese Bridge. End route stops over to visit the Oromo tribal village. Further down, you will enjoy the fabulous Blue Nile Gorge. Similar to the Grand Canyon of USA. Overnight Ghion hotel
Jan 22 Addis Ababa Shopping and night we will have farewell dinner at one of the traditional restaurant and departures