9 Day Classic Ethiopia with Simien Mountains Group Tour

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Ethiopia

Situated in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia boasts extraordinary natural features, a vast range of wildlife, and a captivating historical and cultural heritage. An increasing number of visitors are frequenting this treasure trove filled with unique attractions. Popular attractions include: the medieval castles of Gondar; the walled city of Harar; and Lalibela, a pilgrimage site known for its ancient monolithic churches, hewn into the area’s steep rocky hillsides. Ethiopia’s stunning natural landscapes are the real tourist drawcard. From the lush Simien Mountains to the sulphur vents of the Danakil Depression, the country’s outstanding natural environment is unforgettable. Bahir Dar, located on Lake Tana, is popular as a base from which to explore the fascinating monasteries situated on the numerous islands dotted around the lake, as well as the Blue Nile Falls, which are arguably the most spectacular falls in North Africa.

Addis Ababa

Days 1 - 2

Located in the highlands fringing the Great Rift Valley, Addis Ababa serves as the political, cultural and commercial centre of Ethiopia. This sprawling city rests in the foothills of the Entoto Mountains and features a mix of traditional homes, elegant villas, and tall office buildings. Visitors can look forward to a selection of wonderful activities including: visiting the National Museum, displaying local art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils; exploring the copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, a Neo-Baroque architectural landmark; and sampling rich Ethiopian coffee as well as the memorable cuisine featuring spicy stews and Ethiopia’s signature Injera bread.

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Addis Ababa

Bahir Dar

Days 2 - 3

Situated on the southern shores of Lake Tana in northern Ethiopia, Bahir Dar serves as the capital city of the Amhara region. The city features palm-lined avenues and was awarded the 'UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize' in 2002, for addressing the challenges of rapid urbanisation. Bahir Dar is a popular tourist destination in Ethiopia offering a wonderful selection of attractions in the surrounding area. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of interesting sites including: visiting some of the world’s oldest medieval monasteries and churches on the islands scattered within the Lake Tana, and discovering the spectacular Blue Nile Falls, featuring a 45-metre drop, an impressive 400-metre width and an array of misty rainbows.

Accommodation

Blue Nile Resort Hotel

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Bahir Dar

Gondar

Days 3 - 4

Situated southwest of the Simien Mountains, north of Lake Tana, Gondar once served as the royal capital of the ancient Ethiopian Empire. Known as the ‘Camelot of Africa’, Gondar is home to the World Heritage Site of Fasil Ghebbi, a fortress-city previously inhabited by to the Ethiopian emperor Fasilides. Visitors can enjoy a wide selection of wonderful activities including: discovering the ancient Gondar Castle, a medieval castle and palace complex, exploring the 17th century Church of Debre Sina, featuring biblical murals on every wall and visiting the nearby Simien Mountains National Park. Don’t miss a visit to Ras Dashen, the highest mountain in Ethiopia.

Accommodation

Goha Hotel

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Gondar

Simien Mountains National Park

Days 4 - 5

Situated in northern Ethiopia, the Simien Mountains National Park is one of the very first natural UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It has been compared to the Grand Canyon with its spectacular landscape featuring rugged peaks, deep valleys and plunging waterfalls. Renowned as Ethiopia’s highest Peaks, the Simien Mountains reach up to 4000 metres high. This area is home to remote local communities as well as rare and endangered fauna and flora. Some of these rare species include: gelada baboon, the Simien fox and the only walia ibex population in the world. Don’t miss the panoramic views from Ras Dejen, the highest point in Ethiopia.

Accommodation

Simien Lodge

Axum

Days 5 - 7

Situated in northern Ethiopia, Axum, also Aksum, is the ancient capital of the old Kingdom of Axum, one of the most important historical sites in sub-Saharan Africa. The town of Axum is the centre of a myriad of religious mysteries. It said to be the home of the biblical Ark of the Covenant, the previous home of the Queen of Sheba and it is believed to be the resting place of one of the wise men. Axum's historical archaeological sites have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. The undeniable highlight of this ancient city and its most renowned surviving monuments is a group of memorial monolithic obelisks, or stelae, built between the third and fourth centuries A.D.

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Axum

Lalibela

Days 7 - 9

Situated in northern Ethiopia, the town of Lalibela is named after King Lalibela of the Zagwe Dynasty. The town is considered Ethiopia’s cultural capital and one of Ethiopia’s holiest cities, it serves as a centre of pilgrimage. The undeniable highlight of this ancient capital is dubbed the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’ and includes eleven rock-hewn churches dating back to the 13th century. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is carved out of solid rock and includes subterranean monoliths, a network of interconnected tunnels, and chambers featuring magnificent frescoes. Lalibela also plays host to some of the most famous church festivals in Ethiopia.

Accommodation

Maribela Hotel

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Lalibela
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