History & Civilization
12-Day Historic North Tour
Bahar Dar (Lake Tana & Blue Nile Falls ), Gondar, Simien Mountain National Park, Axum, Mek'ele, Lalibela, Kombolcha
Arrive in Addis Ababa – Sightseeings
Yamral Africa’s representative will welcome you at the Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. You then will drive to your hotel. If your flight arrives in Addis Ababa in the morning time can be made for sightseeing of in and around Addis Ababa. You will stay the night in Addis Ababa.
Addis Ababa – Bahar Dar
After an early breakfast you will start driving to Bahir Dar. En route you will visit Debre Libanos monastery. Debre Libanos is an important monastic center for Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity. Continue driving to Bahir Dar and stay the night in Bahir Dar.
Sightseeing Bahir Dar
In the morning you will be set for a breathtaking boat excursion on Lake Tana to visit isolated monasteries of Ura Kidane Meheret and Azwa Mariam, famous for their ancient manuscripts, crosses, icons, and paintings. Birdwatching is a popular activity considering a lush forest surrounding much of the lake.
After lunch you will drive some 45 minute on a bumpy road to the village of Tis Isat to see the Blue Nile Falls. The Blue Nile Falls are a waterfall on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia however, please be informed that the construction of a new hydroelectric dam has diverted much of the water for this the falls’ volume could be very minimal. You will stay the night in Bahir Dar.
Drive Bahir Dar – Gonadr
After an early breakfast you will drive to Gondar. After checking in your hotel you will set for a tour of a Gondar, town founded in 1636 by the great Emperor Fassiladas as a royal capital of Ethiopia. Visit the Fasiladas Compound, a UNESCO World Heritage site where enchanting 16th-century castles stand. Later proceed to the fascinating Debre Birhan Selassie Church its walls and ceilings decorated with scenes of Biblical lore and medieval history. The church is a rich showcase of the religious art of the Gonderine period and its ceiling of painted angels is only one of its kinds. You will stay the night in Gondar.
Simien Mountains National Park
Set in for a drive to the jagged panorama of the Simien Mountains National Park, the park encompasses the northwestern side of the Simien Mountains, a unique massif ranging from 1,900m to the RasDashen peak, at 4,533m the highest in Ethiopia. It is home to some of Africa’s most striking wildlife, Gelada baboon, Walia Ibex and the exceedingly rare Ethiopian Wolf. The park is also renowned for her incredible biodiversity with over 1,200 species of plants 3 of which are endemic to the Simien Mountains. You will stay night at one of the lodges in the park.
Drive to Axum
Leaving the Simien Mountains National park you will drive to Axum passing through the spectacular canyon of the Tekeze River valley—in the most intimate ways possible. You will arrive at Axum late in the afternoon and you will stay in Axum.
You will have a full day tour of Axum where early history of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) begins. Axum where early history of Ethiopia (Abyssinia) begins. Axum was once the center of a great empire, and the seat of learning for the ancient Ge’ez language and literature. Take a city tour that includes the Stelae Park. These famed granite obelisks are relics of this time and have gained UNESCO World Heritage Site status. Continuing the tour you will visit St. Mary’s Church and the Sanctuary Chapel which is the repository of the Ark of the Covenant; the Coronation Yard; King Ezana’s Park; and the “Queen of Sheba” ruins, once a massive palace with finely mortared stone walls, deep foundations, and its own impressive drainage system, believed to be the oldest building in Axum. You will stay the night in Axum.
Drive to Mekele
This day you will drive to Mekele visiting en route Yeha, the most important pre-Axumite site and perhaps Ethiopia’s oldest capital. As Ethiopia’s first known capital in the 5th century BC, Yeha claims to be the birthplace of the country’s earliest civilization. The pre Christian temple ,which is believed to be the oldest standing building in the country, and the Great Palace ruins at Yeha has massive walls and displays incredible skills in stonework which date back to about seven or eight hundred years before the birth of Christ. Continue driving to Mekele and you will stay the night in Mekele.
Drive to Lalibela
You will set to your drive to Lalibela, known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries. Sightseeing enroue. You will stay the night in Lalibela.
After a relaxed breakfast in your hotel you will be set to visit the churches which are the most famous and arguably Ethiopian’s top most attraction. The churches are carved below ground level and ringed by trenches and courtyards. They are connected to each other by a tangled maze of tunnels and passages. Among the churches you will visit are Bete Amanuel, Bete Markorios , and Bete Giorgis the most majestic and best preserved of all Lalibela’s churches. You will stay the night in Lalibela.
Excursion from Lalibela to Nakuto Leab
This morning you will take an excursion to Nakute Le’Abe, a monastery just four miles from Lalibela. This monastery is named after King Nakuto Leab who abdicated his throne in 1280 A.D. and went to a cave to lead a hermit’s life. Ever since, the cave has been a monastery consisting of a simple church built around a shallow cave in which several holy pools are fed by natural springs. The church has many treasures including paintings crosses and in illuminated leather bible. Drive back to Lalibela and have the rest of the day at leisure. You will stay the night in Lalibela.
Fly back to Addis Ababa
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa.