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Ethiopia Grand Tours

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  • 1
  • 6 Days

Taddese Atlaw

Senait Ethiopia Tours

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Ethiopia Grand Tours

ADDIS ABABA: The name of this sprawling capital city means “New Flower.” Founded by Emperor Menelik II in 1887 and situated at between 2300 - 2500 meters, Addis Ababa is the third highest capital in the world. Today it's one of African's largest cities with a population of about 2 million and the continent's premier diplomatic center as the headquarters for African Union located here. Impressive monuments of colonial architecture are scattered among stretches of sun-bleached shacks. Addis Ababa , besides its many attractive sites, lies at the centre of an area rich in places of interest, most of which can be visited either as a half or full day trips BAHIR DAR: Ethiopia is associated first and foremost with desert and drought – not a little ironic, when you consider that the fertile Nile basin, on which Egypt depends, receives 90% of its water from the Ethiopian highlands particularly this Blue Nile River . Bahir Dar, set at an altitude of 1830 m, is a comfortable base for excursion by land and water to the Blue Nile waterfalls and a number of historic lake-side churches and monasteries. Blue Nile Falls locally known as 'Tis Isat' (the water that smokes), about 30 km after it exits Lake Tana, plunges over a 45 m high rock face to form one of Africa's most spectacular waterfalls. Lake Tana , with the surface area of 3,673 sq km, is the largest lake in Ethiopia . Besides being the source of the Blue Nile, Lake Tana is renowned for its varied birdlife as well as housing on its islands and peninsulas more than 20 monastic churches most of which were founded in or before the 15 th century, and are still in service today. GONDAR: The next stop on the historic route, with its strategic hilltop location at an altitude of 2200 m in the Southern foothills of the Simien Mountains , is the graceful city of Gondar , site of numerous castle-like palaces, dating back from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The city was founded by Emperor Fasilidas in the 17th century and remained the capital of Ethiopia for the next two centuries. It's known for its many medieval castles and the design and decoration of its churches. Among the dozen edifices found on the precinct of the royal compound the earliest of the castles was created by Fasilidas himself and is still in such an excellent state of repair that it is still possible climb its stairs all the way to the roof which commands a breathtaking view over much of the city. LALIBELA: Perched at an altitude of 2630 m, among wild craggy mountains and vast rocky escarpments, Lalibela is a strikingly singular town famed for its 12th century rock-hewn churches. No matter if you've visited other rock-hewn churches in the rest of the world; nothing will prepare you for these. At the end of the 12th and beginning of the 13th centuries, King Lalibela of the Zaghwe dynasty built a series of rock hewn churches, carved into the rugged mountainsides. There are 11 churches in the town named after him, with others in the surrounding countryside. AXUM: The northern Ethiopia ancient city of Axum , regarded as the cradle of Ethiopian culture and Christianity, is the country's oldest extant urban settlement. From around 200 BC to 700 AD, Axum was the seat of an empire that extended across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China , had its own alphabet, constructed great engineering works and which, in the 4th century, was one of the four great powers of the world.

DAY 1

Arrival in Addis Ababa

Morning arrival in Addis Ababa, Bole International hotel, meet our representative and transfer to hotel. Overnight Caravan 3* hotel/Similar.

Addis Ababa 1 night
DAY 2

Flight to Bahirdar

In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana and visit the old island monasteries of Ura Kidane-Mihret, and Kebran Gabriel (closed for women). Most of the monasteries decorated with frescoes and staffed with religious as well as historical treasures. There are 37 islands scattered about on the 3000 square kilometer lake which is the source of the Blue Nile. About 20 of these islands house the churches and monasteries that are of immense historical and cultural interest. On the lake, be sure to notice the Tankwa boat, little papyrus boats that appear so flimsy yet are capable of carrying passengers and their goods around the lake as they have done for many centuries. P.M drive 70KM round trip to visit Tississat named after the water falls of the Blue NileRiver (the life blood for the Sudanese and Egyptians). Be informed that clients will walk about 30 minutes to arrive near to the water falls on Blue Nile. So they are expected to wear appropriate clothes that match with hot weather and good shoes. Back to Bahirdar Overnight homeland hotel. Read more

Bahirdar 1 night
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DAY 3

Drive to Gonder and visit

Morning drive to Gondar visiting the Guzara castle, the beautiful landscape and transfer to hotel. Then after lunch you will be taken to visit the castle compound where you can see the medieval castle of king Fasilidas, King Yohannes, King Eyasu, King Dawit, King Bakafa and Queen Mentewab further visit of the churches of Debre Birhan Selassie with awesome wall paintings and the bath of King Fasilidas overnight Goha Hotel. Read more

Gonder 1 night
DAY 4

Flight to Axum and visit

Early morning flight to Axum. The most striking relics here are the giant obelisks that are believed to be thousands of years old. They are carved from single blocks of granite and the tallest was more than 100 feet high. Axum is also the centre for Ethiopia's Orthodox Christians. Ethiopia is one of the oldest Christian countries in the world, and you visit the remains of a church dating from the fourth century. Nearby is a 16th century church where the crowns of the Ethiopian emperors are stored. The Ark of the Covenant is reputed to be here, and some of the ruins are associated with the Queen of Sheba. There's plenty of time to see these fascinating sights, and you'll have a local guide to show you around. Overnight Sabean International Hotel. Read more

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DAY 5

Lalibela Hudat Trip

Today we will have different experience to Lalibela Hudad, Surrounding the sacred Ethiopian town of Lalibela is a mountainous territory steeped in an ancient and biblical culture, where traces of a millenary mythology still mark the territory, and social practices are as alive today as they were 2000 years ago. WE use mule for trekking and it takes about 3 hours. The Hudad, or "the Big Farm" was named this way by the King Lalibela – the builder of Lalibela’s famed churches when he first travelled towards the town in the 11th century. He chose to join the local communities and to farm the land and tied his mule to a stone on the Hudad which is still visible today. The plateau, a secluded, ten hectare natural balcony, is now no longer herded and is in many ways an island, teaming with wildlife, and a precious and vibrant example of the montane grassland ecology. Here, as far as anyone can remember, lonely cattle herders have sat and idly gazed across the valley beyond, enjoying the mild and idyllic climate of their homeland. The Hudad is an ideal resting place for weary travellers, made private surrounding cliff faces and by a single entry point. Around the Lalibela Hudad you will be able to view some of this interesting wildlife, most obviously the Gelada baboons (Theropitecus gelada). The animals are easy to recognize, they have thick brown fur and a distinctive hourglass shaped red patch of skin on their chest. Rare visitors to the area are the Hamadryas baboons (Papio hamadryas), these differ from the larger geladas in their coloring. The area is also rich in rock hyraxes. Then we will have lunch in the Eco lodge, play foot ball and take rest in the beautiful grassland ground. Then late afternoon descend back to Lalibela overnight Top Twelve Hotel. Read more

Lalibela 1 night
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DAY 6

Addis Ababa city tour

Morning after breakfast departs to airport for the flight back to Addis and start Addis Ababa city tour including Selassie Trinity Cathedral which is the resting place of the people who support Koreans, a drive to Mount Entoto for panoramic view of the city, national Museum which is the resting place of our ancestor LUCY, Ethnological museum to see the different tribes culture, Merkato the biggest open Market in Africa, souvenir shopping, Then attend farewell dinner in the famous Ethiopian traditional restaurant at Habesha 2000 with live music and delicious meal, you will be transfer to Bole International airport for the night flight and it will be the end of the tour. Read more

DEparture

ACCOMMODATIONS

Day in trip
Location
Hotel
Day 1
Location Addis Ababa
Day 2
Location Bahirdar
Day 3
Location Gonder
Hotel Goha hotel
Day 4
Location Axum
Hotel Sabean hotel
Day 5
Location Lalibela

TRIP PACKAGE

Package includes

  • 6 nights room accommodation on a twin bed basis.
  • Meal on half board bases (breakfast and Dinner) with soft drinks.
  • All ground transport in all destination ( we use tourist standard minibus above 2010 model and above)
  • All entrance fee as per the itinerary.
  • Half day boat trip on Lake Tana in Bahirdar to the monasteries.
  • Half day mule trip in Lalibela.
  • English speaking local guides in all destinations.
  • Government TAX.

Package excludes

  • Domestic Flight ticket.
  • Lunch
  • Any payable beverages/ drinks
  • Payment or offering for photographing and Video Shooting
  • Individual service apart from the group.
  • Other expense of personal nature like telephone calls, laundry etc

REVIEWS

5 Reviews

Windsor, United States

Senait Ethiopia and everyone associated with it was absolutely THE BEST experience for our visit to the Omo Valley. Taddese managed from the office and booked everything and checked in with us all during the trip to make sure everything was great. Our personable guide Robel Petros and our wonderful driver Abate Fentwa were so welcoming, organized, professional yet so friendly and helpful. Absolutely nothing went wrong, we had the most incredible experience and got amazing, prize-winning photos. We would rate this tour company and all its people as AAA+++ They made sure our lodging was always comfortable and for the meals that were not included, they gave excellent advice on restaurants. Their vehicles were modern, super-clean, comfortable, well-maintained, and their knowledge as we traveled made our trip delightful, introduced us to superb local guides for detailed cultural tours...We cannot say enough good things about Senait and everyone who helped us with our 2-week Ethiopian tour. Read more

Durham, United States

We had a great trip with Senait Ethiopia Tours! They made the trip so easy and enjoyable -- not an easy thing for a family of 5, with 3 children of different ages, needs and interests. They accommodated last-minute changes necessitated by an opportunity to visit our daughters' birth family (and were incredibly sensitive to and respectful of the needs and emotions around this visit), adjusted their typical route so that we could visit some less common places of interest and also spend more time hiking, and responded perfectly to our request for LOTS of authentic Ethiopian food in places frequented by locals (it was all delicious!). Our driver/guide was personable, had a great sense of humor, and did everything possible to make our trip as comfortable and enjoyable as possible -- including spending several days tracking down a hard-to-find memory card for our older model digital camera, helping us bargain at the local markets, and helping us change money. It was a magical trip, and we look forward to working with them again for a tour of the southern part of the country in a couple of years. Read more

A group of three persons, Germany

A group of three persons with only a week to spend for sightseeing, we were nonetheless eager to visit various attractions in the Eastern part of Ethiopia and possibly even include some sightseeing in the Rift Valley Lake District. Since we did not know whether it was realistic to squeeze all of this into a seven-day tour by car, with only six overnight stays, we contacted Taddese, the tour operator of Senait Ethiopia Tours. This turned out being a perfect choice. Taddese, in fact, managed to organize a magnificent tour of about 1500 km that included everything that we had in mind. Starting and ending in Addis Abeba, the tour included the Awash National Park (with crocodiles, kudus, hot springs and more), Harar (plus some hungry hyenas), the village of Koremi, Dire Dawa, the rift valley lakes of Langano, Abidjatta-Shalla and Ziway (including a boat tour on the latter, with lots of birds and some noisy hippos), the Tiya Stelae Fields, the Melka Kunture Prehistoric Site and the rock-hewn church of Adadi Mariam (certainly an alternative for those who have no time to visit Lalibela). After returning to Addis, we even managed to visit Lucy at the National Museum and drive up to the Entoto. Taddese arranged for all of the lodgings as well as for professional local guides at most of the places that we visited. Moreover, also providing the minivan for our tour, Taddese arranged for it that Engidawork, his very experienced and careful driver accompanied us. Engidawork is not only a very responsible tour guide but also a very friendly and caring person and we were very happy to be on this tour together with him. As a side note, he also impressed us with his ornithologic knowledge. During this tour, we stayed overnight at the "Awash Falls Lodge" in the Awash National Park (adventurous; with a baboon knocking at our door in the evening for some Trick or Treat), at the "Rewda Cultural Guesthouse" in Harar (very authentic), at the “African Village” in Dire Dawa, at the "Maya Hotel/Kuriftu Resort" in Adama, at the "Haile Resort" at Lake Ziway and finally at the "Caravan Hotel" in Addis Abeba. All of these accommodations had their very characteristic, positive features and we enjoyed being at all of these places; and on some future occasion, we would stay at each of them again. In summary, Taddese and Engidawork made a wonderful and harmonious tour possible and we can very well imagine booking our next tours in Ethiopia with Senait Ethiopia Tours again. Read more

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