Upon your arrival at Addis Ababa airport, you will be welcomed by a Rahhalah representative and transferred to your hotel in the city.
Sprawling across Ethiopia's central highlands, Addis Ababa reveals the culture of this magical nation like few other places. The city is far more than a gateway to Ethiopia's iconic ancient sites. It dazzles with museums, architecture and cuisine.
Depending on availability of time you will visit some of the following attractions:
- The National Museum which exhibits the historical, cultural and archaeological heritage of the country, and is also well known for the fossilized remains of early hominids. It is here where one can see the remains of the famous Lucy (3.18 m.y.o.) – the oldest, most complete remains of our human ancestry – and many other earlier Hominid skeletons.
- The Entoto Mountain (3000m) from where you can enjoy a panoramic view towards Addis Ababa (the 3rd highest capital of the world). This mountain is known as the ideal daily training place for the famous Long-Distance World Champion Athletes of Ethiopia.
After lunch break of on your own, you will continue with the exploration of Addis Ababa, visiting:
- The famous Holy Trinity Cathedral Church, which is also the burial place of Emperor Hailesilasie, his family, and most of the VIPs of the country.
- Merkato / Local Market, the largest open-air market in Africa, where you can source spices, incense, used materials (like household utensils, plastic containers, keys, scrub metals and brand shoes etc.) and many more treasures.
The day will end with your participation in an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, one of the most authentic ways to experience the real life of the locals. During this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit a typical local family, connecting with the culture of the country and the customs of its people, including its cooking.
Throughout the day, be prepared to stop at different squares, taking pictures of the numerous historical monuments and buildings, while observing the activities of the people and their daily routine.
Overnight stay in Addis Ababa.
Accommodation: Wassamar hotel or Similar.
In the morning, you will be transferred to the airport for the domestic flight to Lalibela: a historic town that shelters numerous rock-hewn churches built below the ground. Many people argue that Lalibela’s churches should be recognized as the 8th Wonder of the World.
Upon arrival and after a short coffee break, you will spend the day exploring the rock-hewn churches: a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a marvel of human creativity. There are 11 such churches, 4 of which are purely monolithic or attached to the living rock only at the base. They are located around the town and are divided into three groups: the first group includes six churches, the second one, and the third four.
In the afternoon, you will have ample time to walk around the villages of Lalibela, visit local families, observe their way of life, and experience the traditional Coffee Ceremony performed in the typical Ethiopian style.
Overnight stay in Lalibela.
Accommodation: Mezena Lodge or similar
Today you will be driven part way to Asheten Maryam where you will hike the last 30 minute stretch up to this spectacularly situated church.
Following a visit of its’ grounds, you will ascend the mountain, passing the small hamlets and farms that litter the local countryside, up and across the Abuchagula reserve, the local nature reserve that the Lalibela Hudad assists through its’ conservation work. The ride to and from the Lodge takes approximately one and a half hours, with possible stops for taking in the views.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by the lodges’ staff with cold drinks, all members of the local community who manage and run it. A foot massage will be on offer for those who want it.
After a brief reconnoiter you will be invited to explore the plateau and visit its many scenic spots and drink in its attractive and exotic views, as well as taking note of the many creatures that inhabit it.
A day at the Hudad with its quiet and peaceful ambience, allows visitors to relax fully, enjoy time with friends and family or commune with the nature that surrounds them.
Snacks and local delicacies will be available throughout the day, with meals being served at an open air terrace. Accommodation will be in one of the rustic stone huts.
Overnight stay in Hudad Mountain
Accommodation : Hudad Community Lodge
Today, in the morning there will be the opportunity to take the short walk across to the neighboring plateau. If time permits you may visit the Hudad Community School, built by local villagers to support the many families scattered in the countryside who are too far from Lalibela to send the children there.
After breakfast, you will make your way down back towards Lalibela, via beautiful local villages and through a fascinating scenery of nature.
The vehicle will meet you at the pick-up point and make a direct drive to the airport for your flight to Gondar.
Upon arrival at Gondar, explore the UNESCO registered sites of Gondar. The visit will include the 17thc Royal Enclosure, with its six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, you will visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, that is most famous for mural paintings and fascinating history in the country.
Overnight stay in Gondar
Accommodation: Haile Resort or similar
After breakfast, we drive southward to reach the lake side town of Bahir Dar. On the way, stop at the top of Bezawit Hill, from where you can be overlooking to Lake Tana and The Blue Nile when it starts its longest journey to the Mediterranean. It's also worth seeing sunset with its reflection over Lake Tana. Depending on chance, Hippos might be seen by the river bank of the Blue Nile. In addition, the viewpoint is next to the former palace of Haile Selassie, which you can only see from outside of the compound.
In the Afternoon, embark on a boat for a trip on Lake Tana to explore some of the monasteries hidden on the shores and islands of Lake Tana. Coming from 13th & 14th C, these churches are uniquely decorated with beautiful paintings depicting stories from religious books. Return back to Bahirdar.
Overnight stay in Bahir Dar
Accommodation: Kuriftu Resort or similar
After breakfast, take a southward drive to the thundering Blue Nile Falls which is found 30km south of its source. Make an interesting circle routed walk to the Blue Nile Falls by crossing an old 17th c. stone Bridge, and a recently built suspension bridge.
Birding can be done excellently. It's also worth visiting the local villages and peoples life style.
Eventually, drive back to Bahir Dar for lunch in a local Restaurant.
After lunch, you will be at your Leisure to exploit the very good and high rated facilities of Kuriftu Resort, the best in the Country with Spa service specialty.
So, the whole afternoon will be dedicated for your refreshing and relaxing time.
Overnight stay in Bahir Dar
Accommodation: Kuriftu Resort or similar
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Addis Ababa.
Once we reach at Addis Ababa, we may have an opportunity to spend the rest of the day either by going for shopping to few markets to buy souvenirs, taking a rest, or having personal activities.
In the evening, there will be a complimentary farewell party with traditional buffet and local drinks accompanied with live cultural dance show from the different ethnic groups of Ethiopia.
At the end of the farewell dinner, you will either be transferred to Bole international airport for your international flight back to Home.