Combination Tours

Short Information of the Tour:

– TOUR TITLE: AETT-20 Days Complete Hitstoric Northern, Southern Ethiopia, Simien Mountains Hiking and Danakil Depression Tour.

– TOUR TYPE: Monastery, History, Nature, Eco friendly trekking, Community based tourism, Ancient civilization, Churches, Culture, Tradition, Daily Human Activities, Different Tribes, Birdwatching, Traditional music, Mountains, Landscape, Archaeological sites, Camping, Outdoor activities, Market, Museum, active volcano, desert safari, salt mountains and lowest place on earth.

– ACTIVITY LEVEL: Easy/Medium/Difficult

– TOUR CODE: AEET-DSSN-20

– TOUR DURATION: 19 Nights (20 Days)

– MODE OF TRANSPORTATION: Your choice of transportation based on the route, drive with Modern 4x4s/walking/hiking, and pack animals during trekking and adventure trips and boat trip on lake Tana.

– NO OF TRAVELER: Any Number of Travellers Less than 17

– TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION: Best of the Area

– ATTRACTION OVERVIEWS: The Historic Route is one of the greatest treasures of Ethiopia. Nowhere else in the world can you see riches of man’s past such as those in the northern part of Ethiopia most of them are registered by UNESCO as world heritage site.

A history that stretched back to the time of prehistoric man the 5th century B.C pagan temple of Yeha, Debre Damo monastery to more than 3000 years old history of Axum with the rock Churches of Tigray just prior to their cousin in Lalibela dated back from the 6th-10th, the 12th century rock hewn churches of Lalibela, the medieval castles of Gonder, the famous Blue Nile fall with the 13th century painting monastery of Lake Tana at Bahir Dar spectacular scenery, peoples, customs landscape Riches that cover the history of Ethiopia.

From the 1st early beginnings to the modern day, riches that are set among some of the most stunning scenery in Ethiopia and where our people work today, just as their ancestors have done for generations. As scholars say “Lalibela represents the supreme wonder and mystery of Ethiopian civilization, Gonder it’s pride, Bahirdar is natural bounty and Harar its exotic mosaic culture and Axum stands as the fountain head of all this where civilization born and fertile.

The Simien Mountain Massif is one of the major highlands of Africa, rising to the highest point in Ethiopia, Ras Dejen (4620m), which is the fourth highest peak in the continent. Although in Africa and not too far from the equator, snow and ice appear on the highest points and night temperatures often fall below zero. The park has three general botanical regions. The lower slopes have been cultivated and grazed, while the alpine regions (up to 3600m) were forested, although much has now disappeared. The higher lands are mountain grasslands with fescue grasses as well as heathers splendid Red Hot Pokers and Giant Lobelia. The park was created primarily to protect the indigenous Walia Ibex, a type of wild goat. Also in the park are families of the Gelada Baboon and the rare Ethiopian wolf. There are more than 50 species of birds have been reported in the Simien mountains.

Danakil Depression, Afar Triangle, Afar people, Dallol, Erta Ale active volcano- one of Africa’s most striking geographical features is a giant tear across the earth’s surface visible even from space: the Great Rift Valley. Extending from the Middle East to Mozambique, the Rift Valley passes in a north-easterly to South-westerly direction right through Ethiopia, endowing the country with some spectacular sights range from hot, dry and barren places to a string of beautiful lakes. This tremendous collapse of the earth’s surface occurred at the same time that the Arabia Peninsula, geologically a part of Africa.

– SERVICE INCLUDED:

Accommodations/ Hotels

Your choice of Up market/ with camping during trekking & adventure trip as per your preferred program in Danakil Depression Tour.

– MEAL PLANS: Your choice of meal- BB/HB/FB with all meals during trekking and adventure trip with professional cook at camping.

– ALL ENTRANCE FEE: All Entrance fee in the sightseeing’s, villages, churches and National parks

– GUIDING SERVICE: Professional licensed English or your preferred languages speaking guide throughout the trip with a local guides in each destination, Professional eco friendly trekking and safari tour guide, scout in the case of attraction sight and national park and Danakil Depression Tour.

– WATER: Enough Daily bottled water

– GOVERNMENT TAX: As our company is legally registered tour and travel company in Ethiopia, of course the government tax is included.

– SERVICE EXCLUDED:

– International Air/flight tickets
– Alcohol beverages (Excluding the special events we prepared to you in Lalibela and during the end of tour at Addis Ababa)
– Tourist Insurance
– Video filming
– Photography fees
– Tips
– Items of personal nature like laundry
– Souvenirs
-All expense that are not mentioned in the included part

– AIRPORT PICK UP: On arrival, you meet representative of Access Ethiopia Eco Tours at Bole international Airport, and you will be transferred to your reserved hotel.

Later, You will be introduced with the staff members of ACCESS ETHIOPIA ECO TOURS Company, Your specific drivers. Then you will pack and arrange every materials on this day and be ready to start the tour next day.

OVERNIGHT: ADDIS REGENCY HOTEL

DAY 1: ADDIS ABABA – DEBRE LIBANOS – DEBRE MARKOS

– DISTANCE – 305 km

After having breakfast, In the Morning about 7:30 am we will meet you again in the hotel and after assigning you all with your preferred car and driver, We will depart North from Addis Ababa over the Entoto Mountains passing through the Sululta Plains to the Monastery of Debre Libanos established in the 13th century by Abune Tekle Haymanot.

At slightly over 110 km from Addis Ababa, Debre Libanos is one of the best day trips from the Ethiopian capital. The monastery and church northwest of the city have played an important role in Ethiopian Orthodox Christian religious history and are reminders of Ethiopia’s struggle against the Italian occupation. In addition to its religious significance, Debre Libanos impresses all visitors with the surrounding landscape. Debre Libanos is located directly on the escarpment looking down into the canyon, providing spectacular views – a perfect location to stop and enjoy the surroundings. In addition, a short walk leads to the so-called Portuguese Bridge, which was built around the turn of the 20th century. The bridge spans the small Gur River which, just a few meters farther, pours into a 600 meter high waterfall down into the canyon.

After having Lunch in the afternoon, we will continue driving to Debre Markos city.

OVERNIGHT: GOZAMEN HOTEL

(B, L,D)

DAY 2: DEBRE MARKOS – BAHIR DAR

DISTANCE – 250 km

Early morning continue to drive to Bahir Dar via the beautiful farm lands of the Amhara people and arrive Bahir Dar.

In the afternoon after having Lunch, we will go out to visit Bahir Dar city, the local community market and at the evening we walk beside Bezawit Palace which is the palace of the former Ethiopian Emperor – Haile Selassie. The palace sits upon a hilltop and offers great views of Lake Tana, the city of Bahir Dar and attending the sunsets from this point we will walk back to hotel. Unfortunately the palace isn’t open to the public but the viewpoints in the area are worth the trip.

OVERNIGHT: ABAYMINCH LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 3. ACTIVITY TOUR IN BAHIR DAR

Morning after breakfast boat cruise on this beautiful highland lake to see the monastery church of the beautifully decorated Ura Kidanmihret, and Azwa Mariam that allows both genders. Under the thatched roof of the monastery, there are some distinctive colorful frescoes of religious scenes an impressive display of illuminated bibles written in “Geez” the religious language from which Amharic is derived.

After having Lunch, in the afternoon will take a scenic drive of 32 km to the little town of Tiss Abay and walk for about twenty minutes to visit the famous Blue Nile Falls. The falls is locally known as Tiss Isat meaning, “Water that smoke”. Those who may wish to descend to the base of the falls must be climb back to the other side and cross the Blue Nile in a boat in-order to back to the point of departure.

OVERNIGHT: ABAYMINCH LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 4: DRIVE TO DEBARK via GONDAR

DISTANCE: 276 km

Early in the morning, we will drive to Gonder which is 180 km to conduct tour of Gonder known as the “Camelot” of Africa, nestled in the foothills of the breathtaking Semien Mountains National Park in the northwestern part of the country was the 17th and 18th century capital city of Ethiopia, which was founded by Emperors Fasiladas (1632 – 1667) and was home to a number of emperors & warlords, curtsies and kings who built several castles and palaces around the area. Visit the oldest and the most impressive Gonderine structure, the magnificent castle compound including the two storied palace of emperor Fasiladas, built of roughly hewn brown basalt stone held together with mortar, the fantastically decorated Debre Brehan Silassie Church (light of Trinity), the bath (now baptismal place during Ethiopian epiphany, January 19) of king Fasiladas and the ruined palace of Queen Mintiwab at Qusquam, were the Scottish explorer James Bruce used to reside for sometimes.

late in the afternoon, we will drive to Debark enjoying the scenery of northern Ethiopia.

OVERNIGHT: SONA HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 5: FULL DAY SIMIEN MOUNTAINS HIKING

Debark to Buit Ras (3,260m) via by car/ trekking from Buit Ras to Chilkuwanit

After breakfast, we will drive from Debark to the simien mountain national park entrance, which is the headquarter town for the national park. We will stop here to get a permission to enter to the park and meet the scout. We will have tea and coffee break and visit the local market if we have time. The local market is open every day, and every Wednesday and Saturday is the big market day. From Debark town, we will drive to the park gate, which is about 16km from the town. Then, we are heading about 6km to Buit Ras, the first area of the national park. From Buit Ras, we will trek for about 3, 4 hours to Chilkuwanit which is one of the most beautiful viewpoints. This area offers stunning views over the escarpment dropping vertically. You will most certainly encounter troops of the endemic Gelada Baboons and see them up-close. You may also see common jackal, klipspringer and more. There are a lot of birds such as Thickbilled Raven, Augar Buzard, Black Kites, Lammergayer and different plant species such as Abyssinian Rose, Erica Arboria tree, Ephorbia Species, St. Johns Worttree(Hypercumrevoltum) and so on. Our car will pick you up at Chilkuwanit and drive to debark.

OVERNIGHT: SONA HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 6: DEBARK – AXUM

DISTANCE: 250 km

A long but spectacular day takes us to Axum. Just outside Debark we start our first decent down the Italian build Lima Limo road and the rest of the day goes up and down until we finally cross the Tekeze River gorge. The scenery is awesome.

Once we arrive in Axum, After having Lunch, we will continue to visit the city, Axum is the place where facts and legends meet. Is the Ark of the Covenant found in Axum? We take you in the footsteps of the famous Queen of Sheba and Ezana, the emperor who converted to Christianity. You will see the spectacular stelae of Axum and visit the Maryam of Tsion churches. (unfortunately the old church is not open for woman). Many more sites are available to visit or you might take a couple of hours at leisure to digest your overwhelming experiences of Ethiopia.

OVERNIGHT: SABEAN HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 7: AXUM – MEK’ELE

DISTANCE: 191 km

Early in the morning after having breakfast, we will continue driving to Mek’ele city and after 3 hours drive, we will arrive to Mek’ele city and after check in to our hotel… and take some rest…

In the afternoon, we will visit the most interesting and important sites in the city..

Martyrs’ Memorial

From a distance, this memorial to the victims of the Derg could be mistaken for the world’s biggest golf ball and tee. From up close it’s another story, with larger-than-life statues flanking the tower that illustrate the true cost of war. The domed building just to the north is a museum that exalts the successes and sacrifices made by the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) during the 1970s and ’80s.

Yohannes IV Museum

The Italian-designed stone palace built for Emperor Yohannes IV (r 1872–89) is now an interesting museum. Although the palace itself is undergoing a thorough restoration, the three-part collection (royal regalia, religious paraphernalia and Tigrayan crafts) is on display in another building.

At the end of the day we will go to the hotel and make things ready for Danakil Depression Tour…

OVERNIGHT: PLANET HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 8: MEK’ELE (2080 masl) – HAMEDE ELA

Early in the morning after having breakfast, we will drive to Hamedela via Berhale (639 meters above sea level). The Danakil Depression can be said to ‘begin’ here. It is one of the most inhospitable regions of the world, but is nonetheless spectacular, full of eye-catching colours, as in the sulphur springs. The desert has several points lying more than 100 meters (328 ft) below sea level. You pass through a small town of Berhale where the camel caravans stop before they proceed to the northern highlands. En route you see many long caravans going to the salt mines and others coming out of the Danakil with their salt loaded camels. (3-4 hrs drive) Camp at Hamedela.

OVERNIGHT: CAMPING

(B, L, D)

DAY 9: HAMD ELA – DODOM (150 M)

We start early, shortly after a 06:30 breakfast, and drive to Askoma (150 meters) at the base of new Erta Ale. The 80 km distance may take about 6 hrs passing through changing landscape of solidified lava, rock, sand and the occasional palm lined oasis. You pass several small hamlets scattered here and there in this desert land, before reaching Askoma village or parking area. You will trek from Askoma to the new Erta Ale which takes about 3 hrs. It is a 9 km trek from Askoma to Erta Ale. Early dinner around 17:00 and trek up to the new Erta Ale reach around 20:00. Camels transport all the camping materials and some food, sleeping materials, mattresses and water, to the rim of the volcano, where we spend the night watching the dramatic action of the boiling lava. New Erta Ale ranks one of the most alluring and physically challenging natural attractions anywhere in Ethiopia. It is a shield volcano with a base diameter of 30 km and 1km square caldera at its summit. New Erta Ale is part of the world’s only permanent lava lake and you will spend an unforgettable night on the top of the mountain. The magma flow moved 3.5 kms south from old Erta Ale to the New eruption point.

OVERNIGHT: CAMPING

(B, L, D)

DAY 10: SUNRISE AT THE VOLCANO AND LAKE AFEDERA (102 km)

Early morning you will rise with the sun with time to walk around pits and craters. The main pit-crater 613 meters above sea level/, 200 m deep and 350 m across, is sub-circular and three storied. The smaller southern pit is 65 m wide and about 100 m deep. You will leave around 7:00 to head back to Askoma for breakfast. You will reach latest at 10:30 am at the camp and after some time to relax you will drive to Lake Afdera (optional may not be available during summer time) the mythical Lake Giulietti (or lake Afrera), a salt water lake located more than100 meters below sea level, in one of the deepest depressions of the planet. Because of the pictureqsue landscape, it is interesting to visit the salt flats where the Afar people obtain the salt by evaporating the water of the lake.on continue to Hamad Ela, a village with a total population about 500 people. Over night camping at Hamed Ela.

OVERNIGHT: CAMPING

(B, L, D)

DAY 11: RAGAD (ASEBO) – MEK’ELE

Morning driving tour to Ragad (Asebo), the place where the salts are mined. Observe the breaking of the salt from the ground, cutting into rectangular pieces and loading on camels. You drive ahead to Dallol (-130 m)and visit the difference landscape formed by volcanic activity, Dallol + Lake Assal (-130 m) + camel caravans (No camel caravan on July, August and early September) . Excursion to Dallol (116 meter below sea level, one of the lowest places in the world) colorful salts mining, visit Lake Assal, follow up camel caravans and walk with the Afar people. Drive back to Hamedela and proceed to Mekele.

OVERNIGHT: PLANET HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 12: FULL DAY DRIVE FROM MEK’ELE TO LALIBELA

DISTANCE: 440 km

Morning after breakfast drive Mekele- Lalibela a full day Drive to Lalibela passing through outstanding chains of Mountain via Weldia admiring the landscape and the people on the way picnic lunch will be served

OVERNIGHT: MOUNTAIN VIEW HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 13: FULL DAY EXPLORE THE 8th WONDERS OF WORLD CHURCHES OF LALIBELA

Full day at Lalibela visiting the brilliant feats of engineering and architectures, are often by many referred as the “8th wonder of the world” which is exceptional to find eleven rock hewn churches of such master craftsmanship in one place. In this morning among the eleven remarkable rock hewn churches built by king Lalibela in the late 12th and 13th century A.D, you will visit the first cluster of churches that represents the earthly Jerusalem. After lunch break you will visit the second cluster of churches, which represents the heavenly Jerusalem, finally visit the most beautiful and fascinating monolithic cruciform church of Saint Gorge.

Having shower and dinner at the famous restaurant “BEN ABEBA RESTAURANT”, we will go out to spend sometimes in “Torpido Traditional Bar” a local traditional bar to test the Ethiopian honey wine and watch the traditional live music and dance. which is a great opportunity to see the night life in Ethiopia with the local communities!

This time alcoholic drinks are allowed!

OVERNIGHT: MOUNTAIN VIEW HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 14: DRIVE FROM LALIBELA TO DESSIE

DISTANCE: 300 km

Morning after breakfast drive Lalibela – Dessie After an early breakfast, leave Lalibela en route visit the monastery of Nakutolab a cave church and proceed to Kombelcha on the way visit HIKE STEPHANOS monastery again open only for men with an outstanding lake side view of the monastery.

OVERNIGHT: MELBOURN HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 15: ACTIVITY DRIVE TO ADDIS ABABA

DISTANCE: 365 km

After breakfast start driving to Addis via Kemise, Debre Birhan and Sendafa cities
On the way enjoying the scenery and the highlands of Ethiopia.

OVERNIGHT: ADDIS REGENCY HOTEL

(B, L, D)

DAY 16: ADDIS ABABA – ARBA MINCH

DISTANCE: 505 km

Early in the morning, depart from Addis Ababa for a full day’s drive to Arba Minch and on the way you may have time to visit one of the following Archeological sites of interest:

– Tiya – ancient stellae field and UNESCO World Heritage site

– Adadi Maryam – Rock-hewn church similar to those in Lalibela

– Melka Kunture – pre-historic tool-making site

OVERNIGHT: PARADISE LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 17: ARBA MINCH – DORZE

DISTANCE: 42 km

Excursions to Dorze villages. These excursions include cultural education focused around history, way of living, societal structure, agriculture, food preparation and preservation, beliefs, stories, rites, religion etc. The excursions include visits to the properties and opportunities to purchase souvenirs.

Trekking with a local guide to different village within Dorze community. These trekking tours can take 1- 4 hours. The trekking takes longer distance to multiple villages to share different experience. Depending on the choice of our gusts camping can be arranged to pass overnight in the villages with communities. Trekking routes can be arranged individually or as a group depending on the choice of our gusts.

Exploring the area can also be executed by means of horse riding with local Dorze guides.

Traditional shows and workshops can be organized, these include:-

– Traditional music and dance shows and workshops in the villages.

– Visit to local Church masses

– Visit to local entrepreneurs e.g. pottery bakery, bread bakery, farmers

OVERNIGHT: PARADISE LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 18: ARBA MINCH – LANGANO

DISTANCE: 210 km

Early morning drive to Shashemene to visit the church of Rasta farian, rasta community museum, Rasta people way of life visit Ras labumba based on Rasta farian community after that drive to Langano.

OVERNIGHT: HARA LANGANO LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 19: LANGANO – SHALA ABIATA

DISTANCE: 18 km

Morning drive to visit Shala-Abiata National Park for half a day. These twin lakes offer great scenery and abundant birdlife. Overgrazing by cattle seriously damaged the area and few larger mammals are found. After that we drive hotel.

OVERNIGHT: HARA LANGANO LODGE

(B, L, D)

DAY 20: LANGANO – ADDIS ABABA

DISTANCE: 210 km

After relaxing time in the shore of Lake Langano we will drive to Addis Ababa.

After having Lunch, we will visit the following most important destinations in and out of Addis Ababa…

– Addis Ababa city tour destinations:-

– Natational museum (The first human fossil remains Lucy)

– Trinity Cathedral church

– Entoto mountain

– Merkato (The biggest Africa’s Open-air market)

• Marterias museum

– Deepens of your time time we would continue old train station,

– Piasa old town of Addis ababa

– All the monument of the city. Then return back to your hotel close to Airport.

OVERNIGHT: TEZEZE HOTEL

(B, L, D)

At the evening, Farewell dinner will be prepared at “YODE ABYSSINIA RESTAURANT” a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups live traditional song and dance.

THIS TIME ALCOHOL DRINKS ARE ALLOWED!!
Finally, we will transfer you until the Airport on time to departure!!!

END OF THE TOUR!