Depart from home city and arrive in Addis Ababa. Upon arrival at Bole International Airport, you will be welcomed and assisted by a Jacaranda staff and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day will at your leisure.
The name of the city, in Amharic, means “new flower”. Founded in 1886 by Menelik II, it is located at 2,500 meters above sea level in one of the highest parts of the Entoto mountain chain (3,000 meters above sea level). It enjoys an excellent climate all year round, with an average temperature of 25°C. Addis Ababa is a pleasant city with wide avenues of jacaranda trees, interesting museums and one of the largest open air markets in Africa, known as the “Mercato”. It also has a good number of restaurants and discotheques. Overnight stay Sheraton Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. (NIL)
Day 2: Addis-Awassa (Drive 275 km; approx. 5-6 hrs)
Today you shall drive to Awassa passing by the volcanic lakes of Debre Zeit, and you will stop by at Lake Ziway which is ideal for bird watching and photographing.
En route you stop over at Langano and visit the twin lakes in Lake Abiata-Shalla National Park, famous for flocks of flamingos and great white pelicans. Though the park has been intruded upon by settlers with their domestic animals and plantations, it is still worth a visit. Abiata is a shallow brackish lake home to colonies of flamingos. Lake Shalla is a crater lake has a depth of about 820 feet and is surrounded by sulphur springs. Then you shall be driving to Awassa for the night. Overnight stay Haile resort or similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 3: Awassa
Awassa is the largest town in southern Ethiopia and enjoys an enviable location on the edge of Lake Awassa, one of the Rift Valley lakes. After breakfast you shall proceed to Lake Awassa, which is surrounded by mountains and populated by countless species of birds, you will walk along the shores of the lake to see birds and possibly hippos. You shall have a firsthand experience of the fish market which is bustling in the morning. Overnight stay Haile resort or a hotel of similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 4: Awassa -Addis (275 km; approx. 5-6 hrs drive)
Fly to Axum (ET116:14:40//16:00)
After early breakfast you shall drive to Addis. Afterwards you shall be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Axum. Axum is a town of Legends offering a glimpse to a truly remarkable past. It is littered with the ruins of palaces, underground tombs, mysterious monolithic stelae carved from single piece of granite and many historical relics. The founding of the Empire of Axum in the 5th century BC is often taken as the starting point of the Ethiopian civilization. The kingdom maintained trading relations with the Greek-Roman world, India and China during its most prosperous times. The legends narrated in the Kebre Nagast “Book of Kings” recount how the city of Axum as early as the 10th century B.C was the city in which the Queen of Sheba resided. It is recounted that the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon brought the Ark of the Covenant to Axum and it remains there to this day, preserved in a sanctuary. Famous long before the time of Christ, Axum was the capital of the long Axumite reign, one of the oldest African empires, and represented a crucial connecting-point between Africa and Asia for almost a thousand years. A visit is organized to the steles, granite monoliths dating from pre-Christian times and decorated with symbolic engravings, and other archeological sites. Overnight stay Yared Zema hotel or a hotel of similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 5: Fly to Lalibela (ET123-11:45//12:25)
Today before transferring to the airport, there will be a visit to the church of Santa Maria of Zion, which contains the crowns of Ethiopian kings and other treasures. Then you will be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Lalibela. The city is located at 2,600 meters above sea level. It contains 11monolithic churches that were built in the twelfth century and are carved out of the pink granite rock; they have been classified as one of the wonders of the world. Each church has a unique architectural style; all are superbly carved and most of them are decorated with well-preserved paintings. The entire city may be described as a sculpture dedicated to the glory of God. Upon arrival you will visit the Monastery of Nakuto Leab named after its constructor, the nephew and successor of King Lalibela. After lunch you will visit the 1st group of the rock hewn churches and exploring the city itself. Overnight stay Mountain View Hotel or a hotel with similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 6: Lalibela
Early morning visit to the Monastery of Asheton Mariam. Afternoon, continue to visit the second group of the rock hewn Churches in Lalibela. Overnight stay same as previous night. (B, L, D)
Day 7: Fly to Gondar (ET123-12:45//13:15)
After breakfast you shall be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Gondar. Gondar was the first capital city of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632 with the reign of Fasilidas. In Gondar, there are a dozen castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years. The city seems more European than African and also has Islamic influences. After lunch, you will visit the palaces, residences and baths of Fasilidas. Afterwards, we visit the church of Debre Berham Selassie (Light of the Trinity), which is located at the summit of a hill and surrounded by interior is decorated with beautiful frescos. Overnight stay Goha hotel or a hotel of similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 8: Gondar –Bahir Dar (Drive 180 km, approx. 4 hours)
After breakfast you shall drive to Bahir Dar which is a pleasant city located at 1,800 meters above sea level on the shores of Lake Tana, the largest lake in Ethiopia. There are 37 islands on Lake Tana and 30 of them have churches and monasteries of considerable historical and cultural interest.In the afternoon you shall drive directly to Blue Nile Falls, which is known as locally Tissat Falls: 100 meters wide, the water plunges for 45 meters, giving rise to steam clouds and rainbows. (Its take about 1 hr walk to reach the fall and another 1hr to return back to the point of departure via the Portuguese bridge). You shall return back to the city for sunset.Overnight stay Avanti Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. (B, L, D)
Day 9: Fly to Addis (ET141-18:20//19:20)
This morning you will visit the monastery of Ura Kidane Miheret, and Azwa Mariam located on the peninsula of Zegue, the churches at this peninsula are a pleasant surprise, not only because of the paintings but also because of the age of the building and the unique style of decorations.In the afternoon you will have time to explore some parts of the city; the city is distinctly known for its wide avenues lined with palm trees and a variety of colorful flowers. It is also considered as one of the most beautiful, well planned, and safest cities by many standards, and in 2002 it was awarded UNESCO Cities for Peace Prize for managing to address the challenges of rapid urbanization. Late in the afternoon you shall be transferred to the airport to catch your flight to Addis. Overnight stay Sheraton Hotel or a hotel of similar standard. (B, L, D)
Please be advised dinner at Sheraton Addis will be at Summerfield Hall due to a price difference at each dining halls.
Day 10: Addis//Departure
Today a visit will be organized to the following places:
Ethnological/Archeological Museum:Haile Selassie's former where exhibits here represent the best of the arts and crafts of the country and gives an in-depth insight into the various peoples of Ethiopia.
National Museum:known to be the best museum in Africa, where cultural and archaeological relics, including a plaster cast of "Lucy," the 3.2 million-year-old Hominid, are displayed.
Holy Trinity Cathedral church:the official seat of the Orthodox Archdiocese of Addis Ababa. The cathedral bears the title 'Menbere Tsebaot', or 'Pure Altar'. The church compound is the burial place for those who fought against the Italian Occupation, or those who accompanied the Emperor into exile from 1936 to 1941. It is Emperor Haile Selassie I, burial place.
Entoto:Menelik’s capital prior to the establishment of Addis Ababa and the scene of his coronation in the Entoto Mariam church. You will also have a panorama of Addis Ababa from the viewpoint.
Mercato:Eastern Africa’s largest open air market where one can meet and interact with the local people. There is a bit of organization here as vendors of similar goods tend to be in clusters. The area around Mercato is very crowded, and it's easy to get lost. It is not advisable to go alone.In the evening there is a farewell traditional dinner where you will experience live cultural music and dance. Your tour concludes by being dropped to Bole International Airport by a Jacaranda staff to catch your flight home. (B, L, D)
Mountain View Hotel
Yared Zema Hotel
Avanti Blue Nile Hotel
Double Occupancy:$3,912Per Person
For Single Guest in a room, add:$670
Deposit of $500 per person
is due June 15, 2017
(The deposit is based on double occupancy and is non-refundable)
Second Payment (50% of Total) due September 15, 2017