Mayo Ethiopia Tours
15 Days North Bahir Dar – Gondar – Simiens – Axum – Tigray - Lalibela

15 Days North Bahir Dar – Gondar – Simiens – Axum – Tigray - Lalibela

Category: Northern Ethiopia

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Day 1: Drive to Debre Markos
In the morning after breakfast, depart north to Debre Markos, on the way visit the Debre Libanos Monastery which is one of the largest monastery, and the Portuguese Bridge, which was the first bridge in Ethiopia. Overnight at Tileque Hotel

Day 2: Drive to Bahir dar
In the morning, after breakfast drive to Bahir dar you will pass through the spectacular Blue Nile Gorge, around late in the afternoon visit the point where the lake Tana and blue Nile river. Overnight in Abay Minch hotel

Day 3: City tour in Bahir dar
In the morning, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the island monasteries, such as those on the Zege Peninsula and Kibran Gabriel (which does not allow entry for women.) In the afternoon, drive to the Blue Nile Falls for an easy hike around the area. In the early evening, complete your tour of Bahir Dar with a drive up to Haile Selassies’ old palace and sunset over the source of the Nile River. Overnight in Bahir Dar at Tana Hotel.

Day 4: Drive to Gondar
In the morning after breakfast, drive to Gondar, appreciating the landscape of the Amhara tribe on the way. Once in Gondar, visit the Castles of King Fasilides and the Debre Birhan Selassies church, with the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. Overnight in Gondar at Roha Hotel

Day 5: Drive to Simien Mountains National Park
Drive in to the Simien Mountains, via Debark, ending in Sankober. Overnight camping or in at seimen lodge.

Day 6: Trekking in Simien
Full day trekking in the Simien Mountains, visiting the local wildlife, including the endemic Gelada Baboons and other endemic birds, plants and animals. Overnight camping or in at seimen lodge.

Day 7: Half-day trekking and drive back to Debark
After a morning trek, return back to Debark. Overnight in Debark

Day 8: Drive to Axum
Continue along to Axum, enjoying spectacular views of the Simien Mountains. After stopping for lunch in Adarky, proceed driving through the Tekeze Valley to Axum, home of the ancient Axumite Empire, the Queen of Sheba, and the Ark of the Covenant. Overnight in Axum at Yeha Hotel.

Day 9: City tour in Axum
Today will be a full day visiting the sites of Axum, including the famous obelisks (one that was just erected after being returned from Italy), the Queen of Sheba’s Bath (which supplies water to Axum year-round), King Bazen’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Men only are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, no one (except one specially chosen guardian monk) is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Axum at Yeha Hotel

Day 10: Drive to Mekele
After breakfast, drive to visit the ruins of Yeha, dating from the 8th to 5th centuries BC, and thought to be the capital of Ethiopian civilization before Axum. Afterwards, visit the Debre Damo monastery, where the men (sorry! No women allowed.) Must climb up a 15-m rope to enter. Overnight in Mekele (hotel).

Day 11: Drive to Lalibela
Early in the morning, embark on a full day of driving to Lalibela. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).

Day 12: City tour in Lalibela
Visit the 11 rock-hewn churches of the remarkable King Lalibela. Overnight in Lalibela (hotel).

Day 13: Drive to Kombolcha
In the morning, drive to Kombolcha via Woldia, stopping for a visit in the town of Hayk, where you can visit the lake and the local monastery. Overnight in Kombolcha (hotel).

Day 14: Drive back to Addis Ababa
Return driving to Addis via Debre Birhan. On the way you pass the Mezezo Escarpment, with a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons. Also, if this day is a Monday, there will be a short detour in the morning to stop in Bati for one of the largest markets in the country, including the interesting camel market.

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