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Your flight from London arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s sprawling and historic capital. Following a relaxed morning, you can spend the afternoon exploring the city and its wide leafy streets, fine buildings, bustling outdoor markets and characterful espresso bars. You’ll also find historical monuments, large churches and a collection of impressive museums including the Ethnographic Museum which provides a superb introduction to the rich culture of the Ethiopian peoples.
Stay: One night at the Radisson Blu Hotel – full board
Today you make another flight, this time from Addis Ababa to Bahir Dar. You’ll spend two nights at the Kuriftu Resort where you can take a boat cruise around Lake Tana. Covering over 3,500 square kilometres, this is Ethiopia’s largest lake and is home to 37 islands, of which 20 contain monasteries. You’ll visit the churches of Ura Kidane Mehret and Azua Mariam, as well as the Blue Nile Falls which measures over 400 metres wide.
Stay: Two nights at Kuriftu Resort – full board
Today you will be transferred to Gondar, once the capital of Ethiopia, for one night. Tour the city and visit the Royal Enclosure, a compound of palaces, banqueting halls, a chancellery, library, stables, lion cages and even a Turkish steam bath. You’ll also visit Debre Berhan Selassie Church – the most famous of all Ethiopian churches due to its painted roof depicting various religious scenes by artist Haile Meskel.
Stay: One night at Mayleko Lodge – full board
Another road transfer brings you to the immense region of the Simien Mountains, recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site thanks to its breath-taking scenery and unique wildlife. You can spend the afternoon walking along the escarpment to explore the many fine viewpoints, keeping an eye out all the while for the endemic Gelada baboon! You can also enjoy a picnic in the Simien Mountains National Park.
Stay: Two nights at Limalimo Lodge – full board
In the morning take a short flight to Lalibela – one of the greatest historical and religious sites in the Christian world. Stay two nights at the Maribela Hotel and spend your afternoons exploring the town’s many churches, including a trek up to the summit of Abune Yosef.
Stay: Two nights at Maribela Hotel – full board
Your next flight brings you to Axum, site of the former capital of the Kingdom of Axum which lasted from 1 AD to 700 AD and stood as one of the mightiest kingdoms in the ancient world. Here you’ll discover stelae (monolith) fields, several tombs, relics from Ethiopia’s civil war, the ruins of the Queen of Sheba’s palace and an archaeological museum.
Stay: One night at Sabean – full board
You end your Ethiopian adventure in the dramatic region of Gheralta with its intriguing chain of mountains. You’ll spend time exploring some of the 140 rock-hewn churches in the surrounding area, several built into the cliff face and others hidden within caves. You’ll also discover hermitages, shrines, ancient paintings, manuscripts and magnificent archaeological sites.
Stay: Two nights at Korkor Lodge – full board
Today you’ll board a flight from Mekele airport to Addis Ababa to connect with your flight back home to London.
Ayesha was patient and informative. Her skills became even more apparent on the holiday - such as the order of the hotels, which were each perfect for that moment.- S and RD, Bhutan