We propose a trip to northern Ethiopia that will transport us to the time of the legendary Queen of Sheba, in the 21st century. We will start the trip knowing the unknown markets of Sembete and Bati, where we will be able to contact the Afar people. Lalibela, Gondar and Bahar Dar will be part of our trip through Ethiopia.
This trip to northern Ethiopia allows us to make a route to see the historical part of this country. A route designed with the aim of getting to know the most important places in the region, where the orthodox cult of the majority of the people of the Amhara ethnic group flows in the day to day of daily life. We will visit cities such as Bahar Dar, on the shores of Lake Tana, where we can visit its churches nestled on small islets located within the lake or the famous Tissisat waterfalls, sources of the blue Nile.
The city of Gondar will welcome us with all its medieval buildings, castles and fortresses declared a World Heritage Site. Lalibela will be the highlight of the trip with its rock-cut troglodyte churches that make up a unique and incomparable monument where you can learn about the rhythm of life of the monks who watch over the well-guarded relics that are kept in them.
MINIMUM GROUP 2
Guaranteed groups Tarannà from 2 people, is a bet to offer the traveler guaranteed departures from a minimum of two people to a maximum of 12 people, and always with a local accompanying guide. We have selected some of the most authentic and desired destinations by our travelers. Best of all, they are groups designed for the Tarannà traveler, made with our philosophy and essence. Departures throughout the year and with an important component of flexibility, which even offers you the possibility of adding trip extensions to your desired island, beach or remote place.
Highlights of the trip to Ethiopia
DAY 01 // FRIDAY: DEPARTURE TO ADDIS ABABA
DAY 02 // SATURDAY: ADDIS ABABA
DAY 03 // SUNDAY: ADDIS ABABA – SEMBETE – KOMBOLCHA (360 KM, 5-6 HRS)
DAY 04 // MONDAY: KOMBOLCHA – BATI – WOLDYA
DAY 05 // TUESDAY: WOLDYA – LALIBELA (180 KM. 4 H.)
DAY 06 // WEDNESDAY: LALIBELA
DAY 07 // THURSDAY: LALIBELA – GONDAR (290 KM)
DAY 08 // FRIDAY: GONDAR – BAHAR DAR (185 KM, 3 HRS.)
DAY 09 // SATURDAY: BAHAR DAR
DAY 10 // SUNDAY: BAHAR DAR – ADDIS ABABA (FLIGHT) – DEPARTURE CITY OF ORIGIN
DAY 11 // MONDAY: ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ORIGIN
(B) BREAKFAST (L) LUNCH (D) DINNER
DAY 01 // FRIDAY: DEPARTURE TO ADDIS ABABA (-, -, -)
Departure from Spain according to schedules of the different airlines.
DAY 02 // SATURDAY: ADDIS ABABA (B, -, -)
Arrival at Addis Ababa International Airport. Customs procedures and visa. Reception by our correspondent after passing the baggage control. Transfer to the hotel and departure to visit the most important points of the city. We will visit the National Museum where the fossil remains of Lucy are exposed, the Church of Saint George and the famous Merkato and if there is time in the afternoon, we will climb Mount Entoto to see a view of the city from its 3,300 meters high. Hotel accommodation
DAY 03 // SUNDAY: ADDIS ABABA – SEMBETE – KOMBOLCHA (360 KM, 5-6 HRS) (B, L, D)
Early departure to head north of the country on a good paved road through the Shoa region, with its beautiful landscapes and towns of both Amaras and Oromos. The Amara have been the historically dominant people of Ethiopia, and the root of their language is Semitic, unlike the Oromo, the majority Ethiopian language group, whose root is Hamitic. Shoa is where the restoration of the so-called Solomonic dynasty originated in the 13th century, as the kings proclaimed themselves descendants of the sovereigns of the kingdom of Aksum whose origin dates back to Menelik I, son of King Solomon and Queen of Sheba.
Stop in Sembete where every Sunday a colorful market takes place where we will immerse ourselves in the colors and the bustle of people, animals, spices,… Picnic food. Arrival in Kombolcha. Hotel accommodation
DAY 04 // MONDAY: KOMBOLCHA – BATI – WOLDYA (B, L, D)
Early departure to Bati, one of the most interesting markets in all of Ethiopia, which is mainly attended by Oromos but also by Afars from the deserted plains of the Danakil desert. The Afar come with their camels and their loads of salt (bars of salt called “amole” continue to be the currency of exchange in some places). In the case of the Afar it is important to request permission to take any photograph. Here we will find a camel market and all kinds of cattle.
After lunch we will continue towards the most emblematic place of the Ethiopian historical route: Woldya. En route we will make stops to take some photos of the beautiful landscapes of the Wollo region. Hotel accommodation
DAY 05 // TUESDAY: WOLDYA – LALIBELA (180 KM. 4 H.) (B, L, D)
Departure to Lalibela, called the Black Jerusalem and the old Roha. Located at 2,600 m. altitude, it is undoubtedly the most impressive of the 8 Ethiopian cities classified as World Heritage Sites. It was founded at the end of the 12th century by the Zagüe dynasty in response to the progressive advance of Islam that surrounded the imperial capital of Axum and as a consequence of the occupation of Jerusalem by Saladin’s troops. They tried to create in a single city the new imperial capital and a new Holy Land, since Christian pilgrimages to Jerusalem were becoming a dangerous adventure. The new city totally evokes its inspiration with names as common as Mounts Golgotha and Sinai or the Jordan River that separates the city into two parts.
Lunch and day dedicated to the visit of the 11 monolithic churches literally excavated in the rock and divided into two blocks, separated by the Yordanos (Jordan) River. The first group symbolizes the earthly Jerusalem and the second group the heavenly one. Separated from both groups is Bete Giorgis, which symbolizes Noah’s Ark and was built in honor of Saint George, patron saint of Ethiopia. Inside all the churches there are beautiful Byzantine-influenced wall paintings, manuscripts, prayer sticks and numerous antiquities. They continue to be a place of worship mainly during religious calendar festivals. Hotel accommodation
DAY 06 // WEDNESDAY: LALIBELA (B, L, D)
Breakfast and departure for an excursion to the famous Asheten Mariam monastery that is located on a mountain of almost 4000 m. of altitude and that will allow us to appreciate an impressive panoramic view. Afternoon visit to the Yemrehana Kristos Church, 38 km from the city, undoubtedly the most beautiful of the surroundings. Back to the hotel.
DAY 07 // THURSDAY: LALIBELA – GONDAR (290 KM) (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will leave in our vehicles towards the imperial city of Gondar, following the new Chinese highway. On the way we will visit the town of Awra Amba.
We will continue the path that runs through a mountainous area, above 3,000 m. with beautiful landscapes, until reaching Gondar. The imperial city of Gondar was for two hundred years (17th-18th centuries) the center of the Solomonic sovereigns, commercial and capital center of Christian Ethiopia. Its imperial enclosure is a monument declared a World Heritage Site (Capital of Ethiopia from the 17th century and founded by Emperor Fassilades in 1632)
Awra Amba. Visit this small community of 460 people, which was created in 1972 by Zumra Nuru and since then, the number of members has been growing. Neither Christianity nor Islam, which are the majority religions in Ethiopia, reign there. They are governed by equality. They thus break with tradition: any form of sexism is prohibited. The values on which this community is based are equality and solidarity. Domination and the search for one’s own benefit are suppressed. During the visit we will find a visitor center where they will tell you the history of the foundation of the community and the values they share. In addition, they have built a hostel and a cafeteria for tourists and other visitors. Thus they get an additional source of income. The average salary of its inhabitants is double that of the surrounding towns.
The fact that its members work together, are diligent, disciplined and self-confident makes the Awra Amba community stand out from other Amhara communities. Women have the same rights as men and there is no distinction in the division of labor between men and women. They believe in hard work and being good to people. They keep their houses and surroundings clean. Theft is seen as very obscene.
The community is ostracized as it does not belong to either of the two main religious groupings: Islam or Christianity. Therefore, members of the Awra Amba community were not given agricultural land to cultivate, but instead were pushed into the most infertile and malaria-ridden corner of the district. Unable to live off farm activities, they have diversified into the weaving business, using both traditional and modern looms. In addition, the use of three grinding mills provided by the Regional Business Development Agency allows them to offer a grinding service to neighboring farmers. With all this, the town hopes to earn more money to build potable water and sewage systems, fix access roads and create an education fund for children.
The village is unique, not only for its attitudes towards gender, religion and education, but also for the social security it provides to members in need. There are formal committees to provide services including education to care for patients, the elderly and children. They have established an adult literacy campaign, a library and a preschool classroom. Despite living in a culture that practices early marriage, the Awra Amba people have decided that girls should marry only after they turn 18, and boys at 22 or older.
The town’s success has made it the center of numerous studies. Many Christian and Muslim leaders from all over the northern Amhara region of Ethiopia and some from outside have visited the village as it is famous for its efforts to eliminate poverty.
DAY 08 // FRIDAY: GONDAR – BAHAR DAR (185 KMS, 3 HRS.) (B, L, D)
After breakfast, we will start the day with a visit to the Debre Birhan Sellassie Church, which means Light of the Mountain of the Trinity and is famous for its richly decorated walls and its ceiling full of angels’ faces. We will also visit the castles of Fasilades. In its imperial enclosure, a World Heritage Site, various sovereigns erected their castles, palaces and churches, although due to various earthquakes, looting and even bombings have destroyed a large part of its buildings. It suffered continuous attacks and looting during its decline, but today it does not cease to amaze with its buildings such as the castles of Fasilades, Iyassu, Bakaffa in the imperial enclosure, palaces and the Baths of King Fasilades, where the festival of King Fasilades is celebrated annually. the Epiphany (Timkat).
Departure to Bahar Dar by paved road (185 km). Hotel accommodation
DAY 09 // SATURDAY: BAHAR DAR (B, L, D)
Today, we will leave early for a beautiful boat trip on Lake Tana (the largest lake in Ethiopia) to see its famous monasteries on the islands in the interior of the lake. We will especially see the two monasteries of the Zaghe peninsula: the church-monastery of Ura Kidane Mehret and that of Aswa Mariam.
In Lake Tana there are about 20 monasteries dating from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century. The churches are covered by paintings with clear religious messages, although their base is Coptic Byzantine. Most of the paintings date from the 17th to the 19th century, with a clear influence of Ethiopian folk art, an African naif art.
After lunch we will go by car (about 30 kms) to visit the Tissisat falls on the Blue Nile. On the short walk to the falls we will pass through a Portuguese bridge built in the 16th century and an interesting Amara village.
If there is time left, we will take a walk through the interesting city of Bahar Dar, located on the southern shore of Lake Tana, with its market, alleyways, etc… To finish, we will see a beautiful sunset from the old palace of Haile Selassie. Hotel accommodation
DAY 10 // SUNDAY: BAHAR DAR – ADDIS ABABA (FLIGHT) – DEPARTURE CITY OF ORIGIN
(B, L, C)
Breakfast and transfer to the airport to take flight ET 187. 09:00-10:00 in the morning to Addis Ababa. Transfer to the hotel and dedicated afternoon to make the last purchases and rest a bit before making the transfer to the airport to take the flight back to Spain. End of our services.
hotel day use
DAY 11 // MONDAY: ARRIVAL IN THE CITY OF ORIGIN (-, -, -)
Arrival to our city of origin and end of our services.
The trip to Ethiopia includes
• Hotel accommodation and tent as described in the program.
• Full board meals.
• Transfers with 4WD Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol
• All the necessary camping material and equipment for cooking and 1 4WD for cargo
• Professional Spanish-speaking guide with adequate experience in the region of the volcanoes.
• Experienced cook for meals during the full board route in the Afar region.
• Police and local militias for excursions, in support of security.
• All entrance fees according to the program
• Six liters of bottled mineral water per person/day for the Afar region.
• Camels and camel drivers for the ascent to the Erta Ale volcano.
• All government taxes.
The trip to Ethiopia does not include
• International flights and 1 local flight
• All drinks, except the mineral water that we offer in the camp.
• Sleeping bag
• Flashlights (highly recommended to have one of each, with spare batteries)
• Gas masks for the Erta Ale and the observation in Dallol (optional).
• Tips and any other expenses of a personal nature.
• Visa management and processing (75 euros).
• Optional assistance and cancellation insurance
• Any services not mentioned in the previous section.
Conditions of the price of the trip to Ethiopia
As a result of variables related to fuel, air taxes (definitive price once the ticket is issued) and currency exchange, the prices established in this schedule can be revised up to 20 days before the departure date. Trip calculation date November 3, 2022.