An escorted tour of Ethiopia’s Northern Historical Circuit
Northern Ethiopia is wonderful for small group historical tours
Northern Ethiopia is a wonderful destination for small group historical tours, with a maximum of 12 people able to join the quarterly departure from the UK.
Our specialists Ben, Marc and Peter have all joined small groups in Ethiopia over the past couple of years and have found the camaraderie and shared interests that many visitors to Ethiopia have make for a wonderful way to explore this amazing country.
- Follows a classic Northern Circuit through Ethiopia
- Visit Merkato – the largest open-air market in Africa
- A boat trip on Lake Tana to see the remote monasteries of the Zeig Peninsula
- Explore the Simien Mountains for a 2 night wildlife and walking experience.
- Visit to the historic castles of King Fasilidies
- Explore the cave Monastery of Yemerehanna Kristos
- Discover ancient Axum to visit the Stelae Park, Axum Museum and historic site of the Palace of the Queen of Sheba
UK Departure dates:
5th March 2021
3rd June 2021
I created this trip - call me to create yours.
Day 1 - Depart London for Addis Ababa:
This evening you will be flying overnight from London Heathrow to Addis Ababa with Ethiopian Airlines.
Day 2 - Land in Addis Ababa and your adventure begins:
Land in to Addis this morning where you will meet your guide and be transferred to the Golden Tulip Hotel where you will be spending the night. Enjoy some time to settle in and lunch before heading off for a tour of Addis Ababa including visits to the Cathedral, The Merkato and Independence Way. The tour will be rounded off with a visit to the very interesting National Museum, which should set some context for what you see on the rest of the trip.
Day 3 - Head to Bahir Dar and the waters of Lake Tana:
Today will see an early start as you head to the airport for the first flight up to Bahir Dar. From the airport you will head to the Kuriftu Resort to drop off your bags and then head out for a boat trip along the waters of Lake Tana. This allows you to access the Zeig Peninsula, which is home to a series of beautifully decorated Monasteries which serve the remote rural communities on the lake shore. Return to the hotel in the middle of the afternoon and enjoy some time at leisure to relax after what will have been a busy start to your trip.
Day 4 - Head to the Simien Mountains:
Set off from Bahir Dar this morning, taking a trip up to the stunning Blue Nile Falls before continuing on the journey North to the Simien Mountains. Stop in the park HQ town of Debark to collect your scout and continue on to Simien Mountain Lodge where you will be spending the next 2 nights. You will have the latter part of the afternoon to relax, perhaps enjoying a sundowner drink at the “Highest Bar in Africa”.
Day 5 - Let's find some primates:
Spend today exploring the stunning Simien Mountains in the company of your guide and scout. In the morning you will walk in close proximity to the lodge, where large troops of gelada can be found. After lunch in the lodge you will enjoy a walk along the escarpment to enjoy the spectacular views down in to the valleys below.
Day 6 - Explore Gondor - not from Lord of the Rings:
Enjoy breakfast in the lodge this morning before departing the park and heading back down to the historic town Gondar. Lunch will be enjoyed in a local restaurant before you embark on a tour of Gondar, which will start with a visit to the compound of castles built by King Fasilidies and his lineage. You will also visit his bathing pool which is a central feature to January’s colourful Timkat celebrations before rounding off the day with a tour of Debre Berhan Selassie – the most beautifully decorated church in all of Ethiopia. Head to The Goha Hotel in the afternoon for your overnight stay.
Day 7 - Gondor to Lalibela:
Fly form Gondar to the town of Lalibela this morning – a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to the series of 13 rock-hewn churches and chapels, dug from the red rock of the town in the 12th Century. You will visit the first of the two “clusters” on arrival, learning about their historical and modern uses, as well as the fascinating interpretations of how the churches were built. Return to the hotel in the late afternoon for time to relax before dinner. You will be spending 2 nights at Hotel Maribela.
Day 8 - In to the mountains of northern Ethiopia:
After breakfast set off on the drive out of Lalibela and in to the mountains where you will stop for the short walk up to the historic cave Monastery of Yemerehanna Kristos. This beautiful building, whose brown and white layered outer wall makes it look like a chocolate cake, is one of the most important religious sites in Ethiopia and is visited by thousands of pilgrims from all over the World. Enjoy lunch in town before continuing your exploration of the churches, visiting the Southern cluster as well as the freestanding monolith of Beit Gyorgis – the most photographed of all the churches. This evening we will be having dinner at Ben Abeba – a quirky local institution run by a Scottish lady and her Ethiopian husband – a true Lalibela icon.
Day 9 - Ancient Axum:
We will be flying to ancient Axum this morning for the final stop on the historical circuit. Although small, Axum is arguably the most historically significant town in the history of Ethiopia and was the seat of the mighty Axumite Empire between the 1st and 7th Century. Visit the famous stelae field, home to monuments to ancient Kings and Queens, the interesting Axum Museum and the Cathedral, as well as the small chapel which is reputed to house the Ark of the Covanent. Outside of town there is also the site of the Palace of the Queen of Sheba and her bathing pool to be seen before returning to The Sabean Hotel in the late afternoon for your overnight stay.
Day 10 - A fitting end to a fantastic journey:
Fly from Axum back to Addis today, arriving in the middle of the afternoon at Golden Tulip Hotel where you will have the afternoon to relax. This evening we will enjoy a special celebration dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant which local dancers and music to enjoy. After dinner you will be transferred to Addis airport for the early hours flight back to London.
Day 11 - Depart for back the UK:
Early morning flight back to London Heathrow, with your thoughts crammed full of the amazing sights and sounds you've experienced in marvellous Ethiopia.
Having joined our group on a similar tour to witness this January’s Timkat celebrations, Peter highly recommends this trip to anyone looking to experience the joys of Northern Ethiopia but with the benefit of travelling with like-minded individuals and an experienced Ethiopian guide.
Location: Ethiopia Holidays, Africa
We currently have 4 departures of this trip planned, leaving the UK on the following dates:
15th September 2020 - £3235 per person
10th December 2020 - £3235 per person
5th March 2021 - £3545 per person
3rd June 2021 - £3545 per person
Prices are based on 2 people sharing and the inclusions are as follows:
- All International and Domestic flights
- Accommodation as shown
- All meals
- Transport, touring and guiding fees