Rondreis North Ethiopia - Active Group Tour North Ethiopia

Active Group Tour North Ethiopia

This active group tour is special because of the unique trekking in Omo Valley & other multi-day treks.

Day 1: Welcome in Ethiopia - Addis Abeba

Welcome to Ethiopia! You’ll be stepping off the plane into Africa’s fourth largest city and diplomatic capital, Addis Ababa. Your Yared Tour & Travel guide will be there to meet you at Bole International Airport and drive you to your hotel for a rest.

The direct translation of Addis Ababa is ‘new’ ‘flower’ and you are likely to find this rapidly growing city a fascinating place full of contrasts between traditional and modern Ethiopia, making it a great starting point for your Active Ethiopia tour.

Day 2: City tour Addis Abeba

Today begins with a drive to Entoto Mountain where we visit the historical site of Emperor Menelik’s Palace and Maryam church, the oldest in Addis Ababa. From here we drive through Shiro Meda which hosts the city’s largest market for traditional clothing, continuing to the campus of Addis Ababa University, home to one of Africa’s best Ethnological museums and the former palace of Emperor Haile Selassie. You visit the Ethnological or Ethiopia's National Museum with ‘Lucy’, the world-famous fossilized hominid. The museum also showcases ancient artefacts from Axum and Gondar, and an exhibition of Ethiopian art. Then visit the Holy Trinity Cathedral (built in 1933), the largest Orthodox church in Ethiopia and the final resting place of Haile Selassie. To conclude, you will visit the busy life of traders in Mercato - Africa’s biggest outdoor market.

Day 3: Gondar

Around noon you'll fly from Addis Abeba to Gondar. In the afternoon you'll have time to explore Gondar. You can visit the 17th-century bath of Emperor Fasilidas, where Orthodox Christians are baptized during Timkat. Visit the Debre Berha church, with its authentic ceiling paintings from the 16th century. Finally, take a guided tour on the Fasilidas compound, a unique place where several castles from different eras are built. This place, tells you a lot about the history of kings and emperors in Ethiopia. In the evening you relax and prepare for the 4-day hike in the Simien Mountains.

The Simien Mountains

In the Simien Mountains you will soak in breath-taking views of a truly unique mountain landscape formed from countless volcanic lava outpourings between 25-40 million years ago. Despite their rugged harshness and high altitude, the mountains are full of life; thousands of plant species and different wildlife inhabit the land such as the special gelada monkey, the walia ibex, the Ethiopian wolf, antelopes, jackals, bushbucks, and even large cats such as leopards, various birds of prey, but also isolated local communities.
The following days you will make a trekking throughout the park.

Day 4 - 7: 4 days hike in Simien Mountains

On day one you will drive up to Sankabar where you start the hike to Geech, following a huge ridge with a nice view over the foothills. On day 2 you wake up early and can enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the mountains on Imet Gogo. After a whole day trekking you wille arrive in Chennek, your second campsite. Day three is a daytrip to the Buwitpass (on 4200 m). Along the way you will pass the Meseha river and again enjoy beautiful views. You’ll stay in Chennek. On day four you walk for about 2 hours to the main road where the car will pick you up and bring you back to Gondar.

Day 8: Drive to Lalibela

It's time for the most famous and beautiful place in Ethiopia, Lalibela. In this magical, cobblestone town, you can view no less than thirteen beautiful medieval churches. Lalibela’s churches have also been carved out of rocks, like Tigray’s, but they sit below ground level, some connected by narrow passages. It is believed the churches were built for King Lalibela, with the help of angels (as the legend tells), whose vision was to create a ‘new Jerusalem’ for Christian Ethiopians during the 13th century.

After a long journey, you’ll soak up more of the jovial atmosphere and traditional nightlife at a local bar whilst enjoying Asmari performances, Ethiopia’s version of stand-up comedy. And of course, you will have the chance to taste Lalibela’s delicious local honey wine and enjoy more good Ethiopian food.

Day 9: Churches of Lalibela

Today you explore the mystical rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, that are organised into two groups. The northern group consists of six churches including Bet Medhane Alem, the largest of all Lalibela churches which has the shape of a Greek temple. Bet Maryam, dedicated to Maria has a bath which is said to have wonderful healing properties. Other churches are Bet Meskal, Bet Danaghel, and the interconnected churches of Bet Golgotha and Bet Mika'el.

The southern group consists of four churches including Bet Amanuel which is praised by art historians for its beautifully decorated exterior walls. Bet Abba Libanos, has a structure of great charm, and Bet Gabriel-Rufael.Last but not least you visit the remarkable church of Bet Giyorgis, carved into a cross shape and perhaps the most elegant of all in Lalibela.

Day 10: Drive to Mekele

Our next destination is Mekele, the capital of the Tigray region. Mekele is a relaxed city, which you can explore by yourself. A day in Mekele can consist of the following: a visit to the "Martyrs' Memorial", made in honor of the victims who fell during the communist DERG regime between the 70s and 90s. The Yohannes museum, with its Italian architectural stakeholders, was once the palace of Emperor Yohannes IV and has recently been converted into a museum. You will find an abundance of different royal and religious artifacts and typical Tigray utensils.
After a long journey, you can relax in the hotel. In the evening it’s nice to check for a nice restaurant in Mekele city and enjoy a calm and relaxed evening.

Day 11 - 12: Gheralta Visit & Hike

The following days you will have the chance to explore the rock-hewn churches of Gheralta. The extraordinary landscape hides a secret that was only discovered in 1966 when a Catholic priest from Adigrat revealed the existence of at least 123 rock-hewn churches in the area, of which more than 20 are in Gheralta. Many of the churches are built on high plateaus, hidden in caves and only partially separated from the host rocks. Their walls are often covered in artistic, colourful murals. Some can only be reached by difficult climbing routes although there are plenty to admire from easier pathways. Two of the most beautiful churches, with impressive locations and great views are the Debre Maryam Korkor church and the Abuna Yemata Guh church. To see is to believe! From Gheralta, we continue on 3-4 hour drive to Axum.

Day 13: Addis Abeba and farewell

Today you will fly from Mekele to Addis Ababa, where you will enjoy a farewell meal and celebration in one of the city’s cultural restaurants before your journey home. You will have some time to relax and enjoy a wonderful dinner before we take you to the airport in Addis Abeba.

This tour can also be made as a full journey through the south and north of Ethiopia. But it can also be made as a journey through the south alone. Have a look on the site for the other exact travel programs.