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Ethiopian Timket Festival and Historical Route – 10 Days

Not Rated

Duration

10

Tour Type

Daily Tour

Group Size

Unlimited

Languages

English

Overview

Ethiopian Timket Festival and Historical Route

Ethiopian Timket Festival and Historical Route – Ethiopia’s delights await you. Visit Addis Abeba, Bahar Dar, Gondar, Sankaber, and Axum along the Historical Route. Witness the Ethiopian Timket Festival at Lalibela, which commemorates Christ’s birth.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Timket Festival
  • Mount Entoto
  • Blue Lake Tana
  • Zeghe Peninsula
  • Blue Nile Falls

Itinerary

Day 1:  DEPART USA
Day 1:  DEPART USA

Take a flight from the United States to your location.

Day 2: Arrive ADDIS ABABA
Day 2: Arrive ADDIS ABABA

Arrive in Addis, meet your assistant, and travel to your accommodation. After that, take a city tour of Addis Ababa, starting with the picturesque Mount Entoto. Addis Abeba is the world's third-highest capital, at 2500 meters, while Entoto is several hundred meters higher. You will visit the Mariam and Archangel Raguel churches within Entoto's former Imperial Compound. After that, visit the National Archaeological Museum, which houses the 3.5 million-year-old bones of 'Lucy.' Dinner at the Crown Hotel; interesting presentations of traditional music and dance from Ethiopia's several regions.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Ghion Hotel

Day 3:ADDIS ABABA/BAHIR DAR
Day 3:ADDIS ABABA/BAHIR DAR

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Bahir Dar. Bahir Dar is a charming village with tree-lined streets and a turquoise lake. Lake Tana is Ethiopia's largest lake and is dotted with islands, many of which house churches and monasteries. After lunch, board a boat to the Zeghe Peninsula, which is known for its 14th-century grass-roofed churches with exquisite wall paintings. While traveling through lush woods with abundant bird life, you will see two churches, Baeta Mariam and Ura Kidane Mihret. There are several clubs and bars in Bahir Dar where you may listen to and dance to traditional and modern Ethiopian music and dance.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Tana Hotel

Day 4: BAHIR DAR
Day 4: BAHIR DAR

After breakfast, take a full-day trip to the Blue Nile Falls, which are about 30 kilometers from Bahir Dar. They are Africa's second greatest waterfalls, and it is here that the Blue Nile, the Nile River's major source, begins its lengthy trek to the Mediterranean Sea. After lunch, take a tour of Bahir Dar, visiting the market and the late Emperor Haile Selassie's Palace at Bezawit.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Tana Hotel

Day 5: GONDER
Day 5: GONDER

Drive 180 kilometers from Bahir Dar to Gonder. Gonder was the first capital city of the Ethiopian Empire, which began with Fasilidas' rule in 1632. There are a dozen castles in Gonder that were erected by various emperors over the span of 236 years. The city appears to be more European than African. In the afternoon, we go to Fasilidas' Palace, which is perhaps the most spectacular and oldest of the castles in the area! We proceed to the Debre Berham Selassie Church (Light of the Trinity). The inside of Debre Berham Selassie is lavishly adorned with frescoes, cherubs, and paintings. Debre Berham Selassie was originally thought to be the ultimate resting site of the Ark of the Covenant.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Goha Hotel

Day 6:  LALIBELA
Day 6:  LALIBELA

After breakfast, travel to Lalibela, where you will be met and transferred to your hotel. After that, relax and enjoy your day. With the service of the Divine Liturgy this evening, we mark the beginning of The Timket Festival, which is the Ethiopian Orthodox Epiphany festival. The Divine Liturgy, which begins at midnight with a procession of church priests and faithful, is intended to represent Jesus' journey to baptism at the Jordan River. The Tabot, a facsimile of the Tablet of Laws on which the Ten Commandments were engraved, is wrapped in fine linens and carried in procession to the nearest body of water.
The procession concludes at 2 a.m., when the priests bless the body of water and shower it on the participants. The majority of people opt to fully immerse themselves in water as a symbolic renewal of their baptismal vows.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at Panoramic View Hotel


Day 7: LALIBELA
Day 7: LALIBELA

The Timket Festival continues after breakfast, with the Tabot being taken back to its church in a bright and lively procession. People are celebrating in the streets with music, dancing, and games. The clergy, dressed in gowns and colorful umbrellas, sing and dance, while the elders march gravely with their weapons. The parade is also a social occasion, with women dressed in their finest attire and young men performing energetic dances and songs. The procession comes to a conclusion when the Ark is securely restored to its church.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Panoramic View Hotel

Day 8: LALIBELA
Day 8: LALIBELA

After breakfast, continue your tour to Lalibela, stopping to see the rock-hewn Coptic churches. The biggest, Bet Medihanialem, is supported by 72 pillars and holds the 7kg (15 pound) gold Lalibela Cross. From Bet Medihanialem to Bet Mariam, you will pass through a tunnel with a pillar that it is supposed Jesus Christ leaned on when he appeared in a vision to King Lalibela. Bet Mariam also has magnificent sculptures of numerous birds and animals. You will also see Bet Danaghel, a chapel dedicated to slain nuns. Bet Golgotha and Bet Mikael are twin cathedrals, and many people think that just visiting Bet Golgotha will get you into paradise! The twin churches also house numerous important religious artefacts as well as some of the country's greatest examples of early religious art. The final church we visit is Bet Giyorgis, one of the more modern and finest kept churches.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Panoramic View Hotel

Day 9: AXUM
Day 9: AXUM

After breakfast, travel to Axum, which was the seat of an empire that reached across the Red Sea to Arabia, traded with India and China, had its own alphabet, built enormous architectural works, and was one of the four major powers of the ancient world in the 4th century. The amazing stelae or obelisks, which are the biggest single pieces of stone standing anywhere on the planet, may be seen. It is still unknown how they were carried and built from the quarry. There are also past rulers' tombs and castles, the Axum Museum, and the Mariamtsion Church, which was erected on the site of Ethiopia's first church. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians believe that the Ark of the Covenant, or the real tablets of Moses, is housed in a chapel inside the church grounds. The excursion starts with a stop to the museum and stelae. Then you ascend a hill to see King Kalab's castle, passing by Mai Shum (the Queen of Sheba's bath) on the route. Returning to town, you'll see King Basen's tomb, the modest museum inside the church grounds (where priests may put crowns of prior kings on exhibit for visitors to see), and finish the day with a visit to Queen Sheba's Palace, albeit it's from a later age, the villa of an Axumite notable from around the 1st century AD.

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Overnight at: Yeha Hotel

Day 10: AXUM – ADDIS ABABA
Day 10: AXUM – ADDIS ABABA

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Addis;

City Tour of Addis Ababa; highlight will include the scenic Mount Entoto. At 2500 m, Addis Ababa is the third-highest capital in the world and Entoto is several hundred metres higher. Within Entoto's old Imperial Compound, you will visit the churches of Mariam and the Archangel Raguel. Afterwards, stop at the National Archaeological Museum where exhibits include the 3.5 million-year-old bones of 'Lucy'. This evening enjoy a farewell African farewell dinner. Transfer to airport for flight back home

Meal(s) Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Included/Excluded

  • Meeting and assistance upon arrival and departure
  • Domestic flights within Ethiopia
  • Roundtrip airport/hotel transfers
  • Hotel accommodation in the indicated properties
  • Transportation in private vehicle
  • Experienced tour guides
  • Admission to listed sites
  • Meals indicated
  • Flights to/from Ethiopia
  • Cost of visas
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages with dinner
  • Travel Insurance
  • Gratuity to drivers and guides

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    emmanuel

    Member Since 2021

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    Phone

    +233501633428

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