Cave church in Tigray

From Addis Ababa: 11-Day Tour of the Tigray Region

From £1,266 per person

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Key Details
Duration
11 days
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What You'll Do
  • Explore the Tigray cave churches, dating back to the 12th Century
  • See the first permanent site of government in Ethiopia
  • Trek through Semien Mountains National Park and see its many wildlife species
  • Visit Axum, a naval and trading power whose rule dates back to the 3rd Century
Overview
Take a trip through the Tigray region of Ethiopia on an 11-day tour. Visit historical places like Gondar with its castles and Axum's archeological site, and visit the Tigray cave churches. Then trek in the Semien Mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
What to Expect
Spend an 11-day trip getting up close and personal with the Tigray Region, 1 of 9 regions in Ethiopia. The region is home to the Tigray people, and within its borders are many cities and sites of great historical significance.

On your trip, you will spend time in cities such as Mek'ele, the capital of the region; Axum, the original capital of the kingdom of Axum; Gondar, the former imperial capital of the Begemder Province, and many other little towns and settlements along the way. In this places, you will learn of the history and culture of the people.

Continue on to explore many wonders of the areas, including the rock churches of Tigray. These monolithic buildings, carved from one section of cave, are inspired by classical architecture and can be founds in cliffs and steep hills doting the landscape. Visit the stelae monuments, and spend time trekking through Semien Mountains National Park, where you will observe rare wildlife and breathtaking mountain views.

Detailed Itinerary
Day 1

Fly to Mek'ele and start by visiting the Museum of Mekele. Learn about Mek'ele's heyday, which came during the late 19th Century, after Yohannes IV was crowned as King of Kings of Ethiopia, and chose Mek'ele as the capital of his realm. After general sightseeing in the city, drive to Hawzen and stay at the Axum Hotel.

Days 2 & 3 & 4 & 5
Drive to Hawzen and visit the numerous rock churches in Tigray, most which are built on top of mountains. These churches date back from the 4th to the 15th centuries. They are divided in different groups and located in different sites. More than 125 churches are recorded. You will explore the churches by day and spend the night at the Gheralta Lodge.

Day 6
Drive to Axum and begin a tour of its ancient town. Axum is a city in northern Ethiopia which was the original capital of the eponymous kingdom of Axum. You will see the Aksumite monuments known as stelae, the most famous being the Obelisk of Axum and King Ezana's. Spend the night at the Yeha Hotel.

Day 7
Enjoy a long day drive to the Semien Mountains National Park, where the landscape and scenery is probably some of the most beautiful in all Africa. Arrive at the park and spend the night in the lodge inside the park. It is the highest lodge in Africa situated at an altitude of 10,696 feet (3,260 meters).

Day 8
Start in the morning walking through the wonderful vegetation of Semien Mountains National Park to see the endemic gelada baboons. The park was created primarily to protect the walia ibex, a type of wild goat, and more than 1,000 are said to live in the park. The simien fox, although named after the mountains, is rarely seen by visitors. After exploring, you will spend the night in the lodge.

Day 9
Drive to Chenek with a lunch box and walk to see other endemic animals such as the mountain nyala, a type of antelope. Spend overnight in the lodge.

Day 10
Proceed to Gondar for a city tour of the medieval capital of Ethiopia. The most famous buildings in the city lie in the Royal Enclosure, which include Fasilides Castle, Iyasu's Palace, Dawit's Hall, a banqueting hall, stables, Mentewab's Castle, a chancellery, a library, and 3 churches. Near the city lies Fasiladas' Bath, home to an annual ceremony where it is blessed and then opened for bathing. You will explore the city all day before resting at the Goha Hotel.

Day 11
Fly to Addis Ababa from Gondar, and check-in at a day-use hotel. After a farewell dinner, head to the airport for your flight home.

All programs are re-written to include traditional market days, national holidays, special ceremonies, personal needs, distances, and other events based on your departure date and time.
What's Included
  • Full-board accommodation
  • Land transportation by 4X4 WDS
  • Guide service
  • Entrance fees to all locations
What's Not Included
  • Travel insurance
  • Baggage insurance
  • Alcohol and other items of a personal nature
  • Food and drinks
Meeting Point

Bole Airport/Addis Abeba (Open in Google Maps)

From £1,266 per person

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Bronze Age Tours & Travel

Product ID: 23791