10 Days Tour to Gishen Mariam Festival around Dessie; October


Day 1 (September 28): Arrival in Addis Ababa at Bole International Air port
Meet and greet Network Travel and Tour Agency representative at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, and transferred to the hotel. Overnight stay in Reliance Hotel Apartment.

Day 2 (September 29): City tour in Addis Ababa
Addis Ababa is the third highest capital of the world on an altitude of 2300-2500 m. with a pleasant climate and a background of green with eucalyptus trees covered mountains. The city is founded in 1886 by Emperor Menelik II and Queen Taitu.
Visit Entoto Mountains, with very nice view over the capital, the National/Ethnographic museum, St George church and the Merkato, biggest open air market in Africa. Overnight stay in Reliance Hotel Apartment.

Day 3 (September 30): Drive to Dessie
After breakfast, you will drive to Dessie (400 Km from Addis). On the way, you will visit a very magnetic natural force of a cliff, known as “Gemsa Gedele” literally means ‘Bisected Cliff’. Then you will arrive in Dessie (late afternoon). You will check into a hotel. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in local hotel.

Day 4 (October 1): Excursion to Gishen Marima
You will have an early breakfast and drive to Gishen Mariam (70km from Dessie) to attend the festival. You will have lunch in the bush. Late in the afternoon drive back to Dessie for overnight stay. You will have dinner, rest & spend the night there. Overnight stay in local hotel.

Day 5(October 2): Drive to Lalibela
After breakfast, you will be driven to Lalibela (260 Km from Dessie). Your arrival in Lalibela will be in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel. Then visit the first and third group of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. Overnight stay in Panoramic View Hotel, Lalibela.

Day 6 (October 3): One more day to explore the Lalibela Rock-hewn Churches
Right after breakfast, an early morning drive will take you to historical churches around Lalibela like the Hill Church of Asheton Mariam (on the back of a mule or on foot), Yimerhane Kirsotos, Nakute LeAb or Genete Maryam. Overnight stay in Panoramic View hotel.

Day 7 (October 4): Drive to Gonder
You will have breakfast & drive to Gonder (325 Km from Gonder). On the way visit the Awrama Community. You will stop for lunch at Nefase Moucha. You will arrive in Gonder late in the afternoon. You will check into a hotel and take a break. Dinner will be at the hotel. Overnight stay in Goha Hotel.

Day 8 (October 5): Gondar City Tour
Then, you will visit to the Royal Castles (built in the 17th Century A.D. that is surrounded by high stone walls containing the 17th century palaces of King Fassiladas, King Iyasu and Queen Mentewab and different other buildings.), the Bath of Emperor Fasiledes (the bath is filled with water for the important Timkat (epiphany) ceremony once a year. The ceremony replicates Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and is seen as an important renewal of faith.), the Historic
Debre Birhan Selassie Church (Trinity at the Mount of Light) has a ceilings decorated with beautiful winged Angels, and its walls with impressive scene depicting biblical events, including; St. May, the Saints, martyrs and the life of Christ.
Depending on the time you can visit also the Castle of Empress Mintewab, and Kuskwam Complex which is a royal compound built by the Empress Mentewab. Inside the palace look out the figures of crosses and Ethiopian characters and animals, such as St Samuel riding his lion.
Early in the evening, you will visit ‘AzmariBet’ at Traditional Music Houses after which you will have dinner at the hotel and stay there for the night. Overnight stay in Goha hotel.

Day 9 (October 6): Drive to Bahir Dar
You will be driven to Bahir Dar (185 Km) right after breakfast. There you will check into a hotel and after a brief break, you will have lunch.
Then, you will drive to Lake Tana, take a boat ride where you will visit to the medieval period island monasteries (beautiful mural paintings, religious books & sacred) on Lake Tana such as: Kibran Gabriel (only for men), Entos and on the Zegien peninsula visit Ura Kidan Mehiret, Azuwa Mariam, Mahal Giorgis. Overnight stay in Abay Minch Lodge, Bahir Dar.

Day 10 (October 7): Flight back to Addis Ababa and departure back to home
After a relaxed breakfast, a short flight will bring you back to Addis Ababa. You will arrive in Addis Ababa midday/early afternoon where you will do some shopping for souvenirs.

Finally you will be taken to a farewell dinner depending on your scheduled flight; you will be transferred out to Bole International Airport for return flight back home.

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Be sure that our travel was really enjoyable and we thank you a lot for the very nice organization and the well balancing of the tour. I promise you to travel back to Ethiopia in January 2015 for the Timkat festival in Lalibela and the Northern part. So, you can as soon as possible prepare our next tour! But as well balanced as the last one we did! Warm regards Véronique and Guy France, July 2013

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