Ethiopia: The Land of Solomon

ethiopia

15 – 27 January 2018

A private custom trip especially designed for friends of Bill Jones

Ethiopia

Day 1Arrive Addis Ababa at the latest on Monday 15 January 2018. Our rendezvous point is
the Hilton Hotel.
Day 2Our transfer takes us to Addis Ababa for the flight to Bahir Dar. On arrival into we will be met and transferred to our hotel.

Later, we take a boat to the islands to visit 14th-century monasteries and enjoy a picnic lunch.
Day 3Today we journey to Gondar stopping at the stunning Blue Niles Falls. Our short hike at the falls is followed by a picnic lunch en route and picturesque Amhara Villages before arriving at the country's ancient capital.
Day 4Morning tour of Gondar with visits to include the Royal Enclosure and Debre Birhan Selassie church which is beautifully decorated with elaborate mural and ceiling paintings. Afternoon at leisure to watch the preparations for tomorrow’s Timkat celebration when the covenants are taken from each church and carried on the heads of priests down to the pool where baptism takes place the following morning.
Day 5A full day to enjoy Timkat, the festival commemorating Epiphany, which in the Ethiopian church is the celebration of Christ’s Baptism. We can attend the morning baptism ceremony at the magical setting of Fasilidas’s Bathing pool, where priests dress in colourful robes and sway and chant before dipping a weighty golden cross into the waters to signify the baptism, at which point everyone jumps into the pool.
Day 6Drive to the Simien Mountains, through very beautiful countryside, entering the National Park with its towering spires, volcanic pinnacles, huge gorges, vast rock formations and rich and varied fauna. Reach the lodge in the afternoon with time to relax and enjoy our surroundings.
Day 7Opportunity to relax at the lodge or take a gentle day hike in these extraordinary surroundings with spectacular views and wildlife spotting including monkeys and birds.
Day 8Full day’s scenic drive to Axum, through the mountains, with plenty of stops for views. Axum is the most ancient capital of Ethiopia and birthplace of the Queen of Sheba.
Day 9Visit the remains of the bath and palace of the Queen of Sheba, tomb of the kings and the Cathedral of Tison Maryam, reputedly the location of the Ark of the Covenant, brought here by Menelik, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Local custom means women aren’t allowed in, but similar treasures can be seen at the neighbouring museum. Time to explore craft shops with manuscripts, silver crosses and cotton shawls.
Day 10Short flight to the holy city of Lalibela, famous for its monolithic rock-cut churches.
Day 11Visit the 13th-century rock-hewn churches and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of this favourite destination for pilgrims and travellers.
Day 12A short flight back to Addis for a rest in the hotel or some last minute shopping opportunities and a special evening meal to round off our trip before a late transfer to the airport.
Day 13 Departure with your own personal flight arrangements.