Those who have little time in Ethiopia can visit the most important UNESCO cultural sites in only five days!
Your guide will meet you at the exit of Addis Abeba Bole International Airport and accompany you to your hotel.
Addis Ababa is 2400 to 3100 meters above sea level. This makes it the third highest capital in the world. The city was founded in the time of Emperor Menelik II in 1887. It has been the most important city in the country ever since. Addis Ababa is not only the capital of Ethiopia, but also the seat of the Organization of African Unity founded in 1963 (OAU today African Union).
Visits today include the National Museum, the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity with the tomb of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Merkato, the Ethnological Museum and the Old Train Station.
We catch the morning flight to the birthplace of Ethiopian culture and history, to Axsum.
The more than 2000 years old city of Axsum needs to be explored in detail. It was once the capital of one of the most powerful empires of its time, equal to the Persian and Roman empires. From the peak days of the Axumite empire also come the more than 33m high monolithic grave stelae. Even before the Western European states did, King Ezana introduced Christianity to Armenia in the 4th century and to Rome as the state religion. According to the Ethiopian tradition, the originals of Moses’ law book are preserved in St. Mary’s Church.
The holy ark of the covenant was said to have been brought from the temple in Jerusalem to Axsum by King Menelik I, about 1000 years before Christ. Menelik was the first Ethiopian king, son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon. Ruins of earlier palaces with direct Sabaean or Yemenite influence, royal tombs, the “Bath of the Queen of Saba” and other historically interesting buildings will be admired on this day.
The miracle Lalibela is since 1978 not only considered a world cultural heritage, but also earned the title “The eighth wonder of the world”!
At this place, formerly known as Roha, a new “African Jerusalem” was built in the midst of Christian Ethiopia surrounded by Islamic realms at 2500m above sea level. The world-famous rock churches were built by King Lalibela in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. An architectural marvel completely carved out of the rock. Some churches are even monolithic. Today we visitthe so-called “first group” of the eleven churches of Lalibela carved out of the raw rock:
BeteMedhanialem (World Savior Church), BeteMeskel (Cross Church), Bete Mariam, BeteDenegal (Church of the Virgin) and the twin churchesBeteSina (Church of the Sinai desert) and the adjoining, only for men accessible BeteGologotha ( Church of Mount Golgotha) also called the Bete Mikael with the Selassie Chapel.
In the afternoon we visit the remaining churches of Lalibela. We visit the second group of churches comprising the twin churches BeteGabreel and Bete Raphael (St. Gabriel and St. Raphael church), BeteMarquoreos (St. Markurios church), Bete Emanuel (Emanuels church) and Abba Libanos (Church of Saint Libano). We also visit what is considered the crown piece of all the churches, BeteGhiorghis (St Georges Church), which is located away from the two main groups. This church was carved downwards out of solid rock in the form of a cross.
After breakfast we will visit the churches that we have not seen before. After that we fly to Gonder.
The city of kings and queens, Gondar, is home to over 330,000 inhabitants. It is located at 2200 m above sea level. The city was founded in 1632 by the Emperor Fasilidas and for many decades was not only the capital, but also the centre of Ethiopian art, literature and science.
Gondar has another attraction, the Debre Berehan Selassie Church with one of the most beautiful murals in the country
In the evening we invite you to a farewell dinner with folklore.
Afterwards transfer to the airport, or maybe extend the journey in another direction?