Timket Festival

Senait Ethiopia Tours

TOUR CODE: SET022

TOUR TYPE: FESTIVAL AND HISTORIC

DURATION: 11 DAYS/ 10 NIGHTS

MEANS OF TRANSPORT: DRIVE & FLIGHT

PROGRAM

TRIP OVERVIEW

In this fascinating country, you will be amazed to witness how ancient historical traditions have been preserved in a remarkable manner for thousands of years. And, indeed, the ceremonies and rituals of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church open a window on the authentic world of the Old Testament. Like nowhere else in this country you will find yourself so dramatically transported back in time or to participate with such freedom in the sacred rituals of an ancient faith.

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    Day 1: Addis Ababa
    Arrival at Bole International airport, transfer to hotel. Then Enjoy a city tour including a visit to the National Museum (home of our ancestor Lucy) and the Ethnological Museum followed by an afternoon drive to the Entoto Maryam Church and the former site of Menelek’s capital in the Entoto hills.

    Day 2: Bahar Dar
    Early morning flight to Bahar Dar. After booking in at the camp ground you will take a boat excursion to visit the island monasteries on Lake Tana; Zeghie peninsula and 2 churches Azoa Miriam and Ura Kidane Miheret, Overview Kibran Gebriel and Etos Monastery. These beautifully painted churches were founded in or before the 15th century. Drive (70km round trip) to Tississat, the waterfalls of the Blue Nile.

    Day 3: Gondar
    Morning drive to Gondar visiting Guzara Castle on the way. You will pass through the beautiful scenery of the Amhara region en-route. Afternoon visit to the Felasha (Black Jewish) village with free time to relax.

    Day 4: Gondar
    Morning visit to Fasil Ghebbi, the seven-hectare royal compound containing five castles built in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the ornately decorated church of Debre Birhan Selassie which houses some of the best ecclesiastical art in Ethiopia.
    Timkat commences after lunch. Timkat celebrates the divine ritual of the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. The baptism is recreated in a colorful procession as the Tabot (model of the Ark of the Covenant) which represents Christ, is carried to the river for immersion. The water is then blessed and the ceremony continues with music, chanting and dancing.

    Day 5: Sankabar
    While the Timkat ceremony continues, you will prepare for a drive to the Simien Mountains via Debark, the Headquarters of the Simien Mountain National Park. Enjoy the views as you ascend to Sankabar. Troops of Gelada Baboons are often seen here, grazing along the escarpments.

    Day 6: Chenek
    Enjoy a morning walk along the edge of the escarpment taking in fantastic views of the highlands. Drive further into the highlands to Chenek, where we’ll see Gelada Baboons grazing in large troops and, if you are lucky, the Walia Ibex, a rare species of mountain goat. Expect to walk for an hour or two.

    Day 7: Axum
    Morning drive to Axum, the centre of the Axumite Empire from the first to the seventh centuries and considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia. Enjoy splendid views of the Western Simiens as you cross the Tekeze Valley.

    Day 8: Axum
    Today you visit the historical sites of Axum including St Mary’s Church (fabled resting place of the true Ark of the Covenant) and the stelae field. An afternoon visit to the former palace of the Queen of Sheeba (Dungur Palace) and the ruins of the former tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel.

    Day 9: Lalibela
    Morning flight to Lalibela, a striking town set at over 2,500m in wild, craggy mountains. Here we see the extraordinary 12th- and 13th century rock churches carved below ground level and connected by a maze of subterranean passages. Each of the churches is unique and intricately carved. Wander through the northern and southern clusters and visit the most famous of the rock-hewn churches, Bet Giorgis, the house of St George. The 1st group churches which are included Bieta Medhanialem (Chapel of Holy Savior) which is the biggest and Bieta Mariam (Chapel of Mary): three aisled with mural paintings and a covered pillar containing inscriptions about the end of the world according to the gadl (act )of saintly king. Further visit of Bieta Denagel (Chapel of the Virgins), Bieta Meskel (Chapel of the cross) and finally, the “double – church” of Debre Sina and Bieta Golghotha (women are not allowed in the latter since it’s where the remains of King Lalibela are and also because it contains the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity). PM Visit of the second group of rock-hewn churches that are namely: Bieta Gabriel and Raphael, Bieta Merquorios, Bieta Emmanuel with unprecedented Axumite style and the
    Bieta Abaa Libanos (said to have been built by King Lalibela’s consort Meskal Kebra and visit the Bieta Ghiorghis which is the cruciform chapel of St. George.

    Day 10: Lalibela
    Optional mule excursion to Asheten Mariam Church situated on a steep hill-top with outstanding views. Return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon drive to the charming semi-cave church of Neakutoleab, an early 13th century church with reputedly curative waters.

    Day 11: Lalibela/Addis Ababa
    Morning flight to Addis. The afternoon is free for souvenir shopping in Addis Ababa before a final evening, visit the Mercato, Africa’s largest open-air market; an enormous maze of stalls, kiosks and small shops where you can buy tribal silver and jewelry, wooden artifacts, woven baskets, traditional embroidered cotton cloth, clothing and pungent spices. Attend the Farwell dinner meal at one of the city’s best traditional restaurants to enjoy a variety of Ethiopian cuisines and watch traditional dancing. Departure to airport for the flight.

  • DAY 1: Addis Ababa

    Arrival at Bole International airport, transfer to hotel. Then Enjoy a city tour including a visit to the National Museum (home of our ancestor Lucy) and the Ethnological Museum followed by an afternoon drive to the Entoto Maryam Church and the former site of Menelek’s capital in the Entoto hills. 

  • DAY 2: Bahar Dar

    Early morning flight to Bahar Dar. After booking in at the camp ground you will take a boat excursion to visit the island monasteries on Lake Tana; Zeghie peninsula and 2 churches Azoa Miriam and Ura Kidane Miheret, Overview Kibran Gebriel and Etos Monastery. These beautifully painted churches were founded in or before the 15th century. Drive (70km round trip) to Tississat, the waterfalls of the Blue Nile.

  • DAY 3: Gondar

    Morning drive to Gondar visiting Guzara Castle on the way. You will pass through the beautiful scenery of the Amhara region en-route. Afternoon visit to the Felasha (Black Jewish) village with free time to relax.

  • DAY 4: Gondar

    Morning visit to Fasil Ghebbi, the seven-hectare royal compound containing five castles built in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the ornately decorated church of Debre Birhan Selassie which houses some of the best ecclesiastical art in Ethiopia. 

    Timkat commences after lunch. Timkat celebrates the divine ritual of the baptism of Christ in the Jordan River. The baptism is recreated in a colorful procession as the Tabot (model of the Ark of the Covenant) which represents Christ, is carried to the river for immersion. The water is then blessed and the ceremony continues with music, chanting and dancing.

  • DAY 5: Sankabar

    While the Timkat ceremony continues, you will prepare for a drive to the Simien Mountains via Debark, the Headquarters of the Simien Mountain National Park. Enjoy the views as you ascend to Sankabar. Troops of Gelada Baboons are often seen here, grazing along the escarpments.

  • DAY 6: Chenek

    Enjoy a morning walk along the edge of the escarpment taking in fantastic views of the highlands. Drive further into the highlands to Chenek, where we’ll see Gelada Baboons grazing in large troops and, if you are lucky, the Walia Ibex, a rare species of mountain goat. Expect to walk for an hour or two.

  • DAY 7: Axum

    Morning drive to Axum, the centre of the Axumite Empire from the first to the seventh centuries and considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia. Enjoy splendid views of the Western Simiens as you cross the Tekeze Valley.

  • DAY 8: Axum

    Today you visit the historical sites of Axum including St Mary’s Church (fabled resting place of the true Ark of the Covenant) and the stelae field. An afternoon visit to the former palace of the Queen of Sheeba (Dungur Palace) and the ruins of the former tombs of King Kaleb and King Gebre Meskel.

  • DAY 9: Lalibela

    Morning flight to Lalibela, a striking town set at over 2,500m in wild, craggy mountains. Here we see the extraordinary 12th- and 13th century rock churches carved below ground level and connected by a maze of subterranean passages. Each of the churches is unique and intricately carved. Wander through the northern and southern clusters and visit the most famous of the rock-hewn churches, Bet Giorgis, the house of St George. The 1st group churches which are included Bieta Medhanialem (Chapel of Holy Savior) which is the biggest and Bieta Mariam (Chapel of Mary): three aisled with mural paintings and a covered pillar containing inscriptions about the end of the world according to the gadl (act )of  saintly king.  Further visit of Bieta Denagel (Chapel of the Virgins), Bieta Meskel (Chapel of the cross) and finally, the “double – church” of Debre Sina and Bieta Golghotha (women are not allowed in the latter since it’s where the remains of King Lalibela are and also because it contains the tabernacle of the Holy Trinity). PM Visit of the second group of rock-hewn churches that are namely: Bieta Gabriel and Raphael, Bieta Merquorios, Bieta Emmanuel with unprecedented Axumite style and the

    Bieta Abaa Libanos (said to have been built by King Lalibela’s consort Meskal Kebra and visit the Bieta Ghiorghis which is the cruciform chapel of St. George.

  • DAY 10: Lalibela

    Optional mule excursion to Asheten Mariam Church situated on a steep hill-top with outstanding views. Return to the hotel for lunch. Afternoon drive to the charming semi-cave church of Neakutoleab, an early 13th century church with reputedly curative waters. 

  • DAY 11: Lalibela/Addis Ababa

    Morning flight to Addis.  The afternoon is free for souvenir shopping in Addis

    Ababa before a final evening, visit the Mercato, Africa’s largest open-air market; an enormous maze of stalls, kiosks and small shops where you can buy tribal silver and jewelry, wooden artifacts, woven baskets, traditional embroidered cotton cloth, clothing and pungent spices. Attend the Farwell dinner meal at one of the city’s best traditional restaurants to enjoy a variety of Ethiopian cuisines and watch traditional dancing. Departure to airport for the flight.

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CONTACT WITH US

+251 116 294039

info@senaitethiopia.com