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2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour

Lalibela safari tour in Ethiopia is a 2-day tour. This 2 day Ethiopian safari tour starts and ends in Addis Ababa. his is a historic African safari tour in Ethiopia that takes you to the churches in Lalibela.

About the 2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia

On the 2-day Lalibela safari tour, you’ll visit Ethiopia’s famous attraction. This is a historic African safari tour in Ethiopia that takes you to the churches in Lalibela. Among the churches to be visited is Bet Giyorgis.

It is the most famous church of all Ethiopian churches.  It was named in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia, St. George. Accommodation on this 2-day Lalibela safari tour is on bed and breakfast basis.

Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia

Lalibela safari tour is an Ethiopia safari to the rightful wonder of the ancient world. The rock hewn churches at Lalibela are not to be missed by anyone with an interest in early Ethiopian history or religious pilgrimage sites.

Make the Ethiopia safari tour with ease on this 2-day Lalibela safari tour from Addis Ababa, which includes accommodation and all food and activities as per itinerary.

On the 2 day Lalibela safari tour, you will tour the magnificent ruins with your guide for a deeper understanding of their significance, and then observe the Sabbath Festival that takes place at the ruins every weekend.

It is the most famous church of all Ethiopian churches. It was named in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia, St. George. Accommodation on this 2-day Lalibela safari tour is on bed and breakfast basis.

2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia Highlights

Highlights of the 2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia includes:

  • Historical Attractions
  • Pilgrimage
  • Cultural Sceneries
  • Religious attractions
  • Architectural Wonders

Detailed 2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Addis Ababa – Lalibela

Meet and greet will be upon arrival at the Bole International Airport. This can also be at your hotel in Addis Ababa. Our Ethiopia safari representative will brief you on this Lalibela safari in Ethiopia. This is followed by leave on a 0700 hrs morning flight to Lalibela.

Lalibela safari tour takes you to the most famous of all the Ethiopian historical sites. Another meet and greet upon arrival at the Lalibela Airport. After introduction and breifing, begin your Lalibela safari tour. You will start your tour of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. First, you’ll visit the Northwestern Cluster of churches.

Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia

Here we have Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam and Bet Meskel. There is also Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael and Bet Golgotha. Some of the churches do not permit entry for women. You’ll have an opportunity to taste local food at lunch break.

After lunch your Lalibela safari tour takes you to the Southeastern Cluster of churches. They are Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos.

You will complete your Lalibela safari tour day with a tour of Bet Giyorgis. This is the most famous of all the Ethiopian churches. Bet Giyorgis was constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia, Saint George.

Today, your overnight will be at Mountain View Hotel booked on bed and breakfast basis.


The Incredible Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

This is in the heart of Ethiopia is situated one of its holiest towns, known as Lalibela. Here a group of eleven monolithic rock-hewn churches stand. They are the biggest monolithic temples in the world, and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. But much mystery still surrounds their construction up to date.

The age of these buildings is unknown. But legends mention that they were excavated during the reign of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela. He ruled Ethiopia at the beginning of the 13 th century AD. His name means ‘the bees recognize him as a king’.

These churhes have been studied by David Phillipson. He is a professor of African archeology at Cambridge University. He has proposed that the churches of Merkorios, Gabriel-Rufael, and Danagel were the first. they were carved out of the rock half a millennium earlier. They were done as fortifications or palace structures in the last days of the Axumite Kingdom. he believes that Lalibela’s name simply came to be associated with him after his death.

All eleven churches are arranged in two groups. They are connected with passageways 11 meters (36 feet) deep. The largest church, the house of Medhane, stands at a height of 10 meters (33 feet). This church is 33 meters (108 feet) long and 22 meters (72 feet) wide.

According to legends, an angel came and asked Lalibela to build the churches. Men and angels worked together to construct them. The men working through the day and the angels working through the night. The churches were hewn out of solid rock from top to bottom. They were excavated from outside and inside, and carved in different styles.

One of the churches, the Bet Giorgis, was devoted to Saint George. It is supposedly, the Saint overlooked the building of this church. It directed its very construction.


Day 2: Lalibela – Addis Ababa

You will begin your day on Lalibella safari tour early. This is with a morning breakfast at your hotel in Lalibela. Your Lalibela safari tour in Ethiopia then embarks on today’s activity.

You will be visiting the remaining churches in Lalibela. These are the churches you did not make to the previous day. This will be followed by a transfer to the airport at Lalibela.

You will enjoy your flight to Addis Ababa. You are expected in Addis Ababa by 1215hrs. You will be picked up and transferred to your Addis Ababa hotel.

For those departing arrival at Bole marks the end of your Lalibela safari in Ethiopia.

———- End of 2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia ———-


2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia Costs:

What is included in the 2 Day Lalibela Safari in Ethiopia cost?

  • Domestic airfare as listed above (quoted separately below)
  • Private ground transportation (including all airport transfers), inclusive of fuel and insurance
  • Hotel accommodation as listed above. (Or similar quality, based on availability), double or twin share including breakfast
  • Entrance fees to all locations including local guide service
  • All applicable taxes

2 Day Lalibela Safari in Ethiopia Price excludes:

  • Accommodation and activities in Addis Ababa (quoted separately)
  • Lunch, dinner and beverages, including all alcoholic beverages
  • Camera and/or photo fees
  • Tips for driver, guides, etc (at your discretion)
  • Items of a personal nature

What to Carry on the 2 Day Lalibela Safari in Ethiopia

  • Sun glasses
  • Light and some few heavy clothing
  • Sun screen
  • Insect repellant
  • Hat
  • Comfortable shoes

Lalibela Safari Tour Destination

Lalibela

The Ethiopian town of Lalibela is one of the country’s most famous and serene settings. This is beloved by tourists and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians alike for its concentration of rock-hewn churches including those on 2 day Lalibela safari tour.

The 2-day Lalibela safari tour goes to a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1978. It is the cluster of 13 churches are one of Ethiopia’s most popular tourist destinations. It thus brings much-needed revenues and employment opportunities to Lalibela.

The awe-inspiring complex of rock-hewn churches in and the around the small highland town of Lalibela has been billed as sub-Saharan Africa’s answer to Angkor Wat or Machu Picchu.

Lalibela is not quite as ancient as either of these sites, but its medieval churches improve on both insofar as they are not mute ruins of a half-forgotten civilization.

Active shrines that have remained in continuous use ever since they were hand-carved into the pink volcanic ruff underlying the town.

Lalibela’s cave churches are connected by a maze of light-speckled, ceremonial passages. There are many who believe the structures were built with the blessings of angels.

This is a tale passed on for nine centuries claiming that men would work through the day, but the hands of angels would get twice as much done by night.

Those same angels summoned King Lalibela to build a ‘New Jerusalem’ after Muslim occupation deterred Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land in the 12th century CE.

Since then, and continuing today, streams of Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims have flowed in and out of the narrow crevices. They believe that the churches here grant them the same blessing as pilgrims to Jerusalem. It remains arguably the most important site in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

there are lesser-known but worthwhile attractions near Lalibela when on 2-day Lalibela safari tour. They include the cluster of equally historic but less frequently visited churches around the village of Bilbilla.

There is a recently proclaimed community reserve protecting the endemic wildlife that inhabits the windswept upper slopes of Mount Abune Yoseph.

Elsewhere, the twin towns of Dessie and Kombolcha are useful overnight stopovers that provide access to the pretty Lake Hayk and seething Bati livestock market.

On the other hand the modest Weldiya is of interest primarily as the main springboard for public transport to Lalibela.

History of Lalibela

The history of Lalibela dates back to the reign of Gebre Mesqel Lalibela. He was a member of the Zagwe dynasty who ruled Ethiopia in the late 12th century and early 13th century. Then the current town of Lalibela was known as Roha.

Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia

The saint-king was named because a swarm of bees is said to have surrounded him at his birth. His mother took as a sign of his future reign as emperor of Ethiopia.

The names of several places in the modern town and the general layout of the rock-cut churches themselves are said to mimic names and patterns observed by Lalibela during the time he spent as a youth in Jerusalem and the Holy Land.

Lalibela, revered as a saint, is said to have seen Jerusalem, and then attempted to build a new Jerusalem as his capital. This was in response to the capture of old Jerusalem by Muslims in 1187.

Each church was carved from a single piece of rock to symbolize spirituality and humility. Christian faith inspires many features with Biblical names.

Even Lalibela’s river is known as the River Jordan. Lalibela remained the capital of Ethiopia from the late 12th into the 13th century.

European Arrival

The first European to see these churches was the Portuguese explorer Pêro da Covilhã (1460–1526). Portuguese priest Francisco Álvares (1465–1540), accompanied the Portuguese Ambassador on his visit to Dawit II in the 1520s.

He describes the unique church structures as follows: “I weary of writing more about these buildings, because it seems to me that I shall not be believed if I write more… I swear by God, in Whose power I am, that all I have written is the truth[.]”

Although Ramuso included plans of several of these churches in his 1550 printing of Álvares’ book, who supplied the drawings remains a mystery.
The next reported European visitor to Lalibela was Miguel de Castanhoso, who served as a soldier under Cristóvão da Gama and left Ethiopia in 1544.
After de Castanhoso, more than 300 years passed until the next European, Gerhard Rohlfs, visited Lalibela some time between 1865 and 1870.

According to the Futuh al-Habaša of Sihab ad-Din Ahmad, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi burned one of the churches of Lalibela during his invasion of Ethiopia.

However, Richard Pankhurst has expressed his skepticism about this event, pointing out that although Sihab ad-Din Ahmad provides a detailed description of a rock-hewn church.

(“It was carved out of the mountain. Its pillars were likewise cut from the mountain.”), only one church is mentioned; Pankhurst adds that “what is special about Lalibela, (as every tourist knows), is that it is the site of eleven or so rock churches, not just one – and they are all within more or less a stone’s throw of each other!”

Pankhurst also notes that the Royal Chronicles, which mention Ahmad al-Ghazi’s laying waste to the district between July and September 1531. They are silent about the him ravaging the fabled churches of this city.

He concludes by stating that had Ahmad al-Ghazi burned a church at Lalibela, it was most likely Biete Medhane Alem. If the Muslim army was either mistaken or misled by the locals, then the church he set fire to was Gannata Maryam,

It is 10 miles [16 km] east of Lalibela which likewise has a colonnade of pillars cut from the mountain.

What to See on the 2 Day Lalibela Safari Tour

The major attraction on the 2 day Lalibela safari tour are the historical rock strewn churches. The churches are arranged in two main groups, connected by subterranean passageways.

Lalibela Safari Tour in Ethiopia

One group, surrounded by a trench 36 feet (11 metres) deep. Your 2 day Lalibela safari tour will go to House of Emmanuel, House of Mercurios, Abba Libanos, and House of Gabriel.

They are all carved from a single rock hill. House of Medhane Alem (“Saviour of the World”) is the largest church, 109 feet (33 metres) long, 77 feet (23 metres) wide, and 35 feet (10 metres) deep.

House of Giyorgis, cruciform in shape, is carved from a sloping rock terrace. House of Golgotha contains Lalībela’s tomb, and House of Mariam is noted for its frescoes. The interiors were hollowed out into naves and given vaulted ceilings.

The expert craftsmanship of the Lalībela churches has been linked with the earlier church of Debre Damo near Aksum. This tends to support the assumption of a well-developed Ethiopian tradition of architecture.

Emperor Lalībela had most of the churches constructed in his capital, Roha, in the hope of replacing ancient Aksum as a city of Ethiopian preeminence.

Restoration work in the 20th century indicated that some of the churches may have been used originally as fortifications and royal residences.