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Ethiopia Family Holiday

The Ethiopia family holiday allows you experience an Ethiopian safari tour. On this African safari tour in Ethiopia, you will be following an historic route to Lalibela. This has often been described as a creation of angels.

The Ethiopia family holiday allows you experience an Ethiopian safari tour. On this African safari tour in Ethiopia, you will be following an historic route to Lalibela. This has often been described as a creation of angels.

About the 16 Day Ethiopia Family Holiday

The 16 days Ethiopia family holiday also goes to Gonder – city of fairytale castles. Enjoy the most breathtaking and dramatic Simien Mountains. This is among the places that you will visit while on the Ethiopia family vacation.

On this African safari tour in Ethiopia, you will not miss Axum. It is the center of one of world’s most powerful kingdoms. This Ethiopia family holiday will not be complete without the spectacular Blue Nile Falls. you should not miss the island monasteries at Bahir Dar.

The 16 days Ethiopia family holiday vacation features four world heritage sites. Ethiopia has a total of 8 Hetitage sites recorded by UNESCO.

This safari holiday in Ethiopia allows you to explore the ranges of Simien Mountains. This is the last refuge for remarkable primates of the Gelada baboon, Walia Ibex, and Red fox. This African wildlife are found nowhere else on earth.

About the 16 Day Ethiopia Family Holiday

The 16-day Ethiopia family holiday enables you to experience historical attractions of Ethiopia. We look forward to providing you an enjoyable Ethiopia safari trip. This is one of the best photographic opportunities that you will always treasure. highlights of thsi Ethiopia safari includes:

  • Lake Tana Monasteries and Blue Nile Falls in Bahir Dar
  • Royal Compound and Debre Birhan Selassie church in Gondar
  • Famous rock-hewn churches of Lalibela
  • National Museum, merkato, Entoto Mountain in Addis Ababa
  • Great game drives
  • Superb sun downers
  • Lovely topography and landscape
  • Beautiful and amazing people

16 Day Ethiopia Family Holiday Vacation Itinerary in Details

Day 1: Addis Ababa

Meet and greet upon arrival at Bole International Airport. Our Ethiopia safari rep will help with the arrival. You will then enjoy a transfer to your hotel in Addis Ababa. It is here that you will receive a briefing on your 16 Day Ethiopia Family Holiday Vacation. Overnight will be at Ghion Hotel which is booked on bed and breakfast basis.


Day 2: Addis Ababa

Today on your 16 day Ethiopia family holiday vacation you will have a city tour of Addis Ababa. You will enjoy a tour to Entoto Mountain. This was the capital of Ethiopia before Addis Ababa. The tour takes you to Merkato that is said to be Africa’s largest open-air market.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

You will also visit the National Museum. This is home of Lucy, hominid skeleton dating back 3.2 million years. In the evening you’ll enjoy a traditional Ethiopian dinner. This comes with cultural music and dance show. Your overnight will be at Ghion Hotel. Accommodation in Addis Ababa is on bed and breakfast basis.


Day 3: Addis Ababa – Bahir Dar

Your 16 day Ethiopia family holiday goes to Bahirdar to visit one of Ethiopia’s most holy sites. This includes the monastery of Debre Libanos which was founded in the 13th century. The site is beautifully set beneath a cliff on the edge of gorge and is a peaceful place to wonder.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

There is a good chance of seeing gelada baboon and lammergeyer along the way. Then proceed to a truly magnificent Blue Nile gorge. Here you will admire the expansive views. This is as it goes over terraced slops and euphorbia studded cliffs on the opposite wall. It is the most dramatic stretches of road in Ethiopia dropping over 1000m. You will return for overnight in Bahir Dar will be at Tana Hotel.


Day 4: Bahir Dar, Lake Tana and Island Monasteries

You will have the full day on Ethiopia Family holiday to visit Bahir dar. This is one of Ethiopia’s most attractive towns. The town is characterized by its wide avenues of palms and flamboyant trees.

It makes pleasant base from which to explore the areas main sites. This includes the Blue Nile falls and the island monasteries of Lake Tana. You may have a boat excursion to Lake Tana islands and medieval monasteries.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

Your Ethiopia family holiday will visit Kibran Gabriel, Mitsle Fasiledes & Tana Cherkos. The most famous is Ura Kidanemihret of the Zege peninsula. it comes with its beautiful painted temples. You will return for overnight in Bahir Dar will be at Tana Hotel.


Day 5: Bahir Dar – Gondar

You will begin your day with an early breakfast on this 16 day Ethiopia family holiday. This will be followed by departure from your hotel in Bahir Dar. You will be driving north to Gondar.

The drive will take you through rural villages. The villages offer wonderful insight into the Amhara culture. You’ll get to interact with their traditional agricultural methods still in use today.

You are expected at your Gondar hotel before lunch time. The afternoon of Ethiopia family holiday will be spent exploring the sites of Gondar. They include the Royal Enclosure, with six castles and several other buildings. Additionally, you’ll visit Fasilidas’s Pool, still used for Timket celebrations today.

Then there is also the Debre Birhan Selassie church. It has the most famous ceiling in Ethiopia. You’ll sleep in Gondar at the Goha Hotel. This is set on a hill overlooking the town of Gondar.


Day 6: Gondar – Simien Mountains

You will wake up to an early breakfast on this Ethiopia family holiday day. This is before an early morning departure to Sankober. This is in the Simien Mountains. From here you will go for an easy hike to the Geech Abyss.

Here you’ll see a large waterfall as the Jinbar River plunges into the abyss. This area is also a great place for viewing the endemic gelada baboon. They are also known as the ‘bleeding heart baboon. This is because of the red patch of skin on its chest. Your night in the Simien Mountains will be at Simien Lodge.


Day 7 and 8: Simien Mountains Hike

Spend the next two days on Ethiopia family holiday with a trek to experience the beauty of the mountain. You should look forward to seeing great African wildlife in Ethiopia. This includes bird watching and camping.

Simien Mountains National Park has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. This is one of the principal mountain ranges of Africa. There are several peaks rising above 4000m including Ras Dashen. Rosita Forbes in 1925 described them as ‘The most marvelous of all Abyssinian landscapes’.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

This is among the most beautiful mountain ranges in Africa. The ranges will give you a taste of Ethiopia’s remarkable wildlife. They include the beautiful walia ibex, gelada baboons and Ethiopian wolves. You will spend your nights camping as you hike the mountain. This makes your African family holiday vacation in Ethiopia amazing.


Day 9: Simien Mountains – Axum

You will wake up to tour breakfast in Simien Lodge. Your Ethiopia family vacation then departs north for Axum. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the Simien Mountains as you drive away. You’ll have a stop for lunch in Adi Arkay.

The drive then proceeds through the dramatic Tekeze Valley. This place offers some of the best landscapes in the country. Proceed to Axum, home of the ancient Axumite Empire. It is also the Queen of Sheba, and the Ark of the Covenant. Your overnight in Axum will be at Africa Hotel.


Day 10: Axum

Today your Ethiopia family vacation has a full day visiting the sites of Axum. This includes the famous obelisks. One was recently erected after being returned from Italy.  There is the archaeological museum and the Queen of Sheba’s Bath. The latter supplies water to Axum year-round.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

You’ll also visit Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb and King Bazen’s tomb. You cannot finish the royalty visit without the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. In Axum you can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church. This is where the Ark of the Covenant is said to be. It is only men who are allowed to enter the old church. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. This is a preserve for one specially chosen guardian monk. Your overnight will be at in Axum at Africa Hotel.


Day 11: Axum – Mekele

After breakfast you’ll drive to Mekele. Journey to a little visited but peaceful and astonishing spot. This is ‘Yeha’ which is Ethiopia’s first known capital. It is considered the birth place of the country’s earliest civilization. Its ruins are impressive for their sheer age, dating from around the 5th century BC.

Also, your Ethiopia family holiday goes to the monastery of Debre Damo. This is the first monastery in Ethiopia dates back to Aksumite times. It boasts the oldest standing church in the country. The Ethiopia family vacation safari then proceeds to Mekele for overnight at Hilltop Hotel.


Day 12: Mekele – Lalibela

You’ll spend the full day of Ethiopia family vacation in Lalibela. The morning will be spent on a trip to the church of Yimrehanne Kristos. It is the most popular of the churches outside of Lalibela. This church is built with layers of wood and granite. It is set in the entrance to a large cavern.

Your Ethiopia family holiday will return to Lalibela for lunch break. You’ll have the afternoon visiting the South-eastern Cluster of churches. They include Bet Gabriel-Rufael, Bet Merkorios, Bet Amanual, and Bet Abba Libanos.

You cannot complete Ethiopia family holiday vacation without visiting Bet Giyorgis. It is the most famous Ethiopian church. It was constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Overnight will be in Lalibela Lal Hotel.


Day 13: Lalibela

You’ll start the day on Ethiopia family vacation with an early breakfast. Before embarking on visiting more churches. This is the most famous of all the Ethiopian historical sites.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

After lunch, begin to explore the 11 rock-hewn churches of the remarkable king Lalibela. You’ll first visit the Northwestern Cluster of churches. They are Bet Medhane Alem, Bet Maryam and Bet Meskel. You also have Bet Danaghel, Bet Mikael and Bet Golgotha.

Entry is not permitted for women at Bet Golgotha. Your overnight in Lalibela will be at Alief Paradise Hotel.


Day 14: Lalibela – Kombolcha

Your Ethiopia family vacation will begin with breakfast. This is before you visit the nearby monastery of Na’akuto La’ab. The monastery is set on the side of a cliff. After the visit you’ll proceed to Kombolcha via Woldia.

On the way you will stop for a rest in Hayk. Here you can enjoy the views of this stunning lake. You can visit the local monastery that is open for men only and enjoy the birdlife. Your overnight in Kombolcha will be at Sunnyside Hotel.


Day 15: Kombolcha – Addis Ababa

This day on Ethiopia family vacation will begin with an early breakfast. This will be followed by departure to the capital Addis Ababa. The drive takes you through the Mezezo Escarpment. You have a good chance to see the endemic gelada baboons.

If this falls on a Sunday, a stop at Senbete will be important. Here you’ll visit the lively market including the interesting camel market. Upon arrival, Transfer to Ghion Hotel where you are booked on bed and breakfast basis.


Day 16: Departure

You will have the morning of your Ethiopia family vacation at leisure. this is before you get a transfer to the Bole International Airport in time for your departure flight

———- End of Ethiopia Family Vacation ———-


16 day Ethiopia Family Vacation Costs:

What is included in the cost of 16-day Ethiopia Family Holiday Vacation?

  • Vehicle hire in 4WD or minibus
  • English-speaking driver/guide
  • Driver’s allowance (for his food & accommodation)
  • Fuel and road 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 and boat trip on Lake Tana

16-day Ethiopia Family Vacation Price excludes:

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

What to Carry on the 16-day Ethiopia Family Vacation?

  • Light and a few heavy clothings for evenings
  • Trekking boots
  • Closed, comfortable shoes
  • Sun protection like sun cream, hat

Where Does the Ethiopia Family Holiday Go To

Addis Ababa

The 16 day Ethiopia family holiday starts from Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa is  Ethiopia’s sprawling capital. This city is in the highlands bordering the Great Rift Valley. It is the country’s commercial and cultural hub.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

Addis Ababa, also spelled Addis Abeba, capital and largest city of Ethiopia. It is located on a well-watered plateau surrounded by hills and mountains, in the geographic centre of the country.

Addis Ababa been the capital of the Ethiopian state in the 19th century. This was after its predecessor, Entoto. Entoto was situated on a high tableland and was found to be unsatisfactory because of extreme cold. It also had an acute shortage of firewood.

The empress Taitu, wife of Emperor Menilek II 1913, persuaded the emperor to build a house near the hot springs. This was at the foot of the tableland and to grant land in the area to members of the nobility.

The city was thus founded in 1887 and was named Addis Ababa (“New Flower”) by the empress.

Some of the attractions in Addis Ababa on your Ethiopia family vacation include Its National Museum. This exhibits Ethiopian art, traditional crafts and prehistoric fossils, including replicas of the famous early hominid, “Lucy.”

The city also has the burial place of the 20th-century emperor Haile Selassie. Others include copper-domed Holy Trinity Cathedral, is a neo-baroque architectural landmark.

Bahir Dar

The Ethiopia family holiday then heads to Bahir Dar. This is the capital city of the Amhara region in northern Ethiopia. It’s a port on the south shore of the huge inland Lake Tana.

The Blue Nile River snakes southeast of the city toward the towering cliffs at the Blue Nile Falls. Bahir Dar, also spelt Bahar Dar is on the southern shore of Lake Tana, the biggest lake in Ethiopia,

Dek Island is one of many islands in the lake that are home to medieval monasteries. On the Zege Peninsula, the Ura Kidane Mihret monastery is known for its elaborate, colorful murals.

Bahir Dar is the third largest city in the nation, after Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa. It has a population of a quarter of a million. It’s the capital of the Amhara region, dominated by the Amhara people.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

Amhara is the Ethiopia’s second largest grouping and the Ethiopian official language is Amharic. Bahir Dar is a clean and well-maintained city by African standards. Even the cheaper accommodation has neat, but basic, services.

Gondar

Gondar, or Gonder, is a city in northern Ethiopia. It’s known for the walled Fasil Ghebbi fortress and palace compound, once the seat of Ethiopian emperors.

An Ethiopia family holiday takes you to a city dominated by the immense 17th-century castle of Emperor Fasilides, which combines Portuguese, Indian and local architectural styles.

Outside the complex is Debre Berhan Selassie church, with an interior of elaborate murals, including a ceiling of faces. It is a is a historic royal city of Ethiopia, in the northern Amhara region.

It was the home of many emperors and princesses who ruled the country from the 12th century to the last decade of the 20th century. They included Suseneos, Fasiledes, Empress Mentwab, Iyasu I, Tewodros II and Empress Taitu.

Leading the list of its attractions on your Ethiopia family holiday is Fasil Ghebbi (the Royal Enclosure), containing several castles and palaces from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Gondar stands at an elevation of 7,500 feet (2,300 metres) on a basaltic ridge from which streams flanking the town flow to Lake Tana, 21 miles (34 km) south.

Gonder was the capital of Ethiopia from 1632 to 1855, and it has the remains of castles and palaces. They were constructed by a series of emperors from Fasilides (reigned 1632–67) to Iyasu II (1730–55).

The ruins of these structures stand within a walled imperial enclosure. The most important buildings are the castle of Fasilides and the palace of Iyasu the Great (reigned 1682–1706).

The architectural style of these stone buildings displays a prominent Portuguese influence, along with connections to the Aksumite empire’s palaces and the mosques of South Arabia.

Only a few of the 44 churches reputed to have existed in Gonder in the 18th century survive. The city is still an important centre of the Ethiopian Orthodox church; its beautifully decorated 17th-century Debre Berhan Selassie Church is still in use.

Simien Mountains

This Ethiopia national park as established in 1969 and located in the far north of the country. An Ethiopia family holiday to Simien Mountains National Park is part of the breathtaking Ethiopian Highlands.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

It is a wonderland of dramatic plateaus, valleys, sheer cliffs and towering peaks. It is sometimes referred to as Africa’s answer to the Grand Canyon.

It includes Ethiopia’s highest peak, Ras Dejen (14,930 feet/4,550 meters). The eastern section of the park is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It has been described by the organization as “one of the most spectacular landscapes in the world.”  You will prove this on your Ethiopia family holiday.

Today, you will be taking the Ethiopia family holiday to the Simien national park to admire its fabulous scenery. Look out for rare wildlife and embark upon multi-day Simien Mountain treking tours.

The national park is home to several incredibly rare animals. This was one of the biggest motivations for protecting it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These include the Ethiopian wolf (also known as the Simien fox), the Walia ibex and the gelada monkey. Ethiopian wolves are the most endangered carnivores in Africa and the rarest canids in the world, with only 400 left in the wild.

The endangered Walia ibex and the gelada monkey are both exclusively found in the Ethiopian Highlands.

Other exciting animals to look out for on the Ethiopia family holiday include the Anubis and hamadryas baboons, the klipspringer antelope and the golden jackal. The Simien Mountains national park is also ranked as an Important Bird Area.

Axum

Axum (also spelled Aksum) in Ethiopia is possibly the greatest historical site that you’ve never heard of. The Ethiopia family holiday takes you to a town that was once the center of a great ancient civilization. Axun is notable for its huge and iconic obelisks.

Axum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Ethiopia. It is rumored to have been the home of the Queen of Sheba and is believed by some to house the Ark of the Covenant.

The small town of Axum in the Tigray region is seen as the holiest city in Ethiopia. It is home to the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion.

According to Ethiopia’s Orthodox Church is where the Ark of the Covenant came to rest. In addition to this place of pilgrimage, the main attraction is what was the main city of the Axum empire.

Axum dates back to the 1st century AD and saw its heyday in the 4th-7th centuries. The empire collapsed with the rise of Islam, as Muslim merchants closed off the Axum Empire trading routes across the Red Sea.

Lalibela

Lalibela is a town in the Amhara region of northern Ethiopia. It’s known for its distinctive rock-cut churches dating from the 12th and 13th centuries, which are pilgrimage sites for Coptic Christians.

Ethiopia Family Holiday

Carved out of rock, the subterranean monoliths include huge Bete Medhane Alem, and cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis. Many are joined by tunnels and trenches, and some have carved bas-reliefs and colored frescoes inside.

The 11 medieval monolithic cave churches of this 13th-century ‘New Jerusalem’ are situated in a mountainous region. This is in the heart of Ethiopia near a traditional village with circular-shaped dwellings.

Lalibela tour takes you to a high place of Ethiopian Christianity, still today a place of pilmigrage and devotion.

There are two main groups of churches to visit on your Ethiopia family holiday. To the north of the river Jordan:

  • Biete Medhani Alem  (House of the Saviour of the World),
  • Biete  Mariam (House of Mary),
  • Biete  Maskal (House of the Cross),
  • Biete Denagel (House of Virgins),
  • Biete Golgotha Mikael (House of Golgotha Mikael);

To the south of the river,

  • Biete Amanuel (House of Emmanuel),
  • Biete Qeddus Mercoreus (House of St. Mercoreos),
  • Biete Abba Libanos (House of Abbot Libanos),
  • Biete Gabriel Raphael (House of Gabriel Raphael)
  • Biete Lehem (House of Holy Bread)

Your Ethiopia family vacation will also visit the The eleventh church. Biete Ghiorgis (House of St. George), is isolated from the others, but connected by a system of trenches.