12 Days Historic with Simien - 12 Days

The Semien Mountains, in northern Ethiopia, north east of Gondar in Amhara region, are part of the Ethiopian Highlands. They are a World Heritage Site and include the Simien Mountains National Park. The mountains consist of plateaus separated by valleys and rising to pinnacles.

Famous for its dramatic highland scenery, the Simien Mountain National Park constitutes a world heritage site, and the mountains’ jagged peaks (or ambas) frequently serve as a backdrop to Ethiopian tourist initiatives. These gigantic pieces of rock are, in fact, hard cores of volcanic outlets from which the surrounding material has eroded away over the centuries.

The variation in shape and size of the ambas is quite stunning, and the region includes many summits over 13,000 feet, culminating in Ras Dashen, which at 14,901 feet is the 3rd highest peak in Africa. Simien Mountains National Park is also known for its endemic walia ibex, a very large mountain goat of which only about 60 survive today.

Other specifically Ethiopian animals live in the park, including the Abyssinia wolf and the gelada baboon. The bearded vulture is also a common visitor and nests in the sheer rock faces.


Gondar was the imperial capital from the 17th to mid-19th centuries, and today visitors can see the imperial compound, with castles still in good condition (some recently restored by UNESCO after bombings in World War II), and also the bath of King Fasilides, where at Timkat (Ethiopian Epiphany) a nearby river’s course is purposely changed to bring its flow in to fill an area the size of a small swimming pool. This is the sight of a traditional re-enactment of the baptism of Christ, where worshippers plunge into the pool every January 19th.

Although many of Gondar’s churches were destroyed during the Mahdist invasion from Sudan in the 1880s, one very fine example, Debre Berhan Selassie, was saved, according to the legend, by a swarm of bees, which routed the invaders. The walls and ceiling are completely covered with murals. Also worth a visit are the ruined palace of Queen Mentowab, and the church of Qusquam.


Day 1
Welcome To Testour

Welcome To Testour and car rent in Addis Ababa Ethiopia will meet all clients arriving at the airport regardless of arrival time. For morning flight arrivals you may begin your tour after checking into your hotel. For afternoon or evening arrivals, you may begin your tour the following day.

Visit a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. Tour the Mercato, one of Africa’s largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, አንድነት ፓርክ Unity Park, National Museum of Ethiopia (የኢትዮጵያ ብሔራዊ ሙዚየም) resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Day 2
Addis Ababa To Bahar Dar ( Fly by Air)

Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines. Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar. Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile and tour ancient island monasteries.

Day 3
Bahar Dar To Gondar

Drive through the countryside to Gondar. Tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian Kings beginning in the early 17th century. Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty African Empire. Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.

Day 4
Gondar To Simien Mountains National Park

Drive to Sankabar the gateway to the Simien Mountains National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy some light hiking in the afternoon in the park and spot wildlife such as the endemic Gelada baboon.

Day 5
Simien Mountains To Axum

Take a scenic drive to Axum, capital of the ancient Axumite Empire and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Frequent stops at viewpoints along the way. Arrive in Axum late afternoon.

Day 6
Axum To Hawzen (Ge'ez: ሓውዜን)

Drive to the Ghiralta Lodge passing the Adwa battlefield, site of Emperor Menelik II’s 1895 victory over the invading Italians. Visit the 2,500 year old ruins of Yeha, an ancient moon temple. Continue past Adigrat and visit Aba Gerima and Petros Paulos, two of the Tigray region’s oldest and finest rock churches.

Day 7
Hawzen (Ge'ez: ሓውዜን) To Mekele

The church of Abreha and Atsbeha is one of the oldest and best-known rock-hewn churches in Tigray. It lies in a rural community about 18 km west of Wukro. To get there you drive north. Just as you exit Wukro, you take a take a hard left down a long dirt and gravel road which twists and turns up and down the hills and mountains through numerous hairpin turns until you finally reach the church itself.
The mosque is under the wing of Wukro Culture and Tourism Bureau. … Programme Coordinator Mehmet Ali Yetis told The Ethiopian Herald.

Day 8
Mekele To Lalibela

There are no direct bus that goes to Lalibela from Mekele but you have to take a bus to Woldiya and find a minibus or a big bus In Woldiya that …

Day 9

Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This group of eleven monolithic and semi- monolithic structures were carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings.

Day 10

At our second day in Lalibela we need about half a day to visit the remaining churches in the village. There are quite a few options to spent the rest of our time. For example a visit to the Yemrehane Kristos church or a hike to the Asheton Maryam church. On Saturday there is the weekly market in town.

(it is possible to add additional days to explore more of Lalibela and the surrounding area, excellent hiking opportunities are available)

Day 11

For the morning we have two choices: Take a morning hike with mules to Mount Asheton, with its 13th century rock-hewn monastery and great views of the town; – OR – Drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will also give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands. Following either option above continue with tour of Lalibela’s churches in the afternoon.

Day 12
Lalibela To Addis Ababa

Fly to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines. Visit either the Ethnographic Museum or the National Museum, home of the 3.18 million year old skeleton “Lucy.” Optional souvenir shopping in the afternoon. Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups. Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed.

The Trip Cost Includes

  • Pick-up or Drop-off service from and to Airport(in our own vehicle)
  • Transportation to and from!!
  • Food all along the trip(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and a cup of coffee or tea) and accommodations during the trip in hotels with family environment
  • Transportation, food, accommodation and insurance of Guide during the trip
  • Down jacket, all-season sleeping bag, duffel bag and trekking map(in case if you don’t have your own. Down jacket, sleeping bag and duffel bag must be returned after completion of the trip)
  • First Aid Medical Kit(Your guide will carry the Medical Kit but we also advise to bring yourself for your own use, as far as possible)
  • All the required permits and paperwork

The Trip Cost Excludes

  • International Airfare
  • Visa Charges
  • Hotel Expenses(In Kathmandu, some packages do include hotel expenses)
  • Your travel and medical insurance
  • Personal Expenses such as shopping, bar bills, hot shower, telephone, laundry, titbits etc
  • Food and accommodations in Kathmandu
  • Services not mentioned or not promised by the agent/agency
  • Emergency expenses such as expenses on chartered helicopter.


You can send your enquiry via the form below.

12 Days Historic with Simien

Trip Facts

  • 1-12 people
  • Moderate

Contact Info

Phone: +251 93 010 8686

Email: tesfaye.cartour@gmail.com


Bole Gulf Aziz Building
Building # 113
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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