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Naqa_1

Deserts & Mountains of Sudan & Ethiopia

Deserts & Mountains of Sudan & Ethiopia

From {{totalPrice}} EUR Extra expenses at the destination
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
What's included?
From 4385 EUR
Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
What's included?
Duration
30 days
Starts in
Addis Ababa
Ends in
Khartoum
Group size
26
Discover the wonders of northern Ethiopia as you visit the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, the green vistas of the Simien Mountains National Park and the other-worldly expanse of the Danakil Depression. You’ll also get a chance to spot the many endemic species of wildlife that Ethiopia has such as geladas, ibex and the Ethiopian wolf. As you journey through the desert dunes of Sudan you’ll revel in the chance to sleep under star-filled night skies; a chance to truly escape the rat-race of everyday life! You’ll also get a chance to see the lesser-known pyramids of Meroe, whilst they number more than that of Egypt you’ll see how many have been damaged due to past explorers search for treasure.
  • Guided tour of the fascinating ancient royal city of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • 3 nights in the fabulously scenic Simien Mountains NP
  • Spot geladas, ibex, Ethiopian wolves and many other endemic species
  • Guided tour of palaces and temples in historic Axum
  • 2 day 4 x 4 adventure to the spectacular Danakil Depression
  • Guided tour of the ancient rock hewn and churches and monastries in Lalibela
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana to witness the source of the Blue Nile
  • Drive the dramatic roads of the Blue Nile gorge
  • Explore chaotic and bustling Addis Ababa
  • Explore Khartoum & the historic Omdurman market
  • Explore the mediaval ruins of Dongola
  • Visit the pre-Kushite Temple of Deffufa, a 5,500 year old Nubian archaeological site
  • Visit Kushite temples and climb Jebel Barkal mountain
  • Visit to the Meroe pryamids and temples of Naqa and Musawwarat
  • Visit the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids
  • Witness the wild antics of the Omdurman Whirling Dervish
  • Not a physically challenging trip but one that you should be prepared to step out of your comfort zone for. With the majority of nights spent camping you will get used to pitching your tent and chipping in around the camp.

    With a few nights spent at slight altitude in the Simien Mountains and nights camping in the Sudanese desert you should be prepared with warmer clothing for those cooler evenings.

    Itinerary

    Deserts & Mountains of Sudan & Ethiopia

    Day 1 Addis Ababa

    Border Information: If joining in Addis Ababa, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD). There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. If you are travelling to the Sudan and have arranged to pick the visa up in Addis Ababa, you will need to arrive at least 2 working days early to collect the visa. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Addis Ababa before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Addis Ababa.

    Day 2 Debre Markos

    We will start our journey today with a drive to the small town of Debre Markos. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!

    Day 3 Bahir Dar

    Today we will complete our drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.

    Day 4 Bahir Dar

    On our first full day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile. 

    Day 5 Bahir Dar

    On our second day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to take optional visits to some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.

    Day 6 Awra Amba

    Today we will drive to the ideological village of Awra Amba. Run by the infamous Zumra Nuru the village operates with the belief that everyone is equal and should have a say in how their home is run. We will take a tour of the village and camp on the outskirts.

    Day 7 Lalibela

    Today we have a full day's drive through the beautiful scenery of central Ethiopia to reach the small medieval town of Lalibela.

    Day 8 Lalibela

    On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of the world-famous 13th-century rock churches of Lalibela. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within.

    Day 9 Lalibela

    On the second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.

    Day 10 Mekele

    Leaving Lalibela behind us, we have a full days drive through increasingly mountainous scenery to reach the town of Mekele.

    Day 11 Danakil Depression

    After breakfast meet your 4 x 4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind and is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt mine or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression.

    Day 12 Mekele

    On the second day we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectacular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats. This is an extremely intense environment and a very adventurous three days, certainly a once in a lifetime experience. However, if you feel like your personal fitness can not withstand this pressure then there is a chance this may not be the trip for you.Today we will make our way back to Mekele ending our time in the stunning Danakil Depression.

    Day 13 Axum

    Today we will visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church), then continue through the increasingly breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia.

    Day 14 Axum

    Today we will have an included half-day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to make optional visits to other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

    Day 15 Debark

    Leaving Axum behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the small village of Debark. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery! Debark is the gateway to the Simien Mountains NP, and on arrival we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options that we will have during our excursion starting the following day.

    Day 16 Simien Mountains NP

    Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains NP. The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views! The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot Lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves. We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains NP. On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking. Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather.  Please also note that the camping areas in the NP are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the NP are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! You will need to bring a suitable sleeping bag and mat with you from home to ensure you are ready for this environment.

    Day 17 Simien Mountains NP

    Today we once again have the choice between joining a short trek or a long trek. Each one will have a guide and a superb route showing off the best the Simiens have to offer.

    Day 18 Simien Mountains NP

    This is our final day of treking in the National Park. Once again there will be a choice between short and long routes as we soak in the final moments of the mountains.

    Day 19 Gondar

    Today we head back out to the mountains to Debark, and then finally join the tarmac road again to reach the ancient royal city of Gondar! 

    Day 20 Gondar

    Today, we will have an included half-day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. 

    Day 21 Gedaref

    Border Information: Exit Ethiopia at Metema, enter Sudan at Metema.Today we will leave Ethiopia behind us and drive to the small town of Gedaref, en route to the Sudanese captial of Khartoum.

    Day 22 Khartoum

    Today we have a full day's drive to Sudan's capital of Khartoum.

    Day 23 Khartoum

    Border Information: if joining in Khartoum, you will most likely enter Sudan at Khartoum International Airport (IATA code: KRT). There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am - please look for a note from your leader at the hotel reception when you arrive with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to collect your passport in order to get everyone's visas registered today. The rest of the day will be free to independently explore Khartoum, including possible optional visits to the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market. Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Khartoum before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Khartoum.

    Day 24 Dongola

    Today our journey begins with a drive out into the Sahara deserts northwest of Khartoum. We will arrive at the historic site of Old Dongola, once an important city in medieval Nubia. After an included visit to the site, we will wild camp in the stunning deserts nearby.

    Day 25 Dongola

    Today we will journey through the remote areas of northern Sudan and the vast Sahara Desert. En route we will visit the Deffufa of Kerma near Dongola, once of the site of the capital of the Kingdom of Kerma, an incredibly ancient civilisation that flourished in the area as long as 5,500 years ago. In the afternoon we will arrive in the small village of Wawa, and will have an included visit to the deserted ruins of the Temple of Soleb on the opposite bank of the Nile.

    Day 26 Karima

    Today we will journey to the town of Karima, where we have an included visit to the mysterious site of Jebel Barkal. A very distinctive flat-topped mountain in the desert, the site has some well preserved ancient paintings in a small temple underneath it and a few Nubian pyramids nearby.

    Day 27 Meroe

    Today we will visit the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids of the Kushite era, east of the town of Karima. We will then continue our drive towards the famous site of Meroe.

    Day 28 Musawwarat

    This morning we will visit the incredible deserted Kushite pyramids of Meroe, one of the most iconic and haunting sites in Sudan. In the afternoon we will move on to the other magnificient Kushite sites of Musawwarat and Naqa.

    Day 29 Khartoum

    Today we will complete our journey back to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where we have a much-deserved refresh and relax in the hotel after our time in the desert! In the evening we will meet up for an included visit to Omdurman to see the weekly gathering of Whirling Dervishes, a magical cultural experience to see in the sunset.

    Day 30 Khartoum

    Border Information: if finishing in Khartoum, you will most likely exit Sudan at Khartoum International Airport (IATA code: KRT). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Khartoum. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
    Summary

    What’s included?

    Activities

    Boat trip on Lake Tana from Bahir Dar to visit the monasteries

    Explore the stunning Blue Nile Falls just downstream of Bahir Dar

    Visit the Utopian village or Awra Amba and see a place where all people are seen as equal

    Guided tour of the ancient rock churches and monasteries at Lalibela

    Journey out on an incredible 2 day/1 night excursion to the Danakil Depression

    Explore the Tigray rock-hewn churches at Mekele

    Guided tour of palaces and temples in historic Axum

    2 days of guided treks in the Simien Mountains National Park

    Learn all about medieval Ethiopia on a half-day guided tour of the castles churches and baths of Gondar

    Explore the curious medieval ruins of Old Dongola in the western deserts of Sudan

    Visit the pre-Kushite Temple of Deffufa a 5500 year old Nubian archaeological site built by the Kerma civilisation

    Explore the ruins of the Temple of Soleb

    Visit to the Kushite temples and climb to the summit of the distinctive Jebel Barkal mountain

    Explore the ancient Kushite Royal Pyramids at Nuri near Karima

    Guided visit of Meroe Pyramids

    Visit the Meroitic temple complex of Musawwarat 

    Explore the ancient Kushite temple of Naqa

    Witness the spectacular Whirling Dervishes of Omdurman

    Accommodation

    Comfortable Hotel 12 nights
    Basic Hotel 6 nights
    Camping without facilities 10 nights

    Local transport

    Overland Expedition Vehicle, Boat

    Meals

    Breakfasts x 60, Lunches x 20, Dinners x 20

    Deserts & Mountains of Sudan & Ethiopia

    Price from {{totalPrice}} EUR
    Flight tickets are not included. Our travel experts will gladly help you find the cheapest flights. The price above is based on 2 adults traveling together. The price is a from-price and varies with the date. See the exact price when selecting date.
    What's included?

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