Small Group Ethiopian Festival Tours

Discover the world of the ancient Ethiopians as you take these festival tours on the Historic Route of Ethiopia. With more than 80 different ethnic groups living together with traditions as old as humanity itself, Ethiopia is a melting pot of cultures. 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 to participate freely in the sacred rituals of an ancient faith.

Below you will find small group departure festival tours carefully crafted around some of the most important and colorful festivals in the Ethiopian calendar. On these tours, you will also visit the unmatched sites of Ethiopia’s Historic Route among which four of the sites are listed under UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Step back in time and explore thousands of years of history, legend, and lore as you take these trips to the Historic Route of Ethiopia to witness some of the most colorful and ancient Christian festivals.

    Sebaratmu Giorgis Festival Tour to the Historic Route — 9 Days

    This cultural tour takes you on the Ethiopia’s Historic North Route to see the Sebaratmu Giorgis Festival, one of the most colorful festivals celebrated at Lalibela. This festival is less famous, but equally absorbing as the Timket Festival, and it is celebrated colourfully around one of the most famous rock-hewn churches, St. George, just 1 week after Timket.

    On this tour, you will also visit the classic Historic Route of Ethiopia which includes the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, castles of Gondar, the island monasteries of Lake Tana, and the source of the Blue Nile and the Blue Nile Falls. 

    Trip Highlights

    • Witness an anceint Christian festival around the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela. 
    • Visit three UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
    • Be amazed by a visit to the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, one of “the living wonders of the world”. 
    • Enjoy the magnificent nature and endemic wildlife of the Simien Mountains.
    • Discover the fairytale castles of Gondar.
    • Take a cruise on Lake Tana to visit the ancient island monasteries. 
    • See the source of the mighty Blue Nile River and the Blue Nile Falls.
    • Visit the vibrant city of Addis Ababa.
    • Meet your ancestor Lucy at the National Museum in Addis Ababa.
    • Try various types of Ethiopian food.
    • Attend an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.

    Dates

    January 22–30, 2023

    January 22–30, 2024

    Accommodation

    On this trip, you will be staying in a 4-hotel (in Addis Ababa) and in the best-available tourist standard hotels, lodges, and resorts, which are selected and regularly inspected by our team.

    Tour Guide

    This tour will be lead by our experienced A-rated friendly, cultural tour guides who have led many tours in Ethiopia and know the history, culture, nature, and wildlife well.

    Our Drivers

    Our drivers are well trained and well travelled in the area. They know the terrain and the valleys you will be traveling in extremely well and will always make sure you are comfortable and safe. They have been rated excellent by many travelers who have been on the road with them for long periods of time.

    Transportation

    On this tour, you will be traveling in a modern minibus or coaster bus. All our vehicles have AC and seat belts.

    Note: On this trip there will be a domestic flight from Lalibela to Addis Ababa. The domestic flight must be arranged separately.

    Itinerary

    Day 1: Arrive Addis Ababa

    Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Welcome to Ethiopia! Upon arrival at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD), you will be welcomed and assisted by your tour guide and driven to your hotel. If you arrive in the morning, we will arrange a city tour.

    Overnight: Jupiter Hotel, Addis Ababa

    Day 2: Addis Ababa, Bahirdar (B, D)

    In the morning, we will drive to Bahirdar through the Great Blue Nile Gorge with stopovers at different small towns like Dejen, Chancho, and Goha Tsion.

    Overnight: Avanti Blue Nile Hotel, Bahirdar

    Day 3: Lake Tana, Blue Nile Falls, Bahir Dar (B, D)

    In the morning, we will take a boat cruise on Lake Tana to visit the ancient 14th-century island monasteries of Lake Tana. After lunch at the hotel, we will drive 35 km to visit the majestic Blue Nile Falls.

    Overnight: Avanti Blue Nile Hotel, Bahirdar

    Day 4: Bahir Dar, Gondar (B, D)

    After breakfast, we drive to Gondar through the beautiful countryside scenery and arrive at Gondar around lunchtime. After lunch, we tour of the ancient city of Gondar.

    Overnight: Goha Hotel

    Day 5: Excursion Simien Mountains National Park (B, D)

    After an early breakfast, we will drive to the Simien Mountains National Park. For the rest of the day, we trek to explore the surrounding area of Sankaber, part of the Simien Mountains National Park.

    Overnight: Goha Hotel, Gondar

    Day 6: Gondar, Lalibela, Sebaratmu Giorgis Eve at Lalibela (B, D)

    After breakfast, we drive through the spectacular landscape to Lalibela. Enroute, we will stop at Awramba. This community was founded by Zumra Nuru in 1972 with the aim of living together peacefully and working collaboratively, sympathetically, and cheerfully. Community members treat each other as brothers and sisters. Gender equality and care for the elderly are also very important. Late in the afternoon, we will drive to Bete Giorgis to attend the eve of Sebaratmu. Here, the priest and deacons will be chanting with their drums and sistras to celebrate the eve of St. Gorge.

    Overnight: Tukul Village or Harbe Hotel, Lalibela

    Day 7: Lalibela, Asheten Mariam (B, D)

    In the morning, we do a mule ride to the top of Asheten Mariam to visit the 12th-century monastery church.
    After lunch and rest at the hotel, we will continue our journey into Ethiopia’s long and marvellous history with a visit to other of Lalibela’s remarkable churches.

    The rock-hewn churches that we will visit this afternoon include Bete Gebriel, Bete Merkorios Bete Emanuel, Bethlehem and Bete Aba Libanos. At the end of the tour, there will be a special Ethiopian traditional coffee ceremony for the group prepared at a local house.

    Overnight: Tukul Village or Harbe Hotel, Lalibela

    Day 9: Lalibela, Addis Ababa, Departure (B)

    After breakfast, we transfer to Lalibela airport for the flight to Addis Ababa. Depending on your departure time, we may take an optional city tour.

    In the evening, there will be Grand Holidays’ complimentary farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet (flight schedule permitting). At the end of the farwell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back. End of tour.

    Rate per person in double room: $1,990 USD

    Single room supplement: $338 USD

    Included

    • Roundtrip as per program
    • All necessary transfers
    • 8 nights accommodation in good hotels (4-star in Addis Abeba) in double rooms
    • All meals as stated in the program
    • All entrance fees
    • English-speaking, qualified national tour guide
    • Farewell dinner (flight schedule permitting)

    Not Included

    • Visa fees
    • Tips
    • Meals not stated in the program
    • All expenses of ampersonal nature (drinks, laundry, phone calls, etc.)

     

     

    Additional Info

    • Trip Type: Cultural
    • TourCode: GHET-FF2
    • JourneyType: Small Group Fixed Departure
    • TourDuration: 9 Days, Jan 22–30, 2019 & 2020
    • Activities/Description: This cultural tour takes you on Ethiopia’s Historic North and includes the Sebaratmu Giorgis Festival, one of the most colorful festivals celebrated at Lalibela. This festival is less famous, but equally as absorbing as the Timket Festival, and it is celebrated colorfully around one of the most famous rock-hewn churches, St. George, just 1 week after Timket.
    Grand Holidays Ethiopia Tours has been operating responsible travel activity and adventure holidays in Ethiopia for more than a decade.Travel to Ethiopia with Grand Holidays Ethiopia Tours and discover amazing Ethiopia. We have a wide selection of holiday tour packages including the following: cultural tours for groups and individuals, family holiday options, varied adventure tours and travel packages, photo expeditions, trekking adventure holidays, cultural explorations in the Omo Valley, and photo tours in Ethiopia. We are the local travel specialists and the leading Ethiopian tour operator based in Addis Ababa. Contact us for your holiday in Ethiopia.
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