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 2013 Ethiopia Eclipse Tour

October 24th  - Arrive Addis Ababa

Arrive in Addis Ababa. Transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day is at leisure. 

  • Accommodation Sheraton Addis
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)

October 25th -  Bahirdar

In the morning meet the driver to take you to the airport transfer to fly to Bahirdar.  After check in the hotel you will have a boat cruise on Ethiopia’s largest water body, Lake Tana (3,600 sq km) to visit the monasteries of Ura Kidane Mihret and Azwa Mariam which are found on the largest peninsula of the lake.

These monasteries are known for the colorful frescoes of religious scenes, and an impressive display of illuminated Bibles written in Ge’ez, Ethiopia ’s oldest language. In the afternoon, drive 32 km southwest of Bahir Dar to the small town of Tiss Abay to visit the Blue Nile Falls. We also drive to the Bezawit Hill to have a panoramic view of the town of Bahir Dar, Lake Tana and the outlet of River Nile from its source. Overnight Kuriftu Resort.

  • Accommodation Kuriftu Resort
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Guided boat cruise on lake Tana churches and  Monasteries
  • Flight time: 45 min

October 26th - Gondar

Drive to Gondar, which was the first capital city of the Ethiopian empire, which began in 1632 with Gondar visit includes the palaces, residences and open air baths of King Fasilledes; the monasteries of Qusquom, the church of Debre Berhan Sellassie (Light of the Trinity) with its 16th century paintings and frescoes, which is located at the summit of a hill and surrounded by fortified walls. Overnight Goha Hotel the reign of King Fasilledes. In  Gondar there are dozens of castles built by various emperors over the course of 236 years.

  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Guided City tour of Gondar , Palaces and baths of King Fasilledes; the monasteries of Qusquom, the church of Debre Berhan Sellassie
  • Travel Distance 180 km
  • Travelling Time 3-4 hours

October 27th - Axum

Fly to Axum and have a guided city tour of Axum, discovering the rich historic and cultural tapestry of the immensely captivating area. The ancient capital of the Aksumite civilization has a great archaeological heritage. The park of the stelae, monoliths used as tombstones and well preserved, are evidence of a glorious past. The huge granite stelae are the most famous monuments in Axum, the largest number lie in the Northern Stelae Park, ranging up to the 33-metres. The Gudit Stelae to the west of town, The archaeological museum which displays a variety of exhibits such as: a collection of inscriptions in Sabaean that date 2500 years ago, an interesting collection of Aksumite coins and pottery decorated and incised with motifs still used in crafts is testimony to the old commercial relationship between of the Aksumite Empire, Egypt and South-Arabian peninsula.

We visit to the palace and the bathrooms of the Queen of Sheba, the church of St. Mary of Zion, which contains, according to Orthodox beliefs, the Ark of the Covenant, brought in Ethiopia from Israel by Menelik I, during the reign of King Solomon. The small museum inside the complex exhibits a remarkable collection of ancient imperial crowns and crosses. Overnight Consolar Hotel. 

  • Accommodation Consolar hotel
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: City tour of Axun including Axum Stele, Places museums and Archeological sites

October 28th -Lalibela

Full day in Lalibella to tour the eleven rock- hewn churches of 12th century. The city contains 11 monolithic churches that were built in the 12th century and are carved out of the pink granite rock; they have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.We spend the rest of the day visiting fascinating churches within the town and countryside; some are made from the rock and dating back to around the twelfth century. We visit the first group of monolithic churches.Lalibela is famous and well known as “the African Petra” or African Jerusalem. The underground and cross shaped Saint George Beta Marian church with walls and ceilings beautifully painted and the majestic Beta Medane Alem represent one of the biggest tourist attractions of Ethiopia. Many of the churches are connected by underground tunnels and narrow walkways built into the rock, and they are still a site of pilgrimage today as they have been for centuries. Overnight Tukul  Hotel. 

  • Accommodation Tukul hotel
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: The three group of Rock hewn Churches of Lalibela

October 29th - Awash National Park

Drive to Awash National park. It is one of the best birding sites in Ethiopian Rift Valley. Not only  birds can be seen in Awash but also we can see different mammals like Beisa Oryx, Defarsa Water Buck, Semmering Gazelle, Salt’s Dik-Dik, Greater and lesser Kudu, Warthog, Hamadrayas Baboon, the endemic Hartebeest and Visit the hot spring lakes. Overnight Blen Lodge. 

  • Accommodation Blen Lodge
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Visit of the Rift Valley Lakes, Crater Lakes of Debre Zeit and Awash park
  • Travel Distance 234 km
  • Travelling Time 4 hours

October 30th - Harar

Early morning; game view in the Awash National Park and drive to Harar via Diredawa and visit the colorful market place of Dire Dawa and the Chat market ( mildly stimulant plant )  market of Aweday. In the evening head to the Hyena man, to see an entertainer who feeds the wild hyena in bare hands. Overnight Heritage Plaza Hotel.

  • Accommodation Heritage Plaza hotel
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Aweday Chat Market and Hyena Man
  • Travel Distance 270 km
  • Travelling Time 4 hours

October 31st - Adama / Nazareth

In the morning visit the walled city of Harar ( the 4th Islamic center in the world )  namely, the traditional Harari Museum, the famous poet, Arthur Rimbaud`s former house, the grand Jami mosque, the Ras Teferi`s ( the last king of Ethiopia, Haylesilasse )  former house, the colorful Christian and Muslim Markets. Continue driving through the great rift valley to the busting town of Adama. Overnight Safari Lodge

  • Accommodation Safari Lodge
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Markets, Mosques, Great scenery of the Great Rift Valley and Museums
  • Travel Distance 372 km
  • Travelling Time 6 hours

November 1st- Awassa

Drive to Awassa through the rift valley lakes, the capital city of the southern region, which is very popular in fish market and its volcanic lake. The Rift Valley is a deep fission that extends for over 6,000 km(3,800 miles) from the Middle East to Mozambique- testimony to the massive shifting of the earth’s tectonic plates. The rift contains a marvelous series of lakes, which are teeming with fish and provide a habitat for hundreds of species of birds. Visit Lake Awassa and the fish Market. Overnight Haile Resort.

  • Accommodation Haile Resort
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Fish Market of Awassa, Langano and Lake Awassa
  • Travel Distance 186 km
  • Travelling Time 3 hours

November 2nd - Yabelo

After a final breakfast at our lakeside resort, we set out on a journey of five to six hours (over asphalt roads) to Yabelo, our home base for viewing the eclipse. As we drive southward, there are plenty of stops to take photos, enjoy a local lunch, and visit the Sidama people, who grow enset – also called false banana – one of Ethiopia’s most important crops. After checking into our hotel, we gather for an eclipse weather briefing followed by a dinner featuring foods from the area. Overnight Yabelo Motel.

  • Accommodation Yabelo Motel
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Villages and great scenery

November 3rd - Yabelo

Following are contact times for the proposed eclipse-viewing site, 80 km (50 mi) south of Yabelo at 4.196° North Latitude and 38.281° East Longitude. This site is 1.2 km (.75 mi) north of the centerline, to take advantage of the longest viewing time possible in this area. The times are Eastern African Time (Universal Time +3 hours). Overnight Yabelo Motel.

  • Accommodation Yabelo Motel
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Yabelo Centerline Eclipse Viewing, Viewing from Yabelo, Ethiopia

Weather Prospects for the Hybrid Eclipse - Nov 3, 2013

By Eclipse Meteorologist Jay Anderson

Ethiopia presents a challenge that extends beyond meteorology, as the eclipse duration becomes very short, the altitude of the Sun at totality sinks below 10 degrees, and transportation becomes more difficult to any location except those along the major highway from Addis Ababa to Moyale (Highway 6). While these might appear to argue against Ethiopia as an eclipse-viewing destination, in fact just the opposite is true. The short duration promises a near-circumferential ring of red chromosphere (the innermost layer of the solar atmosphere) around the dark lunar disk, and dynamic displays of Baily’s beads. The low altitude will deliver a dramatic converging lunar shadow, whose width is barely 10 km, centred on a briefly eclipsed solar disk. The remote location promises a travel adventure into the variegated cultures and terrain of a country that tourists usually overlook.

The convective character of the daily cloud cycle suggests that eclipse day has a reasonable probability of being sunny. A typical day will have afternoon cumulus clouds, that reach their maximum areal extent around 4 in the afternoon. Some will get big enough to form virga. By 5 p.m., they are largely dissipated. The cooling associated with the approaching lunar shadow will speed up this cycle, and so the “median” eclipse day has a high likelihood of sunshine, though possibly diffused through a thin cirrus layer.

From Awassa, the eclipse centre line can be reached by long drive to the south along Highway 6. The road is paved, but speeds are limited by the inevitable cattle, goats, and sheep that drift across the highway, oblivious to all forms of wheeled transportation. The closest community to the track of any size is Yabello (or Yebello), a dusty crossroad town that provides truckers with a brief respite on the trip from Nairobi to Addis. From Yabello, the eclipse centre line is about an hour away, through a countryside that alternates between flat sandy fields vegetated by the ubiquitous Acacia bush and steep reddish hills. The centreline landscape is inauspicious and open, with moderate hills to the west and southwest that should not interfere with a view to the Sun (Figure 14). About 2 km north of the track lies the village of Madaccho, a community of several hundred that is now aware of the impending spectacle.

 

November 4th - Turmi


Drive to Turmi, en route you will visit the Borena people and see their cultural and traditional ways of extracting salt from the Crater Lake and you will visit the singing wall.Continue visiting Konso-an excellent day to meet the people of Konso and their villages. The cornerstone of Konso culture is a highly specialized and successful agricultural economy. Meet the people, take photographs and learn of a culture that has had very little outside influence and continue visiting along the way the Tsemay people in Weito. Overnight Lodge.

  • Accommodation Buska Lodge
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities, spectacular Scenery, Konso village, Meet the King and its village, Tsemay tribe
  • Travel Distance 280  km
  • Travelling Time 6 hours 

November 5th - Jinka

Drive to Jinka, visiting on the way the fascinating Benna and Tsemay People, famous for their hairstyles and unique culture and traditions, which include displaying ornaments all over their bodies. Overnight Omo Eco  Lodge.

  • Accommodation Omo Eco Lodge
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Tribal area Bena and Tsemai tribes, Villages, Hamer villages
  • Travel Distance 128 km
  • Travelling Time 4 hours

November 6th - Mago

Drive to Mago National Park Mago National Park of is located on the east bank of the river Omo and ranges in altitude from 450 to 2,528 meters above sea level. We visit the Mursi village, whose women have the custom of expanding their lower lips using disks that gradually get larger and larger. These are people who farm the land and breed livestock; they live in almost complete isolation from the rest of the world. In the afternoon we drive to Arbaminch for overnight. Overnight Paradise Lodge.

  • Accommodation : Paradise Lodge
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Tribal area, Mursi villages and people
  • Travel Distance 350 km
  • Travelling Time 7 hours

November 7th - Addis Ababa

Drive to Addis Ababa en route visit the pale ontological site of Melka Kunture which is nearly 2 million years old and Tiya Stele field (World Heritage Site by UNESCO), - one of the most attractive archaeological sites found in Ethiopia. The site holds 36 stelae, around tombstones of 500 years old. In the evening you will have a traditional Ethiopian dinner and dance at the renowned restaurant of Addis Ababa. Overnight Sheraton Addis.
  • Accommodation Sheraton Addis
  • Rooming Standard twin/double/single room (Based on your preferences)
  • Meals Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
  • Included Activities: Scenery and Tiya Stele field
  • Travel Distance 460 km
  • Travelling Time 8 hours

November 8th - Departure from Addis Ababa 

Today you will be transfered to the airport for your flight back home.


Hotels: 

City

Hotel/Address

Night

Hotel type

Addis

Sheraton Addis

1 night

5 star Hotel

Bahirdar

Kuriftu Lodge

1 night

Lodge

Gondar

Goha Hotel

1 night

3 Star Hotel

Axum

Consular Hotel

1 night

3 StarHotel

Lalibela

Tukul Hotel

1 night

3 Star Hotel

Awash

Blen Lodge

1 night

Lodge

Awassa

Haile Resort

1 night

Resort

Yabelo

Yabelo Motel

2 nights

Local Hotel

Harar

Heritage Plaza

1 night

Local Hotel

Turmi

Buska Lodge

2 nights

Lodge

Jinka

Omo Eco Lodge

1 night

Lodge

Arbaminch

Paradise Lodge

1 night

Lodge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Rates & Booking Info +

    • Per person in DBL room: $5,775
    • Single Supplement: $1,295
    • International flight from IAD: TBA
    • Deposit: $1500 due at the time of booking
    • Second Payment: $2000 due by March 15, 2013
    • Final Payment: due by May 15, 2013

    BOOKING FORM

    Please fax the above form to 1-888-514-7070 to book this tour. 

  • Tour Inclusions +

    • All domestic flight tickets (Addis-Bahirdar-Gondar- Axum- Lalibela -Addis)
    • Special November 3 eclipse day activities
    • Tips for the tour guides and drivers
    • Accommodation :Double /twin / Room as stated in the Itinerary
    • Transportation: Surface transportation with coaster bus in the historic route
    • Toyota land cruiser to the Omo valley starting from Addis-Awash.
    • Boat trip - Lake Tana monasteries
    • Services of an expert Eclipse Traveler Tour Leader
    • All Transfers in and out (arrival and departure transfers)
    • All entrance fees
    • Porter(Baggage handling at hotels)
    • Park fees
    • Services of an English speaking local guide
    • Meals: Full board as stated in the itinerary
    • Scout and local Guides in the parks
    • All government taxes
    • Solar Eclipse glasses
    • Eclipse Traveler Travel Documents Kit
  • Tour Exclusions +

    • Trip Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Passport and visa fees
    • Camera and any ceremony or traditional festival fees
    • Airport transfers if you deviate from the group arrival/departure times
    • Laundry, telephone calls and other items of a personal nature
    • Meals not specified in the itinerary
    • Any other items not mentioned in "Tour Includes" section
  • Trip Insurance +

    Travel Insurance-small

    Travel Insurance is highly recommended. 

    Click Here for Insurance Quote

  • Cancellation Terms +

    For cancellations made before March 15, 2013 there will be a $500 per person cancellation penalty unless you find another passenger to replace your seat.
    There are no refunds on or after March 15, 2013.

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