Genna celebration (Ethiopian Christmas)

Duration 8 JOURS
Difficulty DIFFICULTÉ 1
Quote request DEMANDE DE DEVIS
  • Gondar and its UNESCO world heritage sites
  • 3 days in Lalibela during Genna to witness the fervor of Ethiopian Christian Orthodox
  • A short trek in the Simien Mountains National Park to spot the Gelada baboons and other endemic species.

Day 1

Take a morning flight to Bahir Dar. After checking in to your hotel, take a boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the selected island monasteries of Azwa Maryam, Ura Kidane Mihret, and Debre Maryam as well as the Zege Penninsula. In the afternoon, drive to the Blue Nile Falls to hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You can end your day watching the sunset over the lake. Overnight in Bahir Dar.

Day 2

After breakfast, take a three-hour drive to Gondar which stands at an altitude of 2200m in the highlands north of Lake Tana. After briefly settling in your hotel, visit the Royal Enclosure which surrounds the famous 17th & 18th century castles. You will also visit Ras Gimb Palace Museum and the Debre Birhan Selassie church, known for its lavishly painted ceiling. Additionally, visit Fasilidas’s Pool, where Timket is celebrated. Overnight in Gondar.

Day 3

Today you will take a day tour to the Simien Mountains. Your first visit will be Sankaber from where you will hike to Geech Abyss to see a large waterfall of the Jinbar River rush into the abyss. Here, you can see the endemic gelada baboon, also known as the ‘bleeding heart baboon’ because of the red patch of skin on its chest. After admiring these animals and the spectacular setting in which they live, return to Gondar for overnight.

Day 4

Take a morning flight to one of the top historically and archaeologically important towns of Ethiopia – Axum. The sites you will visit include the famous obelisks (including one that was recently erected after being returned from Italy), the archeological museum, Ezana’s enscription, King Kaleb’s tomb, and the Queen of Sheba’s Palace. You can also visit the St. Mary of Zion church, where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. Only men are allowed to enter the old church. And only the chosen guardian monk is allowed to enter the chapel where the Ark is kept. Overnight in Axum.

Day 5

Depart on an early morning flight to Lalibela, the most famous of all of the Ethiopian historical sites found at an altitude of 2630m. After lunch, you will start your visit with the Northwestern Cluster of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela - Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Maryam, Bete Meskel, Bete Denagl, Bete Mikael & Bete Golgota (entry not permitted for women). Overnight in Lalibela.

Day 6

In the morning, take a trip to visit the church of Yimrehanne Kristos built with layers of wood and granite. After the visit, return to Lalibela for lunch and, in the afternoon, visit the Southeastern Cluster of churches – Bete Gebriel-Rufael, Bete Merkorios, Bete Amanuel, and Bete Abba Libanos. Finally, you will visit the most famous of all the churches – the cross-shaped Bete Giyorgis, constructed in honor of the patron saint of Ethiopia – Saint George. Today, on the eve of the Ethiopian Christmas (also known as Genna), this church is surrounded by Orthodox Christians that travel from all over the country to be part of the colorful ceremony looking at the church from atop. The ceremony continues all through the night attended by priests and worshippers dressed in all-white. Overnight in Lalibela.

Day 7

Today, you will witness how the locals celebrate Christmas – with traditional clothing as well as local holiday food and drinks. Overnight in Lalibela.

Day 8

In the morning, you will have time to visit the monastery of Ne’akuto Le’ab before proceeding to the airport for a return flight back to Addis Ababa.