Arrival Bole International Airport
Extraordinary Ethiopia Tours 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.
Day 01: Arrival
Visit the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history. Tour the Mercato, one of Africa’s largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.
Overnight at the Jupiter International Hotel
Day 02: Fly Addis – Lalibela attend Christmas Eve
Lalibela is the jewel in the crown of Ethiopia, the home of the most famous churches and the scene of so many major religious ceremonies. Also known, as ‘Africa’s Petra’, Lalibela and its rock-hewn Churches are arguably Ethiopia’s top most attractions. Visit the rock-hewn Churches. These Churches include Bete Medhane Alem, Bete Mariam, Bete Maskal, Bete Danaghel, Bete Golgotha & Bete Mikael, and Bete Giorgis.
Afternoon, you will visit the rest of the rock-hewn churches of Lalibela i.e. Bete Amanuel, Bete Markorios, Bete Aba Libanos, and Bete Gebriel-Rufael. In the evening, you will attend the Christmas Eve ceremony with the pilgrims to be held at Bete Mariam church. The chanting by the “deacons” and the priests continue throughout the night and around while the pilgrims clap and ululate to the drum beat. At midnight, there will be a candlelight ceremony to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Overnight at the Sora lodge
Day 03: Ethiopian Christmas – Excursion
At sunrise, the church more than 100 priests climbed the rocky steps to the rim of the pit overlooking the church and formed a line that snaked to the very edge of the drop. They wore white turbans, carried golden scarves and had red sashes stitched into the hems of their white robes. Several deacons began beating large drums, and the priests began to sway in unison, rattling their sitars, then crouching in a wavy line to the beat and rising again—King David’s dance, the last of the Christmas ceremonies.
In the courtyard below, two dozen priests formed a tight circle with two drummers in the center and began chanting a hymn to the priests above, who responded in kind. According to the priest “The courtyard priests represent the world’s people, and the priests high above represent the angels,” “Their singing is a symbol of the unity between heaven and earth.” On they went for two hours, their movements and voices swelling in intensity. Many of those high above slipped into ecstatic trances, closing their eyes as they swayed.
Overnight will be at the Sora lodge
Day 04: Fly Lalibela – Addis
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight to Addis.
In the evening, there will be Extraordinary Ethiopia Tours complimentary farewell dinner party with traditional special buffet and local drinks (flight schedule permitting). At the end of the farewell dinner, transfer to Addis Ababa airport for the flight back.
…. END OF TOUR