Day 1 & 2 – Departure
You will depart from Dallas this evening on the first of your flights to
will make your connection in Qatar and continue on your second international
flight to Ethiopia.
Day 3 – Arrival, Addis Ababa
You will arrive just after
midnight into Addis Ababa. You will be met by your Program Leader at the
airport and transfer to your hotel.
After breakfast at your
hotel you will have a sight-seeing tour of Addis Ababa and a visit to the
National Museum. This museum houses some of the country's historic treasures.
The collection of fossils and bones of early hominids discovered in Ethiopia
include the 3.5 million year old remains of 'Lucy', the oldest hominid every
You will have a welcome
lunch at the Lucy Restaurant.
In the afternoon you will visit the Addis Ababa ICT Park. The Ethiopian government built this ICT park
village in order to establish Ethiopia as the premier IT hub of Africa.
Day 4 – Addis Ababa
Today after breakfast you
will visit the Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX). The ECX is a new
initiative for Ethiopia and the first of its kind in Africa. The vision of the ECX
is to revolutionize Ethiopia’s tradition-bound agriculture through creating a
new marketplace that serves all market actors, from farmers to traders to
processors to exporters to consumers.
In the afternoon you will visit the African Union Headquarters. You will learn
about the general
historical background of the Pan-African Organization from the creation of the
Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1963 to the modern African Union. The AU
visit will help you to understand how the AU helps Africa.
Day 5 – Lalibela
After an early breakfast, you will transfer to the
airport and fly to Lalibela. When
you arrive you will go to visit the first cluster of Lalibela’s rock hewn
churches. Lalibela, the ‘New Jerusalem’, is thought to have been constructed some
800 years ago by King Lalibela. Although churches carved in rock are found in
other parts of the world, those found in Ethiopia are particularly interesting.
Generally, they were excavated on all sides of a rectangle, leaving a large
block of granite isolated in the center. This rock was then shaped and formed
both inside and out and the carvings show extremely skillful workmanship and
they have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Each church has a
unique architectural style and all are superbly carved. There are 11 rock-cut
churches of which the most impressive is Bet Giorgis. It is carved in the form
of a Greek cross and it is exceptionally well preserved.
Today you will also have the opportunity to taste
some of the most prized food products of the country. Ethiopia is believed to
be where Arabica coffee originated. In
this region by tradition, wives and daughters become coffee masters and invite
their family, neighbors, friends and guests to have three cups of coffee. It
plays an important role in stimulating communications. You will take part in a
coffee ceremony in a local Ethiopian house. Lalibela is also famous for its
honey wine and you will have a tasting of this delicious drink.
Day 6 – Aksum
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport and
fly to the ancient city of Aksum.
Aksum was the seat of the ancient capital of the
Kingdom of Aksum, which was one of the most powerful in the ancient world.
Located at the center of the trading routes between the Mediterranean and
India, and controlling the great port of Adulis on the Red Sea, it was
economically, politically and technically advanced and at times had control
over both sides of the Red Sea. Aksum is also where Christianity originated in
Ethiopia and it is believed to be the resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.
You will visit this stunning UNESCO World Heritage
Site, stopping to see the ruins of St. Mary of Zion, the first church to be built
in Sub-Saharan Africa around 330AD. You will then visit the famous monolithic
stelae of Aksum; the tallest one still standing reaches 23 meters and another, once
33 meters high, now lies toppled on the ground. It is most likely the largest
monolith ancient human beings ever attempted to erect. Underground tombs, stone
inscriptions of ancient Aksumite kings and the small archaeological museum will
all contribute to your understanding of the ancient Aksumite history. You will
also visit the ruined palace of the Queen of Sheba who is said to have given
birth to Menelik the First, fathered by King Solomon. Menelik was the founder
of Ethiopia's royal family which ruled until the death of Emperor Haile
Selassie in 1975.
Day 7 – Yeha, Adwa, Adigrat, Gheralta
After breakfast you will head east from Aksum to
Yeha, said to be Ethiopia's oldest settlement, likely dating back almost 3,000
years. A large temple, dedicated to the moon god Ilmuqah, appears to be related
to other pagan temples dedicated to the same god in Yemen, indicating
connections across the Red Sea from the earliest times. The temple was later
converted into a church in the 6th century, but still has wonderful friezes of
ibex carved into the façade. You shall also make a visit to the important town
of Adwa, set amidst rugged mountains. It was at Adwa that the Ethiopians became
the first African nation to repel a colonial power, when they defeated the
Italian army in 1896. Since then, Ethiopia has been a symbol of African
independence, free from European control. This afternoon you will continue to
the town of Adigrat. We will explore this rarely visited corner of Ethiopia and
discover the remarkable rock-cut churches in this region. These architectural
gems were created prior to the 16th century and unknown to the
outside world until the 1960s. About 150 are now known to be in existence with
all but a handful still in active use by the orthodox Christian community. You
will continue your drive to Gheralta where you will stay in a lodge.
Day 8 – Mekelle
After breakfast you will drive to the city of Mekelle.
After checking into your hotel, you will visit the University of Mekelle in the
Day 9 – Mekelle, Addis Ababa
This morning you will visit Mesfin Industrial
Engineering and the Mosobo Cement Factory to learn about these industries.
You will have some free time and in the late
afternoon you will transfer to the airport and fly back to Addis Ababa on
Ethiopian Air Flight ET108, 4:15P-6:15P.
In the evening you will
have a farewell dinner in a traditional Ethiopian restaurants where we will
enjoy special dance performances from different ethnic groups. After dinner you
will transfer to the airport around midnight for your departure home.
Day 10 – Departure
will check in around midnight and depart on your international flight in the
early morning hours. You will make your connection in Qatar and continue on
your next international flight, arriving in the late afternoon.