NATIONAL PARKS SAFARIS ETHIOPIA

HIGHLIGHTS, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO VISIT THEM

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MEK'ELLE, ETHIOPIA

MEK'ELLE & YOHANNES IV's PALACE IS NOW A MUSEUM. MEK'ELE IS THE HUB FOR THE DANAKIL DEPRESSION AND THE ROCK HEWN CHURCHES OF TIGRIS

 

Mek'ele, Ethiopia

At a road distance of ±780km north of capital Addis Ababa, Mek'ele is the capital of the Northernmost Region of Ethiopia, Tigray, and one of Ethiopia's most important economic and educational centers. Alula Aba Nega Airport is the new international standard airport  from where Ethiopian Airlines connects the city with Axum, capital Addis Ababa and Lalibela, and Bahir Dar, operating brand new Dornier Turboprops.

 

Why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because for the same price, our tour gets you to ALL cultural places Ethiopia is so famous for, and on top of that, you get to see up to 12 National Parks/Reserves accompanied by a conservation forester. There is nothing similar on the market. As Ethiopia can be combined with other East African countries, we organize tours in modules. Destinations Overview: Historical Circuit; Danakil Depression; Eathern Route; Simien Mountains; Bale Mountains; Southern Parks Safari; Gambella; Addis Ababa BUT WAIT: if you buy your international ticket with Ethiopia Airlines, they will sell the internal flights at a price that you can't even ride the bus for. But you MUST plan it all in one package and making changes will be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip for an incredibly low price!

 

Founded in the 13th century, the city has more than 300,000 inhabitants, with the 2 largest ethnic groups being Tigray (96.2%) and Amhara (2.26%). Tigrinya is spoken by 96% of the people and Amharic by 3%; 93% of the population are Ethiopian Orthodox Christians and 6% are Muslims. Like all main cities in Ethiopia, Mek'ele is growing fast, attracting rural people in search of employment. Local industries include Mesfin Industrial Engineering, a steel and manufacturing factory and Messebo Cement Factory, while Mek'ele University is one of the finest in the country.

 

There are two primary local landmarks in this city. The Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) monument commemorating the struggle against and overthrow of the Derg, which overlooks the city. The other is the palace of Yohannes IV, which now is a museum in which the Emperor’s throne, royal bed, ceremonial dress, rifles, etc. are on display.

 

Mek'ele's heyday came later during the late nineteenth century, after Yohannes IV was crowned King of Ethiopia, and decreed Mek'ele as the capital of Ethiopia.  Upon his death in 1899, his successor being the famous Emperor Menelik II.

 

When the Ethiopian Revolution exploded, Mek'ele governor Ras Mengesha Seyoum founded a resistance group in the hills that eventually grew into the Ethiopian Democratic Union. During the 1983–85 famine in Ethiopia, Mek'ele became known for the seven "hunger camps" around the city with 75,000 refugees and 20,000 more waiting to enter; 50-60 people died in these seven camps every day.

 

Mek'ele can be used as a base to explore the eastern rock-hewn churches of Tigray, particularly those around Wukro at about 50km to its North. Abuna Yemata Guh is quite famous, not only for its beauty, but also for its nerve-wracking ascent. Chele Anka Waterfall, 8km out of Mek'ele is a 60m high waterfall tumbling into a canyon about 8km Southwest of Mek'ele and is particularly beautiful during the rainy season. Mek'ele is also the required port of entry towards the Danakil Depression, passing by the salt market town Berahile.

 

At an elevation of 2084masl, the climate is subtropical humid with relatively high temperatures during the day and evenly distributed rainfall during the year, with July and August being the rainy season.

 

Climate data for Mek'ele

Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Year

Average high °C (°F)

23
(73)

24
(75)

25
(77)

26
(79)

27
(81)

27
(81)

23
(73)

23
(73)

25
(77)

24
(75)

23
(73)

22
(72)

24.3
(75.8)

Average low °C (°F)

16
(61)

17
(63)

18
(64)

19
(66)

20
(68)

20
(68)

18
(64)

17
(63)

18
(64)

17
(63)

16
(61)

15
(59)

17.6
(63.7)

Precipitation mm (inches)

36
(1.4)

10
(0.4)

30
(1)

46
(1.8)

36
(1.4)

30
(1.2)

201
(7.9)

216
(8.5)

36
(1.4)

10
(0.4)

30
(1)

41
(1.6)

722
(28)

 

Situated on Ethiopia's highland plateau, Mek'ele is a relatively well-organized city for African conditions.

Situated on Ethiopia's highland plateau, Mek'ele is a relatively well organized city for African conditions.
Alula Aba Nega Airport, from where Ethiopian Airlines connects the city with Aksum, Addis Ababa and Lalibela, and Bahir Dar, operating brand new Dornier Turboprops.

Alula Aba Nega Airport, from where Ethiopian Airlines connects the city with Aksum, Addis Ababa and Lalibela, and Bahir Dar, operating brand new Dornier Turboprops.

The war monument in Mek'ele.
The Mek'ele market is an interesting place where one gets to see the merchandise important in the daily life of Ethiopians. Salt transported on camel caravans are for sale in the shape of tiles at the Mek'ele market.

The Mek'ele market is an interesting place where one gets to see the merchandise important in the daily life of Ethiopians.

Salt transported on camel caravans are for sale in the shape of tiles at the Mek'ele market.

 

Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV

Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV in Mek'ele is a museum with his thrown, bed and other items of his posessions

The palace of Emperor Yohannes IV is now is a museum with his thrown, bed and other items of his possessions.

View from Yohannes IV palace in Mek'ele.

View from Yohannes IV castle in Mek'ele
To get to the Abuna Yemata Guh Rock Hewn Church one has to pass some nerve-wracking rock walls and ravines. The Abuna Yemata Guh Church can be reached from Mek'ele.

To get to the Abuna Yemata Guh Rock Hewn Church one has to pass some nerve-wracking rock walls and ravines.

The door to the Abuna Yemata Guh Church.

 

Near Mekele, the Mikael Imba church is one of the few rock hewn churches in Tigray that can be visited without climbing. The Wukro Chirkos Church in Wukro is one of the few great rock hewn churches at a level location.

The Mikael Imba church is one of the few rock hewn churches in Ethiopia and near Mek'ele that can be visited without climbing.

The Wukro Chirkos Church in Wukro, 50 km North of Mek'ele, is one of the few great rock hewn churches at a level location.

 

Mek'ele is part of this fabulous travel itinerary:

HISTOR CIRCUIT

MODULE

ETHIOPIA HISTORIC CIRCUIT. DISCOVER ETHIOPIAN MONUMENTS & NATIONAL PARKS with former professional to Ethiopian Park Service

Ethiopia Historic Circuit by car

9 days. Price: $1249. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals included. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Ethiopia Historic Circuit by plane

7 days. Price: $2195. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals, included. Prices may vary depending on fluctuating air fairs. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR, road distance ± 580km;

  1. Stop at the bridge across the Blue Nile Gorge, comparable in size to the Grand Canyon in the USA and supposedly the largest canyon of Africa;

  2. In the evening visit the Blue Nile falls if arrival before dark;

  3. Sleep at simple but beautifully located Ghion Hotel at the waterfront of Bahir Dar.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA

  1. Airport pickup;

  2. Hotel in Addis Ababa;

  3. Afternoon rest, visit Crafts and Art market street or a museum of choice.

Day 2: LAKE TANA - BLUE NILE FALLS, road distance ± 35km

  1. Day excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  2. Visit of the Blue Nile Falls;

  3. Sleep at Ghion Hotel.

Day 2: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR by plane

  1. Visit of the Blue Nile Falls;

  2. Sleep at Ghion Hotel.

Day 3: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR, road distance ± 175km

  1. The Devil's Nose Rock, is a basaltic monolith or hoodoo, located near the village of Addis Zemen, 75km north Bahir Dar on the road to Gondar. On its top is an important roost and possibly nesting place for Ruepell's and other vultures.

  2. Check in in the hotel at Gondar after which a visit to Mentewab's Castle and/or Fasimile's Bathroom depending on available time;

  3. Hotel in Gondar.

Day 3: BAHIR DAR

  1. Day Excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and monasteries;

  2. Sleep in Ghion Hotel.

Day 4: GONDAR - AXUM, road distance ± 350km

  1. Early in the morning visit the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Road trip to Axum;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 4: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR by car

  1. Visit Royal Enclosure Fasil Ghebbi;

  2. Visit Mentewab's Castle, Fasimile's Bathroom and Fasil Ghebbi, the Royal Enclosre;

  3. Hotel in Gondar

Day 5: AXUM - MEKELE, road distance  ± 250km

  1. Visit the famous beautiful Stellae at Axum

  2. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  3. Ride to Mek'ele;

  4. On the way, visit Yeha Temple;

  5. Hotel in Mek'ele.

Day 5: GONDAR - LALIBELA by plane

  1. Visit Lalibela Church Treasury Museum;

  2. Visit Lalibela Rock Hewn Churches;

  3. Hotel Tulkul in Lalibela.

Day 6: MEKELE - WUKRO - MEKELE, road distance  ± 45km

  1. Visit Rock Hewn Churches in Wukro;

  2. Visit Palace Emperor Yohannes IV;

  3. Hotel in Mek'ele.

Day 6: LALIBELA - AXUM by plane

  1. Visit Stellae;

  2. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 7: MEKELE - LALIBELA, road distance ± 430km

  1. Leave early in the morning for Lalibela;

  2. Church treasures museum Lalibela

  3. Hotel Tulkul in Lalibela.

Day 7: AXUM - ADDIS ABABA by plane

  1. Time permitting before connecting international flight: Visit Crafts and art market, museum or Mount Entoto;

  2. Transfer airport for international flight or to hotel.

Day 8: LALIBELA - DESSIE, road distance ± 300km

  1. Visit the churches of Lalibela;

  2. Drive to Dessie;

  3. Hotel in Dessie.

 

Day 9: DESSIE - ADDIS ABABA road distance ± 340km

  1. last day of the Ethiopia Historic Circuit and return trip to Addis Ababa;

  2. Transfer to hotel.

 

MEK'ELLE & YOHANNES IV's PALACE is now a museum. Mek'ele is hub for depatures to Danakil & Rock Hewn Churches of Tigris

 

Ethiopia modernizes and changes more rapidly than any other country in Africa. Many features may not be there anymore in the near future. If you want to see it the way it was for thousands of years, see it now before it has changed forever! Compose your own once-in-a-lifetime Ethiopia-Africa-Adventure from our affordable modules:

Famous Ethiopia Historical Circuit

Simien Mountains trek or car visit

Danakil Depression and Erte Ale Volcano Expedition

Awash Babile Harar Safari Tour

Ethiopia Central and Southern Parks & Tribes Safari Tour

Bale Mountains National Park and Sof Omar Caves Tour

Gambella National Park Safari

Addis Ababa City Tour & Airport Transfer

All Ethiopia modules and prices together

We designed our itineraries in such a way that you can compose a 2 to 4 weeks journey from different modules that can show you the entire country or just the parts that interest you, all depending on your personal preferences, available time and budget. Email us on your interests and we can discuss a custom program with you by phone (we have phone lines from the USA and Europe) or skype. So, weather you have a great ethnic affinity, are a birdwatcher or want to go on safari, contact us and we work out a customized program that focuses on YOUR interests.

Blue Nile Falls, EthiopiaSt. George Church, LalibelaStellas, Axum, EthiopiaTukuls, Lalibela, EthiopiaElephant bull, Babile, EthiopiaEthiopian Wolf, Bale National Park

Gelada, Simien Mountains National ParkFacilides Bathroom, Gondar, EtiopiaWabia Ibex, Simien MountainsChurch, Lake Tana, EthiopiaErica trees, Bale Mountains National Park.Facilides Castle, Gondar, Ethiopia

Addis Ababa Bole International Airport is home of Ethiopian Airlines, featuring Africa's youngest fleet of the latest intercontinental jet airplanes - including 2 Dreamliners - as well as short-distance Bombardier turboprops for very comfortable, affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The second best airline of Africa, will fly you non-stop from the USA and Europe to Addis Ababa. Take our 1-week Ethiopia Cultural Monuments Tour and than continue for your Kenya or Tanzania safari - or any other East African capital - thus completing your journey. IF YOU BUY YOUR INTERNATIONAL TICKET FROM ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES, YOU WILL GET MOST INTERNAL FLIGHTS FOR $25 - $35 PER LEG! BUT CHANGING AFTERWARDS IS EXPENSIVE, SO WORK OUT A SCHEDULE WITH US TO GET A FABULOUS DEAL FOR FLYING THROUGH THE COUNTRY IN STEAD OF SPENDING ENDLESS TIME ON THE ROAD!!!

 

Ecotravel Worldwide is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA, a social responsibility and conservation company. About CO2 emission offset for your travels.

Phone USA:

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Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (++251) (0) 911 440 915
Email: niks

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