NATIONAL PARKS SAFARIS ETHIOPIA

HIGHLIGHTS, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO VISIT

 

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV's PALACE

MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV's PALACE IS NOW A MUSEUM. MEKELLE IS THE HUB FOR THE DANAKIL DEPRESSION AND THE ROCK HEWN CHURCHES OF TIGRAY

 

 

Mekelle City, Tigray, Ethiopia

At a road distance of ±780km north of capital Addis Ababa, Mekelle 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.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words. Most of our hundreds of pictures are favored in Google! Why? Because no other website has so many beautiful high resolution pictures, taken by ourselves. Our pictures not only show you the beauty of Ethiopia, but they also show that we go everywhere, photographing wildlife, plants, people and culture. They show our professionalism, our keen eye for detail and our passion for the culture and nature of Ethiopia. So why consider booking our our Ethiopia Culture & National Parks modules? Because we don't mislead you like many tour operators do. When the Blue Nile falls are dry.... we tell you. When fog clouds the lava lake of Erte Ale? We let you know. Just drop us a mail and we will check it out for you.

Our tours get you to ALL the 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; Eastern 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 may be very costly. So let us help you plan your entire trip and book your local flights for an incredibly low price after you booked your international flight with Ethiopian Airlines!

 

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, Mekelle City, Tigray, 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 Mekelle 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.

 

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

 

When the Ethiopian Revolution exploded, Mekelle 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, Mekelle 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.

 

Mekelle 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 Mekelle is a 60m high waterfall tumbling into a canyon about 8km Southwest of Mekelle and is particularly beautiful during the rainy season. Mekelle 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 Mekelle City, Tigray

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, Mekelle City, Tigray is a relatively well-organized city for African conditions.

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: Situated on Ethiopia's highland plateau, Mek'ele is a relatively well organized city for African conditions.
MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: 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 Mekelle.

 

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: War monument.
MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: The Mek'ele market is an interesting place where one gets to see the merchandise important in the daily life of Ethiopians. MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: Salt transported on camel caravans are for sale in the shape of tiles at the Mek'ele market.

The Mekelle 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 Mekelle market.

 

Palace of Emperor Yohannes IV

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: 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 Mekelle.

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: View from Yohannes IV castle in Mek'ele
MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: To get to the Abuna Yemata Guh Rock Hewn Church one has to pass some nerve-wracking rock walls and ravines. MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: 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.

 

MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: Near Mekele, the Mikael Imba church is one of the few rock hewn churches in Tigray that can be visited without climbing. MEKELLE CITY, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV PALACE: 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 MEKELLE, TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA, that can be visited without climbing.

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

 

Mekelle is part of this fabulous travel itinerary:

ETHIOPIA HISTORICAL PLACES MODULE

 

FLY 5 DAYS ETHIOPIA HISTORICAL PLACES FROM $890! DISCOVER ETHIOPIAN MONUMENTS & NATIONAL PARKS with professional advisor to Ethiopian Park Service

Ethiopia Historical Places by car

9 days. Price: $890 per person, minimum 4. Hotels, meals, transportation, fees, non-alcoholic beverages, tee/coffee at meals included. Minimum 2 passengers.

Ask for group discount.

Ethiopia Historical Places by plane

5 days. Price: $890 per person approximately, pending flight costs. Transportation, entry fees, meals, etc. Prices may vary depending on fluctuating air fairs. The itinerary will be adjusted according to flights Minimum 2 passengers.  Longer itineraries at additional hotel costs allow for a more relaxed program.

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. Hotel in Bahir Dar.

Day 1: ADDIS ABABA - BAHIR DAR

  1. Morning Flight to Bahir Dar

  2. Visit Blue Nile Falls and Portuguese Bridge;

  3. Hotel in Bahir Dar.

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 Hotel.

Day 2: BAHIR DAR - GONDAR - by car

  1. Early morning half day excursion by boat on Lake Tana to visit several of the famous Lake Tana churches and the origin of the Blue Nile to watch Hippos;

  2. Afternoon drive to Gondar;

  3. Visit Royal Citadel with the palaces of 6 kings;

  4. Visit Fasimile's Bathroom;

  5. Hotel in Gondar.

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 Dining Room (Kusquam) and/or Fasimile's Bathroom depending on available time;

  3. Hotel in Gondar.

Day 3: GONDAR - LALIBELA

  1. Time permitting Visit Mentewab's Castle very early in the morning;

  2. Morning flight to Lalibela;

  3. Church treasures museum Lalibela;

  4. Visit the Northern and Southern rock hewn church complexes;

  5. Hotel in Lalibela.

 

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

  1. Early in the morning visit the City fortress with the palaces of 6 kings;

  2. Road trip to Axum;

  3. Coffee ceremony;

  4. Hotel in Axum.

Day 4 LALIBELA - AXUM

  1. Early morning excursion to the Southern Complex;

  2. Flight to Axum;

  3. Visit the Stelae compound;

  4. Visit the Tsion Mariam  Church where the Arc of the Covenant is held and the 16th century church on the same complex, which is much more interesting;

  5. Visit Emperor Kaleb's Palace;

  6. Coffee ceremony at a ceremony in a friend's home

  7. Hotel.

 

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

  1. Visit the famous beautiful Stellae at Axum;

  2. Visit Queen Sheba's Palace (officially Dongar Palace);

  3. Gudit Stelae Field opposite the palace;

  4. Debre Liqanos Monastery;

  5. Queen Sheba's Pool (May Shum);

  6. Enzana Enscription, a 3-lingual stone describing a battle of King Enzana

  7. King Basen's Tomb;

  8. Ride to Mekelle;

  9. On the way, visit Yeha Temple;

  10. Hotel in Mekelle.

Day 5: AXUM - ADDIS ABABA

  1. Visit Queen Sheba's Palace (officially Dongar Palace);

  2. Gudit Stelae Field opposite the palace;

  3. Debre Liqanos Monastery;

  4. Queen Sheba's Pool (May Shum);

  5. Enzana Enscription, a 3-lingual stone describing a battle of King Enzana

  6. King Basen's Tomb;

  7. Flight to Addis Ababa.

 

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

  1. Visit Rock Hewn Churches in Wukro;

  2. Visit Palace Emperor Yohannes IV;

  3. Hotel in Mekelle.

 

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

  1. Leave early in the morning for Lalibela;

  2. Church treasures museum Lalibela

  3. Hotel in Lalibela.

 

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 Historical Places and return trip to Addis Ababa;

  2. Transfer to hotel.

 

MEKELLE CITY & EMPEROR YOHANNES IV's PALACE is now a museum. Mekelle 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 1 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 affordable and reliable in-country flights servicing all major cities of Ethiopia. The 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 then 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 $40 - $70 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!!!

 

What makes us different from so many other tour operators?

Just look at the quality of our high resolution pictures. We took them all ourselves. We have thousands of high resolution pictures on this website, that you can see enlarged by clicking on them. These pictures show that we have been everywhere in the country of your interest and really know the details. We are professional explorers and biologists with MSc and PhD.

 

National Parks Tours Worldwide, a social responsibility and conservation company, is a brand name of the World Institute for Conservation & Environment, registered in the Netherlands with headquarters in the USA.

 

Phone USA:

(++)(1) 304 - 581 - 7740

Email:

[email protected]

Skype: ecotravelworldwide

Parks Man Dr. Daan Vreugdenhil is author of this website. He dedicated his life to the conservation of nature. https://www.facebook.com/DrDaanVreugdenhil, https://www.linkedin.com/in/drdaanvreugdenhil/. He was part of the team that selected the first 39 protected areas of Ecuador, including. Yasuní and Cuyabeno, the latter of which he he later recommended to be expanded from originally 150,000ha to 600,000ha, together with then Cuyabeno director Prof. Dr. Flavio Coello and Parks and Tribes partner. Daan is also the founding father of the Cuyabeno Lodge and co-manager of the Cofan Lodge.