NATIONAL PARKS SAFARIS ETHIOPIA

HIGHLIGHTS, WHERE THEY ARE AND HOW TO VISIT

 

 

FASILIDES' BATH IN GONDAR

FASILIDES' BATH: beautifully restored castle / bath-house of the emperor, yet greatly under-appreciated by tourists. A must see!!!

 

Fasilides Bath in Gondar

King Fasilides commissioned the construction of what is know as Fasilides' Swimming pool, or Fasilides' Bath in Gondar, beyond the the heart of the city north-west of the Qaha River. There is a two-storeyed battlemented palace standing in a square pool which receives it water from a canal filled by the river, but which is empty most of the time for sanitary reasons. The beautifully restored palace with several rooms and  connected to the land by a bridge makes part of the city's UNESCO World Heritage Site, that includes the Royal Enclosure, Fasil Ghebbi, Fasil's Castle and Mentewab's Palace at Kuskuam.

 

It's original use has not been documented, but nowadays it is used for the re-enactment of Timket, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo celebration of Epiphany on January 19, the 10th day of Terr on the Ethiopian calendar. Timket celebrates the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River.

 

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!

 

A priest carries the Tabot on his head, wrapped in an ornamental cloth, as he leads a procession to the bath. The Tabot is a replica of the Ark of the Covenant, which is rarely seen by the laity. Upon arrival, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated early in the morning as the water is blessed and sprinkled on the participants, some of whom immerse themselves, as they renew their baptismal vows.

 

FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: The palace of the Fasilides' Bath seen from its entrance across the bridge. FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: The palace of the Fasilides' Swimming Pool with bridge seen from the bottom of the pool.

Entrance to the walled Fasilides' Bath compound.

Fasilides' Bath Palace from below.

 

Fasilides' Bath is a beautifully restored monument built on arched stilts or columns rising from the bottom of the pool. A bridge connects the palace to the land. Only occasionally filled with water, the pool is kept dry most of the time for sanitary reasons.

 

FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: The palace of the Fasilides' Swimming Pool with bridge seen from the side of the pool. FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: Fasilides' Bath filled with water seen from the opposite side of the pool.

Empty most of the time, Fasilides' Bath is only filled once a year during the celebration of Epiphany on 19th January.

 

FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: The palace of Fasilides' Swimming Pool seen from its foundation in the pool as it stands on its pillars. FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: The fortification seen from the bottom of Fasilides' Swimming Pool as it stands on its columns.

The palace seen from its foundation in the pool as it stands on its pillars.

The fortification seen from the bottom of Fasilides' Swimming Pool as it stands on its columns.

   
FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: Banyan trees or strangle fig trees, grow along the walls of the quays surrounding Fasilides' Swimming Pool. FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: Banyan trees or strangle fig trees, grow along the walls of the quays surrounding Fasilides' Bath.

Banyan trees or strangle fig trees, grow along the walls of the quays surrounding the bath. Over time, the roots will undermine the walls, but as they are now, their roots contribute to the overall artistic design of the monument, while their canopies offer a luxurious green shady environment.  The seeds of Banyan trees germinate in cracks in walls or rocks or they may follow the trunk of trees as a vine; as the vine gradually wraps around the trunk, they eventually outgrow the host tree and kill it, growing a hollow trunk.

   
FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: Fasilides' Swimming Pool is surrounded by a curtain wall fortified by turret designed with the egg-shaped top FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: Curtain wall surrounding Fasilides' Bath with a towered gate giving access to the inner ward of the UNESCO monument.

Fasilides' Swimming Pool is surrounded by a curtain wall fortified by turrets designed with the egg-shaped tops characteristic for the period.

Curtain wall surrounding Fasilides' Bath with a towered gate giving access to the inner ward of the UNESCO monument. The roots of a Banyan tree covering the wall.

   
FASILIDES BATH IN GONDAR: Connected with the river through a canal, most of the time, the Fasilides' Swimming Pool is kept drained. FASILIDES SWIMMING POOL: A Banyan tree seen from the foundation of the palace of Fasilides' Bath.

Connected with the river through a canal, most of the time, the Fasilides' Swimming Pool is kept drained to prevent the growth of diseases in the stagnant water.

A Banyan tree seen from the foundation of the palace of Fasilides' Bath.

 

Fasilides' Swimming Pool is part of this fabulous itinerary:

HISTORICAL CIRCUIT

MODULE

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

Ethiopia Historic Circuit 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 Historic Circuit 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 Historic Circuit and return trip to Addis Ababa;

  2. Transfer to hotel.

 

 

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

Phone Addis Ababa, Ethiopia:

(++251) (0) 911 440 915

Email:

[email protected]

Skype: ecotravelworldwide