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Ancient Civilisations Explored

Ancient Civilisations Explored

From {{totalPrice}} SEK Extra utgifter på plats From USD1,470
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Vad ingår?
Längd
49 dagar
Börjar i
Cairo
Avslutas i
Addis Ababa
Gruppstorlek
26
As the title suggests, this trip really explores the ancient cultures of Northern Africa. It travels between Cairo and Addis Ababa, two of Africa's great modern day cities. But along the way it passes through the lands and history of three great cultures. The most obvious is the land of Ancient Egypt, and we have over 18 days to explore the Egyptian Nile Valley and it's myriad of ancient relics, such as the Pyramids of Giza and Saqqara, Thebes, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings, Aswan and of course Abu Simbel. We also make time to explore the Nile by an overnight Felucca trip. The next of the great cultures is the least known, the Kushite Kingdom of Sudan's Nubian Desert and this is where we really come into our own, as our overland vehicle and camping equipment, allow us to camp out in the desert at some of Africa's finest ruins. Finally, we have over three weeks to really get to grips with Northern Ethiopia, its mountains, deserts and its wonderfully ancient Christian culture.
  • Guided tour of the fascinating ancient royal city of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • 3 nights in the fabulously scenic Simien Mountains NP
  • Spot geladas, ibex, Ethiopian wolves and many other endemic species
  • Guided tour of palaces and temples in historic Axum
  • 2 day 4 x 4 adventure to the spectacular Danakil Depression
  • Guided tour of the ancient rock hewn and churches and monastries in Lalibela
  • Boat trip on Lake Tana to witness the source of the Blue Nile
  • Drive the dramatic roads of the Blue Nile gorge
  • Explore chaotic and bustling Addis Ababa
  • Absolutely, if you love discovery and are prepared to get out of your comfort zone and to go way off the beaten track across the Sudanese deserts and mountains of Ethiopia. A very well paced journey with loads of time to explore and a great mix of hotels, hostels and camping. Be prepared that some of the accommodation can be fairly basic.

    Resrutt

    Ancient Civilisations Explored

    Day 1 Cairo

    Border Information: if joining in Cairo, you will most likely enter Egypt at Cairo International Airport (IATA code: CAI). There will be an important group meeting at 10:00am at the joining hotel - please look out at the hotel reception for a note from your leader with more details about this important meeting. Your leader will need to check your Sudanese visa or make sure the necessary preparations have been done to pick your visa up in Cairo or Aswan. They will also need to check the Ethiopian visas of anyone going beyond Khartoum. In the afternoon we will have an included half-day guided visit to the Egyptian Museum. We will go to the museum by metro or by taxi, and be shown around the vast and breathtaking collection of historical relics and treasures, including the sarcophagus of Akhenaten, the mummy of Ramses II and of course the incredible golden mask of Tutankhamun! Please note that many of the options listed below will only be possible for those with extra time in Cairo before the start of your trip with us - please contact the Sales team if you would like to book pre-tour accommodation with us to have extra time exploring Cairo.

    Day 2 Cairo

    Today we will set off in a local chartered minibus for an included full-day guided tour to Memphis, the pyramids at Saqqara, the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx. We will aim to be back in Cairo for around 4:00pm today.

    Day 3 Alexandria

    Today we will start our journey by travelling up to the Mediterranean coast to the bustling city of Alexandria, where will spend 2 nights exploring the sights.

    Day 4 Alexandria

    Today we will have the chance to visit the beautiful modern Alexandria Library, explore various historical sites, and to go diving in the Mediterranean.

    Day 5 Port Said

    Today we will follow the Mediterranean coast across the Nile Delta to reach Port Said, the town at the northern outflow of the Suez Canal.

    Day 6 Zafarana

    Today we will travel south following the Suez Canal, then branch out into the Eastern Deserts, visiting the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony en route.

    Day 7 El Quseir

    Today we will travel down the stunning coast of the Red Sea to explore the Ottoman fort at El Quseir.

    Day 8 Marsa Alam

    Today we will complete our drive to the beautiful southern Red Sea village of Marsa Alam. We will have 2 full days in Marsa Alam to relax on the beaches, enjoy many optional activities on the Red Sea, or to take an optional overnight camel safari out into the nearby deserts of Wadi-el-Gamal!

    Day 9 Marsa Alam

    Today we will continue to enjoy the activites on offer in Marsa Alam. There are plenty of options for once in a lifetime expereinces, both on land and in the sea!

    Day 10 Marsa Alam

    Our final day in Marsa Alam. This is the time to enjoy relaxation on the beach before we continue our journey towards Luxor.

    Day 11 Luxor

    Today we will head to Luxor, a beautiful modern town built on the site of the Ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes, where we will spend 3 nights exploring the incredible historical sites here. We will also try to visit the Temple of Hathor at Dendara en route (if accessible).

    Day 12 Luxor

    On the second day we will have an included guided tour around the world-famous Karnak Temple, which is walking distance from our hotel. This temple contains some remarkably preserved painted walls and many awe-inspiring pillars and obelisks, and was the centre of religious life in Thebes. Our tour will last about 2 hours, and then we will have free time for the rest of the day to explore the temple independently, and to visit the other sites in Luxor such as the smaller Luxor Temple in the town centre, and the small but beautiful Luxor Museum, which is filled with priceless treasures from the area.

    Day 13 Luxor

    On the third day we will have an included tour to the West Bank, which will encompass the Hatshepsut Temple and the phenomenal Valley of the Kings, the location of the tombs of the Pharoahs of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt.

    Day 14 Aswan

    Today we leave Luxor and visit the incredible Temple of Edfu, an awe-inspiring temple dedicated to Horus built during the Ptolomaic era, which is considered to be the best-preserved cult temple in Egypt. We will then continue on to the southern city of Aswan - here is where we will pick up the Sudanese visas of anyone who has arranged them to be processed here in advance.

    Day 15 Nile Felucca

    Today we will board a traditional felucca sailboat for an overnight adventure exploring the Nile by boat.

    Day 16 Aswan

    We will return from the felucca to Aswan, where we will have 2 full days to enjoy to wealth of history and culture that Aswan has to offer, and to make optional visits to the Philae Temple, Elephantine Island, the Nubian Museum, and the Aswan Dam. If the group are keen to extend the felucca trip, we also have time to allow this possibility.

    Day 17 Aswan

    Today we have full day in Aswan to visit as many of the historical sites as possible! Museums, Obelisks, Tombs and Temples are commonplace here. Which ones will you choose to visit?!

    Day 18 Abu Simbel

    Today we will drive to the small village of Abu Simbel, where we will have an included visit to the phenomenal Temples of Ramses and Nefertari, with a possibility to visit the sound and light show after sunset (if it is running).

    Day 19 Wadi Halfa

    Border Information: Exit Egypt at Qustol, enter Sudan at Qustol. Today we will take an early transport ferry across to the east side of Lake Nasser, and then head across the border where we meet our local facilitator who will accompany us in Sudan. We will then drive a short distance to the dusty northern Sudanese frontier town of Wadi Halfa, where we will spend the night.

    Day 20 Wawa

    Over the next 2 days we will journey through the remote areas of Northern Sudan and the vast Sahara Desert. En route we will visit many ruined temples of the Kushite era, including the Temple of Soleb near Wawa, the Deffufa of Kerma near Dongola, and the pyramids at Jebel Barkal mountain near the town of Karima.

    Day 21 Karima

    Today we continue on our journey visiting the relics of the Kushite era on our way.

    Day 22 Naqa

    Over these days we continue our journey into the heart of Sudan, visiting the incredible and haunting Nuri pyramids and Meroe pyramids of the Kushite era. We will then continue south to visit the Kushite ruins at the sites of Naqa and Musawwarat.

    Day 23 Naqa

    We have the luxury of taking our time here. As we work out way towards Khartoum you can really feel yourself becoming one with Sudan as you spend time wandering through the ruins of bygone ages.

    Day 24 Naqa

    Our final day travelling through the desert of Sudan. It will not be long until we are in the hustle and bustle of Khartoum. Enjoy the final hours of desolation and the final night of sleeping under the stars.

    Day 25 Khartoum

    Today we will complete our journey to the Sudanese capital of Khartoum, where your tour leader will have to collect the passports of everyone in the group to register our visas.

    Day 26 Khartoum

    We will have the whole day to freely explore Khartoum, including possible optional trips to the impressive Grand Mosque and the bustling Omdurman market.

    Day 27 Gedaref

    Today we will drive from Khartoum to the small town of Gedaref, en route to the Ethiopian border.

    Day 28 Gondar

    Border Information: Exit Sudan at Metema, enter Ethiopia at Metema. Today we have a full day's drive to cross the border into Ethiopia and reach the ancient royal city of Gondar.

    Day 29 Gondar

    Border Information: if joining in Gondar, you will most likely enter Ethiopia at Gondar Atse Tewodros Airport (IATA code: GDQ).There will be a group meeting at the joining hotel at 6:00pm. Please look out for a note from your tour leader at the reception when you arrive giving more details about this important meeting. If you are continuing to Kenya or beyond, your leader will need to check the validity dates of your Ethiopian visa.

    Day 30 Gondar

    Today, we will have an included half day guided tour of the historical sites of Gondar, including Gondar Castle, the King Fasilades' Baths and the Debre Birhan Selassie church. 

    Day 31 Simien Mountains NP

    Today marks the start of our 3-day excursion into the Simien Mountains NP. We will first drive to Debark, where we will have a briefing from our local mountain guide explaining the various trekking options we will have during our excursion, before heading into the NP. The area is home to some of Africa's most jaw-dropping mountain scenery and is a great opportunity to enjoy some incredibly beautiful treks and breathtaking views! The area is also home many indigenous animals, and during our time here we hope to spot Lammargeyer vultures, geladas, Walia ibex, and (if we are very lucky) klipspringers and Ethiopian wolves. We will spend 3 nights in the incredible Simien Mountains NP. On each day we aim to provide an option for a long trek (of 5-8 hours), a short trek (2-5 hours) or no trekking. On our first day, we aim to wild camp at the area of Sankaber. On our second and third days, we aim to wild camp at the area of Chenek (underneath Ras Bwahit, the second-highest mountain in the Simiens, which we hope to get the opportunity to summit). Please note that we must keep a flexible itinerary in the Simien Mountains, as our options will largely be determined by the weather.  Please also note that the camping areas in the NP are very basic, and are essentially wild camps with long drop toilets. Please also note that the food and provisions available in Debark and the NP are very limited, and it is also likely to be very cold at night (often dropping below freezing), so please be prepared! You will need to bring a suitable sleeping bag and mat with you from home to ensure you are ready for this environment.

    Day 32 Simien Mountains NP

    Today we once again have the choice between joining a short trek or a long trek. Each one will have a guide and a superb route showing off the best the Simiens have to offer.

    Day 33 Simien Mountains NP

    This is our final day of treking in the National Park. Once again there will be a choice between short and long routes as we soak in the final moments of the mountains.

    Day 34 Simien Mountains NP

    Today is our final day in the Simien Mountains NP, and we make our way back to Debark for the night.

    Day 35 Axum

    Leaving Debark behind us, we continue our journey with a full day of driving through the foothills of the Simien Mountains to reach the ancient town of Axum in the far north of Ethiopia. The roads here are very tough, but we are rewarded with more truly breathtaking scenery!

    Day 36 Axum

    Today we will have an included half day guided tour of the incredible historical sites of Axum, the capital of the once-mighty Axumite Empire - included in this tour will be seeing the Stelae Field, the Tomb of King Kaleb, and the Palace of the Queen of Sheba. We will have a free afternoon to have the time to optionally visit other places such as the Church of St. Mary of Zion, the supposed resting place of the Ark of the Covenant.

    Day 37 Mekele

    Today we will continue through the breathtaking mountain scenery of the Adwa mountains and visit one of the famous rock-hewn churches of Tigray (either the Abraha Atsbeha or Wukro Chirkos church) near to Mekele.

    Day 38 Danakil Depression

    After breakfast meet your 4 x 4 vehicles and drive to Hamed Ella. On the way you will pass through the beautiful Tigre Villages and the escarpment of the Afar depression, this is commonly known as the cradle of mankind and is part of the Great East African Rift Valley. Along the way you will see camel caravans going to the traditional salt mine or to the North Eastern highlands of the country, loaded with salt bars in the old traditional way. We will also stop at Brehalle where we will get our permits and scouts for the trip into the Danakil Depression.

    Day 39 Mekele

    On the second day we drive to Dallol. Here in Dallol you will visit the beautiful land covered by salt, sulfur and different minerals that gives the area a spectacular colour. We will then continue on to Lake Asale to witness the beautiful salt flats.This is an extremely intense environment and a very adventurous three days, certainly a once in a lifetime experience. However, if you feel like your personal fitness can not withstand this pressure then there is a chance this may not be the trip for you.Today we will make our way back to Mekele ending our time in the stunning Danakil Depression.

    Day 40 Lalibela

    Today we will have a full day drive to the town of Lalibela.

    Day 41 Lalibela

    On our first day in Lalibela, we will have an included full-day guided tour of its world-famous 13th-century rock churches. Our guide will be able to explain the fascinating history of Lalibela and its churches, and there will be plenty of time to explore, absorb the haunting atmosphere inside the churches, and take plenty of photographs of the incredible architecture and the religious rituals within.

    Day 42 Lalibela

    On our second day, we will have a free day for further exploration or optional activities. We will have opportunity to hike up the nearby mountains to the Asheten Monastery, visit the Yemrehana Kristos cave church outside the town, or freely explore the Lalibela churches again at your own pace.

    Day 43 Awra Amba

    Today we will drive to the ideological village of Awra Amba. Run by the infamous Zumra Nuru the village operates with the belief that everyone is equal and should have a say in how their home is run. We will take a tour of the village and camp on the outskirts.

    Day 44 Bahir Dar

    Today we will drive to Bahir Dar, a small town on Lake Tana, the source of the mighty Blue Nile.

    Day 45 Bahir Dar

    On our first day in Bahir Dar, we will have an included boat trip on Lake Tana to visit the famous old monastery of Gabriel Ure Kideth and to visit the spot where the lake outflows into the start of the Blue Nile. 

    Day 46 Bahir Dar

    On our second full day, we will head off in the truck to visit the Blue Nile Falls and take a short walk around the area to the historic Portuguese Bridge. We will have some free time in the afternoon to visit some other spots around Bahir Dar such as the 'Hippo bridge' and the Tigray war memorial.

    Day 47 Debre Markos

    Today we will continue our journey south towards Addis Ababa. We will break the journey with a nightstop in a basic local hotel in the small town of Debre Markos en route.

    Day 48 Addis Ababa

    Today we will complete our journey to the bustling Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. En route we will drive to the bottom of the dramatic Blue Nile Gorge and up the other side!

    Day 49 Addis Ababa

    Border Information: If finishing in Addis Ababa, you will most likely exit Ethiopia at Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (IATA code: ADD). Today is the end day for passengers finishing their trip in Addis Ababa. Please note there is no accommodation included on the trip tonight - please contact the Sales Team if you are interested in booking extra nights of accommodation in order to fully explore and take part in some of the optional activities listed below.
    Sammanfattning

    Vad ingår?

    Extra utgifter på plats
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    Aktiviteter

    Guided tour of the Cairo Egyptian Museum

    Visit the ancient Coptic Monastery of St. Anthony in Egypt's Eastern Deserts

    Explore the Ottoman Fort at El Quseir

    See the remarkably well-preserved painted murals in the Temple of Hathor in Dendara

    Guided tour of Karnak Temple Luxor

    Explore the phenomenal royal tombs at the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank of the Nile Visit the impressive Temple of Hatshepsut, built to honour one of Egypt\'s most influential Pharoahs

    Take a guided tour of the Ptolomaic-era Temple of Horus at Edfu considered to be the best preserved temple in Egypt

    Discover the River Nile by boat on an afternoon and overnight felucca trip

    Visit the awe-inspiring world-famous Temple of Ramses II and Temple of Nefertari in Abu Simbel

    Explore the ruins of the Temple of Soleb

    Visit to the Kushite temples and climb to the summit of the distinctive Jebel Barkal mountain

    Visit the pre-Kushite Temple of Deffufa a 5500 year old Nubian archaeological site built by the Kerma civilisation

    Explore the ancient Kushite Royal Pyramids at Nuri near Karima

    Guided visit of Meroe Pyramids

    Visit the Meroitic temple complex of Musawwarat 

    Explore the ancient Kushite temple of Naqa

    Learn all about medieval Ethiopia on a half-day guided tour of the castles churches and baths of Gondar

    2 days of guided treks in the Simien Mountains National Park

    Guided tour of palaces and temples in historic Axum

    Explore the Tigray rock-hewn churches at Mekele

    Journey out on an incredible 2 day/1 night excursion to the Danakil Depression

    Guided tour of the ancient rock churches and monasteries at Lalibela

    Visit the Utopian village or Awra Amba and see a place where all people are seen as equal

    Boat trip on Lake Tana from Bahir Dar to visit the monasteries

    Explore the stunning Blue Nile Falls just downstream of Bahir Dar

    Boende

    Comfortable Hotel 15 nights
    Basic Hotel 18 nights
    Camping 1 night
    Multishare Hostel 3 nights
    Overnight Boat 1 night
    Camping without facilities 10 nights

    Lokal transport

    Overland Expedition Vehicle, Private Bus, Ferry, Boat

    Måltider

    Breakfasts x 98, Lunches x 24, Dinners x 24

    Ancient Civilisations Explored

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