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Addis Ababa

Half-day & Full day

TE - ST 001 Addis Ababa city tour - half day

We start at 8.30 (or 1.30 PM) with a pick up from your hotel and drive north up to Mount Entoto. 

In 1881 Emperor Menelik II made his permanent camp there, after remains of an old town (believed to have been the capital of 16th century monarch Lebna Dengel) were discovered, which Menelik thought was a divine and auspicious sign.

  • Addis Ababa at between 2300 - 2500 meters is the third highest capital in the world and Entoto is a few hundred meters higher. 

As we drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in altitude and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road.

From the top, there is a panoramic view of the capital and surrounding countryside. Entoto is an important watershed, to the north water flows to the Blue Nile, to the south to the Awash River.

Entoto was soon abandoned as a site for the capital - it was cold, difficult to provision and there was a shortage of wood. Empress Taytu was said to have led the move down to the plain of Finfine, and to have named the new capital Addis Ababa, or New Flower. 

However, two important structures remain within the old imperial compound on Entoto, the churches of Mariam and the Archangel Raguel. 

  • It was in the church of Mariam that Menelik was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1889, and in the small museum in the compound there are various clothes, court and household implements and weapons dating from the period. 

  • The church of Raguel is unusual in that it is octagonal, rather than round. There is a first story balustrade around which Menelik liked to stroll.

Leaving the churches we descend to Addis Ababa, stopping off at the National Archaeological Museum. 

  • Here visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, through the Axumite and Gondarene periods to the monarchs Tewodros and Menelik.

This completes the half day tour and visitors will be taken back to their hotels.

  •  

TE-ST 002 Full day Addis Ababa City tour

We start at 8.30 with a pick up from your hotel and drive north up to Mount Entoto. 

In 1881 Emperor Menelik II made his permanent camp there, after remains of an old town (believed to have been the capital of 16th century monarch Lebna Dengel) were discovered, which Menelik thought was a divine and auspicious sign.

  • Addis Ababa at between 2300 - 2500 meters is the third highest capital in the world and Entoto is a few hundred meters higher.  As we drive up the hill there is an appreciable drop in altitude and the air is filled with the scent of the Eucalyptus trees which line the road.

From the top, there is a panoramic view of the capital and surrounding countryside. 

  • Entoto is an important watershed, to the north water flows to the Blue Nile, to the south to the Awash River. 

  • Entoto was soon abandoned as a site for the capital - it was cold, difficult to provision and there was a shortage of wood. 

  • Empress Taytu was said to have led the move down to the plain of Finfine, and to have named the new capital Addis Ababa, or New Flower. 

However, two important structures remain within the old imperial compound, the churches of Mariam and the Archangel Raguel. 

  • It was in the church of Mariam that Menelik was crowned Emperor of Ethiopia in 1889, and in the small museum in the compound there are various clothes, court and household implements and weapons dating from the period. 

  • The church of Raguel is unusual in that it is octagonal, rather than round. There is a first story balustrade around which Menelik liked to stroll.

Leaving the churches we descend to Addis Ababa, stopping off at the National Archaeological Museum. 

  • Here visitors can see exhibits ranging from the 3.5 million-year-old bones of Lucy, through the Axumite and Gondarene periods to the monarchs Tewodros and Menelik.

We will take a break here for lunch.  There is a wide variety of international restaurants in Addis Ababa, 

  • or visitors may prefer to sample Ethiopian food at the atmospheric Addis Ababa restaurant, once the home of Empress Zauditu.

After lunch we will visit the Ethnographical Museum of the Institute of Ethiopian Studies, 

  • where we can see clothing from different regions, along with artifacts, household utensils and in a separate section, paintings reflecting the history and culture of the country.

Our next stop will be Trinity Cathedral, where many patriots of the war against the Italian invaders are buried, then passing Menelik’s Palace we proceed to Africa Hall in the headquarters of the Economic Commission for Africa, 

  • for a look at the large stained glass artwork designed by Ethiopian artist Afewerk Tekle.

We then move to the Mercato, the largest market area in Africa, where virtually every possible commodity is on sale, from livestock to computers. 

  • For the visitor good at bargaining, there is a huge selection of Ethiopian arts and crafts.

We finish our day on the verandah of the 10th story Kokeb restaurant, watching the sun go down over Addis Ababa, after which visitors will be returned to their hotels.

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Map of Addis Ababa
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