Competition Itinerary - Africa Prime

Competition Itinerary

Ethiopia
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Ethiopia – A Historic Route 7 Days

The Rock-Hewn Churches of Lalibela, Ethiopia

Hidden for centuries in the remote highlands, about 700 kilometers north of Addis Ababa, the magnificent rock-hewn churches of Lalibela are not to be missed by today’s visitor. This group of eleven monolithic and semi-monolithic structures was carved directly into the stone of the mountainside at least 800 years ago. With the largest monolithic church in the world; a maze of passageways and tunnels; intricately carved reliefs; and fabulous examples of icon paintings;  the Lalibela churches were built by carving a massive rectangular trench around a solid stone block.  This solid block was then hollowed out, leaving interior columns, windows, reliefs, etc.  Other churches were carved in a similar fashion but leaving either one side or the roof attached to the surrounding stone.  Not only the craftsmanship but also the sheer size of the churches is stunning.  Medhane Alem, the largest, sits on 800 square meters and St. George is 15 meters deep.

Arrival   Bole International Airport
Awaze Tours  will meet all clients arriving at the airport regardless of arrival time.  For morning flight arrivals you may begin your tour after checking into your hotel.  For afternoon or evening arrivals, you may begin your tour the following day.

Day 01   Addis Ababa
Visit the Ethnographic Museum, a great introduction to Ethiopian culture and history.  Tour the Mercato, one of Africa’s largest outdoor markets, and Trinity Cathedral, resting place of Emperor Haile Selassie.
​Overnight Hotel –  (B, L, D)

Day 02   Addis Ababa – Bahar Dar
Fly to Bahar Dar on Ethiopian Airlines.  Visit the marketplace in Bahar Dar.  Take a boat tour on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile and tour ancient island monasteries.
Overnight Lodge  (B, L, D)

Day 03   Bahar Dar – Gondar
Drive through the countryside to Gondar.  Tour the Royal Enclosure, a UNESCO World Heritage site featuring five castles built by a succession of Ethiopian kings beginning in the early 17th century.  Having survived several wars, including air raids during World War 2, the castles are a testament to the resilience of this once mighty empire.  Visit the church of Debre Birhan Selassie, famous for its religious art and especially its iconic ceiling depicting angels.
Overnight Hotel  (B, L, D)

Day 04   Gondar – Lalibela
Fly to Lalibela on Ethiopian Airlines.  Tour the magnificent rock-hewn churches, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  This group of eleven monolithic churches were carved directly into the stone mountainside at least 800 years ago.  This complex boasts the largest monolithic church in the world, a maze of passageways and tunnels, intricately carved reliefs, and fabulous examples of icon paintings.
Overnight Hotel  (B, L, D)

Day 05   Lalibela
For the morning we have two options: Take a morning hike with mules to the 13th century rock-hewn monastery of Mount Asheton.  The walk provides wonderful views of Lalibela and the surrounding countryside.  – OR – Drive to Yemrehanna Kristos, a beautiful church situated in a shallow cave that predates the churches of Lalibela. The drive to Yemrehanna will give you the opportunity to view the rural countryside and villages of the Ethiopian highlands. Following either option above continue with tour of Lalibela’s churches in the afternoon.
Overnight Hotel  (B, L, D)

Day 06   Lalibela – Axum
Fly to Axum on Ethiopian Airlines. Tour the ancient stelae fields, standing for 2000 years. Visit the new and impressive Archeological Museum. Visit other tombs and archeological sites as time permits.
Overnight Hotel  (B, L, D)

Day 07   Axum – Addis Ababa
Fly to Addis Ababa on Ethiopian Airlines.  Visit either the Ethnographic Museum or the National Museum, home of the 3.18 million year old skeleton “Lucy.”  Optional souvenir shopping in the afternoon.   Farewell dinner at a traditional Ethiopian restaurant featuring dancers and musicians representing some of the country’s many ethnic groups.  Transfer to airport for late night departure if needed.
(B, L, D)

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Tanzania – An Africa Safari 7 Days

DAY 08

LAKE MANYARA NATIONAL PARK

Pickup from your hotel at 8am and start a beautiful journey across the Great Rift Valley until Lake Manyara National Park for a full day game drive. Although small in dimension (205 sq. miles), the park has breathtaking scenery and well famous for its lush acacia forest, giant figs and mahogany trees, as well as to a growing population of baboons and blue monkeys. Permanent residents of this park also include giraffes, elephants, impalas and a huge amount of buffaloes. The lake is also home to a large number of hippos. Some unique facts about this park include the tree climbing lions, flamingos in the lake shore, as well as the Ground Hornbill and the Crested Eagle. The landscapes of Lake Manyara are something that can not be described with words, and the game drives along the lake provide stunning photo opportunities of giraffes and buffaloes in the foreground and the lake (and its flamingos) in the background. During this day, some extra tours are possible, including a bike tour or a boat excursion. In the afternoon, transfer to the camp for dinner.

Overnight: Manyara Serena Lodge or similar

DAY 09

NGORONGORO CRATER

Ngorongoro Crater is considered one the wonders of the Natural World. The crater spreads for 102 sq. miles and has 2.000 ft high walls, making it virtually a Noah’s ark and inhabiting almost every species of wildlife that is indigenous to East Africa. It’s one of the very rare locations in the whole continent where you can witness the black Rhino. The concentration of African wildlife if the greatest in the continent. The crater has a river, several swamps, a soda lake with a great concentration of flamingos, a forest and open plains. It’s also famous for its elephants which are the largest in the world and have huge tusks. This is due to the rich mineral content of the volcanic soil and its grasses. Ngorongoro Crater is truly a Wonder of the Natural World.

We will start the day very early with a transfer from Manyara region to Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and descend into the crater floor for an incredible morning of wildlife in one of the most stunning places on Earth. After the game drive, there will be time for a picnic lunch near the beautiful hippo Lake. After lunch, you will have the opportunity for a fantastic afternoon game drive and then ascend the crater and transfer to your accommodation.

Overnight: Sopa Lodge or similar

DAY 10

After a long but spectacular journey, you will arrive in the park in time for a fantastic afternoon game drive

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (CENTRAL)

After an early breakfast, depart towards the most famous National park in the World, the Serengeti. The driving itself, although long, is spectacular. You will drive up the crater highlands, making a quick stop at the rim for an out of this world view of Ngorongoro Crater. This will be an unforgettable moment for anyone seeing it for the first time. As you progress well into the Serengeti, you will see why the name means, in local language, “endless plains”. The park has 6,900 sq. mile (18,000 sq. km) and for most of it, the plains will stretch to the horizon defying your senses and perception of distances. It is the home of the Great Migration and to 2 million wildebeests, hundreds of thousands of zebras and all kinds of antelopes including the abundant impalas and Thomson’s gazelles. As for Big Cats and large predators, it’s the place of choice to look out for lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, with many television scenes like the famous river crossings having been filmed in this park. Smaller animals like foxes, mongoose, honey badgers, jackals, monkeys, baboons, rock hyrax and african hares, together with more than 500 species of birds, also inhabit this park.

On the way to the park you will have the option to stop for a visit to Olduvai Gorge, a famous place where Dr. Louis and Mary Leakey discovered the remains of the first man who walked on Earth. This tour includes a short lecture describing the archeological digs and geologic characteristics of the gorge, as well as a visit to their museum.

Overnight: Sopa Lodge or similar

DAY 11

Extra tour recommended: The wonderful balloon flight over the Serengeti plains.

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (CENTRAL)

Full day in the Serengeti National Park. We are completely flexible with your preferences and this day will be organized according to your wishes. On every day of the safari, your guide will discuss with you the best timings for you, including the game drives and the wake up time. For example, on this day, you could do a morning game drive, return to the camp for lunch and relaxation and finish with an afternoon game drive, or you could do a full day game drive with picnic lunch.

Overnight: Sopa Lodge or similar

DAY 12 AND 13

Depending on the time of the year, these 2 days will be spent in a different location of the park (South, North or West)

SERENGETI NATIONAL PARK (FOLLOWING THE GREAT MIGRATION)

On these two incredible days, you will be driven across remote locations within the vast Serengeti plains in pursue of the Great Migration. The areas you visit depend on the time of the year and could be as far as the remote North of the Serengeti near the border with Kenya, or could be in the South (Ndutu Area) or even in the Western part of the park.

Overnight: Ndutu Lodge or similar

DAY 14 FLYING OUT OF THE SERENGETI

On this day we suggest a very early wake up in order to do an early morning game drive (when the animals are more active) and see one of the best sunrises you’ll ever witness. It’s really one of the most beautiful experiences to have. After the game drive, we return to the camp for a rewarding brunch and then we’ll proceed to the airstrip for your flight back to Arusha.

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South Africa – A Rainbow Nation 7 Days

Rovos Rail Pretoria to Cape Town

15h00 The Pride of Africa departs Rovos Rail’s Station in Capital Park. Guests may freshen up in their suites before joining fellow travellers in the Midway Lounge car or Observation carriage at the rear of the train.

19h30 Dinner is served in the Rovos Rail dining car/s.

DAY 16: KIMBERLEY

07h00 Breakfast is served in the dining car/s until 09h45.

09h30 Ten minutes before arriving in Kimberley there is a shallow lake on the right-hand side facing forward. On most occasions, there are spectacular flocks of Flamingos (approx. 23 000).

09h45 Arrive in Kimberley. Guests disembark and proceed by coach/combi for a tour of the city, the “ Big Hole “ and the Mine Museum.

12h30 Depart Kimberley.

13h00 Lunch is served in the dining car/s.

19h30 Dinner will be served in the dining car/s.

DAY 17: ARRIVE CAPE TOWN – OVERNIGHT

08h00 Breakfast will be served in the dining car/s between 07h00 and 10h00.

08h25 There is an opportunity to disembark the Train at Whitehill siding and walk or jog the 5 kilometres into Matjisefontein. The Train Manager or a member of staff will accompany you. Comfortable walking or running shoes are essential. The train arrives at Matjiesfontein where you will have a chance to stroll through this historic settlement.

10h30 We depart Matjiesfontein passing through Tweedside and Touws River.

12h00 We reach the first of four tunnels which take us through the Hex RiverPass. The second tunnel is 13.5kms long so; please be careful if you are walking through the train. If you are in your suite, you may wish to turn on a light.

13h00 Lunch will be served as we pass through the Hex River Valley and the town of Worcester.

18h00 Arrival at Platform 24 Cape Town Station met and transferred to your hotel

Overnight: Taj Hotel 5* (BB)

Day 18 CAPE TOWN: HOP-ON HOP-OFF BUS

Use your City Hop-on Hop-off ticket at leisure to visit museums and sights as

Castle of Good Hope, Robben Island, South African Cultural History Museum,

District Six Museum and Gold of Africa Museum and Table Mountain.

Overnight: Taj Hotel 5* (BB)

DAY 19: CAPE TOWN – PENINSULA TOUR

After breakfast this is an awe-inspiring tour to the towering headland known as Cape Point. Magnificent beaches, breathtaking views, and picturesque coastal villages are to be seen along the way. The tour takes you along the Atlantic Seaboard to Hout Bay (optional seal island boat t), via Chapman’s Peak to Cape Point, Simon’s Town & the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony and ends with a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.

Overnight: Taj Hotel 5* (BB)

DAY 20: CAPE TOWN – FRANSCHHOEK – PAARL – STELLENBOSCH

Met by guide for transfer to the Winelands & Franschhoek

Wine tasting and visits to various wine estates.

Overnight: The Lanzerac Hotel 5* DBB

DAY 21:  FULL DAY STELLENBOSCH AND ITS WINELANDS

After breakfast meet with your private guide and start the day with ice-cold Method Cap Classic Sparkling wine and fresh fruit on a working farm overlooking the Stellenbosch mountains and False Bay; then wine tasting on the Stellenboschkloof road followed by an historical walking tour through Stellenbosch. Enjoy a typical South African ‘braai’ for lunch before the last wine tasting in the Banhoek Valley.

Overnight: The Lanzerac Hotel 5* BB

DAY 22: DEPART CAPE TOWN

Met at hotel for transfer to Cape Town International airport

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