Arrive in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia's capital city and the political capital of Africa. Barely more than a century old, the city is home to both the African Union and United Nations Economic Commission of Africa, playing a strategic role in the continents politics. As a busy international and domestic hub, the city is the gateway to Ethiopia's geological, religious and historical highlights.
Today our Leader will meet you in the hotel reception at 11.30am for the welcome meeting, followed by lunch in the hotel's restaurant before departing for an afternoon guided tour of Addis' highlights. After lunch we will start our tour visiting three of the city's most important sites; Holy Trinity Cathedral, the Ethnological Museum and the National Museum.
As the final resting place of much-loved Haile Selassie, Holy Trinity Cathedral is one of the country's most sacred places of worship. Visiting on day one begins to develop an understanding of the intrinsic role that religion plays in an Ethiopians' day to day life.
Next we'll visit the National Museum, home to one of the world's most important palaeontological exhibits in the world; 'Lucy'. Discovered in 1974 in Ethiopia's Afar region, these partial ancestral remains are believed to be 3.2 million years old and significantly changed the scientific understanding of evolution. Finally, this afternoon we'll visit Addis' Ethnological Museum housed in Haile Selassie's former palace. The museum's exhibits are a great introduction to life throughout Ethiopia, with displays set in a chronological order to take you through traditions of childhood, adulthood and death.
If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer this morning, you'll need to arrive into Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (ADD).
If you wish to join this afternoon's city tour, you must arrive at the hotel by 1pm. If you are booking your own flights, we recommend giving yourself at least 90 minutes to clear the airport. From the airport to the hotel is around 15 minutes' drive, so therefore the latest your flight can arrive is 11.15am. Should you miss the welcome meeting, your Leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
Please note: A majority of flights will land into Addis Adaba in the early morning and it's often too early to be able to check straight in to your room. However, early check-in is requested but is subject to availability, and early arrivals will have access to the bar and restaurant, toilets and the hotel lobby.