Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Senior travel and product specialist
"Ethiopia offers a radically different African experience - the historical sites, unusual wildlife and the people - notably of the South Omo - are utterly fascinating."

Gondar Holidays

The former capital of Ethiopia, Gondar is noteworthy for its medieval castles, Timkat celebrations and the unique church of Debre Berhane Selassie. The Emperor Fasilidas founded Gondar as his imperial capital in 1636. It was the capital and a great commercial centre from the 17th to the mid-19th century.

Today, visitors come to see the Imperial Compound, with the enchanting 'Fasalidas' castles still in good condition. At the 'Bath of King Fasilidas', during the Timkat (Epiphany) celebrations, a nearby river is diverted to fill an area the size of a small swimming pool and worshippers plunge into the water in a re-enactment of Christ's baptism in the River Jordan.

Although many of Gondar's churches were destroyed during the Mahdist invasion from Sudan in the 1880s, one particularly fine example, Debre Berhane Selassie, escaped. According to legend, a swarm of bees diverted the invaders. The walls and ceiling are covered with vivid murals: the angels' faces on the ceiling have become a common motif in Ethiopian design.

Another site of interest is the ruined palace of Queen Mentewab at Kweskwam. The Mini Fogera is worth visiting in the evening for Asmari music and national food.

Gondar is also the gateway town to the Simyen Mountains National Park.

Read more about Gondar

Filter Holiday Ideas:
Holiday Type
Total Holidays: 3      
Classic Ethiopia Historical Tour
  • Culture & History
From £2880 per person
11 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Ethiopia
Discover Ethiopia's most spectacular sites of historical and cultural significance on this private guided individual tour.
Ethiopia Wildlife & General Natural History individual Tour
  • Adventure
  • Responsible
  • Safari
  • Wildlife
From £4295 per person
13 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Ethiopia
Travel to some of Ethiopia's most rewarding wildlife hotspots to seek iconic species such as the Ethiopian wolf, Gelada or 'bleeding-heart' monkeys, Mountain Nyala, Swayne's hartebeest and a plethora of endemic birds in stunning surrounds.
Discover Ethiopia 16-day Private Tour
  • Culture & History
  • Wildlife
From £4715 per person
16 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Ethiopia
This extensive private tour is perfect for nature enthusiasts who also want to be immersed in Ethiopia's culture and famous historical attractions.
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