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Derek Schuurman
Derek Schuurman Product Manager Madagascar and Alternative Africa
"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: 4      
Ethiopia Timket Small Group Tour 2019
  • Culture & History
  • Small Group Tours
From £3250 per person
13 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Ethiopia
The three-day festival of Timket is Ethiopia's most spectacular event and on this small group tour you'll also see the country's top highlights including Lalibela, Bahir Dar, Simien Mountains, Gondar and Axum.
Classic Ethiopia Historical Tour
  • Culture & History
From £3590 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.
Discover Ethiopia 15-day Private Tour
  • Culture & History
  • Wildlife
From £5220 per person
15 day holiday
Flights included
See the full trip
Ethiopia
This private tour is perfect for nature enthusiasts who also want to be immersed in Ethiopia's fascinating cultural and historical attractions.
Unusual and Endemic Wildlife of Ethiopia
  • Wildlife
From £4230 per person
12 day holiday
See the full trip
Ethiopia
Experience some of Ethiopia's top wildlife hotspots for its iconic endemic species such as Ethiopian wolf, Wahlia ibex, Gelada Baboon, Mountain Nyala and a plethora of birdlife in stunning surrounds.
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USA611 3001 4894
Australia184 4332 5169
New Zealand184 4332 5137
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