Week 1: Sudan
Although various conflicts mean part of Sudan remains off limits, the northeast is one of the safest places in the world. We will showcase Khartoum, the labyrinthine souks of Omdurman, the ecstatic dances of the Sufi dervishes, the ancient Kingdom of Kush, the pyramid fields of Meroe, Jebel Barkal, El-Kurru and Nuri, sites of the early Nubian civilization of Kerma, and ancient Christian sites around Old Dongola.
Week 2: Northern Ethiopia
Addis Ababa, the monasteries of Lake Tana, Tigray's remarkable rock-hewn churches, the giant obelisks in Axum, the medieval castles of Gondar, and the ancient rock-hewn churches of Lalibela, Ethiopian Christmas celebrations held by the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The Blue Nile waterfalls, endemic wildlife such as Gelada baboons in the Simien Mountains and the Danakil Depression, featuring other-worldly geological landscapes that resulted from the divergence of three tectonic plates in the Horn of Africa.
Week 3: Southern Ethiopia
African and Middle Eastern influences in Harar Jugol, an old walled city in Eastern Ethiopia. The World Heritage sites of the Tiya Stelae Field and the Cultural Landscape of Konso. The elaborate Timkat celebrations. The southern Rift Valley and its lakes. The Omo Valley, home to a diverse and fascinating range of villages, and some of Africa’s most fascinating ethnic groups. Traditional Dorze, Mursi, Karo and Daasanach villages, the Hamer people performing a jumping of the bulls coming-of-age ceremony.
Week 4: Eritrea
Asmara, the capital of Eritrea, a UNESCO World Heritage city featuring modernist architecture created by Italian architects. The Monday camel market in Keren and a vintage train ride on the Eritrean Railway, constructed between 1887 and 1932. Massawa, a historical and important port for many centuries, located on the Red Sea.