Monday 26 November 2012

The Horn of Africa revisiting the history books

4000 year old cave paintings, the Mursi tribe of the Omo Valley, the 'hyena man' of Harar, the Royal Necropolis of Meroë, former British, French & Italian colonial cities and towns – some thriving, others now crumbling – plus a salt-lake 153m below sea level and a Rift Valley volcano are some of the many highlights of "The Horn of Africa" tour by Far Horizons, departing January 24 next year.

The 32-day journey by road, boat, rail and air through Ethiopia, the province of Somaliland, Djibouti, northern Sudan and Eritrea includes places out of the history books such as Addis Ababa, Harar, Hargeisa, Djibouti, Khartoum and Asmara with visits to the Ethiopian house of the French poet Arthur Rimbaud and family home of former President Haile Selassie, Berbera's Ottoman architecture, Somaliland's Hargeisa memorial, and the pyramids and ruins of the Kushitic Kingdom of Meroë.

Along the way are archaeological sites, museums, gold markets, uniquely colourful village communities, national parks, natural springs, an underground rock-hewn church, a visit to desert nomads followed by a picnic in the desert, a boat ride to the confluence of the White and Blue Nile, a British colonial hilltop retreat, the famed Rift Valley, ancient tombs, a steam train ride, and 2,400 year old hilltop pyramids.

Accommodation ranges from the luxury Addis Ababa Sheraton and Djibouti Palace Kempinski to a permanent desert tented camp and a small Nubian-style hotel; prices start from $23,950pp twin-share including return air from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Perth, best available accommodation, all meals, sightseeing, private transport, a Far Horizons escort, local guides, gratuities and taxes. Details 1800 083 141, (02) 9955 0444 or

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: In Djibouti there's a visit to the Khalifa's house with its small museum to the charismatic Mahdi who defeated the British in 1885, the Presidential Palace where Britain's General Gordon was beheaded the same year, and the house of Lord Kitchener during his campaign against the Mahdi.

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