Eritrea Frozen in time

A unique destination. Little-known. Surprising. A perfect mixture of Africa and Arabia. In Eritrea, time seems to have stood still. And there it lies, eager to be discovered.Our adventure will begin in Asmara, the capital, a kind of little Italy. A city of wide avenues and buildings from the first half of the 20th century, featuring a curious Italian style. Hotels, cinemas and theatres make this city a unique enclave in Africa.The route will continue through places that you’re bound to never forget. From the Keren camel market, which is like a tiny miniature Arabia, to the Red Sea waters of Massawa, where you’ll discover the Rashaida tribe. We’ll explore towns such as Barentu, Ashashi, Senafe, Qoahaito and Adikeyh, where, among Sycamore-dotted landscapes, we’ll find the Kunama ethnic group.Eritrea is an eye-opening destination, the site of historic battles and a delight for lovers of Africa.

Duración:

13 días

Viaje:

En grupo o privado

Desde:

2450 €

Salidas y Precios

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Precio de viajar en grupo

PVP por persona:

desde 2450 €

Precio de viajar en privado

PVP por persona:

desde 2950 €

Route trip

Ask us for the PDF with the complete information of the route

DÍA 1

International flight to Asmara

Arrival by international flight to Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. After completing the paperwork and collecting our baggage, we will be welcomed and transferred to Hotel Albergo Italia, Eritrea’s oldest hotel.Accommodations at the Hotel Albergo Italia. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 2

Asmara

Asmara, a unique city to soak up the colonial calm exuded by its Italian past. One of the cities that best preserves the country’s old colonial buildings. It is not surprising, therefore, that it is listed as a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site.We will stroll through this charming city of wide avenues and buildings dating from the first half of the 20th century. Asmara stands out for having, since 1935, a unique urban layout in the Italian rationalist style. A good example of “Little Rome” is reflected in its National Theatre (the site of different shows), post office, central market (across from one of the large civil buildings catalogued by UNESCO), and the charming Rome Cinema (which still features posters for films like “Dolce Vita”. Between visits, on foot, in an experience unlike anything else found in most of Africa’s chaotic cities, we can sip a macchiato or a cappuccino.Asmara’s Great Mosque, its central cathedral, and its railway station (dating from 1911, and still featuring steam locomotives) will round out an intense and varied visit.Accommodations at the Hotel Albergo Italia. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 3

Asmara – Keren

We will leave the Eritrean capital, at 2,000 meters above sea level, on a winding, traffic-free highway on to the city of Keren. One of our first stops will be in Embe Derho, a town that has a small dam used by the local community to collect water, which the people transport to their homes on donkeys.We will continue our route on towards Keren. Our next stops are the villages of the Tigre and Bilen ethnic groups, where we can observe the villagers’ traditional lifestyles. Later we arrive in Keren and stroll through the quiet town before resting at the hotel.Accommodations at the Hotel Sarina. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 4

Keren

Keren, which in Tigre means “mountain,” occupies a strategic location surrounded by rugged mountains. It is the starting point for some interesting treks. The site of historic battles, the quiet town is known for its popular, bustling camel market held every Monday. We will strive to visit on market day, featuring camels and other animals, such as goats and cows, organized on the outskirts of the city in the bed of a dry river.Then it is on to Maryam D’Arit, a religious site featuring a modern Orthodox church and a sacred baobab, a pilgrimage destination. Maryan D’Arit, in itself, is an example of how different religions can peacefully coexist.At the other end of the city is the Keren War Cemetery, a resting place for English soldiers (and their allies) who fell in the battle of Keren against the Italian army. To complete the day we will hit the local market, in the heart of the city, and the old railway station (today used for buses), which conserves the architecture of the era.Accommodations at the Hotel Sarina. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 5

Keren – Barentu – Ashashi

Leaving Keren, we head east into the lowlands of Eritrea and the Gash Barka River Valley. From an elevation of 2,200 meters we drop to 600, with a first part of the route dotted by Tigre villages. Shortly before arriving in Barentu, we will stop in a village of the Nara people, originally from this region, and who are mostly Muslims. Sedentary, they grow sorghum, sesame and millet for their livelihoods, as well as breeding camels, cows and donkeys. The women wear striking facial scarifications.In Barentu we will meet our guide, of the Kunama ethnicity, who will accompany us on our visits in the area. About 30 minutes from Barentu (and a few km from the border) is Ashashi, a village of the Kunama ethnic people, who embrace an animist tradition (called Dungul Mashkhal), though with a strong Christian influence. We will soak up traditional Kunama life in their adobe homes.Camping with the Kunama. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 6

Ashashi – Asmara

Surrounded by mountains, we will wake up in this Kunama village. By the first light of day, we will continue to observe everyday life here. Later, we will enjoy the atmosphere at the market held every Wednesday, an event bringing the Ashashi together.We will rest in Barentu before continuing on to the city of Asmara.Accommodations at the Hotel Albergo Italia. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 7

Asmara – Masawa

Time for a change. We’ll head for the Red Sea Coast. From the capital, at an elevation of more than 2,000 meters, we will descend to Massawa, at sea level. The route is a very interesting one. An endless mountain pass whose constant curves delight local cyclists, probably the most high-profile sport in the country. Halfway, about 50 kilometers from Asmara, we’ll stop at Guinda, a small Muslim town where the weather will change. We have left the cool highlands behind, and are now heading into some sweltering heat.Later on we will arrive in Massawa, Eritrea’s main town on the Red Sea, a site coveted by different peoples throughout history for its strategic location. It was the first capital when this was an Italian colony. The old town of Massawa was built by the Ottomans in a traditional way and, despite its decline, wandering its streets is a pleasant experience that will transport you back in time. In Massawa we will seek out the Rashaida ethnic group, a nomadic people originally from Saudi Arabia.The Rashaida mainly breed camels, and have settlements along the Eritrean coast. We will spend the afternoon/night with some of their families to experience their culture.Rashaida camp. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 8

Massawa

After breaking camp and saying goodbye to the Rashaida, we will head to the Port of Massawa, where we will board a small boat to see the arrival of the few fishing vessels that ply the port. The Afar people can be seen fishing in their small vessels, while some larger ones are managed by the government.After this experience, when it begins to heat up we’ll head to Gurgusum Beach, where we will relax for a few hours and can take a dip at one of the country’s best beaches. After lunch we’ll spend the afternoon strolling and meandering the streets of Massawa.Accommodations at the Hotel Dalakh. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 9

Massawa – Asmara

We will leave the Red Sea Coast to return to Asmara. After lunch it’s time for a walk around the city to continue taking in the Art Deco architecture of its buildings, including Eritrea’s old Fiat factory.We will end the day by visiting the Tank Graveyard, the final resting place for vestiges of the military vehicles used during the different conflicts that the country has seen. An experience to give us an idea of its military past. Accommodations at the Hotel Albergo Italia. FB (Full Board)

DÍA 10

Asmara – Senafe – Adikeyh

We travel to the south of the country. We head for Senafe, through the beautiful “Valley of the Sycamores.” The Sycamore is a type of Ficus and one of the country’s most emblematic trees. Arrival in Senafe, a town located in the foothills of the Metera Mountains, very close to the Ethiopian border. Visit the exterior of the Kidane Mihret Church, which will remind us of some of the Ethiopian-Axumite-style churches. We’ll take a short hike to see the incredible Eritrean Tigray landscape. After the visit we’ll head to Adikeyh, where we’ll spend the night.Accommodations at the Central Hotel. FB (Full Board)

Essential information

Best time to travel to Eritrea

It is possible to travel to Eritrea year round, without any weather-related incidents. Located in the Horn of Africa, Eritrea features complex terrain and, therefore, a varied climate. In the center, on the Asmara plateau, there is a Mediterranean climate, with rains between the months of May and September, and a dry season from November to April. On the coast it is very arid, with very high temperatures throughout the year, especially in the summer months.

Health – Vaccines

A yellow fever vaccine is mandatory, but additional vaccines are recommended. Rift Valley advises you to consult with international immunization centers prior to travelling.

Visas

Travelers need an entry visa and a passport valid for at least six months. One of the embassies where you can process your visa is in Paris.

Currency

The nakfa is the currency of Eritrea. It is necessary to change euros or dollars to the local currency, as credit cards are not accepted in this country.

Incluye

  • Transfers from/to the airport, as per the itinerary.
  • Double rooms, full board.
  • Accommodations in standard-category rooms, as per the itinerary.
  • Vehicle with driver and gasoline.
  • Tickets and activities, according to the itinerary.
  • Mineral water in the vehicle en route.
  • Local English-speaking guides.
  • Hikes and tours, as per the itinerary.
  • Camping equipment (mats and tents).

No incluye

  • International flights.
  • Visa (€100) unless otherwise specified.
  • Tips, beverages and personal expenses, as well as unspecified items.
  • Sleeping bag.
  • Travel insurance.
  • Any other items not expressly specified as included.

Route photo gallery

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    Eritrea

    Opiniones de viajeros

    78 viajeros han realizado esta ruta con Rift Valley

    Rift Valley Expeditions

    Eleni Domazinaki
    Eleni Domazinaki
    22. Enero, 2024.
    Traveled with Rift Valley Expeditions in the South of Ethiopia . Mehari was an excellent guide and driver . Made the trip unforgettable and unique.He was very organised and was making sure we enjoyed every second of the trip. Would definitely recommend him and for sure will travel with them again!
    Sitges Travel
    Sitges Travel
    14. Enero, 2024.
    Gracias Rift Valley por hacer de nuestro viaje a Benín una espectacular experiencia con los 5 sentidos. Ya hacía tiempo que queríamos viajar con vosotros a título personal, y ahora que ya lo hemos hecho, sin duda os recomendaremos a todos nuestros clientes aventureros. ¡¡Ya estamos deseando volver a África para descubrir con vosotros otro destino!! Queremos agradecer especialmente a nuestro guía en Benín, Oumar Farouk, eres una joyita de persona, ¡no cambies nunca!, y a Rafa Martín por todo lo que aprendemos y nos enamora más el continente africano cada vez que hablamos contigo ;)
    Natalia Valencia Pineda
    Natalia Valencia Pineda
    3. Diciembre, 2023.
    Estoy en estos momentos regresando de un viaje en Kenia y simplemente espectacular. Recomiendo la agencia y sobre todo a sus guias. Siempre dispuestos a todo!
    Teresa Pubill
    Teresa Pubill
    8. Octubre, 2023.
    Al Setembre vaig fer una safari a Tanzania amb Rift Valley. L’ organització ha estat fantàstica des del primer moment que vam contactar amb ells. El guia un gran professional, ens va resoldre tots els dubtes que teniem i ens va fer disfrutar molt del safari. Els hotels, recomanats per l’ agència van set extraordinaris. Realment son molt professionals i fan que sigui un viatge inobidable. Segur que tornaré a viatjar amb ells i els recomano a tothom que vulgui viatjar a Africa
    Ana Olivar
    Ana Olivar
    14. Septiembre, 2023.
    Viatges diferents i culturals
    Kira Josende Camacho
    Kira Josende Camacho
    14. Septiembre, 2023.
    ¡Experiencia increíble en Kenia! Muchas gracias por toda la organización! Repetiremos seguro! :)
    Nerea Tabernero
    Nerea Tabernero
    2. Septiembre, 2023.
    Nuestro viaje a Etiopía no podría haber salido mejor. Recorrimos el sur del país durante semana y media acompañados por Salomon y Mente, los mejores guía y conductor posibles. Tanto los alojamientos como la coordinación de horarios y visitas han sido perfectos, incluso cuando ha habido algún imprevisto.
    Jorge Pam
    Jorge Pam
    1. Septiembre, 2023.
    Tras viajar con ellos por Etiopía, recomiendo sin dudarlo a Rift Valley para viajar por África. Tienen multitud de experiencia, contactos y saber hacer. Gracias en especial a nuestro guía Salomon y nuestro conductor Mente. 😃

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